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Vineco Australian Chardonnay

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Chinook

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I started n Australian Chardonnay by VineCo - Estate Series . I was surprised to find two oak packages in the box. One granular , one chips As usual the "instructions" were some mass printed generic thing, Anyway, I threw both oaks in the primary.

I has thought oaking was only for reds. I searched the internet but didn't find much any information about oaking whites or chardonnay . I did find some information about oaking Chardonnay in barrels and some information that chardonnay was different is in some ways from most whites, so I guessed the oaking was kosher. I wasn't sure if it wa a mistake because there is no "list of contents" on or in the box.

So, it's supposed to be a high end six week kit (about 118 Can) but Vinco certainly has shrunk the kits by concentrating more - down to 10 liters
I haven't done many 6 week kits, seems the only difference in processing is to leave it two extra weeks in the carboy after stabilizing. I also started Pinot Noir Mosti Mondiale going in my other primary.

SG starting before adding chips was 1.088. Estimated ABV before back sweetening 13.43 percent. Lately I have been trying in my batches 8 bottles no back sweetening and the rest sweeten to (1/3 cup per gallon sugar) - a formula I devised which I think is a low medium sweet - just enough to satify me for not tasting "dry" and the dry bottles as an experiment in tasting and to give to my sugar phobic friends.
 

winemaker81

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The granulated oak is fermentation oak. It has a lot of surface area so it interacts with the wine during the short fermentation period. In reds it helps preserve color. For all wines it adds to complexity and mouth feel.

The chips are typically aging oak -- added after the wine is clarified. They have less surface area and interact with the wine more slowly, imparting the oaky flavor.

Throwing both in during fermentation reduces the final oakiness of the wine, but it should taste fine.
 

Chinook

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OK Thanks, I just looked up my notes. I made a Cellar Classic Chardonnay in 2015 (I got one bottle left and probably still not turned). It was excellent and the kit did have oak (loose chips)which I put in the primary - just forgot about it. The yeast was Lalvin QA23. Huh!
So the wine lasted more than 5 years. I had put 1/4 tsp sulfide after filtering before bottling.
...
Mostly instruction kits that have oak chips say to put them in the primary, but with two packs putting them in the secondary makes sense. That would be for two weeks after stabilization and adding fining agents before filtering I would guess.
I transferred this chardonnay to a carboy. Final SG was .991 , It's good. The volume of chip lees was about 250 -300 ml. I had accounted for this possibility by overfilling to a certain calculated amount. I always use an overfill method combined with precisely measured airtight mini-containers , calculated so I have enough to always fill gaps if I re-rack etc.
So if I had chips in the secondary at week 2 I would use an overflow bottle about 200 ml (I have all mini sizes, I do not miss an ml in making my 6 gallons plus.) to account for that and re-merge the overflow with the main body before filtering, possible back sweetening and bottling.
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My original chardonnay was far too sweet , back sweetened. I don't like dry but I put aside some dry for other people. There is some segment of the pop. that likes it as bone dry as possible - like they really complain, some don't care but then another large segment likes it sweetened - just can't please everyone.) and the rest I back sweeten for my own taste. So far I think a good ratio is 1/3 cup per gallon or .0208333 ratio though I could go one level less to .015625 (1/4) but I think that is too low. Still working on the taste.
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I multiply the ratios by the volume of wine to give the volume of sugar to be added alculated in ml..
I wonder what other people here prefer as to back sweetening?
 

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