Sediment Question

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Apr 24, 2009
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I am brewing a gallon each of strawberry and cherry wine. When I siphoned from the primary bucket to the glass jug, I had read somewhere to stir first to get the yeast moving and then siphon. Well, that obviously brought a lot of sediment with it.

First question, should I resiphon after all the sediment settles?

Second question, if so, what do I do about the loss of volume? Can I top off with water?

Any help you can provide is appreciated! Thank you!
You will need to rack it again (siphon) in the near future. The reason many stir up the primary is to bring the yeast with the wine to the secondary. The sediment bed is where the yeast is. Normally you start your fermentation in the primary and let it ferment down to a defined SG level and then transfer to the secondary to reduce the head space of the wine surface to reduce oxidation. You let the fermentation continue to terminal gravity which is the SG you consider the wine done. You then rack the wine off the lees (sediment) bed and stabilize and degas the wine and let it set to clear. You may have to rack it a few more times to help it clear.

In regards to topping with water, you can do that. Every time you do though you will water down the wine. A little is OK though. So fruits like strawberry don't throw a lot of sediment though so there isn't a lot of waste. This is one of the major reasons I love the steam juicer to make fruit wines with.
You saying steam juicers leave no sediment? I have only made fruit wines with the fruit added in a "bag".
Is this your 1st batch? tell us about yourself and WELCOME aboard ! :b
No, you still have sediment but it is greatly reduced. Sediment is the yeast along with heavy solids that fall out of the solution. You don't have the actual fruit solids suspended in the solution that will fall out. You will always have the yeast bed. Every batch I have steamed though had a much thinner lees bed than when I did a similar batch with the fruit in a bag in the primary.
So when I rack a few more times, it is ok to lose that volume? I don't need to reduce the head space after each racking?
So when I rack a few more times, it is ok to lose that volume? I don't need to reduce the head space after each racking?

First : Correct me if I am wrong Smurfe.:n

After the first racking you should keep air away from the wine. You could rack into smaller jugs like a 3L Carlo Rossi bottle. I like to drop down in secondary size to prevent watering down the wine too much. But head space should be kept to a minimum one way or another. Steve:b
When racking if it is still fermenting there is no worries about head space as the C02 created by fermentation will remove the air from your carboy but once it stops and you open it up then you are at risk of oxidation so rack it to a vessel with little head space then.
Ok. It's been a few weeks here and I've racked from the secondary fermenter to a clean racking jug. Here is my next question. I accidentally sucked up about half of the sediment that was in the bottom of the secondary fermenter. Is this going to hurt anything? Can I wait to do a better job in a few months or is that sediment going to affect the taste? Sorry if I didn't do a good job explaining here, but your help is appreciated.
Youll be fine as thats what usually happens, besides, the sediment that you have sucked up a little extra time will help any other sloids that will slowly still fallout over time. I will sometimes rack 4-5 times adding sulfites at 3-5 month intervals depending on S02 levels present.
We all do it sometime and it will just drop back down. Relax and have a glass ot something (wine) LOL