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clarifying excess lees

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franc1969

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Is there a particular way to recover more wine from a large amount of fluffy lees? I racked off the gross lees and refrigerated the leftovers of my blueberry wine, got a bit more wine, but there is still a lot of loose wispy bits. Is it possible to use a clarifier to recover more? I did expect lots of loose lees, but this ended up being nearly 2 gallons out of 7. Threw it all in a bucket of apple wine the next day, but wondering if there is something to do the next time to get more compact lees.
This yeast was Lalvin 71B, all blueberry. Other batches were KV1116, a bit more dense but still wispy, and had to chill to find some better separation between lees and wine to rack.
 

Trick

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i use chitosan to recover 50% to 70% volume of wine from lees in a couple of days.
This is actaully the only place i use the clarifier.
 

franc1969

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i use chitosan to recover 50% to 70% volume of wine from lees in a couple of days.
This is actaully the only place i use the clarifier.
Good to know. Do you use the chitosan on only the lees then, not the whole batch before racking? I was thinking through how I would do this to experiment with getting more clear wine the next batch.
 

Trick

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Good to know. Do you use the chitosan on only the lees then, not the whole batch before racking? I was thinking through how I would do this to experiment with getting more clear wine the next batch.
I just rely on time for the main batch to clear, typically one year or so.
For sludge, since i cannot let it sit too long, chitosan is used to speed up the process.
 

Scooter68

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TIME - The best clearing chemical with only positive effects.

Rushing things isn't to your advantage - Racking 2-3 times in the first 2 months after fermentation is finished is a normal thing to do. Then just let time do the work for you - while you move on to another batch.
 

Trick

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TIME - The best clearing chemical with only positive effects.

Rushing things isn't to your advantage - Racking 2-3 times in the first 2 months after fermentation is finished is a normal thing to do. Then just let time do the work for you - while you move on to another batch.
Agree. Once the majority of the lees is removed after 2-3 rackings. I would let it sit for 6-9 months without touching. I found the 3 month racking+1/4 TSP kmeta routine is too much and ends up with very sulfury wine.
 

franc1969

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Sure time works, but this isn't about the normal.settling and racking process. I am trying to figure out how to quickly recover the maximum amount from the.initial racking off of gross lees. I am not about to let the two gallons of fluffy sludge sit for a year like the main portion will.
 

Stressbaby

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The answer is, not really. You can put the entire thing in the fridge to chill it and shut down the yeast. It will stop the production of CO2, and therefore stop the churn of bubbles that can keep the lees fluffy. I've gotten a little more wine that way.

I guess I'm wondering how you ended up losing 2/7 of a batch of blueberry. This would be typical of some other wines (persimmon for me, peach and mango for others) but seems like a lot for blueberry.
 

Ike64

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I don't know about blueberries, or other fruit wines, but adding peptic enzyme when crushing grapes helps increase juice yield.

If using a clarifying agent, I'd definitely keep it separate from the other wine/juice. IMO.
 

Scooter68

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The answer is, not really. You can put the entire thing in the fridge to chill it and shut down the yeast. It will stop the production of CO2, and therefore stop the churn of bubbles that can keep the lees fluffy. I've gotten a little more wine that way.

I guess I'm wondering how you ended up losing 2/7 of a batch of blueberry. This would be typical of some other wines (persimmon for me, peach and mango for others) but seems like a lot for blueberry.
I agree Stress - never have that much lees let alone fluffy lees with blueberries. Lot of the little seeds to leave behind but blueberry has been one of the quickest clearing fruit wines I make. At most I end up with maybe 8 oz lost from a gallon once I pull out the pulp bag.
 

franc1969

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I guess I'm wondering how you ended up losing 2/7 of a batch of blueberry. This would be typical of some other wines (persimmon for me, peach and mango for others) but seems like a lot for blueberry.

I think this was more fruit pulp then yeast solids. The fruit was bagged and removed, but a lot of pulp went straight through the net bag. I did use pectic enzyme, hit it twice - once before fermentation, then again after pulling the bag. The sludge sat by itself and I gave that more enzyme, very little settled out so I threw it in an experimental apple batch. That has finally finished fermenting, so I will see what comes out tomorrow.
 

sremick

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Racking 2-3 times in the first 2 months after fermentation is finished is a normal thing to do.
I'm left scratching my head as to how people deal with the ever-increasing headspace from all that racking. Just how much extra wine are people making initially beyond the capacity of the main carboy? And as they pull from that "extra" vessel to compensate the space lost due to racking, how do you then deal with the growing headspace in the 2nd backup vessel? And so on.

Or are people truly diluting with that much water? Or buying that much similar wine to mix in?
 

Johnd

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I'm left scratching my head as to how people deal with the ever-increasing headspace from all that racking. Just how much extra wine are people making initially beyond the capacity of the main carboy? And as they pull from that "extra" vessel to compensate the space lost due to racking, how do you then deal with the growing headspace in the 2nd backup vessel? And so on.

Or are people truly diluting with that much water? Or buying that much similar wine to mix in?
In the beginning, I'd purchase an extra bottle or two to top up with. Half dozen or so kits into the hobby, I made a mid range merlot kit and bottled it with no labels and used it solely as top up wine, merlot seemed to "go" with lots of other varietals. As I made more and more wine, had lots available to choose from, and still do.

Nowadays, all I do is from grapes, so I order enough grapes to fill a 60 gallon barrel, plus enough for racking loss and at least one extra carboy. When the wine goes into the barrel, one carboy gets bottled and is used for topping that barrel for the next two years. Since I have two full barrels at all times, I keep two topping wines on hand, one for each barrel.

I'd never add water to wine.
 

sremick

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I order enough grapes to fill a 60 gallon barrel, plus enough for racking loss and at least one extra carboy. When the wine goes into the barrel, one carboy gets bottled and is used for topping that barrel for the next two years.
How do you then deal with the growing headspace in the carboy you're using to top up the barrel with?
 
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