keeping wine in secondary fermenter

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jimk

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I've noticed that some people keep their wine in the secondary fermentater for 4 months or more. Is this something that should be done with kits or just if you're starting with fruit? Also, do the lees affect the taste in a negative way if kept on them for months?
Thanks
Jim
 

Tom

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1st welcome to the group.
Leaving wine in the secondary for any length of time varies with what kind of wine you are making. Racking will make your wine clear. Each time you rack you Will leave the "solids" behind. You want to take wine off the lees as soon as possible because they are the dead yeast.
Aging will help balance the wine and let all the flavor mingle as well keep temps more constant.
 

Wade E

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Racking ff the primary lees is needed badly but racking off secondary lees is a matter of being cautious as there are benefits to leaving them on like getting more body and mouthfeel and is called aging (Surlies), but leaving them on these lees too long can spoil your wine also and stirring of these lees is needed every so often.
 

smurfe

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I would tell you I bulk age my wines to benefit their development but it is actually because I am very lazy and the only part of wine making I do not like is bottling as my set up it is just a pain. When the brewhouse/winery is done it will be much more organized. Hopefully that will be in a couple weeks. We are enclosing our pool pavillion and making it into my "Man Cave" as the wife wants the family room back.

Anyway to your question, I routinely leave wines in the carboy for a year, many up to two years. I rack the wine till clear and then let it set. I do different than most as I stabilize and add fining agents as directed by the instructions and then just let it set after all the racking. There may be a small amount of lees but I don't worry about it. As stated though, you don't want to leave the wine on the gross lees for long.
 

jimk

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Thanks for the answers. I've been using Vitner's Reserve for my kits and the Cab I made doesn't seem to have a lot of body to it. I've opened a few of the bottles WAY before I should and am wondering if bottle aging will add body to the reds.
 

Malkore

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Thanks for the answers. I've been using Vitner's Reserve for my kits and the Cab I made doesn't seem to have a lot of body to it. I've opened a few of the bottles WAY before I should and am wondering if bottle aging will add body to the reds.
No, aging doesn't add any body. The lower end kits are not going to be full of body.

From my reading here, the more expensive kits that have more juice, and grape skins included, will give you the body and mouthfeel you expect.

I think there's some other tricks too, but I don't want to mention them as I have much to learn still.
 

smurfe

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Thanks for the answers. I've been using Vintner's Reserve for my kits and the Cab I made doesn't seem to have a lot of body to it. I've opened a few of the bottles WAY before I should and am wondering if bottle aging will add body to the reds.
You might as well keep on drinking them. It isn't going to get any more body. The VR Cab is the most disappointing kit I ever made. It tasted good but was very weak on the body side. I made it twice. Once per direction and once with extra oak for extra body. I ended up using these kits for top up wine for future kits.
 

jimk

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No, aging doesn't add any body. The lower end kits are not going to be full of body.

From my reading here, the more expensive kits that have more juice, and grape skins included, will give you the body and mouthfeel you expect.

I think there's some other tricks too, but I don't want to mention them as I have much to learn still.
Any suggestions what kits to use?
 

Malkore

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Again, I'm a noob to making wine, but my understanding is the more concentrate they give, the more body in the end.
I made a WineXpert kit, Vinter's Reserve and it was about 3gallons of juice, and the kit was about $60.

The kits by WineXpert that are over $100 all have more than 4 gallons of concentrate per the box, and I'd bet their red kits have grape skins too.

Someone will correct me if I"m wrong :)
 

Tom

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Again, I'm a noob to making wine, but my understanding is the more concentrate they give, the more body in the end.
I made a WineXpert kit, Vinter's Reserve and it was about 3gallons of juice, and the kit was about $60.

The kits by WineXpert that are over $100 all have more than 4 gallons of concentrate per the box, and I'd bet their red kits have grape skins too.

Someone will correct me if I"m wrong :)
Not quite,
Vintners reserve is a 7.5 ltr kit (2 gallons) The lower end lacks the body but as you go up it can go to 18 ltr or all juice. The higher end will also have "skins" and just a better wine. If you break it down a $120 kit is only $4.00 each. Where can you get quality wine for that?
 

Wade E

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I love the RJS brand winery seriies or En Primeurs or even the Cru Select kits with grape skins. I have made almost every Winery Series kit they make and not 1 of them disappointed me at all and were chock full of body, the only ones I didnt do were the 1s that I did the EP which are of the highest quality or the Cru select which were Resticted quantity only. These kits in my opinion do not exhibit kit taste like Winexpert do and make a better wine IMO!
 

St Allie

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I did a cheap pinot as my first 30 bottle kit, added chopped raisins, some banana juice and a small pack of toasted oak to it. It's drinkable now.. pinot isn't huge on body anyway.. and I didn't bulk age it , just wanted to have a go. It's young tasting as expected but with a nice rounded flavour so far. Have squirrelled a few bottles away to taste further down the track.

I picked up a cellarcraft merlot for $70 and am going to tweak that one too.. these kits are just getting me by with something drinkable, without buying commercial wines, while my fruit wines mature.

The more expensive port kits are going to get the star treatment of bulk aging and locked down for special occasions.

Allie
 
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