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Too cold for wine?

Same question as “Too cold to ferment?” but regarding Cab/Merlot blend from WineExpert instead of ale. Basement at about 60F. Will fermentation just take longer or will it not work at all?

Well I’m no wine expert… hell I’m not even a beer expert but I can tell you that I ferment my beer at 60* all the time so I don’t see why there would be any difference with wine.

If wine fermentation is similar to beer then it’ll likely be about 5* warmer in the fermentor.

I can’t tell you if that is the proper temp or not for wine but I can tell you that I don’t “think” you’ll have any trouble.

It will work but is better at 70F.

I would not ferment a wine at 60*. Could be very problematic. Not just slow. Could cause anything from clearing issues / gass issues / to stuck fermentation. 70* or above in almost all cases is your best bet.

If 60* ambiant is what you are dealing with, get yourself a brew belt. I have wines that can use the belt to finish even at 70* ambiant.

The nature of the two fermentations are actually very different- though obviously share some common basics.

  1. Compared to beer, wine actually derives very little of it’s flavor profile from the yeast - this includes the fact that most “off” flavors that we considder in beer, blend naturally into the profile of wine and would not be noticed.

  2. Wine yeast is active - as opposed to passive in the case of beer yeast. It will attack other yeasts and even some bacteria.

  • Because of these points, wine fermentations do not need lower temperature control, and have evolved to flourish at higher temps than beer yeast.
  1. Wine - essentially by definition - has much higher average SGs. The yeast needs warmer temps to complete all its work properly before being depleted by the high alcohol levels.

IMO optimal ambiant temp for most wines is 24C. And in the case of wine, going by ambiant temps is usually good enough.

I have a batch of Chardonnay going right now and I taped a heating pad to the side of the fermentor.
It has three settings so the first day I needed to keep it on the highest setting but now that the fermentation is going well I am keeping it on the lowest level. The temp seems to be holding well at 73 degrees. Our house is setback to 60 during the day and 65 at night.

Thanks for all the advice. I now have a fermentation heater and temp controller hooked up. Primary fermentation is going great between 72-74*F. I taped a bit of insulation over the sensor so it won’t pick up ambient room temps.

Good decision. Hope you enjoy the kit, I’ve found they don’t lose the kit taste until they’ve been aged a year.

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