Time between final racking & bottling?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Bmd2k1

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
142
Reaction score
87
I'm curious how much time peeps typically have between their final racking after bulk aging & bottling for Red vinos?

Cheers!
 
Last edited:

Jim Welch

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
115
Reaction score
148
I'll preface this by saying I am a relatively new winemaker so not as experienced as many folks here; after a post fining racking I do 6 month bulk aging then bottle.
 

bstnh1

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
1,007
Reaction score
1,350
Location
In the woods of New Hampshire
I don't bulk age very long - whites 4-6 weeks usually; reds I might go 2 -3 months. Never had a problem with any sediment even though I don't filter. BUT, I rack several times during those periods and won't consider bottling until I see a racking with zero sediment and then I wait and rack again in two weeks and bottle.
 

Venatorscribe

bucket chemist
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
342
Reaction score
381
Similar to above. I hold in bulk for twelve to eighteen months - racking every three months in the early phases. Then a final rack and general check up a day or two before bottling. I also don’t filter or use heavy fining agents. K-meta at each racking.
 

Old Corker

Phil
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
193
Reaction score
312
Location
Central Texas
I'm curious how much time peeps typically have between their final racking after bulk aging & bottling for Red vinos?

Cheers!
I'm in my 4th year of making wine (all kits) and am still honing my process. I don't think I've done the final rack to bottle piece the exact same way twice yet. I stopped using fining agents over a year ago letting time do the work and have recently started leaving out the bentonite. I do filter. Started doing it on my second batch and I like the way my wine looks so just keep doing it. I don't know if filtering has a negative impact on the wine. I have heard enough people on this forum say they don't to make me wonder but I do not know if it is because it is simply not necessary. To answer your question though. I have bottled immediately after filtering and as long as a day or two after. My preferred target timing is to filter in the morning and bottle that evening. With that I usually don't bother with topping up for those few hours and it usually leaves very little head space.
 

DaveMcC

Escaping the prison of past and future, with wine.
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
38
Reaction score
24
Location
Upstate South Carolina
That regimen makes good sense to me. It all depends on the wine, of course. My 2019, which earned a bronze in the American Wine Society Amateur competition, I bottled after 10 months but my 2020 will wait a full 12 months or longer before I decide to bottle, just because of how it is progressing. I taste test and measure my wines often to assess readiness for bottling.
 
Last edited:

winemaker81

wine dabbler
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
2,047
Reaction score
3,584
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
@Bmd2k1, if I understand your question correctly, my answer is zero. I rack during bulk aging only if I have a significant buildup of sediment -- gross lees. By the time the wine is bulk aging there should be no gross lees ... but stuff happens.

If I see a layer of fine lees, which is yeast solids, I don't rack. Regardless, I add 1/4 tsp K-meta per 5/6 gallons of wine at each racking, and every 3 months during bulk aging.

The following assumes the wine is clear.

At the end of bulk aging, I rack -- I tilt the carboy, the racking cane does not touch the bottom, and I do not rack all the way down, leaving probably a bottle's worth. Even if sediment is not visible, it's possible there's a very fine layer on the bottom of the carboy so my process assumes it's there.

Add K-meta and bottle the racked wine. If the remainder is clear, it also gets bottled. If not it goes into the fridge for a week, and may get bottled or used, depending on circumstances.

My goal is to get 24 clear bottles from a 19 liter carboy -- bottle 25 will get used if it's muddy or not.

Barrels are a bit trickier, as there's no visibility. However, I use the same process, carefully not racking all the way to the bottom.
 

Steve Wargo

Enthusiast DIYer
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
130
Reaction score
131
Location
Michigan
A majority of my Fall 2019 Reds are bulk aging in 5-gallon carboys. After about 3-4 rackings (9mo - Year) I just let them age in the carboy, until bottling time. I'll bottle the 2019 vintages before the fall of 2021, and then age for another year. Now, some of the 2019 Reds sacrificed themselves for my sanity during 2020 through early 2021. Luckily I had extra. :)
 

Latest posts

Top