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Old 11-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #1
kdar
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Default When should I bottle my wine?

I have my wine in second fermentation vessel since early September.
When do you think I should bottle it? Its not yet clear.

I also curious if I should try to use bentonite? I heard it can help clear the wine. I am just wondering if its safe to use it and if it can effect the taste in a negative way?

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdar View Post
I have my wine in second fermentation vessel since early September.
When do you think I should bottle it? Its not yet clear.

I also curious if I should try to use bentonite? I heard it can help clear the wine. I am just wondering if its safe to use it and if it can effect the taste in a negative way?
If you overdo the bentonite you can impact the taste. Many people use bentonite and sparkolloid, not at same time. Others like Superkleer. BUT, consider moving the carboy to somewhere cooler by at least 10F, and be sure to keep it above freezing. This will help expedite clearing. But, it is quite common for a wine to take 4-6 months to clear once dry. Then you have degassing to deal with before you can bottle. Not to mention bulk aging, if you desire.

Can you tell us when you started this wine, what type of wine, and did you use pectinase/pectolase/peptic enzyme? Have you had to rack the wine since placing in secondary container?
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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I started this wine in about late August, then after 3 weeks I racked it into second fermenter. I made it from dark muscadine grapes. I haven't used any enzyme.
Also, about a month ago, I racked it one more time to remove collected lees. Since then a bit more of it settled, but much less.

Right now, the usual temperature in my house is about 70F. If it gets a little bit colder I often notice reverse airflow in airlock. But when its warmer or if wine sits somewhere on sun, it still can bubble few times during day.

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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If it's not clear I would just leave it be. Bulk aging is good and either way your wine is too young to drink yet. Leave it be and enjoy an other bottle from your collection.

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Old 11-28-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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When it clears and tastes good. I'm struggling with this myself, well, at least the tasting good part. Mine tastes fine, but I think it could age longer and get better and I know that if I bottle know we'll drink it and then the last bottle will be terrific and we'll say "damn, why didn't we just wait to bottle".

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Old 11-28-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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I'm new to this whole wine making bit but here's my take on it...

As long as you're keeping your sulfite levels in check and not leaving more than an inch of headspace in the carboy(?) you should be good to bulk age for a year or more. Adding oak during this time is sometimes desirable.

You'd pick your fining agents based on what's causing the cloudiness. You'll use fining agents that are either negatively or positively charged to "attract" the cloud-causing proteins of the opposite charge. There is a fining agent that provides both positive/negative charges in case you're unsure (super kleer, as saramc mentioned).

Being a red wine, a malolactic fermentation might be worthwhile if you want to go down that road. I've just finished a MLF on my syrah and am moving to sulfite, oak, and bulk age this weekend.

Hope this helps

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdar View Post
Right now, the usual temperature in my house is about 70F. If it gets a little bit colder I often notice reverse airflow in airlock. But when its warmer or if wine sits somewhere on sun, it still can bubble few times during day.
I was under the impression that wine should not be exposed to sunlight just like beer.

Did you degas the wine? My wine kits use isinglas added before degassing and it really does help clear them nicely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isinglass
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhem

I was under the impression that wine should not be exposed to sunlight just like beer.
For red wines, sunlight will fade the color. White wines are not as much as an issue. Still, hide your wines from sunlight.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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let it sit, if you can degass, do it, getting the co2 out will speedup the clearing process, then move to the coolest spot u got, keep covered and wait, i think i would also add my k-met and sorbate to stabilize now, you got another 3 or 4 mos to go don't rush it, it's worth the wait

jim

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