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Slightly low fermentation temp

Hi all,

I’ve only brewed beer until now, so forgive me if this question has been answered ad nauseam here in the wine forums. I just started fermenting my first wine kit yesterday. It’s the World Vineyard California Moscato from WinExpert. The instructions said to pitch the yeast between 72 - 75 and ferment in that temperature range. Well, I pitched at 74 last night and went to sleep, then woke up this morning to find that the reading on the sticky thermometer had dropped to 68 overnight. So I wrapped a blanket around the bucket and secured it with bungee cords, hoping that’ll help trap some heat, but we’ll see what happens. Unfortunately, I don’t have a fermwrap or other heat source available at the moment to raise the temp.

My question is… will a slightly low ferm temp cause any off flavors? Or will it just slow down the fermentation?

In the beer world, a slightly low ferm temp has never caused me any issues. In fact, it’s usually resulted in a nice clean beer. It’s always been the top of the temp range for beer that causes off flavors. Just wondering if it’s different in the wine world and I should be fermenting warmer for it to turn out correctly.

Thanks in advance!

With wine, you are often trying to get the yeast to produce flavors that might be thought of as “off” with beer. But that depends on what wine you are making. Most white wines are fermented at lower temperatures to produce cleaner profiles, while most reds use higher temperatures to create more complex profiles. But there are exceptions.

One thing that isn’t different is that kit manufacturers (for both beer and wine kits) will often shift the recommended temperature in the direction to most reliably achieve complete fermentation, even if that might not be ideal from a flavor perspective.

Thanks. So it sounds like the reason for the recommended temp range could be in favor of a complete fermentation rather than producing all the right flavors. I guess I won’t sweat it too much then. The blanket might help a little, plus the temp should bump up a tad once fermentation kicks into high gear. If I have trouble reaching the correct FG in a week or so, then I’ll start looking into other ways to increase the temp.

Thanks!

+1 to what rebuilcellars states.

Traditionally white wines are fermented at slightly lower temps than reds. However, in the kit wine world, whites also have more issues when it comes to clearing out properly. This is why the recomended temps are the same as reds. Off flavors will not be a caoncern.

In prcatice, you should not have a problem fermenting out at 68. You may find that the wine stays a little hazy for longer. If this happens, it is usually a case of too much trapped gas. As long as fermentation is complete, you can try degassing said wine before it is crystal clear - this may in fact help it to clear faster later on.

This would be my only concern with the lower temperature, and you can easily trouble shoot this issue if it arrises

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