When to rack?

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Nov 15, 2006
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Hi There!

I'm new, not completely unexperienced...I'm working on my 5th batch of wine. I've tried a couple of different kits and am a little confused as to whether or not to rack after fermentation, before de-gassing. I've now come accross 2 sets of instructions saying that stirring up the sediment during de-gassing helps the clearing process. I did it that way once when the instructions with my kit said to but haven't tried it since. Shouldn't they all work the same way considering they all use the same clearing agents?
It may seem trivial but considering I only have one carboy it can be time consuming to rack to a primary, clean and sanitize the carboy and rack back to the carboy.

Advise it greatly appreciated!


Senior Member
Nov 5, 2006
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My advice if making a kit is to follow that specific kit's instructions. Yes they differ, so do the clearing agents (sometimes).

If you don't like racking twice, get an extra carboy. Your choice...spend a bit of money or spend some extra time.

BTW....some consider the hobby of wine making to actually be the hobby of collecting carboys. The wine making is just to use the carboys. :p



I'd also get another carboy, rack to it and degas then. Carboys are fairly cheap (even in the UK!) and it'll save you 'double cleaning/sanitizing'. You can then also rack to tertiary into glass for an even clearer wine!:)


Senior Member
Jun 20, 2005
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As stated, different kits have different instructions. Even in the same brands. I make primarily Wine Expert kits as that is what my dealer carries. I have 2 kits going right now, a Crushendo Suer Tuscan and an Estate Series Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon. I started both these kits the same day and both were ready to stabilize the same day. Both are Wine Expert kits. For the Estate Series Cab the directions are as most high end WE kits. You add the K-Meta and Sorbate to the carboy and mix it up with the lees. You do not rack, You degass and add clearing agent. You wait 10 days and rack the wine after it is clear.

For the Crushendo the instructions state to rack the wine, add the agents and degass. This is the importance of reading the instructions prior to getting started at the task at hand. This was the first Crushendo I have made. I pulled the instructions out and was surprised to see that it said to rack off the sediment prior to adding the additives and degassing. I only had one available carboy so I was good to go as the other kit I just had to add the stuff to the current carboy and mix it all up, sediment and all. Next racking I will have to have 2 available carboys clean and sanitized to do the final racking.

From all of this, all I can stress is follow the instructions for the particular kit. As said, even the same brands have various instruction. Vintners Reserve kits have less racking than the Selection and Estate Series kits. The Crushendo have yet an additional racking. What it really all boils down to is the amount of solids in the wine. The more solids, the more racking. The more solids the fuller body the wine will be. Just review and follow those directions every time no matter how many kits you have made. You can be surprised at times.

Smurfe :)

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