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Techniques in Home Winemaking is a resource for home winemakers looking for information or help on making great wines, and to share that knowledge with fellow winemakers. This resource is based and builds on my book by the same title. Much of my experience is derived from extensive literature search as well as from my experience both as a home and a commercial winemaker. Click here if interested in ordering a signed copy of my book.

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  1. Daniel Pambianchi

    Hi Burak,

    I was referring to the wine phases, both the liquid phase and the vapor phase, which comprises all the gases above the wine surface that exist in equilibrium with the liquid phase. Those will be primarily water and ethanol.

    Keeping wine at 20C is not good for aging. It accelerates aging via oxidative processes and also favors microbial spoilage. Are you not able to cool down the area using something like an air conditioner?

    And you are correct, it can be very difficult to inhibit an active MLF with a small dose of KMS; it’s the same with yeast though bacteria are more sensitive. Once the MLF is complete, you only need an amount commensurate with the wine pH as per my calculator; you also need to move the wine to cooler storage.

    To inhibit MLF, you would need a larger dose (75-100 ppm), filter the wine down to 0.45 um to remove as much bacteria as possible, and move it to cool storage. This is what I do when I want to stop an active AF and want to keep residual sugar; I also chill the wine down to 6-8C.

    If you cannot sterile filter the wine before bottling, you will need to treat with lysozyme and KMS as the wine is microbially instable.

    Good luck

    Daniel

    Reply
    1. BURAK TUNA

      Hi Daniel,

      thankyou again, now my mistakes are clear to me. I will try to do like you advise.

      Nowadays, i have been trying to make my sulphite knowledge deeper by re-reading your book and your other publications.

      In this blog, you had informed somebody named Mike : Infrequent large sulphite additions are more effective than frequent small additions. As an example i understand like this, first we measure the current level, then find the must be level acc to pH. We enter these data in your calculator and it gave us a result for example 5 gr but, we put the double 10 gram. I understood this logic like this. Is that right ?

      Today i viewed your so2 management protocol from 2014 ( couldn’t completely read) , a pdf doc. In the last page 11, you say “As is recommended by enologists, making small additions regularly is more effective than large infrequent additions”

      Could you please illuminate the thing, which approach i have to follow up ?

      Salute

      Burak

      Reply
  2. Daniel Pambianchi

    Hello Burak,

    Some winemakers will still recommend smaller and more frequent additions. The argument is that you maintain the recommended free SO2 level at all times.

    Quite coincidentally, soon after my 2014 study, some new research and a new book was published in 2014 by renowned enologist Jacques Blouin where he made a strong case for larger and less frequent additions. The biggest advantage of this strategy, which I now support and recommend, is that you end up adding less sulfite throughout the life of the wine during maturation, and that you end up with a lower Total SO2.

    The challenge is determining what adjustment factor to use. This depends on the style of wine and its chemistry. I provided some guidelines in the notes following the online Sulfite Calculator.

    For example, for whites I suggest a 0% adjustment factor. For a full-bodied red, I suggest 100% early on and then gradually move down to 50% and 33% on subsequent additions. These would be infrequent and not every 3 months as is done with the other regimen. I would say measure your SO2 and do the additions when the free SO2 level reaches the recommended level based on pH but WITHOUT the adjustment.

    For example, if your pH is 3.25, the calculator recommends 14 mg/L free SO2 at 0% adjustment and 0.5 mg/L molecular SO2 for a red wine. So double that amount on your first addition, at the end of the MLF. Monitor free SO2, and when it hits around 15 mg/L, adjust SO2. If it’s a full-bodied wine, use 100% again, otherwise, you can move down to 75% or 50%. Then monitor and measure free SO2 again, and when it hits 15 mg/L, add sulfite again with maybe 50% or 33% adjustment, and repeat on the final racking using likely just 0%.

    It takes a bit of experience to master this technique. I measure total phenol content in my wines, and so I was able to master it fairly quickly. Yes, my wines have higher free SO2 levels, but I bottle at the recommended level (i.e. with 0% adjustment), and that results in lower Total SO2 then the other strategy.

    I hope this clears it up.

    Daniel

    Reply
  3. Seth

    Daniel-
    I have taken note of your reply to my query in November (hadn’t been notified via email) and truly appreciate it. Also apologize for the familiar Dan vs. Daniel. Won’t make that mistake again.
    I have now gone back and read your blog for the past year. I find it wonderful that you give so generously of your time and knowledge. Thank you!

    I have made 2 seasons of Cab S/Merlot blends and am now on my 3rd. All from grapes shipped from Lodi to upstate NY. Questions further to cold soaking:

    1) Please expand on the pros and cons of pre AF cold soaking and post AF cold soaking. I was wondering if the alcohol provides any benefits in a post AF soak (reduces microbial taint etc.)? We have a club where we perform a crush for the first group (various varietals in 20-40 gal batches), ferment, then press, then crush for a second group etc. Each session runs around 7 days depending on ambient temps and I have been lucky to participate int he first group. I believe the grapes sit in the fridge of the distributor rather than a second shipment from Cali. I thought I could either:
    a. Crush, kill the native yeast with MBS, and take some must home in 2 7 gal pails, put them in a frig covered, for a week or so, maintain 40 degrees, punch regularly, then raise the temp when the first group presses, ferment, and then press with the second group; or
    b. Crush, kill the native yeast with MBS, ferment, and then prior to press, remove and take some must home in 2 7 gal pails, put them in a frig covered, for a week or so, maintain 40 degrees, punch regularly, and then press with the second group.

    I also have a private question with regard to a potential equipment concept, and would love it if you would consider emailing me personally.

    Thanks again for all you do.

    Seth

    Reply
  4. Daniel Pambianchi

    Hi Seth,

    You have to check the box below the COMMENT box to receive notifications. Know that I respond very quickly, usually well within 24 hours. So if you don’t receive a notification, go see if I responded because I likely did.

    The main benefit of pre-AF cold soak is to extract anthocyanins (color pigment molecules) as these are more soluble in juice (absence of ethanol). And the main benefit of post-AF cold soak is tannin integration (via polymerization), which gives a smoother mouthfeel. The alcohol doesn’t protect the wine from microbes; you really need to chill it down and protect it with CO2 or other inert gas. Alcohol in wine can actually lead to chemical oxidation and/or microbial spoilage if not protected.

    Yes, your techniques for processing and cold soaking are good. If you have a freezer with lots of space, you can also freeze crushed must; that actually helps extract more color. The freezing and thawing process ruptures grape skin cells, which causes further release of anthocyanins.

    Hope this helps. You can email me at daniel@TechniquesInHomeWinemaking.com

    Cheers,
    Daniel

    Reply
  5. Seth

    I had checked the box…

    Thanks for the speedy reply.

    I will follow your advice. No freezers, and since I don’t control the timing of the press, I will go with pre-soak at 40 degrees (unless you think colder is better).

    No gas so I will keep the head space limited in the buckets?

    Any suggestions in terms of number of days? Again, our club crushes once, ferments an average of 6-9 days, then press, and then crushes the next day all over again. So I could go 6-9 days of pre-soak and then 6-9 days of fermentation as needed.

    Thanks again.

    Seth

    Reply
  6. Seth

    I had checked the box…

    Thanks for the speedy reply.

    I will follow your advice. No freezers, and since I don’t control the timing of the press, I will go with pre-soak at 40 degrees (unless you think colder is better).

    No gas so I will keep the head space limited in the buckets?

    Any suggestions in terms of number of days? Again, our club crushes once, ferments an average of 6-9 days, then press, and then crushes the next day all over again. So I could go 6-9 days of pre-soak and then 6-9 days of fermentation as needed.

    Thanks again.

    Seth

    PS- No notice this time either, and it seems to give you an error when posting, have to hit back, and then repost.

    Reply
  7. Seth

    I had checked the box…

    Thanks for the speedy reply.

    I will follow your advice. No freezers, and since I don’t control the timing of the press, I will go with pre-soak at 40 degrees (unless you think colder is better).

    No gas so I will keep the head space limited in the buckets?

    Any suggestions in terms of number of days? Again, our club crushes once, ferments an average of 6-9 days, then press, and then crushes the next day all over again. So I could go 6-9 days of pre-soak and then 6-9 days of fermentation as needed.

    Thanks again.

    Seth

    PS- No notice this time either, and it seems to give you an error when posting, have to hit back, and then repost.

    I have tried to post this several times, here is the error:

    al error: Uncaught exception ‘phpmailerException’ with message ‘Invalid address: (setFrom) admin’ in /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/class-phpmailer.php:1023 Stack trace: #0 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/pluggable.php(352): PHPMailer->setFrom(‘admin’, ‘Techniques in H…’, false) #1 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php(845): wp_mail(‘ron@ferraro.us’, ‘[Techniques in …’, ‘There is a new …’, ‘From: “Techniqu…’) #2 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php(789): CWS_STC->send_mail(‘ron@ferraro.us’, ‘New Comment On:…’, ‘There is a new …’) #3 [internal function]: CWS_STC->send_notifications(69567) #4 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(300): call_user_func_array(Array, Array) #5 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(323): WP_Hook->apply_filters(”, Array) #6 /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php(45 in /home1/daniel17/public_html/blog/wp-includes/class-phpmailer.php on line 1023

    Reply
  8. Daniel Pambianchi

    Yeah, it’s a WordPress error and I don’t know why. I’ll need to look further into, but rest assured that you’re messages are being posted, so no need to try again.

    A cold soak of 7-10 days or even 14 days if you can manage it is ideal.

    Reply

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