Kieselsol & Chitosan experiment

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wine dabbler
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Nov 5, 2006
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Raleigh, NC, USA
In November 2021 my son & I made 2 batches using Finer Wine Kits Forte kits:
  • triple batch Super Tuscan
  • Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot (dubbed Rhone Blend)
These batches were fermented and bulk aged until early February, when we filled 54 liter (14.25 US gallon) barrels with 4.5 oz medium toast American cubes per barrel. Last month we drained the barrels and homogenized each batch with unused topup wine. Most of each batch was bottled, but we put the dregs from each barrel into 19 liter carboys, added kieselsol and chitosan (from the kits, we did not use last fall), and filled the carboys with homogenized wine.

Our experiment is to determine if the K&C would precipitate much sediment from supposedly clear wines, and to compare the fined and unfined wines after 6 and 12 months to determine if the body, color, aroma, and/or flavor are different.

Yesterday my son & I racked and bottled the carboys. Given that the wines were bulk aged for several months, then racked off the lees, there was not a lot of sediment in the barrels, and after 10 months what sediment was there was well compacted.

Post racking, the carboys both exhibited more sediment than I expected. It wasn't a huge amount (maybe 1/4"), but for wines that had cleared for 2 months, it was more than I expected. My take from this is that K&C make a difference in precipitating sediment.

Both wines tasted pretty darn good yesterday. :)

Six months from now we'll pop corks from both batches (fined and unfined) and perform a blind tasting to see which is better, assuming there is a difference.
How long did you wait to rack after adding the K&C?

How long did you wait to rack after adding the K&C?
3 weeks. The carboys dropped sediment for 2 days, then started compacting. I left it 3 weeks to make sure, and so far I see nothing in the bottles.

These are the wines I used to make Port, and those bottles are also nice-n-clear.

I'll probably pop corks in a few weeks on the table wines. If there's bottle shock it should be past it, and I'm really interested in seeing if there are differences in aroma and taste.

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