Once we have destemmed and crushed the fruit, it's time to start the wine fermentation. White wines need to be protected from oxygen and are usually fermented in a closed vessel to achieve this (such as a carboy or a sealed wine tank). Red wines actually benefit from oxygen exposure during fermentation and are often fermented in open-top vessels (such as food-grade buckets, Macro bins and open-topped tanks). Here are a few tips that we have found to make a better wine over the years:
We recommend testing and adjusting the must before adding the wine yeast and starting fermentation. (Our Measuring and Testing section has all of the tools needed to do this.)
Use winemaking nutrients: Go-Ferm for the hydration of the yeast, and Fermaid-K during the fermentation.
Stir the lees daily during active fermentation: 1 x per day for White Wines, and 3 x per day for Reds.
Keep the temperature of the fermentation within the recommended ranges: 55-65 F for White Wines, and 70-85 F (max Cap temp) for Reds. (Our Temperature Control section has all of the equipment needed to keep your fermentations and cellars cool!)
(Complete information on each of these aspects of wine fermentation can be found in our Red Winemaking and White Winemaking Manuals!).