Temperature of Fermentation

Definition - What does Temperature of Fermentation mean?

The temperature of fermentation is an important factor for winemakers to consider and monitor while grape juice is fermenting via action of yeast. Fermentation naturally creates heat in the grape juice.

There are safe ranges of temperatures that a wine under fermentation should remain in. This can vary from the making of red wine and white wine, but it may also be controlled depending on the desired result of the winemaker.

WineFrog explains Temperature of Fermentation

The temperature of fermentation must be monitored and kept within a safe range until the fermentation of grape must is complete.

Red wines should be kept between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This range of temperatures allows for the maximum desired color and tannin extraction from the grapes' skins. Higher temperatures can spoil a wine, turning it to vinegar or even "cooking" the wine which resulting in undesirable aromas and flavors, such as cooked/burned fruit and sugars.

White wines should be kept between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. White varietal characteristics are more delicate and the lower temperatures help to preserve light fruit notes and volatile aromatics that might otherwise be "cooked" away. Due to the lower temperature of fermentation, the process takes a longer time. Red wine fermentation can end after 2 to 2 1/2 weeks, whereas white wine fermentation may take up to a couple of months.

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