Winemaking (rec.crafts.winemaking) Discussion of the process, recipes, tips, techniques and general exchange of lore on the process, methods and history of wine making. Includes traditional grape wines, sparkling wines & champagnes.

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Old 06-12-2003, 04:45 PM
Brad B.
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2

Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking? I am thinking about racking,
stirring, and adding some ML food, but I am mostly curious about the
effect this has on the culture and if I will need to add another
culture later.

Thanks in advance...

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Old 06-12-2003, 08:59 PM
Tom S
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2


"Brad B." wrote in message
om...
Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking?


Depends on the pH. Have you done an ML check? Sometimes ML will go
spontaneously and you won't even know it because it finished with the sugar.

Tom S


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Old 06-12-2003, 09:41 PM
Ed Marks
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2

Brad,

I doubt you have a problem due to SO2. If you added 50ppm before fermenting
you probably have very little left (remember that titrettes measure too high
with reds by 15-20ppm). You might want to read the following link about
MLF: http://members.tripod.com/~BRotter/MLF.htm - lots of great information.
It might be that your MLF will take off by itself in another day or two, but
you should also look at the pH (is it too low), alcohol level (is it too
high), and temperature (get it up a few more degrees - that's made the
difference all by itself for me before). So, if the pH and alcohol level
are OK, I'd probably add some MLF nutrient, give it a stir, and get it a
little warmer and wait some more.

Ed

"Brad B." wrote in message
om...
Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking? I am thinking about racking,
stirring, and adding some ML food, but I am mostly curious about the
effect this has on the culture and if I will need to add another
culture later.

Thanks in advance...



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Old 06-12-2003, 11:44 PM
Mark Willstatter
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2

(Brad B.) wrote in message . com...
Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking? I am thinking about racking,
stirring, and adding some ML food, but I am mostly curious about the
effect this has on the culture and if I will need to add another
culture later.

Thanks in advance...


It would be very unusual for enough of your 50 ppm to remain after
primary fermentation to bother MLF. Also, titrets are well known to
overstate SO2 on the order of 30 ppm - so your test verifies that your
free SO2 is probably near zero. MLF likes having the lees around and
being anaerobic, prefers a high CO2 environment - neither of which
will be helped by racking. It also sometimes takes awhile to get
going - keep in mind that this is a process that can often take some
time to get started and weeks (or even a couple months) to complete.
Your temperature is fine and your MLF bacteria should have the
nutrients they need in what you have already. My advice at this point
would be to hang tight and be patient. Also, if you haven't done this
before, keep in mind that MLF activity is pretty subtle compared to
primary fermentation. When it's going strong, you can usually detect
tiny CO2 "comets" (assuming you're in glass), especially up at the
neck but it's usually not enough to make an airlock go wild. If you
don't see anything like that within a week or so, then maybe you can
start worrying! I hope that helps.

- Mark W.
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:16 AM
J Dixon
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2

Mark,
I agree with Ed. It is not likely that even at 25ppm SO2 you would stop
MLF. Give it a bit of time, and if you dont have any results consider a bit
of ML Nutrient and raising the temp.
John Dixon
"Mark Willstatter" wrote in message
om...
(Brad B.) wrote in message

. com...
Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking? I am thinking about racking,
stirring, and adding some ML food, but I am mostly curious about the
effect this has on the culture and if I will need to add another
culture later.

Thanks in advance...


It would be very unusual for enough of your 50 ppm to remain after
primary fermentation to bother MLF. Also, titrets are well known to
overstate SO2 on the order of 30 ppm - so your test verifies that your
free SO2 is probably near zero. MLF likes having the lees around and
being anaerobic, prefers a high CO2 environment - neither of which
will be helped by racking. It also sometimes takes awhile to get
going - keep in mind that this is a process that can often take some
time to get started and weeks (or even a couple months) to complete.
Your temperature is fine and your MLF bacteria should have the
nutrients they need in what you have already. My advice at this point
would be to hang tight and be patient. Also, if you haven't done this
before, keep in mind that MLF activity is pretty subtle compared to
primary fermentation. When it's going strong, you can usually detect
tiny CO2 "comets" (assuming you're in glass), especially up at the
neck but it's usually not enough to make an airlock go wild. If you
don't see anything like that within a week or so, then maybe you can
start worrying! I hope that helps.

- Mark W.





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Old 07-12-2003, 03:40 AM
Robert Lee
 
Posts: n/a
Default MLF wanted, but too much SO2

After ferment there will be no Free SO2, the yeast do a very good job of
binding SO2 during the ferment.

However, MLF bacteria are inhibited by bound SO2, it is best to keep your
total under 40 - 50 ppm pre MLF.

High alcohol and low pH can also inhibit MLF

Rob L
"J Dixon" wrote in message
. ..
Mark,
I agree with Ed. It is not likely that even at 25ppm SO2 you would

stop
MLF. Give it a bit of time, and if you dont have any results consider a

bit
of ML Nutrient and raising the temp.
John Dixon
"Mark Willstatter" wrote in message
om...
(Brad B.) wrote in message

. com...
Here's my situation: I have a small (about 10 gal.) batch of Merlot
that has finished sugar fermentation and has been pressed and racked
off the gross lees. There is still some lees in the bottom of the
carboys. I inoculated with MLF culture (Chr. Hansen) and warmed up
the wine to about 70 deg.F. So far, after about 4 days there is no
activity and I suspect it is due to the SO2 I added at crush (about 50
ppm). I initially added this amount due to some rot in the grapes I
had, and completely forgot about the MLF I would need later.

In any case, I checked free SO2 with a titret and I get about 35 ppm
(which seems high following fermentation but I know those things
aren't the most accurate). So, what should I do now? Did the high
SO2 kill the ML culture or will they spring to life once the free SO2
levels decrease to their liking? I am thinking about racking,
stirring, and adding some ML food, but I am mostly curious about the
effect this has on the culture and if I will need to add another
culture later.

Thanks in advance...


It would be very unusual for enough of your 50 ppm to remain after
primary fermentation to bother MLF. Also, titrets are well known to
overstate SO2 on the order of 30 ppm - so your test verifies that your
free SO2 is probably near zero. MLF likes having the lees around and
being anaerobic, prefers a high CO2 environment - neither of which
will be helped by racking. It also sometimes takes awhile to get
going - keep in mind that this is a process that can often take some
time to get started and weeks (or even a couple months) to complete.
Your temperature is fine and your MLF bacteria should have the
nutrients they need in what you have already. My advice at this point
would be to hang tight and be patient. Also, if you haven't done this
before, keep in mind that MLF activity is pretty subtle compared to
primary fermentation. When it's going strong, you can usually detect
tiny CO2 "comets" (assuming you're in glass), especially up at the
neck but it's usually not enough to make an airlock go wild. If you
don't see anything like that within a week or so, then maybe you can
start worrying! I hope that helps.

- Mark W.







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