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Old 10-11-2007, 10:34 PM   #1
LouT
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SWMBO is HUGE fan of buttery flavor in Chardonnay. I need some coaching. Looking to buy one of the less expensive kits, maybe Vintner's Reserve, and make a Chardonnay but I'd like to change up the yeast or fermenting temp, etc. to achieve a noticeable buttery flavor. HELP!? Tips/pointers or specific how-tos are much appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:38 PM   #2
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buttery flavors in wine come mostly from oak. I've never made wine before, but I'm a bit of a wine geek...and the way that many (mostly californian) wineries cover up the flaws in their bad chard fruit is to oak the hell out of it. Thus, you get buttery, toasty chard.

So take this with a grain of salt given that I don't make my own wine, but you could always add a bunch of oak...
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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I thought I was told there are two types of Chardonnay, the buttery flavored ones, and the oaky flavored ones...
I was thinking the buttery flavor is from diacetyl -- maybe due to a particular yeast strain and/or fermentation temp.
I'm way too much of a beginner w/wine to know if the buttery flavor is also due to oak as you suggest, Evan.
What's the trick?!
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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To learn all there is about diacetyl (buttery flavour): http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=41041

Although this is for beer, the same applies.

So basically, you want to keep the wine fermenting at a low temperature, and bottle it a bit before the fermentation is done. That way, there won't be that much yeast to finish the reverse diacetyl conversion in the bottle. You may also want to add potassium sorbate to kill off the yeast to be sure you get that buttery flavor. When the you have achieved the taste you want, add potassium sorbate and preferably bottle it as quickly as possible (as potassium sorbate can evaporate from what I've heard).

I hope this makes sense and if something I said is wrong, others will correct me.

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Old 10-15-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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You want to encourage a malolactic conversion, which will produce the diacetyl that creates a buttery flavor and slippery mouthfeel. IIRC, you can purchase the lactic acid bacteria and inoculate your wine with it.


Here's an article on it:

http://winemakermag.com/departments/112.html

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Old 10-16-2007, 04:30 AM   #6
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I think those ideas sound like I should try them on next batch!
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:37 PM   #7
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So I stumbled across this thread and just wanted to clear up quite a bit of misinformation on it. The main source of buttery flavor in chardonnay is produced during malolactic fermentation using [I]Oenococcus oeni[I] bacteria. These bacteria will convert Malic Acid(green apples) into the softer Lactic Acid(milk.) If Citric Acid(lemons) is present this bacteria will metabolize it as well and produce diacetyl, the exact same chemical used to flavor buttered popcorn. Some people have had success increasing the butter by adding some citric acid but do so sparingly as yeast has a tendency to turn it into Acetic Acid (vinegar.) Chardonnay is known to have a greater ratio of malic and citric acid than most other grapes and thus works well with the style. It is true diacetyl can be made via yeast fermentation but the bacteria works better. You will still need to use yeast for alcohol fermentation.

Never add potassium sorbate if you plan on doing MLF the bacteria is very intolerant of it, often MLF takes place slowly with little indications and can continue for a month after primary. MLF can help stabilize a wine by consuming micro-nutrients preventing spoilage organisms. But it also raises your pH and lowers your Total Acidity(TA) which can create an unstable wine, so don't do MLF on a wine that already has low acid problems.
Oak can impart nutty, vanilla, toasty, etc. flavors that compliment the buttery chard but no diacetyl. Although once malolactic bacteria is present in a barrel it is very difficult to remove.

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Old 05-26-2016, 09:14 PM   #8
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It is interesting to see the misconceptions in this thread, beer brewers often seem to want to apply their techniques to wine and cider but they are very different, see all the cider threads about boiling the juice before fermenting, also making sour cider with lactobacillus.
LAB bacteria are very common in the environment and will usually get into wine if sulfite isn't used and the temperature and pH are right, causing a wild malolactic. One thing to be aware of if using MLF culture is it takes a couple of months for the wine to settle down afterwards, for a while it will have strange cardboardy flavours.

 
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:42 AM   #9
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Just a bit of info...NEVER DO MLF TO A KIT WINE.

If you want a buttery chard kit, spend as much money as you can on the kit.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
Just a bit of info...NEVER DO MLF TO A KIT WINE.

If you want a buttery chard kit, spend as much money as you can on the kit.
Not that I want to do a MLF, kit or otherwise at the moment, but WHY not, Doc? I would like to store that info in my head!

 
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