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Old 06-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
captianoats
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Default Why Bulk Condition?

I've always wondered, why would I need to bulk age my wine instead of letting it age in bottles? I understand why you would want it to clear and let all sediments fall before I put it into bottles, but after that, what difference does it make? Wouldn't a year in a wine bottle do the same as a year in a carboy?

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Old 06-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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Taste/Flavor from bottle to bottle will be more uniform.
Temp changes in a bottle will be more drastic then in a 5 gallon carboy.

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Old 06-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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It is a difficult question to answer. commercially wine is aged in bulk partly because it is easier to store, also oxidation reactions are more controlled when there is a smaller surface area to volume ratio. These considerations don't affect home winemakers using glass carboys. A lot of ageing is reactions between large molecules like tannins and anthocyanins which produce molecules which are easier on the tongue and precipitate out the harsher tannins, but I'm sure there are a lot of other reactions going on. I can't see why those reactions won't happen in small as well as large containers but wine chemistry is very complicated and there may be reasons ageing in bulk is better.

Traditionally wine and cider were aged in barrels which give a controlled oxidation and encourage the malolactic fermentation, both of which are important for ageing but barrels are now very expensive.

Temperature is very important for ageing, mainly avoiding high temperature which will ruin wine, also sudden rises will set off spoilage organisms.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:55 PM   #4
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I'm pretty lucky in the temperature area, my basement stays a constant 60 in winter and 65 in summer.

So far you guys have told me what I already thought... I think it's time for an experiment. When I brew my next batch I'll let some age in a carboy and put the rest in bottles after the sediments, etc. fall out. Then I'll compare after when it's all said and done.

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