Other Poll: How long do you bulk age?

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When do you generally bottle your kit wine?

  • When the instructions say it's time

    Votes: 5 10.6%
  • Within 3 months

    Votes: 3 6.4%
  • About 6 months

    Votes: 21 44.7%
  • About 12 months

    Votes: 14 29.8%
  • 18 months or more

    Votes: 4 8.5%

  • Total voters
    47

AZMDTed

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Hi,

I've been in this hobby for a year and half. Up till now I've mostly bottled when the instructions said I could with the intent of drinking some early and letting others age a year or more in the bottle.

After a sale at my local shop I now have enough carboys to leave 5 kits in the carboy for some time. I searched and didn't see a poll on this so I thought it would be interesting to see when we generally do our bottling.

Also please post comments about how you age, e.g., in a carboy under airlock, under a sealed bung, in barrels, why you do or don't bulk age, etc.

For me, I'm moving to bulk aging for better: CO2 removal, sediment settling out, possible bulk corrections if needed like additional tannins, and finally, I just have enough bottled and this will save space.

UPDATE: For the purposes of the poll let's talk about aging your red wines.

Thanks.
 
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David219

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I very roughly follow a 5-15-20-50 day schedule for my non-skins kits. For skins kits, I loosely cover the primary to allow for daily stirring, then I snap down the cover under air lock and allow for fermenting to dry on the skins.

I allow about three weeks of settling after degassing, then rack (adding an additional 1/4 tsp of K-Meta) and wait a couple months for clearing. All my transferring to this point is done with my All-in-One.

I rack to my barrel with a gravity siphon. I purchased a vacuum attachment and used it once. I had just a little leakage afterward, so I'm nervous about having the barrel under vacuum. My barrel is now neutral, and I age in the barrel for around 4 months. Usually by now, 7-8 months have past from the pitching of the yeast. I have a Vinmetrica, so I check SO2 levels and make appropriate additions as the wine barrel ages.

I usually bottle from the barrel, but I occasionally rack from there into a five gallon carboy for additional bulk aging, my barrel holds just under 6 gallons, so I draw off a couple bottles prior to the barrel racking for topping up and prior to going into the five gallon to get the volumes right. In the five gallon, I will bulk age at least a couple more months...usually not more than 3-4. I don't think I've ever gone more than 11-12 months from start to bottling on any kit...not so much for any reason other than either needing a carboy or just wanting to get it in the bottle to not mess with any more sulfite additions!

That's my general process. I think the extended bulk aging and the use of my AIO have greatly improved the quality of my finished wines, particularly the stillness. No more gassy wine!
 

sour_grapes

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I have only 4 carboys. I wanted to build up inventory, which required, as you are aware, of a tradeoff between throughput and bulk aging time. I worked out a schedule that allowed me to start one kit per month, with a schedule of 5 days in primary; 15 days in secondary; 20 days clearing; and 70 days in bulk aging. The actions need to be coordinated to allow an empty carboy at times you need it, like racking out of secondary, etc. (I then aged in the bottle until the wine is 18 mos. old.)

Now that I am approaching full capacity on my wine racks and other ways to store bottles, I am starting kits less frequently, and bulk aging them longer.
 

heatherd

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Depends on whether it's red or white, also depends on how quickly it clears on its own.

For whites I typically bulk age three months, then bottle age for a year.

For reds I aim for six, then bottle age for a year.
 

Johnd

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I like big red kits with skins, while I do some other quick drinkers, my response is for the big kits. In order for those kits to have a chance to survive 18-24 months, I bulk age for 12, in a combination of oak barrels and glass carboys. My barrels are just getting into and through their first wine rotation, so the time in barrels is relatively short for the time being. Biggest reasons? So I'll keep my hands off of them and so adjustments can be made once the character of the wine actually starts to reveal itself.
 

Floandgary

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A subject worth researching. Many inputs which all come down to personal preferences!!! My preferences,,,,,,,, Bulk age (in carboy vs bottle unless you are experimenting with various blends), Reds minimum 1 yr (easy once you've built up a consumable stash), Whites and blushes/Rose's good to go in 3-6 months. Basic winemaking process is the same for everyone,,,, details can be selected from an assortment of tried and trued recipes! Good luck and enjoy..
BTW,, IMHO the prime advantage to bulk aging is the ability to eliminate sediment before bottling (unless you prefer to filter)
 
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barbiek

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I try for a year 6-8 mos for white home made fruit a different story all together it always depends on its own ability to clear and the taste of individual wines.
 

Julie

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anywhere for one year to 18 months but never less than one year. I voted on the 18 months cuz there wasn't a range for 12 to 18 months.
 
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Kiwisholland

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Reds with skins, 12 months from pitch date. Then in bottle as long as I can......
 

farmer

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Never less then 12 months and it can be more then 18 depends when I get around to bottling . One exception would be Skeeter Pee
3 to 4 months it is good to bottle. Aging this long you don't have to use clarifiers or degas.
 

vernsgal

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Depending on kit or fruit- I bulk age 6-12 months and then bottle age at least 3months.
Then shelf life is always pending...;)
 

Boatboy24

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As long as I can stand it (before I want to start another wine). But typically 9-12 months.
 

Pittsburgh127

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Do any of you folks actually ever drink your wine? LOL

I have tried very hard to let it bulk age for 6 months with varying success. I usually end up running low and have to bottle it. Then I try to let it continue to age in the bottles until I run out and have to start drinking it. I've bought several more carboys in the last few of months and currently have 8 of them full and aging. But alas, the wine racks are starting to look a little thin, so I'm going to have to bottle one of them pretty soon.

In the last 3 weeks, I've taken drastic measures and I currently have another 10 kits in various stages of fermentation and clarification. I'll be kicking off another 6 Chilean buckets in April.

Is it me? Do I just drink too much wine? How do you folks let this stuff age for so long? Inquiring minds...ya know!
 

AZMDTed

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Do any of you folks actually ever drink your wine? LOL


Is it me? Do I just drink too much wine? How do you folks let this stuff age for so long? Inquiring minds...ya know!
Tim,
I understand completely. I think the first year and a half of this hobby is the toughest. What other hobby do you work on and then let it sit for two years before you use it? Even now it's hard accepting that I've made about 15 kits so far and I'm finally at the point where I can seriously think about the wine I'm making now is my drinking year 2018 wine and be okay with it. But it is easier when you've made that one kit that you did let age, yes open a bottle every three months or so, watch it age and improve and then realize how vastly different, and better it is, after a year. Then knowing that with great likelihood it will be even better after 18 months or two years. Then you make as many kits as you can afford as fast as you can trying to build up your inventory. By that time you have so much wine around the basement that the temptation to drink the latest batches is pretty low.

All it takes is money, time, patience and a whole lot of wine :h

Ted
 

Steve_M

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I picked the 6 month choice, Fall 2014 was our first batch made from juice buckets, bottled these 6 months later.
I did a kit in January 2015 and one in February, both of these I bottled 6 months later.
This past September, we switched to all grape, I would like for us to go at least 9 - 11 months just before crush 2016.
I just racked kit #3 RJS Carrusel, I will age this one 6-9 months before I bottle it.
Have not started the Forza yet, hopefully this weekend, that too I am aiming for 9-12 months.

Steve
 

Pittsburgh127

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All it takes is money, time, patience and a whole lot of wine :h

Ted
Truer words were never been typed. :D

I have probably $2000+ worth of wine or almost wine sitting around in buckets and carboys right now. It seems like a lot until you do the math and realize you're going to have well over 500 bottles of wine someday to stash away that ended up costing less than 5 bucks a bottle. Considering you cant even buy a bottle of wine in PA for 5 bucks, let alone anything you would want to drink, I figure I'm in for about a 150-200% return on my investment. Anyone getting that on their 401k? :(

I'm just loving this hobby and trying really hard to be patient. LOL
 
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terroirdejeroir

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I don't have a set amount of time. When I rack it and it is CO2 free and hasn't dropped any sediment I bottle it. Seems like usually about 6-9 months for reds with grape packs or wine made from grapes. Kits without grape packs are usually sooner. I prefer to get it in the bottle as soon as it is has met the guidelines above and then age it for another 9-12 months depending on the wine. Longer for Barolos, Amarones, and wine from grapes.
 

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