strain lees

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Senior Member
Feb 27, 2009
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Does anyone try to strain or filter lees? I am talking at the first racking, a few of my batches have ended up with quite a batch of lees. That is a lot of potential wine to dump. What do you do with the stuff?
When racking you leave it (lees) behind. Then down the drain. What are you using to rack?
At first Rack I put remains in tall bottle. It hold about 2 gallons. let it sit for day and rack it off but without any lees in it at al(CLEAN)l. I use that for topping off batch throw out rest
You may be racking to early as well.
What wine is fermenting? If fruit yes you will have alot to drop.
Tom, it is a plum wine, I started with 7 gallons. It has was down to .992 for 3 weeks. Thers was a 6 inch layer in the bottom of the carboy. I used an auto siphon to get the wine off. It just seems there is a lot of wine left in there. I did put it into bottles and put in the fridge to see if it will settle off.
Pulp fermented?

Many here put the pulp into a leg of pantyhose so the bulk of the pulp can be removed easily.

I don't usually bother with the pantyhose, and first racking from primary to secondary is strained with a large kitchen colander lined with muslin or chux cloth into a bucket and then transferred from there to the secondary. It saves lots of racking later...

Allie, I did put the plums in a nylon mesh bag and removed that when I switched to secondary fermentation.

I have tried using the pantyhose.. never saw the difference with fruit such as .. apples/plums/peaches.. so just flagged it and stuck the fruit in the primary.

Suggest you try the colander/lined with muslin method.. it's more effective.

just my opinion.

I dont strain the lees but I do rack many times and leave whats a mess in a smaller vessel to use for topping off the next time and generally dont waste any wine.
You may be racking to early as well.
What wine is fermenting? If fruit yes you will have alot to drop.


I make loads of plum wines (120 liter this year again, about 32 gallon) divided over several 30 liter carboys and never have that much lees.


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