Racking schedule without clearing agents

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kuziwk

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It seems that if I’m bulk aging for a year, racking every 3 months adds up to quite a few rackings over this period...it’s basically 5 if you include the initial racking from primary. Is it possible or even advisable to extend a racking to 6 months if there is say 1/4” sediment? There may be less it’s just really hard to put a measurement to it.
 

cmason1957

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It seems that if I’m bulk aging for a year, racking every 3 months adds up to quite a few rackings over this period...it’s basically 5 if you include the initial racking from primary. Is it possible or even advisable to extend a racking to 6 months if there is say 1/4” sediment? There may be less it’s just really hard to put a measurement to it.
I don't think it will cause any real harm to not rack for 6 mints. Might want a bit larger amount of SO2, but other than that go ahead.
 

kuziwk

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Yeah I have means for accurate testing so I will monitor that...just don’t want any off taste. Trying to minimize racking/handling and waste, although my racking has been pretty efficient as of late. I like to prop the carboy up on some cedar shims a day or two before, than gently rack.

It’s actually still the super Tuscan from a while back....still running the clearing agent test vs natural in a Ultra premium kit.
 

Brian55

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Yeah I have means for accurate testing so I will monitor that...just don’t want any off taste. Trying to minimize racking/handling and waste, although my racking has been pretty efficient as of late. I like to prop the carboy up on some cedar shims a day or two before, than gently rack.

It’s actually still the super Tuscan from a while back....still running the clearing agent test vs natural in a Ultra premium kit.
I bulk age for about 12 months. I don't rack until just prior to bottling. No issues so far, been doing it this way for several years.
 

Swedeman

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I bulk age for about 12 months. I don't rack until just prior to bottling. No issues so far, been doing it this way for several years.
With no additional sulphite additions during that period?
 

Brian55

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With no additional sulphite additions during that period?
Reds sit for about 12 months without any additions, whites sit for 6 months. Then they're dosed with So2 and bottled. Reds will sit at least another 6 months before opening the first bottle, whites will sit for at least a month.
 

jpwatkins9

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As I use clearing agents in the primary and secondary fermentation. I also rack a few times while changing over from the primary to secondary fermenter and then to the carboy for bulk aging. I have found that at the end of the bulk aging, I have very little (but a bit) of sediment in the carboy. The final racking into my bottling bucket with a nice spigot for bottling takes out the last bit. I even tip the bucket (6 gallon) to get the last wine in the bottle and mark that one. When we drink that one it has no sediment in it. Usually drink that bottle first as a test after about a month. Works for me.
 

salcoco

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racking can be minimized but so2 additions cannot. should add alt least 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon every three months
 

kuziwk

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racking can be minimized but so2 additions cannot. should add alt least 1/4 tsp per 5 gallon every three months
How do you add sulfite without racking? I would imagine drawing up a sample and mixing it with that would work...however how would one ensure it mixes with the rest of the wine. Mixing a carbon that has settled for 3 months or more is counterproductive to clearing.
 

Trick

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i used to follow the 3 month racking 1/4 tsp sulpahate scheme for 1 year bulk aging before bottling. it always ended up with very sulfy wine with all aroma covered by irritating smell. so i changed scheme after the lessons. i now rack only every 6 mon after a quick first one for removing gross lees. Smell before adding any sulfur.
i am not quite worrying about the oxygen since wine sits in carboy with almost no headspace. i usaully fill my air lock with sulfur solution which can somewhat create a reduction barrier against o2.
 

salcoco

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if the wine is clear and there is no sediment racking is n ot required but the so2 level must be maintained. just use k-meta in powder form add directly to carboy and stir. mixing with water or wine before adding to wine is also fine. no sediment, stirring not an issue.
 

cmason1957

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How do you add sulfite without racking? I would imagine drawing up a sample and mixing it with that would work...however how would one ensure it mixes with the rest of the wine. Mixing a carbon that has settled for 3 months or more is counterproductive to clearing.
Short-term, yes it will stir up what's on the bottom, but long-term, that will fall out again and much quicker this time, than the first time. Another option, although it is rather expensive, Effervescent SO2 tablets. They come in 2g and 5g size, these words from morewinemaking - The 2 gram size will add 9 ppm sulphites to a 60 gallon barrel or 18 ppm sulphites to a 30 gallon barrel. The 5 gram size will add 22 ppm to a 60 gallon barrel.
 

CDrew

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Those effervescent tablets/granules have another advantage. The bubbles that come up are CO2 and will partially purge the small head space you have under the airlock. They are certainly more expensive than KMBS bulk powder, but they don't have the same problem with wastage, so in the end, a very good way to add SO2. I've been using the individual 2g packets of Granules that MoreWine sells and can highly recommend that form.
 

Ajmassa

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I wouldn’t be concerned about anything regarding clearing. I don’t filter, use any clearing agents, and once a certain age Im not racking much at all—-but I’ve never come across a red wine that wasn’t cleared up on its own. Anything stirred up will just drop right back down as others mentioned
 

kuziwk

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I wouldn’t be concerned about anything regarding clearing. I don’t filter, use any clearing agents, and once a certain age Im not racking much at all—-but I’ve never come across a red wine that wasn’t cleared up on its own. Anything stirred up will just drop right back down as others mentioned
How long does it typically take to clear once you stirred back up the sediment?
 

opus345

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With each racking the sediment decreases exponentially. Ok, I haven't measured to be sure. Some of my best wines i started out religiously racking and adding 1/4 tsp every 3-4 months. Then some type of life event interrupts that schedule and i will not rack for ~6 months. My Forza had 3 rackings and then got ignored for 6-8 months. Everyone believes it has been one of my best kits to date. i have shared that the special ingredient was me keeping my paws off it.
 

kuziwk

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With each racking the sediment decreases exponentially. Ok, I haven't measured to be sure. Some of my best wines i started out religiously racking and adding 1/4 tsp every 3-4 months. Then some type of life event interrupts that schedule and i will not rack for ~6 months. My Forza had 3 rackings and then got ignored for 6-8 months. Everyone believes it has been one of my best kits to date. i have shared that the special ingredient was me keeping my paws off it.
So the when the forza was sitting for 6-8 months, did it have any sulfites left at the end? Right now I’m paranoid about mixing my carboy when I added a bit of sulfite without racking. It’s been about 4-5 months since my last rack and sulfite addition I suspect it’s low...it’s coming up on a year and I’m bottling in a month, I always test for sulfites before bottling and add more as needed. I don’t want to re-mix the ever so slight amount of sediment though at the bottom of the carboy. Is a month long enough for it to resettle?
 

Rice_Guy

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I would not stir in meta, the top is where I added oxygen by pulling off the air lock off to pipette a taste. yes your wine probably had some SO2 in it. The reds I have tested hold their own better than whites and fruit wines.
I live with @salcoco advice, rack when there are lees
I switch to a solid bung between 9 and 12 months and minimize oxygen.
 

kuziwk

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I would not stir in meta, the top is where I added oxygen by pulling off the air lock off to pipette a taste. yes your wine probably had some SO2 in it. The reds I have tested hold their own better than whites and fruit wines.
I live with @salcoco advice, rack when there are lees
I switch to a solid bung between 9 and 12 months and minimize oxygen.
I don’t like the solid bungs, I’m paranoid they will pop off. Even though temps are pretty much stable in my basement. Silicone is also about the most O2 Permeable rubber like substance there is, i suspect still less than a water air lock though. I’m only bulk aging 9-12 months before bottling, and closer to 12 for the skin kits ...either way that shouldn’t be a huge issue for me. So you’re saying to just to draw some wine up, mix it into a glass with k-meta than pour back in without mixing?
 

Rice_Guy

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Metabisulphite powder gets weighed and then poured onto the top of the wine, , after sampling for flavor or testing with a little sugar. If it is over 9. months I haven’t seen bubbles for 7 or 8 so a solid bung. Typical is wait 24 hours before moving the carboy and bottling or filter etc. I don’t really want to disturb much and I just added fresh oxygen, but only on the surface. Depending on sample size I will use a 50cc syringe with 1/8 tubing or plastic droppers.
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Campden is a solid and would sink. It needs to be crushed or melted into the wine. I don’t use it.

From my history the oldest wine I have bottled was some of mom’s 1978 black raspberry which had a solid cap on it. It was good at 30 years. I have gained oxidation paranoia as I learned to taste wine and plan so that transfers are at a minimum or three
 
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