Unintentional Sur Lie?

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vinny

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SO...

When I did my second rack on my Vineco Pinot Grigio kit, I vacuum transferred. I turned off the pump and while it was still under pressure it started to pull back into the original carboy. My reaction was slow and I ended up with a litre of wine all mixed up with the yeast. Because I had made a Skeeter Pee, I saved it for the slurry. Well, now it's a litre of wine with about a 1/4 litre of yeast at the bottom and it's been in the wine fridge for 3+ months..

Last night I needed a splash of wine, nothing was open and I wasn't drinking. I had a taste before I added it to the pan.. Of course, you don't want to taint anything.

Well.. It had a really nice, tart and full flavour. Good balance and I thought WOW, that's really good.

This inspired me to try the batch in bulk. It has also come along, but it isn't where this one is.

This morning I decide to do a side by side comparison. First the bulk, which is coming together, but still lacks a little acidity, then the accident. There is a nutty, almost perceivably yeasty quality, but the ratio of yeast to wine is... extreme. There seems to be a brightness that is missing from the bulk, also a sense of balance. I can't explain it, the accident is just more... full, pleasant, rounded! Maybe rounded is the word. I am also tasting chilled and room temperature, so I suspect there is a lift there as well, but there is definitely a positive difference.

I am learning that with time and patience one can completely lose grasp on a plan. I was going to split the bulk in two and test tartaric vs acid blend to up the acidity a touch, then a blend of the two at bottling. I just racked a Grillo Pinot Grigio and it has a very upfront unripe tart green apple/grape acidity to it. It is obviously very young, but I have no idea where it will blend to. It is not subtle. More like a punch in the face, too much for me. I am thinking it might do well with a blend of the original PG so I do not want to raise the acidity, yet.

I am thinking I will split the batch as planned and let 3 gallons sit until the Grillo PG is farther along and I can make a decision on where the acid is.

That leaves me 3 gallons to adjust and I am thinking I will increase the acid and bottle 2 gallons and add the accident to a gallon jug and top up with the adjusted PG.

I bought a magnetic stirrer so I can make a stir plate (Way more fun than buying one!) which I can't for the life of me find, so I just ordered another. :rolleyes: My wine making area is not big enough to lose things, yet. I was thinking of trying Tim V's constant battonage sur lie experiment once it arrives..

I am mostly sharing because it was an unintentional and interesting surprise, but I'd like to hear any thoughts. Except the ones about organization... I'll find it! 😆
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This is probably how a lot of techniques were discovered. Next time I make a Sauvignon Blanc (one of my favorite whites) I'm considering leaving it on the lees for a few months. I'll stir daily during ferment, and when it drops below 1.000, rack to a carboy, leaving the thick sludge behind. Then stir daily for a month, taking tiny tasting samples every few days, and make subsequent steps based upon the wine itself. I'd love to do 2 carboys, on as described, and the other using fining agents after ferment to clear it. The differences may be as remarkable as you discovered.

I say that I learn something new on WMT every week, and it's very true. Sometimes it's from the folks with years of experience, and sometimes is from newer folks.
 

FlamingoEmporium

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I’ve noticed refrigeration seems to change the taste. The partial bottles that go in the fridge seem a bit mellowed even though they haven’t “aged” any where near as long as the bulk. (I’m assuming refrigeration slows down aging) but yet the cold seems to do something for masking the power of a wine, but it could just be the lees it’s sitting on. Most of my jArs in the fridge Are at least 1/3 lees on the bottom as in your protocol.
 

vinny

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I say that I learn something new on WMT every week, and it's very true. Sometimes it's from the folks with years of experience, and sometimes is from newer folks.

A blunder isn't always a bad thing! 🙂

Side by side would be very interesting. Your standard kit per instructions and then your method above.

Tim used the stir plate for 2 months. I think I might try a month and sample. I don't want to overdo it. It already has notable differences.

It's panning out completely different than I intended, but I will get to try most of my intended experiments in one shot. I'm not going to have the tartaric and acid blend side by side, but I will get the acid adjustment, the bottle vs bulk aging, and the sur lie compared to the bulk.

I also have a dandelion and carrot in primary. Both are heavy on the chemicals. K-meta, DAP, energizer, and enzymes, acid blend, and tannins added to both. I plan to do 2 more carrot, and 1 dandelion. All natural this time. Maybe tannins and acid, depending on the recipe, but no chems.

Gotta keep it interesting!
 

vinny

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I’ve noticed refrigeration seems to change the taste. The partial bottles that go in the fridge seem a bit mellowed even though they haven’t “aged” any where near as long as the bulk. (I’m assuming refrigeration slows down aging) but yet the cold seems to do something for masking the power of a wine, but it could just be the lees it’s sitting on. Most of my jArs in the fridge Are at least 1/3 lees on the bottom as in your protocol.

I think I stumbled on this just by dumb, blind luck. I have the shiraz in there as well. There is about a 3rd of a jar of lees and an inch of wine. So, half full. I just tasted it to see if it is viable. The sample was very thin and pale in colour. The flavor, not unpleasant, but muddled and uncharacteristic of the base.

The PG popped just slightly when I opened it. There was just a touch of headspace and it obviously off gassed just enough to seal it in CO2, and not spoil.

I'm making assumptions, but I would assume the amount of headspace and the ratio of yeast to wine was the reason the shiraz has no interesting qualities. I would imagine in your case the headspace is a similar issue and likely the available O2 could cause the softening? 🤷‍♂️ but WDIK?

Learning everyday! :db
 
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