WineXpert Racking and Bulk Aging questions.

Discussion in 'Kit Winemaking' started by derunner, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. Oct 9, 2012 #1

    derunner

    derunner

    derunner

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    I have 2 kits in th works currently. A mist kit and a pino Grigio.

    For the mist kit, I have already done the k-meta, sorbate, and fining agent. This is done on the lees and it looks like I have quite a few lees as it was my first time racking. So would you rack once when it is time to bottle, top off with wine. Let settle for 24 hours, and then either bottle from that carboy rack again if too many lees. Is any k-meta needed with the extra rack(s) since a mist kit shoul be gone in 6 months? It is the Pom zin

    Second kit is a pinot gregio. it will be in the same situation. k-meta, sorbate, and finings will be added with the lees kept, and then after 2 weeks I could bottle if clear, but I plan to bulk age for at least 3 months, maybe 6.

    So after this 2 week period after fining, do I add more k-meta before, I rack off the lees? Then how offen would you re-rack while in bulk aging? and when / how much k-meta to add in addition to the amount i add in the kit at fining time? My LHBS said one 1/4 teaspoon for 6 gallons would be enough to cover bulk aging and bottling, but in other threads it seems like people are usning some periodically during bulk aging and before bottling.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  2. Oct 9, 2012 #2

    TonyP

    TonyP

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    You ask a lot, but I'll try to go through it. Here's a few important things to know. If you don't have experience, it's good to follow instructions but make it a point to understand why each step is taken. In addition, though, keep in mind that wine problems will not go away in the bottle. The time to solve your problem is before you bottle.

    Wait until your wine has settled before you bottle. Cloudy wine will not clear in the bottle.

    When you're ready to bottle, there's no need to rack, top off, and bottle. The wine should be clear and the lees should not be substantial, so just bottle. But don't rack the lees or include it in the bottles. If you end up with a bottle less than 30, that's OK.

    WE kits come with sufficient k-meta so there's no need to add extra for only 6 months.

    On the Pinot Grigio, I assume you have the World Vineyard. The same comments, above apply. It's OK to rack once or twice while trying to clear the wine, but not necessary to rack often. Unless you're planning on aging the wine much beyond 6 months, there's no need to add extra k-meta.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  3. Oct 9, 2012 #3

    derunner

    derunner

    derunner

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    Thanks Tony

    The thing that concerned me on the mist kit is it was my first rack and I did pick up more lees than i would have liked and have close to 2 inches in the bottom, and some hanging on the sides. I was thinking if i racked, and let it settle, I'd probably only have a trace left. so bottling would be easier, but i guess either way i am losing a few bottle from the bottom.

    On the World Vinyard Pinot Gregio kit I did much better on its rack and only have a thin layer initially after racking. That is growing and is about 1/2 inch now. Are you suggesting if I bulk age, I leave it on the lees for 3 months, or rack once about 2 weeks after fining, and then age for bulk age 3 months with no more rackings? and then just bottle if clear at 3 months.
     
  4. Oct 9, 2012 #4

    TonyP

    TonyP

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    There's two types of lees: gross and fine. Gross lees (also known as heavy lees) are comprised largely of organism nutrients and numerous other heavy solids, such as pulp and grape skin fragments. Extended contact with gross lees can have a negative impact on wine quality.

    Fine lees, on the other hand, are comprised primarily of dead yeast and by-products. While this doesn't sound tasty, fine lees have a minor impact on wine quality and may even add to the wine's character.

    With this in mind, I'll answer your question. The Pinot you're making contains fine lees. Whether to rack out the lees an extra time is largely a personal preference. Leaving the lees in the wine for a while is of little consequence but a large percentage of wine makers like taking them out periodically.

    Keep in mind that racking has drawbacks, as well. Racking introduces some air into the wine, which is undesirable. In addition, racking usually results in the need to top off.

    My wines have considerably longer aging and I leave the wine alone for months at a time, usually just dealing with the need to add k-meta. Sometimes I rack, just because watching wine age isn't fun.

    Here's a forum to loot at:

    http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/f5/can-you-rack-too-often-34213/

    Tony
     
  5. Jul 2, 2013 #5

    bstnh1

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    After stabilizing, clearing, etc. per WE instructions, I bulk age in the carboy for about 2 months. If I notice a fair amount of sediment dropping out during that time, I'll rack it after a month or so. If things have cleared up nicely, at the end of 2 months I'll rack one more time and leave it another 2 weeks before bottling. That works for most whites I've made. Some reds have taken a bit longer before they clear enough to bottle.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2013 #6

    DoctorCAD

    DoctorCAD

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    You say that you are making a Mist-style kit and that "I have already done the k-meta, sorbate, and fining agent", and go on to discuss that this is the first racking. According to the instructions, you should have racked at about 7 days, leaving the big pieces behind. That should have sat for another 10 or so days. Then, if the SG was below .996, you add the k-meta, sorbate, fining agents and F-pack. This should have sat 14 days to clear. You should have also taken out a quart or so of wine to fit the F-pack in. That's what you use to fill the carboy back up after racking.

    Now you should do a second racking and wait another couple of days before bottling. I always 3rd rack into a bottling bucket and let the wine sit a few hours to overnight to help settle anything out that might still be in there. With the Mist kits, ageing is not really necessary.
     

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