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TikiWine

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I am aging an off dry wine kit with a spiral of French oak. I tasted after a month of the oak and it seems more dry than my first kit with only the directions. Does aging with oak make the wine more dry? If so what can I do to mellow it out and nake it more off dry again?
 

cmason1957

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I doesn't make it more or less dry, it does provide tannins and oak flavoring, both of those give a perception of less dry, that mouth-puckering goodness that comes with dry wine. It will mellow out with time. That spiral has given up about half of the oak and tannin it had to give up in a month.
 

skyfire322

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I ran into a similar thing when I dropped a M+ French oak spiral in my Sangiovese. While it didn't have face ripping tannin, it was drier than I wanted. I just let it sit for six months in bottles and it turned out smooth as silk.
 

Amandolin

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Related question - I have a couple oak staves I used in a merlot for ~6 weeks. I'm not sure if it did anything but it made me feel like I was doing something with my first batch.
Can I re-use them in my next batch? If so, do I need to sterilize them somehow? How long would be reasonable to bulk age with the oak staves to get any benefit?
 

skyfire322

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Related question - I have a couple oak staves I used in a merlot for ~6 weeks. I'm not sure if it did anything but it made me feel like I was doing something with my first batch.
Can I re-use them in my next batch? If so, do I need to sterilize them somehow? How long would be reasonable to bulk age with the oak staves to get any benefit?
While it might be a bit different with staves, the oak gives up a lot of its flavor and tannin. If you did reuse it, it probably wouldn't do much at all. I haven't tried it yet, I heard that smoking or grilling is a great way to reuse them!
 

TikiWine

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Can you age with multiple types of oak at the same time or one at a time? I French, American.
 

cmason1957

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Can you age with multiple types of oak at the same time or one at a time? I French, American.
Yes you can. Midwest Supplies even sells three different types of oak packages that are just this kind of thing, some French, some American, and maybe one of them even has some Hungarian in it. I have used them, but don't really notice any great benefit to them.
 

winemaker81

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You can add as many (or few) types of oak particles (dust, chips, cubes, etc) as you desire. Just avoid over-oaking -- it's far easier to add more than to take some out.

If you can age the same wine in two different barrels at once -- THAT I want to see. :)
 

TikiWine

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So I have finished aging. Can I bottle straight from the carboy or do I need to rack it off the oak first and let it sit a day or two?
 

sour_grapes

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So I have finished aging. Can I bottle straight from the carboy or do I need to rack it off the oak first and let it sit a day or two?
I suspect you will be happier if you rack before bottling. It kinda sucks to be worried about sucking some sediment toward the end of an evening of bottling.
 

TikiWine

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Thanks. Does racking to bottling bucket count or do I need to rack to carboy let it settle then rack to the bottling bucket?
 

winemaker81

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Look at the wine -- can you see sediment in the carboy, amongst the oak? If so, you need to rack it into another container. As Paul said, it's not fun to be worried about sediment when bottling.

When to bottle? If you are absolutely sure the wine is clear, you can bottle immediately. However, I recommend letting the wine settle in the carboy for another week or two after racking. If you see sediment, then you know you made the right choice. Uncorking several cases of wine to clear it is not fun. Take an extra week or two (or more) to ensure the wine is clear before bottling.

If you don't see sediment after racking? You still made the right choice, as I suspect your ability to see into the future works about the same as mine. :)
 

sour_grapes

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Thanks. Does racking to bottling bucket count or do I need to rack to carboy let it settle then rack to the bottling bucket?
Yes, I think that is fine. Let's put it this way: you can rack into bottling bucket, and THEN decide if you did a good enough job or not.

I usually have fine lees on the bottom of my carboy on bottling day. I do as you suggest, viz., rack to bottling bucket. I make sure not to suck up any of the lees, which may mean leaving some wine in the carboy. Later, I dump the wine/lees into a mason jar, put that in the fridge, and pour off the excess wine the next day into a glass and, uhhh, immediately consume it. :)
 

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Later, I dump the wine/lees into a mason jar, put that in the fridge, and pour off the excess wine the next day into a glass and, uhhh, immediately consume it. :)
I have a tall, slender bottle I keep just for this purpose. It makes pouring the cleared wine off the sludge a bit easier. :)
 

Kantuckid

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In the same notion of racking & sediments as above I have a question. The Master Vinter kit I just got yesterday , the instructions say to put all the sediments from the primary into the carboy at first racking. That means all the bentonite and dead yeast, so on. Every kits I've made previously you racked all fluid above the sediment into the carboy and threw the junk away, then proceeded with degassing, etc., in the carboy and racked again later for bottling.
Why would they suggest moving the sediments?
Another difference- They also say to stir the primary daily which I've never done before, as after the yeast starts-it's live action on it's own in my experience.
 

Kantuckid

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As to oaking wine- I find it difficult to justify buying pieces of oak for my wine making. Between my tightwad status and the reality that I have 15-20 oak logs sitting in front of my sawmill, I have more oak than the "other guys"! It's various species, white oak, red, black and chestnut oaks and lots of scraps I could toast on a burner or with a torch flame. The green wood mostly all gives off the same oak acid wood odor as any wood person will know.
The aspect I don't know is what amount of oak I'd like flavor wise in my wines.
That's where I'm left to wonder?
I've seen the spirals, chunks and particles too with various toasting levels.
If you wonder if I use my own wood chunks for BBQ grilling that's an easy yes, but I use hickory.
 

sour_grapes

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Word on the street is that red oak is reminiscent of cat urine in wine. White is preferred. Not sure of the others.
 

winemaker81

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As to oaking wine- I find it difficult to justify buying pieces of oak for my wine making. Between my tightwad status and the reality that I have 15-20 oak logs sitting in front of my sawmill, I have more oak than the "other guys"! It's various species, white oak, red, black and chestnut oaks and lots of scraps I could toast on a burner or with a torch flame. The green wood mostly all gives off the same oak acid wood odor as any wood person will know.
The aspect I don't know is what amount of oak I'd like flavor wise in my wines.
That's where I'm left to wonder?
I've seen the spirals, chunks and particles too with various toasting levels.
If you wonder if I use my own wood chunks for BBQ grilling that's an easy yes, but I use hickory.
Regarding oak for barrels, I thought the wood was aged. This site (http://www.wineanorak.com/howoakbarrelsaremade.htm) states:

The starting point in barrel construction are long pieces of oak called staves. These are seasoned outdoors for two or three years before being carefully shaped.​

I have no idea if the aging is required for just the barrel making, or if it matters for the wine.

The typical advice is 3 to 5 oz toasted oak for a 5 to 6 gallon batch. Try 0.75 oz in a 1 gallon batch and test it after a month. I'd use a 1 gallon test batch in case the result is less than pleasing.
 

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