2016 MLF Complete

The 2016 malolactic fermentation has now been completed!  I find that using my fermentation chamber and keeping the ambient temp at 70 degrees F gives the MLF bacteria a chance to get their job done by the beginning of January.  Since I had an abundance of carboys this year, I also had two outside the chamber with brew belts attached.  Those also completed at the same time.  I am always pretty happy with VP41 as it chomps through the malic acid pretty easily, even on my "acidic" wines from Rhode Island.  This was the second year I did not use BM45, instead using BM4x4.  This removed my problem with the amount of SO2 produced by that yeast.  This was the first year I used only one packet of VP41, so I saved about 30 dollars in the process.  I had always innoculated with way more than prescribed (1 packet does 66 gallons), so since I had about 45 gallons, I used 1 packet and it turned out fine.  I have added 30 ppm of SO2 and will check the free SO2 and rack in 1 month.  This tends to remove almost all of the lees and minimizes the loss of wine from racking.