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Newb whole fruit questions

Hey all

Sorry for the list of newbie questions, I’m generally a RTFM kind of guy but my life has been crazy lately and I’m just needing some fast answers.

I’ve been brewing beer for 15 years but am making my first wine right now. My wife bought me a new 15 gallon oak barrel for beer (eventually going to sour it) but I wanted to get some wine in there first to get the wood out of it.

I got 175 pounds of Temparanillo grapes from a local winemaker and I crushed them last Thursday night, and based on his recommendation from their nitrogen readings I’ve added a careful amount of DAP and yeast nutrient. I also adjusted the acid after testing it. Fermentation is currently going crazy, it is an open fermentation in two converted kegs i use for boiling and mashing beer (hence, there are false bottoms and I think i can drain off the wine). The winemaker encouraged me to perform a malo-lactic fermentation.

Here are my questions:

When do I add the MLF bacteria, post-fermentation or now?

Do I press the grapes before adding the MLF bacteria or after?

When do I press the grapes?

How do i press the grapes without a grape press? Can I just push down on them and drain them out using my false-bottom kegs?

After I press them, do I put that wine straight into my barrel? Or do I clarify it in carboys first?

How long does the wine age in the barrel?

Do you bottle directly from the barrel or do you rack it into carboys first and let it clarify?

When I press the grapes, should I add SO2? What about when I rack it into my barrel? What about when I rack from barrel into bottles? Basically, at what times do I add SO2 (of course I added it while we were crushing and let it blow off for 24 hours before adding yeast)?

Any other tips?

Thanks everyone.


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