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Old 10-22-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Malolactic fermentation question

I added my MLF culture at about 3 brix while still in primary. I then pressed and racked. So far I have seen no indication that MLF has begun. Should I see something(like bubbles from the airlock) or something? I have heard that this process can take a long time, but how long should it be till I see some activity?

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:06 AM   #2
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can someone explain what this type of fermintation does for the taste or body of the cider.

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:14 AM   #3
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Well, I'm not expert on MLF, but I think there are some signs. The most tell-tale is the reduction of malic acid. If you don't have a chromatography kit, then it's more of a guessing game.

If you're thinking that MLF didn't even start, then that may be correct. If your sulfite levels were fairly high, for example, MLF might not get started even if innoculated. Here's some interesting info from winemaker magazine: WineMaker Magazine - Malolactic in Action, Lowering pH: Wine Wizard -

I didn't have a chromatography kit, so I just did a waiting game. I waited about 9 months, and then just assumed it was finished. It tasted better (less malic acid) to me, but again, it was just a guess and not the "proper" way to do it.

Now, I would NOT recommend a MLF on cider. Yes, the apples are mostly malic acid, but that is what gives it it's flavor. If it happens naturally, then it does, but the cider would be more "flabby" tasting and less sharp, like cider should be.

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:05 PM   #4
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also dont you usually wait until the wine is done and stopped dropping the gross lees? doing it then pressing seems wrong.

I usually (with my reds) wait until it stops dropping gross lees, rack, wait till it ferments totally out to below .998, or 0 deg brix (man I really need a refraoctometer) I usually perform battonage at this stage, but right after that I add the MLF culture and let it sit for six months above 65 deg. Then rack. like yooper brew I do not have the chromatography kit. I just wait it out. You should though and its really not too expensive either.

but I have heard its not a good idea to do this on cider too. I was thinking about it until I talked to some people more in the know than I! oh well.... let us know how it turns out

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