Malbec juice and malolactic fermentation (necessary?, tips?)

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Resortcarabel

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This will be the first time I have made a red wine (Malbec-California) from grape juice and, from the research I have done, it looks like I will need to do malolactic fermentation with it. I’ve never done MF either. Does anyone have some simple instructions that I can follow in terms of MF materials and process? Any things I should keep in mind when oaking in combo with MF?

My plan is below:

Juice - Malbec (California) - 6 gallons
Yeast - Lalvin RC212

PRIMARY
1. Open bucket, measure brix/gravity.
2. Add sulfites
3. Transfer to wine bucket. Wait 24 hours for sulfites to offgas
4. Add FermStart to water and rehydrate yeast (RC-212). Pitch yeast.
5. Add sacrificial tannin (FT Rouge Soft)
6. Add Fermaid O
7. Add Opti-Red
8. Check gravity over next three days. After 1/3 sugar break, add Fermfed
9. Monitor and check gravity 1-2 times/week
10. Final gravity should be 0.990.

SECONDARY
1. Rack to carboy, top-up.
2. MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION???
3. OAK??? (spirals)
4. Add 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite per 6 gallons of wine.

BOTTLING
1. Add fining agent (SuperKleer)

DRINKING
1. Great wine?
 

Mekpdue

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I’m now making my first 6 gallons of Nebbiolo from juice. I like your plan for the Malbec, and am following it almost to the letter.

For primary:
I did not add sulfates as there were no grape skins.
I used Premier Rouge and WA105A as a yeast nutrient.
I did not add fermaid
I racked off at 1.010 to secondary.

Secondary:
At this step I did add Wyeast malolactic culture. I let it sit a day and then added 2 American Oak medium toast spirals.
It has now been 3 weeks, and in 5 days I’ll check Specific Gravity. I’m also curious about ph. It should be fine. I hope and then I’ll rack.

Second racking (in a glass carboy- probably 5 gallon and a half gallon since I’ve lost some liquid due to normal losses)
I plan on adding 2-3 ground up Camden tablets-mixed in with my SG tube wine. I’m debating just using 2 tabs.
I’ll let this bulk age for 6 months. My question is, do I let it age with a air-lock or solid bung?

Bottling
I’ll rack again, and add 2-3 Camden tabs (ground in wine thieved wine). Let sit for a couple days, then bottle.

I’l probably add a fining agent, but torn on this. Since I live in OH, I need to research if I can cold stabilize instead.

*I’m torn with degassing, since I’m letting it bulk age.

I hope your batch turns out tasty with great body and aroma…in 2+ years!
 

toadie

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Sounds like you are going to be adding too much campden. You should add 1 crushed tab per 5 gallons at rackings or every 3 months or better yet 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite. You should also age with an airlock, maybe a solid bung after much longer aging but I have no experience with that. You can probably add sparkaloid or something else later if it hasn't cleared naturally.
 

Mekpdue

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Thanks Toadie. I thought the general rule is 1 tablet of Campden per gallon for the must (with grape skins) and each racking after fermentation was 2-3 per 5 gal (just a touch over a quarter tsp) is what I had heard. I’d really like to use as small an amount as possible, so thanks for that. Yes, after some additional research, I wish I had purchased the powder vice the tabs.

Appreciate the comment on the airlock. I’ll be using a double bubble for that.
 

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