Battonage Instructions!

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Wade E

Jul 3, 2006
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These are the instructions for Battonage(Sur Lees) from Winemaker Mag and written by Tim Vandergrift who is the Technical service Manager for Winexpert wine co. and also use to work for RJ Spagnols.

You do the battonage before you stabilize the wine with K-meta and sorbate. Here are Tim's instructions:

Our kits tend to have a softer, more complex flavor profile than you might expect. We achieve this partly by carefully choosing our oak styles and the protocols for using them. By including the oak in with the fermentation (instead of after) we get a much softer profile, which includes some butter and vanilla notes, as opposed to woody or smoky characters.
Now you can’t do malolactic on the kits. It will end in tears if you try. However, there is a technique called ‘battonage’ that will help fatten up the finish of the wine, and give it a rich, creamy mouth feel. Here’s the deal:
· Make you kit up as normal, and rack to the secondary carboy on day 5-7 as directed.
· After ten days, ignore the instructions about fining and stabilizing. Instead, add one-quarter teaspoon of metabisulphite powder to the wine, and gently stir it up with a sanitized spoon.
· Get all of the yeast sediment in to suspension, make sure it’s nice and cloudy, but don’t splash or agitate.
· Top up with some decent Chardonnay wine (this is better than using water for this technique). At three or four day intervals, go back and stir the yeast up again.
· Repeat every three or four days for a month.
· Let the wine settle for two weeks, rack it into a clean, sanitized carboy, and follow all the remaining instructions on schedule, omitting no detail however slight.
By stirring the yeast into suspension repeatedly you get the benefits of the amino acids they carry, along with a host of compounds—principally mannoproteins, which give they creamy aroma and mouth feel.
Well now my curiosity is killing me. Why couldn't you do an MLF with a kit? What do they mean by "ending up in tears"?
MLF with most kit wines is said to result in 'flabby' wine. Not exactly a technical term. It's due to the wine that kits are created.

Supposedly some Heron Bay kits are OK with MLF, but I have no idea about specifics.

Curious to know if battonage is only used for kits? For instance, would it benefit to do this with fruit wines, or recipes where you use a concentrate such as welches grape?

idly speculating here

Battonage is not just for kits and amny many wineries use this on variuos types of wine.
Curious to know if battonage is only used for kits? For instance, would it benefit to do this with fruit wines, or recipes where you use a concentrate such as welches grape?

idly speculating here


Ok, Ok ,Ok I'll admid.

I am a winemaker but a lazy one.
I hate doing too much work.

So most of the times I do not rack my wines from the fine lees.

When I started winemaking I followed the rules by racking from the fine lees every so and so months.

After a few years I just stopped racking.
First time by accident: I went on vacation and left the wine
to long on the lees.

When I returned I feared the worst, but I noticed that nothing
bad happened to my wine.

So nowadays I just let it sit on the lees, stir it every now and then by shaking the carboy, then wait till the wine has cleared and bottle.........

But then again I do not use fining agents (like bentonite etc) or filter either. Time clears and degasses all my wines.

And of course I consider myself a very lucky guy: I never had a wine going bad this way.

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Wisdom is Learned Experience

You are a wise man LUC, I recognize and respect your wisdom. Thanks for all you offer.
Tim's instructions say to top off with Chardonnay. Should you always use a Chardonnay?

I have done this technique and sometimes found an aroma or almonds given off by the lees ,now in itself not a bad trait,but you do have things sitting in you Debra on the bottom you should have being send back in
to your wine,also from what I've read,this is done in barrels mostly on reds,like i stated ,I've tried it see no difference in the texture of the wine in the volume that i produce (3 to 6 gallons at a time) waste of time,however when i install the chemicals into the wine i always give the whole unit a good gentle stirring from the base up........................