By: Jeff Shoemaker
This article originally appeared in the Aug/Sept. Issue of WineMaker Magazine.
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Fermentation should be done inside, be it your garage (but temperature swings may be an issue along with fruit flies,) or in the house where temperatures won’t fluctuate too much throughout the day. Temperature control should be a consideration when fermentation commences. Reds are typically not allowed to get above 85F (29C) and whites are fermented at cooler temperatures in the range of 55F-65F (12C-18C.) Brew belts and space heaters can be used to keep the wine warm. White wine carboys can be submerged up to the neck of the carboy in a tub of water and frozen one gallon jugs (ice bombs) are then added to the water as needed to keep the temperature in the proper range throughout fermentation. Ice bombs can also be used in a red wine must to tame a fast and hot fermentation. Just be sure to dip the whole jug in a sanitizer solution and rinse well with clean water prior to adding it to the must.
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