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Racking vs. Transferring...

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Chopper

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Early in the winemaking process, while still in the primary, and after the yeast have reduced the SG to 1.010 - 1.030, it is advised to "move" the young wine to a carboy.

To some people, "move" means to "transfer". As in "transfer everything" (wine and sediment) to the carboy. Including the sediment ensures that all active yeast are transferred, and will continue vigorous fermentation. The downside to this is that too much time on the gross lees can damage some young wines.

To other people, "move" means to rack the young wine off the gross lees. The downside to this is that a lot of active yeast are in the gross lees, and will be left behind. Thus, some people believe that fermentation will slow considerably (too much).

So, I have a (probably dumb) question. Why not rack the young wine off the gross lees, and add another packet of yeast (maybe in the form of a starter)? Wouldn't this be the best of both worlds? Get rid of the lees, but ensure continued vigorous fermentation.

I'm sure this is a bad idea, because nobody does it. But why is it a bad idea?

Thanks,

Chopper
 

Wade E

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Unless you do a starter like you mentioned the yeast will most likely die due to shock from already existing alc. I never transfer the sediment and have never had a problem with any of my wines finishing fermenting.
 

Tom

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Lets just say I make the max allowed 200 gallons. :h I have been making wine for many years and have always "racked" my wine. Meaning I leave the lees behind.
The dead yeast will fall as fermentation is going so leaving the lees behind is no problem.
 

St Allie

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I am a predominantly 'fruit wine' maker. If there is a heavy deposit of dropped lees, I rack it.

As to the second half of your quesion.

Adding a second vigorous yeast.
Once fermentation is even a week over,your yeast has a alcohol tolerance around 10%.... you can go from an initial SG of 1.080 to 1.000...you're adding a yeast to alcohol. the yeast may curl its toes up and just die. Yeast needs time to adapt to its environment. Throwing in a second yeast, it is unlikely to thrive in a 10% alcohol environment. And it most certainly will not be the "new vigorous fermentation" that you may envisage.

I'm inclined to say that adding a second 'new' yeast is a waste of your time and resources.

Another option is to treat your must as a 'stuck must'.. activate a yeast and add as directed.

(this was an open question, it was answered as such.)

Allie
 
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arcticsid

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Leave the leees behind. I was taught to "pull it off" the primary around 1.020 (using juice, not a kit), the yeast will still be alive in the juice that goes to the secondary under an airlock. And even after a couple of weeks you will still see setiment in your must, it WILL settle, and after "X" amount of time, rack it again, and leave it alone, start another batch and do it all again. I have always been curious when is it really done fermenting. if 1.000 is done than why have I heard mention of .990?
 

Luc

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To other people, "move" means to rack the young wine off the gross lees. The downside to this is that a lot of active yeast are in the gross lees, and will be left behind. Thus, some people believe that fermentation will slow considerably (too much).
Chopper
That is the reason why the wine is racked from the gross lees and the lees are then pressed. The last drops of juice will come out together with the remaining yeast.

And Wade is of course right when he states that any new yeast will be shocked while it is not accustomed to the alcohol.

Luc
 

Wade E

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I am also not afraid to get every last drop out at this point which intern does suck a little stuff at the bottom, dont be afraid to do this as it makes for less topping off later and any stuff sucked up at this point will fall right back down pretty fast and that also will help carry over any extra good yeast. Most of the stuff on the very bottom is the gross lees that you dont want and the stuff on the very top will be finer lees and some yeast cells(some dead some at thier last leg but still having a little life left) You got to get every drop at every racking if you dont want to keep reducing in size.
 

Madriver Wines

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I am also not afraid to get every last drop out at this point which intern does suck a little stuff at the bottom, dont be afraid to do this as it makes for less topping off later and any stuff sucked up at this point will fall right back down pretty fast and that also will help carry over any extra good yeast. Most of the stuff on the very bottom is the gross lees that you dont want and the stuff on the very top will be finer lees and some yeast cells(some dead some at thier last leg but still having a little life left) You got to get every drop at every racking if you dont want to keep reducing in size.
Truer words have never been spoken!! To see the loss of alittle wine at each stage is frustrating and topping off with water is not a good thing if you ask me.:b
 

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