- Published: Saturday, 18 January 2014 14:20
- Written by David DeCiero
A few weeks ago, the Merlot showed that it had undergone MLF successfully. I knew that the Cabernet Franc would take a little longer since it utilizes the BM45 yeast, which creates some problems for the ML bacteria. So, I waited a couple weeks and then tested for the presence of Malic acid using chromatography. The process entails using chromotography paper, a tall jar with a lid, and chromatography solvent. The first step is to make a line 1” from the bottom of the paper (lengthwise) in pencil. The next step is to make a mark on the line at least 1” apart and 3/8” wide. I make marks to make sure that I don’t make the blot too big. I made 3 marks for the controls (Tartaric, Malic, and Lactic) and then 3 more marks for the actual samples. I then took my capillary tubes and used one for each. I then let it dry for 45 minutes, and then staple it to make it a tube. I then place it in the jar with the chromatography solvent . The solvent is ½” from the bottom. I then wait about 8 hours. After 8 hours, I remove it from the jar and hang it in the garage. The stuff sinks, so I don’t like to leave it in the house. After 12 hours, I bring it inside and just hang it in a warm area. After another 5 hours, it looked like this:
As you can see, the malic acid is completely gone from all of the samples. So, it was time to rack and add sulfite. This is where winemaking becomes janitorial. I spent the next two hours racking and cleaning.