Clearing Previously Bottled Wine

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ThunderFred

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I'm fairly new to making wine. Last year I made a batch of blackberry wine not totally knowing what I was doing. It's been bottled but wasn't properly degassed or cleared. I've since learned my error. Is it possible to go back and re bulk it in a carboy and degass and clear before re bottling?

Another thought, could I use this to top off new batches?

Or, do I need to just chalk it up as a loss and dump the bottles so I can reuse them?

It doesn't taste bad, just hazy with sediment in the bottles.

Thanks for your advice.
 

sour_grapes

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You certainly do not need to dump it. Yes, your instincts are correct: You can open the bottles, put them back into a carboy, and proceed anew.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Last year I had some Huckleberry wine that was bottled to soon. I had to uncork it all and put it back into the carboy for another couple of months. Turned out great. Funny thing was I thought it was clear, but it started popping corks during the winter. After 2 months back in the carboy, sediment appeared at the bottom in wine that I thought was complete and clear. Lesson learned.
 

ThunderFred

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Thanks for the advice. Do I need to add anything to protect it? I'm worried that I'll be adding a whole lot of oxygen to a wine that is done fermenting.
 

montanaWineGuy

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Thanks for the advice. Do I need to add anything to protect it? I'm worried that I'll be adding a whole lot of oxygen to a wine that is done fermenting.
I generally don't worry about such things, but to be safe you can add some crushed Camden tablets.
 

Ron0126

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Last year I had some Huckleberry wine that was bottled to soon. I had to uncork it all and put it back into the carboy for another couple of months. Turned out great. Funny thing was I thought it was clear, but it started popping corks during the winter. After 2 months back in the carboy, sediment appeared at the bottom in wine that I thought was complete and clear. Lesson learned.
Hmm. I have about 10 bottles of Dragon's Blood with some fluffy sediment in them (probably Sparkolloid leftovers). I may need to do the same thing and rebottle. The last bottle I drank had to be filtered through a coffee filter. It tasted great but it was the first wine I made using a carboy and I was far too anxious to bottle (and pretty clumsy with the auto-siphon).
 

montanaWineGuy

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Hmm. I have about 10 bottles of Dragon's Blood with some fluffy sediment in them (probably Sparkolloid leftovers). I may need to do the same thing and rebottle. The last bottle I drank had to be filtered through a coffee filter. It tasted great but it was the first wine I made using a carboy and I was far too anxious to bottle (and pretty clumsy with the auto-siphon).
In my experience, some fruit wines are nearly impossible to get clear with time and gravity being the method. Apricot was/is the worst. Perhaps a filter would help, but I'm told the filters get clogged fast and can be costly. My solution, don't make Apricot wine. :h
 

Redbird1

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Last year I had some Huckleberry wine that was bottled to soon. I had to uncork it all and put it back into the carboy for another couple of months. Turned out great. Funny thing was I thought it was clear, but it started popping corks during the winter. After 2 months back in the carboy, sediment appeared at the bottom in wine that I thought was complete and clear. Lesson learned.
Did you verify fermentation was complete and that you added sorbate/Kmeta if you back sweetened? It almost sounds like it had a little bit of fermentation start back up again.
 

Scooter68

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Best and safest bet is to uncork and age more in the carboy. My blackberry wine has never had a problem clearing in a reasonable time with no filtering and not additives to clear it. Same for me with Blueberry and Black Raspberry. TIME is the best cure for de-gassing and Clearing wines. I've had two stubborn wines with respect to clearing. Apple and Peach. Both cleared mostly on their own in about 1 year. My berry wines seem to self-clear quickly and effortlessly. (Less than 3 months after end of fermentation.) Degassing, again time will cure that if aged at good temps between 70 at the high and 55 at the low end. Closer to 55 being better for the wine in the long haul.

Good wine cannot be rushed - Doing so can result in a less enjoyable wine and potentially issues with both Appearance AND Taste, not to mention the potential of bottle bombs and self-uncorking bottles. A new wine will still intoxicate but will it titillate and please the palate? Doubtful.
 
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ThunderFred

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Update, the wine is back in the carboy and clearing up well. Another question, when I originally back sweetened them I used honey. This made sense to me at the time because the young wine had a harsh acidic taste. Two years later that taste is gone and it's very mellow. Problem is it is all a very deep flavor if that makes sense. I'd like to add something to brighten it up to add depth. Thinking of boiling and juicing some fresh blackberries to add back in. Do you think that would give it the depth and acid I'm looking for?

Not sure how long I will have to age again. I do plan to filter before re-bottleing eventually.

Thanks for all your advice and opinions.
 

Scooter68

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1) I would not boil any fruit. That would ruin the real flavor. IF you want to add more blackberries you just have to wait for it to clear again. You could filter the daylights out of the blackberry juice you use but you still will need to wait it out at least another 3-4 months IF it clears quickly.
2) An alternative for the juice is something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RJRJS78/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20.
Using that you will still have to wait for clearing but the work is done for you and the price isn't outrageous for a concentrate. You'd probably use less than 1 oz per gallon.
Finally - All wine will mellow over time and lose the sharpness - most folks like that and it's part of the learning process to remember it will happen and you don't need to add as much sweetener to your wine before bottling.
 
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pip

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Lots of great advice above, all i'd add is that it sounds like you have a nice batch of homemade wine to drink. Does it really need to be perfect? If so, maybe concentrate on the next one being perfect? If its drinkable, its not a failure. I get we all want to make great wine, but, its silly to obsess over less than perfection when another batch could reach the desired heights. Live and learn, or perhaps, drink and learn.
 

wineforfun

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Hmm. I have about 10 bottles of Dragon's Blood with some fluffy sediment in them (probably Sparkolloid leftovers). I may need to do the same thing and rebottle. The last bottle I drank had to be filtered through a coffee filter. It tasted great but it was the first wine I made using a carboy and I was far too anxious to bottle (and pretty clumsy with the auto-siphon).
Ron,
In the future, switch to SuperKleer with your DB. I had the same issues you did(fluffy, whispies). Was clear when bottled then a few weeks later they appeared. I never filtered or anything as we just drank it. I don't make DB anymore but have switched to SuperKleer for any other wines. It packs the lees much tighter and I have never had the Sparkolloid issue.
 

Ron0126

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Thanks DJ. I saw that at the LHBS in little packets so I will pick some up this weekend.
 

Stressbaby

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Update, the wine is back in the carboy and clearing up well. Another question, when I originally back sweetened them I used honey. This made sense to me at the time because the young wine had a harsh acidic taste. Two years later that taste is gone and it's very mellow. Problem is it is all a very deep flavor if that makes sense. I'd like to add something to brighten it up to add depth. Thinking of boiling and juicing some fresh blackberries to add back in. Do you think that would give it the depth and acid I'm looking for?

Not sure how long I will have to age again. I do plan to filter before re-bottleing eventually.

Thanks for all your advice and opinions.
I suppose there are some hard and fast rules ("Never bottle cloudy wine"), but in my view "Never boil/simmer/cook the fruit" is not one of them. No reason you can't do an f-pac which in some cases does involve simmering the fruit. As mentioned above, this will involve reclearing the wine.

One thing you might try as a bench trial is a touch of citric acid. This can "brighten" a wine. Make a solution of 1g acid in 20ml water which is 5% solution. 1ml in 50ml of wine is equal to 1g/L in the whole batch. I use a little insulin syringe for this so I can be precise to the 0.1ml. You can change these ratios around if you want. Some people like 10% solution (1g in 10ml water) but since I make very small batches and use very small samples in my bench trials, I like a little better precision I get with the 5% solution.

I'd start with tests of 0.5g/L, 1.0g/L, and 1.5g/L and go from there.
 

J-Hat

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I also didn't degas my wine properly when i first started not horribly but enough to were you could see and taste some CO2 left in the wine. Recently, I caught a WAERATOR on amazon last week for $29 or $39 Lightening Deal. It pulls a vacuum on the bottle as it pours, it greatly improved the look of the wine in the glass.
 

ThunderFred

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Thank you all for great advice. I re-bulked my blackberry wine and it cleared. It turned out much better than I expected. I didn't make any additions except for some kmeta to protect it. I'm pretty happy with the result for a rookie. I was sweating it because my friend let me raid his blackberry patch and others helped pick. I wanted to be able to give them bottles that did justice for their efforts. This isn't going to win any big awards but I think they will enjoy it and if they don't I will for sure.

I also bought the all in one pump. Steve was super helpful and it worked great. It took me a few bottles to get it down but once I did it was awesome. Steve convinced me to get the attachment to control the speed and I'm glad he did. As a bottle was filling I corked the last and the whole process was a breeze. I even bottled a batch of dragons blood I made and it was super fast and easy.

I really appreciate the advice I've gotten directly and indirectly from this site. I've got four other batches brewing and vines ordered for planting in the yard. I'm hooked for sure. Having support and advice helps.
 

garymc

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I have a suggestion, get an Allinone. Oh,...nevermind.
 

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