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Old 12-04-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
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Default Red Wine Fermenting Temperature?

What temperature do you ferment your wine at? My instructions say 64 - 72, but I would have assumed low sixties would be preferred.

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:36 AM   #2
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I've had great luck at all temps with reds but slightly warmer is usually better then real cold. Having said that, my friend Jim ferments all of his in the garage which is usally in the fifties somewhere. He makes very fine wine, BTW...

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:37 AM   #3
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Depends on the recipe, and the yeast.

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Old 12-04-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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Is it similar to beer making, where warmer temperatures can lead to hot alcohol or other off flavors, while cooler temperatures give a cleaner flavor profile?

I'll be using a Cabernet/Merlot kit.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
I'd love more specifics, if anyone is willing to share.
Not much to share, I'm afraid! Most yeast strains have a HUGE temperature tolerance- like one that has an optimum temperature range of "55-95" or something like that! I think it's a Red Star product, probably montrachet if my memory is halfway decent, so it's pretty tolerant of temperatures.

You want to avoid fluctuations and extremes (at both high and low temperatures) but any temperature in the 60s or 70s tends to be fine. Fusels don't seem to be a huge problem, unless it gets really hot and there are lots of simple sugars. At least, that's been my experience. Of course, I live in a cool climate and "hot" to me might be 78 degrees!
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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"Is it similar to beer making, where warmer temperatures can lead to hot alcohol or other off flavors, while cooler temperatures give a cleaner flavor profile?"


No...most red wine yeast makers (say, pasteur red) advise fermenting at 80 degrees or so. I've founf this to make no difference in flavor as opposed to 50 or so. Optimum in my experience has been between 55 and 65.

Hope this helps guide you.

Crush the grapes, put in primary fermenter, add sodium or potassium metabisulfite (to kill off most bacteria) and leave for 24 hours. then pitch your choice of wine yeast (pasteur red is a good all-around yeast for most reds but don't be afraid to experiment with others). Leave the ferementation until it begins to slow down (about five to seven days).

Each day you will want to push down the "cap", a layer of grape skins that will rise above the fermentation. It's good to do this about twice a day. I just use a spoon to press most everything under until it is all wet on top.

After the fermentation begins to slow, siphon off ("rack") to s secondary fermenter. If you are using a regular racking cane it is neccesary to wrap a strainer bag around the cane so you don't plug it with grape skins. You will see a layer of trub develop on the bottom in just a few days. It's good to rack again at this point, then age for 30 to 60 days before racking again. Do this several times until the wine has visably cleared (over a period of about six months) then bottle and allow it to age for several years.

reds are optimum around 3 to 4 years down the road but they are quite drinkable while still young (only a year or so). but it's worth the wait to go at least two years.

-Kev

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