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Must temperature question

Good day to all,
For the first two days my must had a temperature of 73 degrees as measured with a stick-on thermometer on the fermentor bucket. Over about an eight hour period, going into the third day, the temperature began to rise slowly up to 79 degrees. The fermentor is sitting on my kitchen counter, has not been moved, and the room temperature is 72 degrees. Is the must too warm and should it be relocated to a cooler spot or do I just leave it alone?

[quote=“ThomasT”]Good day to all,
For the first two days my must had a temperature of 73 degrees as measured with a stick-on thermometer on the fermentor bucket. Over about an eight hour period, going into the third day, the temperature began to rise slowly up to 79 degrees. The fermentor is sitting on my kitchen counter, has not been moved, and the room temperature is 72 degrees. Is the must too warm and should it be relocated to a cooler spot or do I just leave it alone?[/quote]
Depends on what you are making and what yeast you are using. If you are making wine from a kit, there should be something in the directions that say what temperature to ferment at. If that is missing, look up the yeast info on the manufacturer’s web site.

As a general rule, most red wines are better fermented at higher temperatures, 70 or above. Most white wines are fermented cooler, ideally in the 50s or low 60s. The rise in temperature you are seeing is evidence that the yeast are getting very active.

I am making wine from Welch’s Grape concentrate and the yeast is Lalvin 71B 1122. The airlock looks like it has an air compressor connected to it with the extremely large amount of gas bubble activity. I just checked the reading and it has dropped to 77 degrees. So it sounds like everything is OK.

OK, I am still very early in the learning stage of winemaking and did not think about looking up the specifications for the yeast. I Googled Lalvin 71B 1122 and found out that it will work well in a wide temperature range, 59 to 86 degrees fahrenheit. Thanks for your help and I thank Northern Brewer for maintaining this forum. :lol:

That’s a good yeast choice for you. Just don’t try to make a white wine with it at those high temperatures, or you will likely get some funny flavors as side notes.

Good luck, and don’t hesitate to post questions here; you will usually get an answer pretty quick.

Hello again, I have a follow up question. I racked the wine into the secondary bucket yesterday. The SG was 1.030 and the temperature was 78 degs and the gas bubble activity had slowed down to approximately 1 per every 2 seconds. (Question 1) How much gas bubble activity should I expect over the next 10 days or until it clears up? I then plan to rack it again into a carboy for the remaining 30 days, (Question 2) How much gas bubble activity should I expect over the last 30 days? :shock:

Gas bubble activity is a really poor indicator of fermentation activity. Lids on buckets, seams on airlocks and ridges on stoppers can all cause gas to escape the vessel without going through the airlock. What’s worse is that changes in the weather can also cause the airlock to suddenly stop bubbling or start again after it has already stopped, and all of these are irrelevant to the actual yeast activity.

But assuming your secondary is closed up tightly and no low pressure systems come through your area, you can expect the bubbles to increase some a day or so after getting in the secondary, and then gradually slow down. It will keep bubbling at a very slow rate (maybe 1-2 times per hour or less) for long after the yeast is done as the wine degasses on it’s own. Left by itself, that could go on for a couple months.

Use a hydrometer to determine when the fermentation is truly done. It should go down to 0.992 - 0.996 or so and then remain stable. Once it is stable for three days, you can manually degas the wine to speed up that process.

G’ day and again thank you very much for the response to my questions and a clear and simple answer that I can learn from. Have a great day. :mrgreen:

Up date on my progress.

I racked the wine into a Carboy today and the SG=.993, temp 72degs

It tasted smooth-grapie-mild alcohol-with a bit of an after taste, not bitter and not real sharp, not sure how to describe it. :cheers:

Thanks to all for the great advice and help to get me to this point. :mrgreen:

Looks like it is fermented out. I would let it sit for a couple weeks to allow the gross lees (big particles of grapes suspended in the wine) to settle out, then rack to a new carboy leaving the lees behind. After that, you can degas using a wine wip - carefully to avoid a volcano effect - and then leave for a month or so to let most of the fine lees (small particles, mostly from yeast) settle out. You may want to add a fining agent just after degassing, or let it settle naturally. It works either way, but can take several months to get fully clear without the fining agent. Kits usually include them.

G’ day, what would you recommend for the fining agent for me to use? :cheers:

I’ve been out of practice for a while on grape wines, needed to look back at my notes. Turns out that for red wines, I mostly used the time method; egg whites a couple of times when I thought the tannins were too aggressive, but nothing else. Sorry, this is one I can’t really help with.

Isenglass usually works fine. For heavier wines I would usually go Chitosan.

This wine was made using Welch’s Concentrate, do you consider this to be a “heavy” wine?

I have read about Chitosan and it stated that Chitosan is normally used with Kieselsol. Is this waht you have recommended?

I don’t imagine Welch’s would give you any type of complex structure, so I think the isenglass would work fine.

I have used Chitosan with kieselsol, but most of the time I have used it on it’s own. The theory of using both is based on one having a positive charge and the other having negative I think.

Most (or a great many) wine kits that use Chitosan (notably winexpert) use it by itself.

OK, I understand and I really appreciate your help. I have at least 3 more weeks before it will be ready to bottle so I have time to make my plans. Again, thanks :mrgreen:

Thanks to everyone for all the help in making my very first batch of homemade wine which is now bottled and I am completely satisfied with the way it turned out. The wine has real good color, very clear and the really good news is it taste like wine. I have now started my second batch which will be a white wine. Again, thanks to everyone in helping me get started in this new hobby. :mrgreen:

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