To rack or not to rack (a question of 'when')

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Dec 16, 2021
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I'm reading conflicting information about the timing of the first racking. Some say after completion of primary fermentation, 4 days or so after pressing. Others say let the wine stay on the gross lees during MLF with bi-monthly stirrings, racking after 8 or so months, that there are beneficial nutrients in the lees that will feed the ML bacteria. What say you? What's your experience?

My standard protocol for reds is to press, wait 24/48 hours, rack to vessel and start mlf. My experience is that the gross lees that comes out that first racking can be pretty heavy. I like a fruit forward, new world style wine, so avoiding conditions that would give you a more earthy wine is what I am in pursuit of. I add acti-ml to make sure there is adequate nutrient for the mlb.

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