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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Too much gross lees?
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default Too much gross lees?

I put blended (de-stoned) plums and raisins in the primary without a bag. After fermentation, I got the "cap" with a sieve and strained the must through a mesh bag before moving it to the secondary carboy. I think I squeezed the bag too aggressively and got too much fruit pulp coming through. In any case, my plum wine has 1" plus of gross lees in the carboy in about a week. Should I rack it off now, even though it's only been in the secondary a short time? I've been reading here that it's a good idea to get wine off the gross lees because there can be a chance that autolysis will cause bad flavors.

On the other hand, some posts indicate that the gross lees can be left to settle for some time. Maybe 4 to 6 weeks?

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Let it sit for a while, the lees will compact over time. Don't worry about leaving the wine on the lees. Some professionals leave the lees in the wine for years without issue.

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Old 08-08-2011, 04:01 AM   #3
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OK, that's reassuring. I do want to make it clear what I mean by "gross lees." This is mostly fruit fibers which oozed through the mesh strainer when I squeezed it hard. I understand from some other posts that lees are generally considered to be dead yeast cells, and other fine material that settles out of the wine. While I'm sure there are some of those, I think my "gross lees" are mostly fine fruit fibers as I said above. I think this mainly because of their lighter color and more course look. Am I still OK, leaving these in?

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Old 08-08-2011, 04:31 AM   #4
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You could rack off of it if you want. I would think that it is OK though. I have never done a plum wine.

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Old 08-08-2011, 05:12 AM   #5
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may not be just from the fruit. depending on the yeast strain and its floculation rate, it could be as much yeast dropout as it is fruit dropout.

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