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wineview

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I have always been in the camp to let the wine ferment down to 996 or lower in the bucket. I was reading some instructions that came with a kit and they recommended racking between 1.010 and 1.020. What’s the general feel out there?
 

Chuck E

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I have always been in the camp to let the wine ferment down to 996 or lower in the bucket. I was reading some instructions that came with a kit and they recommended racking between 1.010 and 1.020. What’s the general feel out there?
I like mine to go "dry" or in the .990 - .999 range
 

Ajmassa

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I let life make that decision for me. Usually it’s below 1.000. And now that I think about it I don’t think I’ve ever racked above 1.000
 

Scooter68

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Preferences about the best racking time vary just as fermentation behavior varies. A very active fermentation will ferment all the way dry in as little as 3 days sometimes. No worry about when to rack with those, they are fermented dry so fast there isn't really any time to rack it into a carboy.

Other fermentations are slow to start and go on for 2-3 weeks. In those cases racking the wine into a carboy at 1.020 or below might not be a problem - I say MIGHT NOT because sometimes the racking process seems to re-invigorate yeast and the next thing you know you have a foam fountain as mentioned. (Most undesirable, a big mess and a waste of wine.)

The biggest reason to rack before fermentation is finished is if the "CO2 Blanket" has faded away due to the slow ferment.

So if you are concerned about losing that CO2 Blanket, that's a reason to rack BUT be careful and I would personally recommend standing around and watching the wine for at least 30 minutes after racking. I suspect that the vast majority of those foam fountains occur that quickly - at least the two I've experienced did. One was with a wine SG of 1.018 and what appeared to be a slowing ferment. That wine had only been fermenting about 5 or 6 days - that should have been my clue to wait, but I rushed it.

As always your experiences may vary. Nowadays I like to wait until the wine is below 1.010 or lower - especially if it got there in less than a week.
 

joeswine

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If you rack just before you should you'll help protect the wine against oxidation while transferring.
Let it set for a week or two then rerack and start the finial phase of the process.or not.
 
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bstnh1

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I have never racked a kit above 1.00 and most of the time it's well below that on the initial racking. And after the racking, in the carboy with an airlock, there has never been a shortage of CO2 bubbling though. But I don't think I'd want to let it go all the way to dry in an unsealed primary. Why take the chance? With the new kit instructions, letting it go 14 days in the primary has not been a problem. There's always been plenty of CO2 left.
 

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