Aging in carboy

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silverbullet07

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I have a question about aging wine in carboys. After racking the wine a few time and it has cleared can I age in a carboy with out having to re-rack every 3 months? Just wondering if it can just sit aging with out re-rack and adding K meta every three months as I do now.
 

jumby

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Yes you can! I do it all the time. After racking a few times hit it with a 1/4 teaspoon of K-meta every 3 months and you're good to go until bottling time. I usually age all my reds a year or so before bottling.
 

jumby

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You might also want to consider picking up a few of these. I use these in all my carboys when bulk aging. No worries of your air lock drying out over time when using these.


 

silverbullet07

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So you just let it sit no rack and just add k-meta every 3 months? That sounds like a winner. I have been racking every three months and adding kmeta.
 

Rice_Guy

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You will hear many opinions, and most of them will work. Wine is forgiving. Kit wine makers will rack on a time line. Factory wine makers will rack when a stage in processing is finished.

My goal is to rack a wine three times. Off the primary. At the point were gross Lee’s are settled (a month). At bottle time (9 months to a year)
 

Raptor99

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You might also want to consider picking up a few of these. I use these in all my carboys when bulk aging. No worries of your air lock drying out over time when using these.


I took a look at this product. There is a stem below the bung. That must extend down into the wine. What is the purpose of that? How does it work?
 

silverbullet07

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You will hear many opinions, and most of them will work. Wine is forgiving. Kit wine makers will rack on a time line. Factory wine makers will rack when a stage in processing is finished.

My goal is to rack a wine three times. Off the primary. At the point were gross Lee’s are settled (a month). At bottle time (9 months to a year)

do you add k-meta between the month and the 9 months to year?

I have been racking from primary, then about 2-3 weeks later, I’ll rack and then every three months I’ll rack Adding K-meta. I usually bottle around 9 months to a year too. Trying to reduce some of the raking and cleaning if not necessary.
 
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I found if you don't touch the wine in properly topped up carboys the SO2 level maintains itself very well. 1/4 tsp will get you about 50 ppm free in 6 gallons. Assuming 20% gets bound immediately you still have 40 ppm assuming no SO2 was generated during fermentation. During the next racking you will lose some but will be adding another 40 ppm. At the second racking you should have minimal fine lees, so pretty much what @Rice_Guy is saying.
 
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My current rule is to rack only when there is benefit. This may be 3 times (which is a good goal!), but it may be more, if the wine needs it.

Originally I was taught to rack every 3 months. In my early years I racked wines for no purpose, just because of "schedule".

In more recent years, I've studied sur lie, so the idea of racking because I see a dusting of sediment is also removed from my process.

I was adding K-meta to carboys every 3 months, but @mainshipfred has me questioning that rule. [Darn you Fred! I was happy! ;) ]

Now I'm leaning towards not touching carboys during 3 to 9 months of bulk aging.

Barrels are topped monthly, so the bung is pulled. @Rice_Guy made a point some months ago, so I'm considering adding 1/3 the quarterly K-meta amount each month. My barrels are 54 liter (14.25 US gallons) so I'll add 1/4 tsp K-meta monthly instead of 3/4 tsp quarterly.
 

CDrew

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Now I'm leaning towards not touching carboys during 3 to 9 months of bulk aging.

Barrels are topped monthly, so the bung is pulled. @Rice_Guy made a point some months ago, so I'm considering adding 1/3 the quarterly K-meta amount each month. My barrels are 54 liter (14.25 US gallons) so I'll add 1/4 tsp K-meta monthly instead of 3/4 tsp quarterly.

I think you'll be fine. I let the wine go from January to bottling in the fall with no additional sulfite.

Barrels are a different story, and ideally, you would be measuring your SO2 and pH level to make your sulfite decisions.
 

Rocky

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I have a question about aging wine in carboys. After racking the wine a few time and it has cleared can I age in a carboy with out having to re-rack every 3 months? Just wondering if it can just sit aging with out re-rack and adding K meta every three months as I do now.
I try to age my reds at least one year in the carboy, sometime up to two years, and my whites at least six months. Wine will age in both bottles and carboys but, for me, carboys have some advantages:
  • There is less chance of oxidation because I only have to be concerned about one oxygen access point rather than 30 or so.
  • The surface area of wine in a six-gallon carboy has a lesser ratio of area to volume than a bottle, thus less potential oxygen contact.
  • If I want to alter the wine, it is easier to do in a carboy.
  • I hate bottling!
When I do an extended bulk age, I add 1/4 t. per six gallons or so every 4 months. I also duct tape the stopper in place to protect against loosening caused by changes in barometric pressure. Lastly, I prefer the "s-type" air lock because I find the solution evaporates at a slower rate than in the "three piece" air locks.
 
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I have thought about that, but I do not fully trust them (no reason, just a personal slant), and I already have beau coup S-types.
I've started switching to vented bungs for wine in bulk aging, and have had wine under vented bungs for a year with no noticeable bad effects.

Prior to bulk aging, I use 3 piece locks, as I found the S-types impossible to clean if they get gunked. We both have good reasons for using these types. ;)
 
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After primary fermentation is complete, when do people dose with k meta. I am thinking in relation to malolactic fermentation.

If I'm understanding your question correctly I do post ferment MLF and let it sit for 3 +/- months to complete. Prior to this I do not add any K-meta. The carboys are always topped up to 1/4" to 1/2" of air space and have never had an issue. After MLF is complete I take the first dose to 60-70 ppm.
 

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