Wine Kit Question

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Vinoman

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I am making a Selection dry wine kit (white wine) and have racked the wine from the primary fermenter. After 7 days in the secondary carboy the fermentation is complete and my sp. grav. is .992. I am supposed to wait three more days before degassing, stabilizing and clearing, with the wine staying on the lees during this process.

My question is can I rack the wine off the lees now, rather than mixing it all up in the wine, with degassing, stabilizing and clearing? My last batch had a "chemical" scent with off flavors and I thought getting it off the lees might prevent this.

Any advice?
 

Arne

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If you leave it alone for a couple of days the lees will compact some and it will be easier to leave them in the carboy. Then rack it off and you can stir it up for degassing without mixing them back in. Shouldn't give any off taste by leaving them in for a couple more days, at least you should get rid of more of the lees by waiting. Arne.
 

bkisel

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Is this a WE Selection series kit? If so go ahead. You just checked your SG 3 days earlier than the kit instructions say to and found your wine dry. I don't see where the instructions want you to mix the sediment back in - see step 2 of instructions which says to leave the sediment behind..

Stabilizing and Clearing instructions that I'm looking at says...

After 10 days, check your specific gravity.
It should be 0.996 or less. If it is higher than
0.996 wait 2 days and measure again—
remember, temperatures below 22–24°C
(72–75°F) will extend fermentation time.
If you do not verify this gravity
reading, your wine may not
clear properly!
Before proceeding, clean and sanitise
hydrometer, test jar, wine thief, carboy and
spoon. Rinse well.
NOTE:
• The wine needs extremely vigorous stirring during this stage.
Without hard stirring, trapped gas in the wine will prevent
clearing. At each stirring, whip the wine hard. Drill-mounted
stirring devices (see your retailer) can ensure efficient
degassing.
• You will need to rack the wine into a clean carboy before
fining and stabilising. If you do not have a second carboy,
you may rack the wine into your primary fermenter, clean
your original carboy and then rack the wine into it.
1. Place the carboy up at least 1 meter (3 ft.) on a sturdy table.
2. Carefully siphon wine into a clean, sanitised 23 litre (6 US gallons) carboy.
Leave thick sediment behind, but make sure to transfer all of the liquid.

3. Dissolve contents of package(s) #3 (metabisulphite) and package(s) #4
(sorbate) in 125 ml (½ cup) of cool water. Add to carboy and stir vigorously
for 2 minutes to disperse the stabilisers and drive off CO2. Be sure to stir
hard enough to agitate gas out of the wine.
4. Shake contents of package(s) #5 (Chitosan clarifier). Carefully cut open
the corner of the pouch(es) and pour contents into carboy. Stir vigorously
for another 2 minutes to degas the wine. If you do not degas the wine
completely, it will not clear.
5. If your kit has cubes, add them now. Cut open the bag(s) of oak cubes and
drop them into the carboy. They may initially float on top of the wine. This is
normal, and they will sink in a few days.
6. Do not add any additional water (`top up’) to your carboy at this time.
Topping up will change the character of your wine. Your wine will not
oxidise or spoil during the time remaining to bottling.
7. Fill airlock halfway with water and reattach bung and airlock to carboy.
8. Leave carboy in your fermentation area at the temperature of 22–24°C
(72–75°F) for 8 days to clear.
 
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Vinoman

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Wine kit

Thank you Arne and BKisel.

These answers are great. I'll rack it off the lees tomorrow and then degas, stabilize and clear. Appreciate the quick response.
 

bkisel

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Thank you Arne and BKisel.

These answers are great. I'll rack it off the lees tomorrow and then degas, stabilize and clear. Appreciate the quick response.
Ugh oh!

I just looked at a hard copy instruction sheet for my WE Selection Chilean Carmener kit and it says...

NOTE: Do NOT rack the wine before stabilizing and fining. Winexpert kits require that you stir the sediment back into suspension. Racking the wine off the sediment prior to fining may permanently prevent clearing. Please be sure to stir all of the sediment up from the bottom.

I'm guessing the online instructions I got are older than the hard copy that came with my most recent kit.

Now I seem to recall a discussion of this awhile back. I think I was part of that discussion and the consensus was that in spite of WEs new(?) instructions racking off the sediment would be okay.

What are your kit instructions telling you to do?

Thanx...
 

lilvixen

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I noticed the instructions difference the other day. I have a WE Selection and a WE Eclipse both in secondary right now, and the Selection instructions say DO NOT RACK, but the Eclipse instructions say TO RACK. I don't understand why the two kits with 16L of juice (one white and one red with skins) have different instructions. It makes me wonder if it makes a difference if you rack or not? Both kits contain the same clarifiers.
 

Vinoman

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I am not home now but I think they want to keep the lees in during step 3. Not sure if this is to keep the process simple or if racking is simply unnecessary and won't affect the taste too much. I am probably going to rack it off the thickest sediment tomorrow anyway. I just don't see a benefit to leaving it there. Thanks for the update and I will post a follow up if any issues arise.
 

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