- Dec 23, 2021
- Reaction score
I'm looking for a little clarity here. Everything I read says not to let wine sit on the gross lees too long. First, how long is too long? and what counts as gross lees?
I have an elderberry that is three weeks out of the primary and there appears to be about two inches of junk in the bottom of the carboy including some berry skins and seeds that I must have sucked up in the racking cane... I assume this is gross lees and I was thinking I should rack it ASAP.
I have an apple that sat in the carboy for four weeks before I racked it off nearly six inches of lees. It sat for three additional weeks with no clearing at all and then today I looked, and it had cleared! Now there is about 1/4 inch of lees on the bottom. Should I let this go longer or rack it now that it has cleared? I have read that apple doesn't need a lot of aging so do I just wait a few months and bottle or rack it again then wait a few months?
I pulled the straining bags and racked my wild grape to a carboy three weeks ago at SG 1.014 and it still looks like purple ink. There wasn't much for solids in the primary, and now it looks like there is about 1" of lees in the bottom of the carboy... should I rack it now or wait until it clears? Also, the more I read the more I see people talking about aging red grape wines for years. I'm OK I'm trying to,be patient here, so I was thinking about putting it in the cellar for some long bulk aging. Should I rack it first? I also picked up a few medium toast French oak spirals at a local brew shop. I was thiking of adding one... should I be tasting it every few weeks? How do I know when to pull it out?
My beet wine has been racked twice already and has just a dusting on the bottom of the carboy. It's sitting in the cellar now and I was assuming it's good to go for long-term bulk aging. Do I need to rack at some point, or can it sit like this for a year?
Basically, I'm wondering about how much lees is too much for bulk aging and should I be on a set schedule for racking, or do I let the wine tell me?
And thank you all for your comments... I feel like this forum has already upped my wine making game!
I've made many kit wines over the years and to me "gross lees" are the sediment that falls to the bottom of the bucket during primary fermentation. Some kits require you to transfer your must from primary to secondary leaving as much as possible of this "gross" sediment after a week, whereas some kit instructions have you do so after 2 weeks. I recommend no longer than that.