fermenting - Printable Version

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- Road King - 10-01-2001 10:38 AM

How much time (general rule of thumb) should be allowed for fermenting 30 cases of merlot grapes before final pressing and transfering into an oak barrel?

Will it be detremental to the final product if I wait 7 days before pressing/barreling?

- Thomas - 10-01-2001 05:53 PM

Not sure I understand your question. The general rule for pressing depends on the wine you want to produce. If you want a dry wine, then you have to wait until the fermentation is complete, and that can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending upon the grape variety and the fermentation temperature. The biggest mistake home winemakers make is not knowing when a fermentation is or is not complete.

- Road King - 10-02-2001 11:19 AM

Thank you for your response but now I have two more questions. I purchased "house packed" merlot grapes and grinded them last Saturday morning (9/29). As of this morning, the fermenting process had not begun. House packed means that the grapes are cleaner with fewer vines and leaves and possibly washed. Will this effect the fermenting? Does yeast or other additives have to be added? What is the recommended temperature range for merlot?

- Thomas - 10-02-2001 02:30 PM

Road King, I think you need some instructions: you definitely need to add yeast.

Is there a home winemaker's shop near you? If so, go there and have them instruct you or at least have them sell you a book. Making wine (correctly) isn't as easy as one might expect.

- cpurvis - 10-02-2001 03:35 PM

Found it! Right in your back yard Road King...Woburn, MA...a home winemaking & brewing place w/ a website:

Call them IMMEDIATELY before you ruin the merlot. And good luck.