Beginner Needs Help/Advice - Racking, Fining

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Mar 17, 2007
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Hi all, I hope to get some good advice from you in the forum.

I have a few questions:

1. Should wine be racked off the lees soon after fermenation is completed? i.e. before bulk aging?

2. Should fining/clarifying agents be added before bulk aging? If so, should the wine be racked before bulk aging?

2. When should the wine be filtered? i.e. before bulk aging? or just before bottling?

Thanks all. I look forward to participating in your forum.

Z2D - Doug

I'm going to assume that you are not doing a kit because my answers would be different for a kit.

1) YES, unless making a wine 'sur lies', which is NOT a good idea for a beginner.

2) Fining is optional if bulk aging. If you do add fining agents, rack off sediment after 2-3 weeks.

3) Your choice. If not fining, I would delay filtering to allow as much settling as possible.

4) Not asked, BUT.... probably should add some potassium metabisulfite if bulk aging.

I would definately rack of the lees because they can produce off-odors and taste after a while.

But I personally never filter or fine.
I just wait until the wine clears for whatever time this may take.
Generally clearing will take a few months, but hey this is a hobby ;)

At first I was impatient to, but now I make so much wine that I can afford to
wait :p

Thank you!

Thanks for your replies!

I AM using kits from WineExpert/Selection/Estate Series.

I have followed the directions but was not sure how bulk aging and filtering fit in the process.

I have:

1. Started primary fermentation in a 6 galllon plastic primary fermenter and brew belt (to 75 degrees) obtained from my local supplier for 7 days or until SG reaches 1.010 or less.

2. Racked to a 6 gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation for 10 days or until SG reaches 0.996 or less.

3. Without further racking (per the instructions) added the stabilising and clearing agents from the kit and stirring with a plastic stir/stick that attaches to my portable drill and leaving for about 14 days or until clear.

4. After the wine cleared, I racked to a clean/santized carboy, topping up the carboy for bulk aging for 10-12 months.

:confused: Should I stir/degass the wine again at this point? Is this the best time to add oak wood chips?

5. After 10-12 months I plan to filter the wine, let the filtered wine stand for about a week, then bottle for additional aging for 6-18 months.

Any help with my questions and additional suggestions would be most welcomed.

Thanks again for your help!

Wow you seem to have lots of patience. What are you going to drink while this is aging?

1) additional there still gas in the wine? if not, why do more? If there is, guess you better.

2) Oak chips..did you add at the beginning? How oaky is it now? Basically your choice.

3) Filtering at that age is probably not necessary.