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Bulk aging vs bottling

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Ceegar

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I know this has probably been hashed out before, but I notice a lot of you mention you do alot of bulk aging - for months sometimes, but what scientific evidence is there that bulk aging in a carboy has benefits over bottling after clearing has finished? I can see maybe bulk aging in oak barrels, but bulk aging in a carboy for months on end? Just curious.
 

Tom

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I know this has probably been hashed out before, but I notice a lot of you mention you do alot of bulk aging - for months sometimes, but what scientific evidence is there that bulk aging in a carboy has benefits over bottling after clearing has finished? I can see maybe bulk aging in oak barrels, but bulk aging in a carboy for months on end? Just curious.
Well bulk aging is very common in winemaking. Look at your local wineries. They bulk age their whites for a year in stainless and reds even longer some in stainless and some in barrels. Aging does alot of things 1st in bulk you will have very little temp swings. In bottles it will be much faster. Bulk aging even in glass helps mingel all the flavors better as well as take the bite off.
Kits are made for bottling much faster hence the 28 day kit. The higher end reds on the other hand say to age. I make alot from fresh juice from CA, Italy and Chile. Those I age any where from 6 months to over a year. I have a Amarone and a Borollo aging for almost a year.
You get a much "smoother wine.
Hope this helps.
 

Nubz

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thanks for asking about this Ceeger i was a little curious myself
and ty Tom for telling us about it
 

wines just fine

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Aw! To bulk or not to bulk, that is the question!

Wither 6 gallons can be called "bulk" or not is the question.

There is a big difference between several hundred gallons in a vat at the winery and a few gallons in a carboy.

There's some argument as to wither aging in a carboy brings any real benefit compared to just putting the wine in bottles to let it age.

You decide.
 

Mike

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Resurrecting a post from 6 months ago because my question is on topic and I didn't want to start a new one when I'm sure there are a bunch like this. I tried a bottle of RJS Petite Sirah I bottled 6/2/2009. I've been drinking it for probably 3 months and it's tasted the same for a little while now; not too bad, but thinner than I want. I had a bottle the other night and it was VERY good. Full bodied. Then I tried another bottle Sunday and it was again, a bit thin.

Is this a result of bottle aging rather than bulk aging? No homogeny in aging?
 

phermenter

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I've been drinking it for probably 3 months and it's tasted the same for a little while now; not too bad, but thinner than I want. I had a bottle the other night and it was VERY good. Full bodied. Then I tried another bottle Sunday and it was again, a bit thin.

Is this a result of bottle aging rather than bulk aging? No homogeny in aging?
My guess is that it has more to do with different expectations and possibly different conditions. I've had the same thing happen with wines I've bulk aged 4-5 months and wines bottled 6 weeks after starting.

The time it tasted so much better may have been partly because it had been disappointing up till then. Likewise, the next bottle being disappointing may be because your expectations were ramped up.

Also, the temperature, the company, the time of day and food pairings can have a whopping effect on how a wine tastes.

Jim
 

Dugger

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Also, the temperature, the company, the time of day and food pairings can have a whopping effect on how a wine tastes.

Jim
Ah yes, food pairings - it is truly amazing how varying the taste of a wine can be with different foods!
 

NSwiner

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I know our liebfraumilch tasted so much smoother last then the ones we had just a couple weks ago at Xmas time ,I only had a taste because of medical reasons but can't wait til I can enjoy another glass .By then it will have aged even more we are trying only have a bottle a month until it's aged 6 months and have put some away already to age 1 yr .
With WE Limited edition I plan on bulk aging half in small carboy and bottle half so we can taste some every month after aged 6 months .
 

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