curiousity on how long to keep wine in carboy

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by kazoo20, Apr 21, 2011.

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  1. Nov 21, 2019 #21

    Scooter68

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    Yup, Someone's always looking for a shortcut. I know I wanted to find one so bad but once the burning desire to have it NOW! wore off, it's been a lot easier.

    Now I keep telling myself - hmmm isn't it time to go rack those carboys, Nah it's only been 89 days, give it another week.

    (Of course it helps now that I on average 80-110 bottles on the shelf and 5-7 carboys aging at any given time.)
     
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  2. Nov 21, 2019 #22

    Johnd

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    I chuckled as I read through the earlier posts to the thread, noting the same thing you did. Wine just doesn't change how it responds to time and our actions, a very steady medium.......
     
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  3. Nov 21, 2019 #23

    amorgan

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    Hi Julie. Thanks for taking the time to respond! This is my first time and I used fresh grapes/juice and about one cup of sugar per gallon thinking that might bump up the fermentation/alcohol a bit. Primary fermentation (started early Oct) seemed to go great - stirred twice a day and it was clearly active and in a sanitary bucket with a cover - not tight. After about two weeks when the yeast slowed down, I racked (is that the right term?) it with a syphon to a 3 gallon carboy. It is full, and was still bubbling, and I was really happy - till a week later I learned I was supposed to have water or vodka in the airlock! So I put vodka in the airlock (late October). It's not bubbling anymore, but I'm afraid to open or touch it for fear of adding oxygen, so I certainly don't want to stir the sulfites in, right? The second carboy is a great idea. Would it hurt anything to wait another month to add the sulfites? I think my son is getting more equipment, including a 5 gal carboy, for me for Christmas! Probably my biggest mistake was not learning more about how to use the hydrometer (and thermometer?) that came with my starter kit. I think when I started, and added yeast, my scribbled notes read 1.09 (12% potential alc?). Then at some point I jotted down 1.01, but I'm going to swallow my pride and admit I am really not sure what I am doing or what that means!! There are so many different opinions on measurements, ingredients, timing, and the whole process online, I think I got overwhelmed and lost.
     
  4. Nov 21, 2019 #24

    amorgan

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    I love this! Must save - thank you!
     
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  5. Nov 21, 2019 #25

    Johnd

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    LOL! If you get nothing else from this site, other than believing that time makes the best wine and you allow it to do so, you'll have done well!!
     
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  6. Nov 21, 2019 #26

    NorCal

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    That's my top two for making good wine:
    1. good grapes
    2. patience
     
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  7. Nov 24, 2019 #27

    crushday

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    Is it really necessary to add sulfite every three months in an otherwise undisturbed carboy full of wine? If it has a sealed stopper and little to no head room, is there any difference to a bottled wine under a cork?
     
  8. Nov 26, 2019 #28

    Rice_Guy

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    I do not open a carboy with a bung just to add fresh oxygen and more sulphite.
    The oldest undisturbed wine I have dealt with was a gallon of mom’s 1978 black raspberry which was in glass for roughly 30 years, forgotten in the basement. It was in good condition.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2019 #29

    Rocky

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    Over the years I have fallen on keeping whites for at least 6 months and reds for at least 12. I like to rack a couple of times before bottling when there is evidence of sediment and I add sulfites when I do. I find keeping the wine in the carboys aids in clearing and makes it easier to "adjust" the wine should a problem arise. I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules. An experienced wine maker develops an MO which works for her or him guided by experience.
     
  10. Nov 29, 2019 #30

    amorgan

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    You and Julia (above) both had that great suggestion to just rack to a second carboy to reduce sediment and provide an opportunity to add the sulfites with out disturbing the wine too much. Will it be a problem if my current carboy is full and is 3 gallon size, then I rack to a 5 gallon carboy? Will that headspace be a problem? Thank you.
     
  11. Nov 29, 2019 #31

    Rocky

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    Amorgan, I would say that would be a real problem (2 gallons of head space). I think you can safely rack to the 5 gallon, add the sulfite (about 1/8 teaspoon for 3 gallons), clean and sanitize the 3 gallon carboy and then rack the wine right back into it.
     
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  12. Nov 29, 2019 #32

    amorgan

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    Good idea. Thx
     
  13. Nov 30, 2019 #33

    masic2000

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    Been asking the same question myself lately. I've been watching a wine documentary online about commercial vs natural wine making processes, particularly on how it's done in the Tuscany valley and in Slovenia. Very eye opening, as they use very little to no chemicals whatsoever, and their wines sell for over $300 a bottle in some cases. Google Francesco Gravner or Marjan Simcic
    The only additive Gravner uses is "one-half gram of sulfur per hectolitre (100 litres) to stop the grapes from turning into vinegar". "Only wild yeasts are used, the grapes are macerated for seven months in clay amphorae, there is no temperature control on the fermentation, the wines are bottled without filtration, and there are almost no additives or chemicals in the wine."

    Link to episode 1 of wine revealed documentary,



    PS. They ask for your email to watch the other episodes . . . Was worth it for me as I discovered the ways of Gravner and Simcic.
     
  14. Dec 1, 2019 #34

    Ajmassa

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    Well it is ‘home’ winemaking after all. There are no rules! Just good practice suggestions.

    For reference the best wine I’ve ever made was a simple cab made from seasonal Cali juice. Only thing ever added was yeast. No oak. No sulphites. No nothin.
    Racked a couple times and bottled probably around 10 months. Gone by 1.5 yrs
    Fast forward 4 years and I find a discarded bottle from the batch. And it blew me away!
    That little incident spoke volumes to me. Never underestimate Father Time.
    And now view the changes I’ve made like fresh grapes, MLF, barrels, so2 protection, acid management etc will hopefully do nothing but improve the quality.
     
  15. Dec 1, 2019 #35

    Bill McNab

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    Hello,
    I have just inherited a vacuum degasser pump along with the red carboy caps that link several carboys together for degassing, I am assuming.
    Can anyone please give me a typical set up for 4 @18.9 L carboys of white wine.?
    Thanks in advance.
    By the way it's a US General 2 stage 3 cfm Vacuum Pump.
     
  16. Dec 2, 2019 #36

    Dennis Griffith

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    Hmmm, how did it taste? My wife has a weakness for blackberry wine and our rack seems to bottles from various wineries. I also have a forgotten gallon of a rose that I lost track of that must be close to 30 years old. I've been building up the courage to open it and see how it has fared after all this time.
     
  17. Dec 2, 2019 #37

    Rocky

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    Thirty years is a long time in the bottle.

    Yesterday, as I was rooting through my wine racks, I found two bottles of Trader Joe's Coastal variety wines, a Zinfandel and a Cabernet Sauvignon both from 2009. (TJ's Coastal was our "go to wine" for everyday drinking back then. Decent wine, great price) I did not have a lot of hope for them but I took them to my daughter's house for diner. We were very pleasantly surprised that the wine was still very good.
     
  18. Dec 3, 2019 #38

    Dennis Griffith

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    Maybe by Christmas I'll sample it. I'll get our son over to try it as well as it is about his age... I did find 2 other bottle from 2000 earlier this year. One a Merlot which seemed to have weather tine just fine. The other was a beaujolais nouveau that did not fair as well, needless to say.
     
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  19. Dec 3, 2019 #39

    Rocky

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    Wouldn't that make it a Beaujolais Vieux? :)
     
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  20. Dec 3, 2019 #40

    Dennis Griffith

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    More like Beaujolais le Vinaigre. It had acquired a very bitter taste.
     

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