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Aging - At what point does it start...

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ffemt128

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Thread title pretty much says it all. I understand that wine is better with aging and that there are guidelines for how long a wine should age to get the best flavor. The question is.... At what point do you start the official aging counter? Is it when you bottle? It it when you stabilize? Is it when fermentation stops?

I ask the question, because of curiousity and a friend and I were discussing at work on Friday. He is new to wine making also and he just bottled his batch from grape juice he purchased in September. So is his wine 0 months or is it 5 months or somewhere in between. Same with the batch of apple I have going. It was started November 4th. What age would it be. It's been in carboys all along after primary and will likely reside in carboys for another 2 months or so.

Thanks a bunch and this is a great place to hang.
 

Runningwolf

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Doud thats a good point. It reminds me of the topic we've discussed on here before. What date do you put on the bottle:
the date you bottled
when you started the batch
when the grapes were harvested
 

ffemt128

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Doud thats a good point. It reminds me of the topic we've discussed on here before. What date do you put on the bottle:
the date you bottled
when you started the batch
when the grapes were harvested


I recalled that thread in the conversation with my co-worker. I told him there were varying answers if I recall the thread correctly.
 

Tom

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Well you will get all different answers on aging.
I start counting after the wine is dry and finning has been done.
 

ffemt128

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Well you will get all different answers on aging.
I start counting after the wine is dry and finning has been done.
By "dry" are you referring to when it is done fermenting?

I realize there is not likely going to be a cut and dry answer to this question but I figured it may make for a good conversation and help to advance my knowlege of wine making.
 
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By "dry" are you referring to when it is done fermenting?
i think so. i would agree. it's done as far as adding anything, except maybe re-sweetening, which then that would be the point of aging. when you are letting sit, it's aging, clearing isn't part of it as you could filter it before bottling.
 

Tom

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Yes. its after the wine has finished fermenting.

One thing Filtering will not clear a cloudy wine. aging and clearing agents will do that. Filtering will "polish" your wine make it "sparkling" clear.
 

Sacalait

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When you get right down to it does it really matter if you're off (aging date) by a month or two? Don't let a week or so stop you from opening a bottle.
 

ffemt128

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When you get right down to it does it really matter if you're off (aging date) by a month or two? Don't let a week or so stop you from opening a bottle.
I agree, just trying to see what everyone's thought was on the subject.
 

NSwiner

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I was thinking it was from the time when you would have bottled even if it's bulk aged . But I think if you're aging for a year a week either way probably wouldn't even be noticed or am I wrong thinking that ?
 

mmadmikes1

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I just put year on bottle and write down starting date. Its close enough, hell, I have lied to *******s who were complaining about drinking free wine
 

Luc

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In my opinion aging starts when a wine is finished fermenting and clear.

Aging can be done in carboys, oak barrels (like some wineries do) or in bottles. But it has started when the wine is really finished.

Luc
 

Green Mountains

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Once you bottle the wine goes into a 'bottle shock' where it'll be off taste, certainly not negating the bulk aging but still, I consider aging as the time spent in the bottle. As a side note you could say "BTW, I had that in bulk aging for six months."
 

Lurker

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I think that when we talk vintage, we talk the year the grape was picked. Such and such a year was good or not. So I label my bottles indicating the year of the grape and the date that I purchased it, hoping that the juice was from freshly picked grape when I got it.
 
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phermenter

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To each his own, but I count the aging from when it was eligible to be bottled. I've done only kits, and if it's ready according to the instructions after 6 weeks, that's when I count from even if I bulk age it for 3-6 months, which I usually do. I figure if it spends 6 months in a carboy and 6 in a bottle, it's a year old just as much as if I had bottled at a month and a half and let it sit for a year.

Jim
 

Sacalait

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In my opinion aging starts when a wine is finished fermenting and clear.

Aging can be done in carboys, oak barrels (like some wineries do) or in bottles. But it has started when the wine is really finished.

Luc
I agree, this is similar to the birth of a baby. The baby's age starts at birth and the incubation period of the baby is likened to the fermentation period of the wine. Babies get smarter as they age and wine gets better.
 

Lurker

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It sems that we actually agree. I do not do kits, I work mostly with juice. I start counting when it goes into the primary. How far off are we? I really don't think we should compare it to a baby. Pretty soon you'll want to add 9 months.
 
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NSwiner

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To each his own, but I count the aging from when it was eligible to be bottled. I've done only kits, and if it's ready according to the instructions after 6 weeks, that's when I count from even if I bulk age it for 3-6 months, which I usually do. I figure if it spends 6 months in a carboy and 6 in a bottle, it's a year old just as much as if I had bottled at a month and a half and let it sit for a year.

Jim
This is how I look at it also .If I was making from scratch it might be different .
 

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