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Sediment and cloudy wine.

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kuziwk

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Hi guys,

I made my very first batch of cabernet wine so the whole process along the way i have been learning. I started with the wine from the carboy and was rackong it to another clean carboy before i bottled everything. As it turns out the bottle filler i purchased does not match the auto siphon and tubing that i have, it seems the tubing is too large a diameter to fit the bottle filler. Still, i proceeded to bottle anyways just using the large diameter tube and the auto siphon. As it turns out the whole process proved to be more difficult having to fight with the large diameter tubing and restart the suction process multiple times. As a result i ended up disturbing the sediment from the carboy somehow which ended up in the wine in each bottle. I didnt realize after i corked everything and tried a bottle half an hour later. The wine was cloudy and had that white looking sediment left over in the glass, i went back to look a few hours later and all the other 29 bottles have a layer of this milky white sediment at the bottom of each bottle. The wine seems to tast fine but call it dead yeast, or tartartic crystals or a mixture....whatever but in either case my only hope is that the bottles fully settle and i get as little of the sediment from the bottles as possible. Is there anything else that i can do? Will this ruin the wine as it ages as it seems i will likely finish drinking the wine within one year anyways. I should mention i did not filter this red, would this prevent this from happening again in the future? Or...is my auto siphoning placement and technique wrong? We could also assume i bottled to soon but the sample i took from the top with tue wine theif days before was cryalstal clear.
 
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sour_grapes

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Well, one easy thing you can do in the future is to rack the wine into another carboy, then let it settle again before bottling. If you only have one carboy, you could rack the wine into your fermentation bucket, clean out the carboy, then rack back into the carboy.

For this batch, you have a choice: You could open all of the bottles, dump into a carboy, let it resettle, and bottle again in a few weeks. Or you could do as you suggest, and just carefully decant each bottle upon opening. If you only have a little bit of fine lees, your wine will probably be okay.
 

bkisel

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@sour_grapes pretty much said all that needs to be said...

There have been a number of times when I didn't do just one last racking before bottling and had to pay the price of emptying and re-bottling or living with a bit of sediment in the wine. I guess if it is indeed just a dusting on the bottom of the carboy and you're really careful you can get away with it but I'm learning that it is just good practice to do that one last racking. Besides it is a good point at which to mix in that 1/4 tsp. of k-meta if your going to bottle age for a time.
 
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salcoco

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I would also get the correct tubing for your siphon. regards to your filter question, with the layer of sediment described the filter would clog quickly and not be of any benefit. racking as stated above to another carboy before bottling is the answer. I would suggest tasting this wine over time and if it begins to get off tastes or odors, empty all of the other bottle let it settle and re-bottle.
 

kuziwk

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Well, one easy thing you can do in the future is to rack the wine into another carboy, then let it settle again before bottling. If you only have one carboy, you could rack the wine into your fermentation bucket, clean out the carboy, then rack back into the carboy.

For this batch, you have a choice: You could open all of the bottles, dump into a carboy, let it resettle, and bottle again in a few weeks. Or you could do as you suggest, and just carefully decant each bottle upon opening. If you only have a little bit of fine lees, your wine will probably be okay.
Thanks guys you're exactly right...i have another batch of the same brewing. I will rack it into a carboy from the secondary when its ready to bottle as i did the first time but instead ill do it a few days sooner so it gets a chance to settle before bottling. Is it required to rack yet again in a few days or should i just let it settle the second time and bottle? Regarding the sediment i suspect its dead yeast as its very fine almost whispy like flour...so i guess a little added b vitemins wont hurt anyone.
 

bkisel

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Thanks guys you're exactly right...i have another batch of the same brewing. I will rack it into a carboy from the secondary when its ready to bottle as i did the first time but instead ill do it a few days sooner so it gets a chance to settle before bottling. Is it required to rack yet again in a few days or should i just let it settle the second time and bottle? Regarding the sediment i suspect its dead yeast as its very fine almost whispy like flour...so i guess a little added b vitemins wont hurt anyone.
I say rack it again just before bottling; it is a good habit to get into. With whites you can see a "dusting" that you'll not see with a red but even with whites looking perfectly clear at the bottom of the carboy I recommend racking one last time just before bottling.
 

kuziwk

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I would also get the correct tubing for your siphon. regards to your filter question, with the layer of sediment described the filter would clog quickly and not be of any benefit. racking as stated above to another carboy before bottling is the answer. I would suggest tasting this wine over time and if it begins to get off tastes or odors, empty all of the other bottle let it settle and re-bottle.
I just thought of another good idea, i can siphon each bottle into the decanter without disturbing any of the sediment at the bottom, this would prove better than trying to decant carefully. It just means i cant really bring any of the bottles to any ones house so live and learn i guess. I would rack another time in the next batch of wine...just a pain as i would have to clean another carboy yet again...dont like racking multiple times. Also the correct tubing allowing me to use the bottle filler is half the battle as it was very hard to fill the bottles consistently.
 

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