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Why wait to Bottle?

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drainsurgeon

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OK, I know the majority on this forum feel that bulk aging benefits a wine.

I have a Raspberry Merlot kit (Island Mist) that I started about 2 months ago. The directions say I could have bottled a month ago. I have racked it twice. Kmeta, sorbate and back sweetened it 6 weeks ago per instructions. It is clear as a bell. No lees or sediment in the bottom of the carboy. I don't plan to tweak it at all because it tastes great already.

I really see no benefit to waiting 3-4-6-8 months to bottle. If aging will make it better, that can happen in the bottle....can't it?

I've got my vest on. Fire away! :gb
 

Redbird1

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I've bottled my mist kits within a month or so of the end of fermentation. I think you'll find that a lot of people do the same.

Longer bulk aging is generally reserved for wines that you expect my need some tweaks (oak, cold stabilize, finishing tannins, acid/pH tweaks, etc.) and/or wines that you want to have clear/degas naturally.

As with most things in winemaking, it is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
 
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skeenatron

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When aging in an oak barrel you get a lot of micro-oxygenation that happens over the 15-24 months you have your wine in there. You lose water and/or ethanol and replace it with more wine, concentrating it. Your tannins and flavors change because of these actions, giving you the oak aged wine you'd expect from a well made, expensive red. If you are aging in a airlocked carboy, the conditions are totally different right? No micro-oxygenation, no concentrating. In fact I'd imagine you probably get less oxygen exchange in the carboy than you do after bottling it because corks allow for gas exchange. Anyway, if you aren't aging in oak I'd say you may be on to something. Why wait to bottle indeed.
 

Johnd

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I'm a steadfast bulk / barrel ager for my grape wines and good quality kits, but not so much with the Island Mist type kits. Once they are clear as a bell, I filter them into a new carboy, add sulfite, and bottle. My experience has been that, even though they are clear quickly, I will still get a small amount of sediment accumulation while they sit in the bottles, haven't seen that happen since I started to filter them.
 

drainsurgeon

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I'm a steadfast bulk / barrel ager for my grape wines and good quality kits, but not so much with the Island Mist type kits. Once they are clear as a bell, I filter them into a new carboy, add sulfite, and bottle. My experience has been that, even though they are clear quickly, I will still get a small amount of sediment accumulation while they sit in the bottles, haven't seen that happen since I started to filter them.
I've been making the kits for 8 or 9 years now, and have never experienced the sediment that you are referring to. I did get some diamonds this spring after my stock being exposed to some cold temps over the winter, but that is different than sediment.

The only thing I do differently than what the directions say is that when they say to go ahead and bottle, I usually rack one more time and wait an extra week or two before bottling.

Maybe I've just been lucky!
 

Johnd

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I've been making the kits for 8 or 9 years now, and have never experienced the sediment that you are referring to. I did get some diamonds this spring after my stock being exposed to some cold temps over the winter, but that is different than sediment.

The only thing I do differently than what the directions say is that when they say to go ahead and bottle, I usually rack one more time and wait an extra week or two before bottling.

Maybe I've just been lucky!
No discredit to your experience, it just hasn't been the same as mine.

The benefit of being the head winemaker, is that you can do it however you like, and I can do it the way I like.
 

Scooter68

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I would imagine with kit wines the only uncontrolled "ingredients" would be temperature and Water (If added per kit directions). So bottling 'early' instead of aging in bulk would involve a lot less chance for unexpected things such as sediment. So why not bottle 'early?' For those who make their wines from scratch or with concentrates made just for wine. (Such as vineyard prepared juices) there is always the opportunity for some variable unforeseen or a undetected error/variance in the process. When that happens, why not wait?

If you aren't going to drink it or give it away until it's aged why not age in bulk? Individual bottles take up a lot more space than carboys of any size.

Another one of those hard fast rules...... that isn't!

ALL Part of what makes home wine making both a challenge and an adventure with occasional ventures into the world of the unknown uncharted territories of life.
 

dcbrown73

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Sediment would be my concern, it only takes a tiny amount for someone to say "ewww what's that?"
If you have a known recipe that works really well and you know no tweaks will be needed. Then I would think the bulk aging isn't about aging. It's more about sediment.

A fruit (or quick drink) wine you are going to drink within a year. Age it long enough where you don't get floaties, then bottle it. (aging a bit longer is better than stripping the wine with excess clarifiers / fining agents)
 

Brickhouse

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I am strictly doing kit wines at the moment. High end 18L kits, but kit wines nonetheless.

I bottled one at 3 months bulk aged and each bottle has some sediment in it. The next one will have aged 9 months and rest no earlier than that. I've already noticed that the ones I've aged for 6 months now have next to no sediment and it will only improve.

Bulk aging for me takes out the sediment. It also prevents me from diving into bottles that are too young to the taste, because they are bottled and available. If they are in carboy, then I'm forced to stay out of them.
 

drainsurgeon

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Bulk aging for me takes out the sediment. It also prevents me from diving into bottles that are too young to the taste, because they are bottled and available. If they are in carboy, then I'm forced to stay out of them.
__________________
-Wyatt-

Thats probably the best reason right there LOL! The early drinkers that get bottled early often get drank early too. I did go ahead and bottle this batch and there are already 4 bottles gone. Thats what happens when family like your wine!

As always, thanks for the reply's. :b
 

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