The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Tag archive: MLF

Syrah, Primitivo, and Merlot — Oh My!

Yep, harvest season is in full swing.  Our merlot from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma arrived Tuesday.  The plan was to do a 4-5 day cold soak, then pitch the yeast on Sunday — except it started spontaneously fermenting on Friday!  Paul ran out and got the yeasts to pitch, ICV-D21 and BM4x4.  Chris recommended […]

Time to Nix the MLF

I’m pretty sure the MLB is not viable anyway, but I don’t want to risk exploding wine bottles, either.  What we needed to do was treat our merlot with lysozyme.  Lysozyme is an enzyme that will lyse the bacterial walls, which definitely completely destroys any bacteria that might still be hanging around.  Chris Van Alyea […]

You Want Me to Do WHAT????

I finally joined San Diego Amateur Wine Society (SDAWS) and went to an actual meeting.  It was very interesting, I met a lot of home winemakers and several people also have small home vineyards (yep, totally jealous).  I decided to ask around for advice about my merlot-no-go MLF problem.  Everyone steered me to the same […]

Adding MLB to Merlots for Second Go and Starting Barolo

I started my second reserve wine kit today, a barolo.  This is my first kit from Mosti Mondiale.  It’s “all juice” (read as:  even heavier than the muller-thurgau yesterday), and has all sorts of fancy stuff, including “select oak” a bag of “red raisins.” Bentonite was stirred into the juice, and no water was added.  […]

Splash Racking the Merlots

The merlot has been on my mind.  I’m bothered that the MLF didn’t finish, although the MLF in the barrel batch did not complete either.  But, since the Cab MLF went great, I feel like there should be something proactive I can and should do to try to make it work.  I’m worried that it […]

Cab Sauv MLF Almost Complete

Just checked the malic acid levels in the cab, and it’s at the bottom end of the strip test, reading ~50 mg/L.  So, we know the strip tests work, the MLF in the merlot just didn’t.

Yay, MLF!

I stopped over to check the MLF progression on the cab, and it looks like it’s working this time!  Malic acid levels have dropped below 300 mg/L (not at max at least!), and lactic acid is reading positive at 80 mg/L.

Pressing Cabernet Sauvignon

Paul borrowed the bladder press again, and I happily took a day off of work to, well, work on the wine.  Definitely more fun work anyway!  We got it all pressed out and added the Malostart, and tomorrow the guys will add VP41 malolactic bacteria.  Let’s hope it works this time.

I Don’t Think MLF Is Working … At Least the Cab is Working

Week 3 of malolactic fermentation, and malic acid levels are not going down.  I’m a bit nervous about not sulfiting the wines at this point, and it is possible that MLF might not complete in these wines anyway.  I poked around the internet and decided it was not worth risking, so I added ¼ tsp […]

Merlot MLF Continues ….

I decided to thief out a little taste of each merlot before giving them a stir and testing for malic acid levels this time.  They are both quite acidic and kinda harsh, but seem to be taking on some oakiness from the cubes I tossed in.  Both lots were at max malic acid levels, >500 […]