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Old 07-30-2007, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Wine Kit Racking questions

OK my WE kit has been in primary for about a week now and the S.G. is 1.000. they say to rack it to secondary now, but i've read one article that says to bring over the trub and another that says leave it behind. That is question #1

Then after another 10 days I am supposed to add clearing agents and "top up" to within 2 inches of the top of the carboy? Is this because the headspace will oxygenate the wine or what? I dont understand the point of adding water to this product after fermentation is over with.

If anyone has a better explanation of the racking process of wine I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks



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Old 07-30-2007, 03:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzoflick
OK my WE kit has been in primary for about a week now and the S.G. is 1.000. they say to rack it to secondary now, but i've read one article that says to bring over the trub and another that says leave it behind.
Rack it off the lees (we're talking wine, now ). That's the whole point.

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Then after another 10 days I am supposed to add clearing agents and "top up" to within 2 inches of the top of the carboy? Is this because the headspace will oxygenate the wine or what? I dont understand the point of adding water to this product after fermentation is over with.
Right, wine is very succeptable to oxygenation, so you want very little head space. Once the wine reaches 1.000, it won't be producing a lot of CO2 to drive off the oxygen. If you've got a way to purge with CO2, you can do that instead.


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Old 07-30-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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So if I only have a bottling bucket and no free primary.. i should pour water into there until there is little to no headspace left?

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Old 07-30-2007, 03:33 PM   #4
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No, you don't want to water it down too much. You want your wine to be ~12% ABV in the end. The more water you add, the lower that will be.

Is it in a bucket right now? You could wait another week or two before you rack it if you'll have a carboy available then. It won't hurt at all. Those instructions are really fast-tracking wine fermentation. A lot of vintners leave their wine for weeks/months between racking and actually let it bulk age in the fermenters before bottling.

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Old 07-30-2007, 04:29 PM   #5
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Ok that sounds good. I will have a carboy ready in a week

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Old 07-30-2007, 07:11 PM   #6
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That'll be fine. The extra time won't hurt a bit.

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Old 07-30-2007, 09:29 PM   #7
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I made a WE kit and followed the instructions exactly. I had some very clear wine when I bottled it. I would suggest following the instructions as close as you can. I ended up buying a 6 gallon carboy for the secondary so there wouldn't be too much head spase to displace. I used a similar wine instead of water for top off.

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Old 07-31-2007, 12:06 AM   #8
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Thats a good idea. I will probably pick up a small bottle of merlot to top mine off with.

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Old 07-31-2007, 02:35 AM   #9
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Which level of WE kit is it? Vintner's Reserve, Selection, Estate? You ferment in the primary until your wine gets to around 1.010 SG. You then rack to glass but don't top off for secondary fermentation. Leave most of the sediment behind. Once your SG gets to 0.090 it is time to stabilize the wine. Add your stabilizers and clearing agents and stir it good to mix the chemicals and degass the wine. Mix up the lees in the carboy and let sit.

If it is a Vintner's Reserve kit, when it clears you rack off the lees and bottle. If it is a higher level kit you rack off the lees to another carboy and let clear again. There are more solids in the higher level kits. Once you have stabilized you should top up to eliminate head space. You can add up to one pint of water and it is actually figured into the concentrate formula that you will add a little water after the first racking. After additional rackings you should top off with a like wine. You risk oxidation leaving it in the primary bucket after stabilizing unless it has an airtight lid with an airlock and you can layer CO2 to blanket the wine.

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Old 07-31-2007, 03:25 AM   #10
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Thanks a lot for the responses..that makes a lot more sense now. This is a Vintners Reserve Merlot kit and my first one. I got over ambitious last weekend and made Vanilla cream ale at the same time which is now occupying my 6 gallon carboy so I hope that keeping the reserve in primary for another week wont hurt. It will Im sure drop the final points to its F.G during this time and I think it will have enough C02 coming out to blanket itself as I have now attached an airlock to the primary.



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