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How much lees is too much lees?

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Vaudun

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I just splash racked a 5 gallon carboy.

I used my new all-in-one wine pump (love it), and waited 'til it was sucking air through the racking cane.

I then poured off the lees, just to see how much was left. It filled a 750 no bottle just to overflowing.

So my question is this: how much volume is normally lost in racking a 5 gallon carboy?

And yes, I did top up my carboy after racking. 😊
 

Ajmassa

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after primary fermentation? that sounds about typical. Some wines give a lot more than others. Some just a 1/2 inch. or half a bottle. Others 2-3”+ for a full gallon.

If you haven’t dumped it yet you can put all that sediment into a container and refrigerate for a few days. It will separate quickly. right now it’s freshly disturbed and mixed with some wine. after a few days it will compact and you may get another 1/2 bottle or more of wine.

I like to use mason jars for easy access to remove the wine off the top. Or i’ll also use a turkey baster thing. That bit of salvaged wine makes a difference in 5-6gal batches or less

Here’s a couple before&after examples bottom pic you can see how drastic the separation can be DC7DE246-4A6E-4375-893D-7534F018523F.jpeg
 

Scooter68

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That really doesn't sound like a lot - equal to 1 wine bottle? Was this from a Juice only batch or fruit pulp too? The amount of lees can vary from a few cups to 3/4 gallon or more easily with a 5 gallon batch if there was any pulp at all.

I've seen some pictures on here where a 5 gallon carboy was over 1/3 full of lees.
 

Vaudun

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after primary fermentation?
This was from my secondary fermenter, but it's peach wine, which I'm told has a lot of sediment. I suger juiced fresh/frozen peaches for my must.
If you haven’t dumped it yet you can put all that sediment into a container and refrigerate for a few days.
I actually poured it into a mason jar and stuck it in the fridge. 😊

Thanks for the input!
 

Vaudun

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That really doesn't sound like a lot - equal to 1 wine bottle? Was this from a Juice only batch or fruit pulp too?
It was from sugar juiced fresh/frozen peaches.
The amount of lees can vary from a few cups to 3/4 gallon or more easily with a 5 gallon batch if there was any pulp at all.

I've seen some pictures on here where a 5 gallon carboy was over 1/3 full of lees.
Yow, I guess I should consider myself lucky. LOL

I poured the lees into a mason jar, stuck it in the fridge, and I'm waiting for the sediment to settle out, then I'll draw off the clear and have myself a snort. 😉
 

Scooter68

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With luck when you have a lot of sediment it will, as others have said, settle out. The problem comes that allowing wine to sit on the lees with skins and seeds can produce some off flavors. So for me personally I get wine off the lees and try to leave all the gross lees possible behind. Then if I think there is a lot to be saved I may strain or filter it through a muslin cloth and put that in the fridge for a 2-3 days at most. Then separate that as others suggest. Any wine recovered that way can be placed in a smaller airlocked container and ages with the rest of the wine.
 
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winemaker81

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I'll leave the wine in the fridge a bit longer, up to a week. However, less time is probably better. Watch the lees -- it will settle quickly, sometimes within hours. Then it will compact -- if the lees level doesn't change after an additional 24 hours, it's good to rack or pour.
 

Vaudun

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There are little to no fruit solids in my wine, as I sugar juiced my fruit, and then drained off the juice/syrup to make the wine. The lees were pretty much just dead yeast. The attached pic is after settling for a week. I just siphoned off what I could and dumped the yeast. It's still a little murky, but I put it up for later.
 

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