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Bulk aging question

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kuziwk

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Hi guys,

I've reached a point where I have run out of bottles and I'm choosing to bulk age now. The most I've bulk aged in the past is about 3 months which usually involves a 1/4tsp just after filtering than I bottle. For longer bulk aging, I was planning to rack again after 3 months and still add the 1/4 tsp sulphite which is fine. If there is very little settlement in the next 3 months do I still have to rack or add another 1/4 tsp sulphite? Or can I leave it in the carboy for 6 months just as it is? Another question...what airlock should I use? Silicone, water trap air lock or silicone flapper?
 

Brian55

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Hi guys,

I've reached a point where I have run out of bottles and I'm choosing to bulk age now. The most I've bulk aged in the past is about 3 months which usually involves a 1/4tsp just after filtering than I bottle. For longer bulk aging, I was planning to rack again after 3 months and still add the 1/4 tsp sulphite which is fine. If there is very little settlement in the next 3 months do I still have to rack or add another 1/4 tsp sulphite? Or can I leave it in the carboy for 6 months just as it is? Another question...what airlock should I use? Silicone, water trap air lock or silicone flapper?
I let my reds age in bulk for about a year with silicone airlocks, no additional racking or sulphite. I then rack and sulphite a week or three prior to bottling.
 

kuziwk

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I let my reds age in bulk for about a year with silicone airlocks, no additional racking or sulphite. I then rack and sulphite a week or three prior to bottling.
Do you filter prior to bulk aging? Also I'm assuming over that year that you rarely open it up to taste. So pretty much after the three month mark the kits don't really drop much more sediment?
 

Brian55

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Do you filter prior to bulk aging? Also I'm assuming over that year that you rarely open it up to taste. So pretty much after the three month mark the kits don't really drop much more sediment?
I don't filter any of my wines. They don't get opened during bulk aging, as that would allow oxygen in. The amount of time it takes for the sediment to drop out has a lot of variables, but if it's not clear after a year of bulk aging, I find it's because it wasn't properly degassed prior to bulk aging.
 

kuziwk

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I don't filter any of my wines. They don't get opened during bulk aging, as that would allow oxygen in. The amount of time it takes for the sediment to drop out has a lot of variables, but if it's not clear after a year of bulk aging, I find it's because it wasn't properly degassed prior to bulk aging.
So obviously if you don't open the carboy than you are not adding Sulphites at 3 month intervals? I heard somewhere here that was said in the past that they add the Sulphites even if they are not racking. Instead they mix the sulphite with a bit of wine using a wine their than pour it back on the top.
 

Brian55

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So obviously if you don't open the carboy than you are not adding Sulphites at 3 month intervals? I heard somewhere here that was said in the past that they add the Sulphites even if they are not racking. Instead they mix the sulphite with a bit of wine using a wine their than pour it back on the top.
I don't see the point in adding So2 every three months unless you're racking it.
 

bstnh1

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I don't use an airlock when bulk aging. If I degassed well and see no evidence of gas, I put a solid stopper in the carboy and let it be. I a only add k-meta if I rack after seeing some sediment. If no sediment, then no racking and no sulphites until just before bottling.
 

topper9520

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Hi guys,

I've reached a point where I have run out of bottles and I'm choosing to bulk age now. The most I've bulk aged in the past is about 3 months which usually involves a 1/4tsp just after filtering than I bottle. For longer bulk aging, I was planning to rack again after 3 months and still add the 1/4 tsp sulphite which is fine. If there is very little settlement in the next 3 months do I still have to rack or add another 1/4 tsp sulphite? Or can I leave it in the carboy for 6 months just as it is? Another question...what airlock should I use? Silicone, water trap air lock or silicone flapper?
silicone flapper, let it age on the lees as long as it was clean the last time you racked your fine remember racking is good but everytime you rack your inviting oxygen into your wine.
 

kuziwk

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I don't use an airlock when bulk aging. If I degassed well and see no evidence of gas, I put a solid stopper in the carboy and let it be. I a only add k-meta if I rack after seeing some sediment. If no sediment, then no racking and no sulphites until just before bottling.
Makes sense that there is no point in adding Sulphites unless you rack, in my case since the last racking there is really no sediment that I can see so I can let it sit. Would it make sense to filter after 3 months let's say than store in bulk? Or just filtering before bottling? Also someone told me after 4 months in bulk storage that their solid bung blew off even though it was degassed, the only reason I can see this happening is that if there was expansion and contraction from temperature changes.
 

cmason1957

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Makes sense that there is no point in adding Sulphites unless you rack, in my case since the last racking there is really no sediment that I can see so I can let it sit. Would it make sense to filter after 3 months let's say than store in bulk? Or just filtering before bottling? Also someone told me after 4 months in bulk storage that their solid bung blew off even though it was degassed, the only reason I can see this happening is that if there was expansion and contraction from temperature changes.
Filtering should be the last thing you do, after all bulk aging is done, generally within a few days /weeks of bottling. If you try to filter a wine that is not clear, it will end in frustration and gnashing of teeth.
 

kuziwk

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Filtering should be the last thing you do, after all bulk aging is done, generally within a few days /weeks of bottling. If you try to filter a wine that is not clear, it will end in frustration and gnashing of teeth.
Yeah makes sense, I use clearing agents though anyways so the wine is clear after the 3 weeks of adding the clearing agents and racking it off the fine Lee's. Lately I've been filtering and directly bottling even though they say you shouldn't...I haven't noticed and bad effects of not waiting a few days before bottling.
 
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