Vessel Management - Post pressing

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Rocktop

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
95
Reaction score
79
Morning all, I am getting ready for my reds to come in over the next week or so.
This is the first year I will be aging in a 60 gallon barrel, which is a large uptick in quantity for me.
I was hoping to get some insight on how others handle everything post pressing. I will be co-inoculating MLF in my primaries as I have limited glass, unless I get bottling soon but I was hoping to let my demi-jons age for another 6 months.
I will be using brute type tubs as primaries.
After pressing, what vessel do you use to settle out the gross lees? Anyone press and then put back into clean primary tubs for a day to settle out the gross lees, or does it have to be into glass or sealed stainless?

Once settled off the gross lees, the plan is to rack straight into the barrel to finish MLF and begin aging.
My next question is how often and how does everyone handle racking during aging with only one barrel? Can I rack into my primaries for the length of time it takes to wash out and drain the barrel?

Advice appreciated.

RT
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,202
Reaction score
1,937
Location
Sacramento Metro
I tend to do less (15-20) gallons at a time and SOP is to press into carboys, and let things settle out for 2-3 days, then rack from carboys to stainless for aging. It's just easier to see where the sludge starts with carboys. If I were doing 60 gallons, I'd likely do an intermediate step in some sort of tank like a flex tank.
 

BarrelMonkey

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
92
Reaction score
135
Location
Northern California
I am at the same stage and nearly done fermenting 1/2 ton grapes, though I'm fortunate in having a spare barrel - so I plan to drain/press into one barrel (plus carboys/kegs to take any excess), leave to settle gross lees and then rack into my final aging barrel. If you don't have another 60 gal container, I think you could get away with settling the lees in brutes as long as you have lids for them. But that headspace is a liability, even for a day or two. Can you get hold of a pound or two of dry ice? If so, I'd hang a bag of dry ice inside each of the brutes during the time you're settling lees. That will go a long way to protecting your wine from both oxygen and flies.
 
Last edited:

mainshipfred

Junior Member
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
4,572
Reaction score
3,694
Location
Centerville, Northern Virginia
I can see dealing with that quantity and having only one vessel would cause a problem. I think @BarrelMonkey's dry ice idea is a great solution for racking off the gross lees. The other rackings I dont see why you couldn't go back to the primary and back again.
 

VinesnBines

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
483
Reaction score
525
I let my fresh pressed juice sit for a day to settle. I pressed at 1.010 so I still have active fermentation so no concern of headspace. I think the brutes will be your best bet and then as Fred says, rack back to the primary and back into the barrel.
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
2,948
Reaction score
6,475
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
I'm doing a pair of smaller batches (600 lbs grapes total) and use a 54 liter demijohn for one of the batches, and a 25 liter demijohn and 5 gallon carboys for the remainder. Post-pressing the wine goes into these containers, and 2-3 weeks later I rack off the gross lees.

The relatively thin glass of the demijohns is a bit off-putting, but I'm considering buying another 54 liter as it works well for clearing.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,535
Reaction score
4,448
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
The red wine making steps for a red barrel that I use are:

- harvest, destem/crush open ferment in macrobin
- add tartaric acid if required, SO2 25-50 ppm
- wait 24 hrs, inoculate, using GoFerm
- first sign of fermentation, add FermK
- open top, covered with screen or cloth, punch down 3X daily
- 1/3 sugar drop, add FermK
- press at <1 brix
- let pressed wine settle for 24 hours in 44 gallon brutes
- rack into barrel
- inoculate mlb, with nutrient
- rack to Brutes when mlf complete
- Rinse barrel, transfer wine back to barrel
- add SO2 based on pH
- rack 3-4 months later
- measure and add SO2 based on pH
- rack to Brutes 3-4 months later, rinse barrel and return (if required, optional rack for me)
- measure and add SO2 based on pH
- (total time since harvest 11-12 months)
- 12-24 hours before bottling rack into closed containers, measure and add SO2 based on pH
- bottle
 

Rocktop

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
95
Reaction score
79
@NorCal, that is a perfect summary, exactly what I was looking for thank you!
@winemaker81 , wouldn't 300 lb of grapes far exceed a 54L demi-jon? I assume that woudl yield about 75L?
Thank you all.

RT
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
WMT Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
2,948
Reaction score
6,475
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
wouldn't 300 lb of grapes far exceed a 54L demi-jon? I assume that woudl yield about 75L?
You're right -- I didn't read my own notes carefully enough. 😞

I used the demijohn + 23 liter carboy. Regardless of my reading skills (or lack thereof), I still like the 54 liter demijohn for space efficiency. The one drawback is that once it's full, it's not moving other than to slide it on the counter.
 

BarrelMonkey

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
92
Reaction score
135
Location
Northern California
The other rackings I dont see why you couldn't go back to the primary and back again.
TBH I would use the dry ice even if I wanted to rack and return at some later stage. Even if it's only for 30 min or so while you clean the barrel, that's a lot of surface area to leave exposed, not to mention the potential aeration from pumping wine in and out of the various vessels.

How many more times do you anticipate racking, though? Assuming I get a clean rack off gross lees, I plan on aging in the same vessel and not moving wine again until I'm close to bottling...

Here is my primary fermenter with dry ice bag. -1.0 brix today, planning to drain and press on Saturday!

Ridley_dryice.jpg
 

Rocktop

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
95
Reaction score
79
Very cool, literally haha.
Not sure if anyone around here sells dry ice.
I’ll ask around.

txs
RT
 

Rice_Guy

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
2,181
Reaction score
2,320
Location
Food Industry - - Retired
FYI, ,,, dry ice is used in retail ice cream to deliver it to parties where there is no freezer ,,, it is normal if I am having ingredient samples/ finished frozen goods shipped to me they are shipped with dry ice.
Not sure if anyone around here sells dry ice.
 

pete1325

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
491
Reaction score
119
Location
Bartlett, IL
I use 6 gallon buckets as primary fermenters post crush. wait three weeks, rack off the gross lees into glass or small barrels. the buckets are easy to cause of the handles. some lids' have the pour nozzle that pops up for pouring. they also have rubber gaskets when snapped tight won't leak and you can see when you are close to the ugly stuff. I ferment in my dining room and carry them downstairs to my wine room when they hit 1.000 or less, normally in three weeks. seems each year I do something different.
 

Rocktop

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
95
Reaction score
79
Well today was the day. Thank you all for the advice, I felt pressing went extremely well.
I cobbled together all my remaining containers to get the right volume.
I filled 2 of my smaller primaries almost to the top and then sealed with saran wrap. I pressed a little bit early so Co2 still being produced and I am very comfortable with how little exposure might occur as I wait the next 24 hours to settle the gross lees.
 

Attachments

Latest posts

Top