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Old 02-19-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default Apfelwine, SkeeterPee and Montrachet

I read a lot of the threads related to both of these wines. I see a lot of folks have used SkeeterPee as an excuse to make apfelwine for the yeast cake. I See EdWort's recipe calls for Montrachet, and this is generally considered an SO2 producer. I also see that SkeeterPee specifically calls for a low SO2 producing yeast.

Am I missing something?

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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Montrachet may be a SO2 producer but skeeter pee is just prone to being the perfect conditions for large SO2 production if not treated right. So for a more care free ferment it is suggested that a low SO2 producer is used but with a couple of things done Montrachet will be fine.

1) Use a young yeast cake so the yeast is most active and less stressed. It should be less than 4 weeks old.

2) Do not skimp on the yeast nutrients in the SP or Apfelwine. We need all the help we can get in that SP must.

3) invest in a wine whip to chuck into a drill or make one like me. Aeration is super important with SP must for the first week. 2 - 3 times a day using a good wine whip for a couple minutes at a time keeps the yeast happy.

Do those few things along with following SP recipe exactly and you will have a flawless ferment. Worst case scenario is that if you do not follow these and get that rotten egg SO2 smell then you will need to do some splash racking later in the process and extra bulk aging in order to correct any SO2 issues.

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Old 02-20-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Arpolis.

So I have both Premier Cuvee and Montrachet on hand here. Keeping in mind this would only be my second real wine batch (not counting meads) Would you recommend I use the cuvee in the apfelwine targeting an "easier" SkeeterPpee ferment later, or use the Montrachet and do all the other things?

Again I'm a beer guy ... when you say aeration for the first week do you mean actual oxygenation? If that's the case would a ferm bucket and a wire whisk be the ticket?

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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Yes aeration is meant to be synonymous with oxygenation. I normally don't use oxygenation unless I am describing a method using an Oxygen tank.

I am not a fan of most champagne yeasts unless I am restarting a stuck fermentation or using a new yeast in secondary. I say use the Montrechet or get a different yeast.

If you use a brew bucket and wire wisk the SP must 2-3 times daily for the first week you should be fine.

I personally like Lalvin 71b-1122 in my SP must. I am clearing a simple white grape peach wine now in the fridge with Lalvin 71b and will use those lees to start a new SP batch in a few days.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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Thanks again for helping to clarify. I'm sure some of this stuff is obvious to wine makers (even beginners) but it's *different* than beer in many cases so I need to ask.

So would you recommend (or at least not discourage me from using) that Lalvin in the Apfelwine?

ETA: I see where that yeast does "something" to the malic acid ... I guess I should probably use the Montrachet then.

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Malic acid is different from citric acid in that is is more puckeringly tart and too much doesn't make a wine just sour but just butt clenching pucker like. Apples do have a fare amount of malic acid and more so than lots of fruits. So 71b will metabolize the malic acid and change it to citric acid. This will provide a rounder and less puckeringly sour apfelwine.

I have not made apfelwine but have made a green apple mead and I am very happy at how 71b handled it. So I am partial to 71b and would just suggest using it but take my words with a grain of salt. Many have used the Montrachet and had good results with both wines. I just stick with what has worked for me.

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Good to know, thanks. I may try it next time and compare. We're under a winter storm warning so no more running to the LHBS for me for this batch. I have two packets of montrachet I'll use and it will have to be good.

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Old 02-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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I ended up losing track of time and got three aerations; once a day x three days. This morning things were going so well I had to stop before it foamed over the edge of the fermenter. Time to let things run their own course?

And would now be a good time for some nutrients? None were used at pitching time.

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Old 02-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
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Never made Apfelwine before but the recipe does not seem to include nutrients. So it will probably do well without but if you have the tan powdered nutrient/energizer I would bet adding 1/2 tsp/gallon would not hurt. Or even split up that amount of nutrient over the next 3 days would be good. My suggestion with most well known recipes is to just follow it exact. If you don't like the product after following direction then change it up next time.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
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But ... I have to DO something!

Part of the reason to do the batch of apfelwine is to get a good yeast cake for the SkeeterPee. I realize a beer guy coming in a wine forum stinking up the joint with questions about SkeeterPee is likely something akin to a guy hitting the Beer forums looking to make Corona, but we all start somewhere.

You are absolutely right - learn the way it was taught and then determine if modifications are necessary. Still I think anything (within reason) to keep my yeatie beasties happy is probably a good thing? I hope so anyway as I added some Fermaid-K at 1.5 tsp/5 gal. I failed to dissolve it first which almost resulted in a mess but a wire whisk is a godsend in a bucket going crazy.

The ferment is going ganbusters, the smell is nice and clean, I have high hopes for this!

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