> This is the first year I am planning on malolactic fermentation for my
> reds if acidity is right. Two questions:
> 1. Given that Zin tends to get high in ***, I am considering adding
> MLF during primary fermentation. This make sense?
Yes. It's useful to take advantage of the temperature spike during
fermentation to get the ML going. If you're going to do this, let the
fermentation get started for a day or so and then add the ML culture. BTW,
you should not add any sulfite at crush or the ML may not start until much
later. Also, don't do this using a Bayanus strain of yeast such as the
ever-popular EC1118 (Prise de Mousse). Bayanus and ML bacteria compete for
the same nutrients IIRC.
The above are recommendations from The Wine Lab. I've followed their advice
for many years with no problem.
> 2. Temperature wise, I have two choices - a wine room at 56 deg or in the
> house which probably averages mid 70s.
You want red fermentations to develop some heat. Peak temps in the 80s and
90s are OK. That won't kill the yeast, and it makes for good color
extraction. I once had a Pinot Noir peak at over 100oF without sticking.
It went dry virtually overnight! (That was in 1983, and it was really hot
that year.) Anyway, the time for the cold room is after the wine finishes
ML. That's also when you should first add sulfite.