Sparkling wine disgorgement

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Manimal

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
211
Reaction score
6
Hey guys/gals,

So I made a sparkling apple wine as an experiment (ended up with only 4 bottles) and did the disgorgement yesterday. Everything went according to plan despite it being my first time. I was left wondering what the big deal was with disgorgement?!! It was pretty easy... Anyways, I checked out my bottles this morning and I noticed some friggin' sediment in them still! I know what I did wrong... I didn't allow my necks to freeze enough and so when I disgorged the lees, some sediment must have worked its way back into the wine. I couldn't see it at the time since the wine was frothy due to the agitation thereby stirring up the lees, but this is the only possible explanation. After disgorgement, I did add a small amount of wine conditioner as well as sorbate and sulfite (both diluted in solution) and for the two bottles that required topping I used some reserved base wine, but it was free and clear of any sediment. So I'm sure it was my freezing technique... I used the brine method, but I obviously didn't wait long enough.

Anyways, I'm thinking that I'm just going to riddle the wine standing upright until all the sediment is in the BOTTOM of the bottle, chill them well and then siphon the wine off the lees into new sanitized bottles... has anyone ever tried siphoning sparkling wine? I can't imagine that the pressure loss/foaming/wine loss would be any greater than through the traditional disgorgment technique... if this works well, I'll probably do this for my next batch of sparkling rather than the frozen yeast plug technique. All in all, I think that my sparkling wine experiment was a success and went quite well. I think I'll be doing an 11L batch of sparkling Chardonnay next.

Anyways, if anyone has any relevant experience or thoughts, let me know!

Ryan
 

St Allie

Tech Administrator
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
2,879
Reaction score
14
Sorry Ryan..

I've read the books on sparkling wines and it just looks like a lot of work!.. That said, I do make a homemade rhubarb sparkling wine, it takes 3 weeks and is not alcoholic, my ( young) daughters view it as a special treat. The sediment is very small.. however, I strain it three times before bottling. Perhaps extra straining through boiled muslin before bottling will help with your next batch?

Allie
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
I tend to think you may loose more carbonation by siphining and take longer exposing the wine to warmer temps and the warmer the temp the more carbonation you will lose.
 

Manimal

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
211
Reaction score
6
Thanks for the input.

I plan on chilling the wine VERY well to minimize carbonation loss due to warmer temps. Also, it only takes about ten seconds or so to siphon the wine from one bottle to another after which I'll immediately top up any wine as necessary and pop a new closure on and seal up the bottle, so I don't think it will be exposed for too long. Ideally, I would only be doing this once, so being that I have to open up the bottles twice this time I'm sure the wine will end up a little lower in pressure than I would like, but it should still be nice and sparkling.

Anyways, I'll update you once I've tried the siphoning technique and let you know how it turns out.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
Dry ice works really good for this as it freezes the wine in about 1/4 of the time but be careful and where gloves if you decide to go this method as it can burn you easily.
 

Manimal

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
211
Reaction score
6
So I tried siphoning one of the bottles and I found out why it isn't done this way.... I allowed the sediment to settle to the bottom and then I chilled the bottles VERY well and I removed the cork VERY gently... however, as soon as the cork was removed, it began to rush bubbles to the surface, thereby re-suspending the lees. There was no way to siphon the wine off the sediment since it was now cloudy again. I thought that this might happen (just think of what happens when you open a bottle of pop, right?) Anyways, this was only a small trial batch (4 bottles... 3 now, since I drank the one I opened!) so I'm just going to drink the remaining bottles with the little bit of sediment in them... a little cloudiness doesn't bother me THAT much.

Next time I'll have to freeze the necks more... thanks for the dry ice tip, that would work nicely.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
277
You could easily just invert them now and do it the right way, it probably wouldnt take that long to get the sediment to the top, flip them over now and tap them down on their tops every few days so that it compacts into the stopper.
 

Manimal

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
211
Reaction score
6
I thought about doing that, but I don't want to lose any more carbonation by opening them again... maybe I'll do it for one of the remaining bottles, just to have one perfectly clear one. I'm not going to get too hung up on fixing these ones since I'm going to start a bigger batch of sparkling wine soon.
 
Top