Dawdling Merlot

I’m a little worried about our Merlot, which now appears to be on its hands and knees crawling toward the completion of fermentation.

It’s generally gone through a longer, cooler ferment to (perhaps) retain more of its fruity essence, peaking in the low 70s early on in the ferment. So I suppose you could say it never got a head of steam, and now there’s little momentum to carry the yeasts through the fog of alcohol they’ve created by consuming all that sugar. In addition, wild yeasts got this party started, so there’s no guarantee we have sturdy specimens in there to grab the reins and save the day.

So this afternoon, I zipped home to wrap both fermenters in an electric, heated mattress pad, to see if a little temperature will coax the yeasts out of their stupor. If I haven’t waited too long already, I’m reasonably confident that will work, but if it doesn’t, we’ll have to beg some crude, tough-guy yeasts to finish the job. Their specialty isn’t subtlety, but we’ll be in no position to argue.

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