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Old 02-17-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
Texron
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Default One for the experts

I have notice several times through my travels on this website the comment that leaving some lees on the bottom of the carboy while aging wine can be beneficial and enhance the flavor. To piggy-back on that line of thought I was recently nosing through the website of a winery here in my local area and they made mention of the fact that in the middle of their bulk aging of wines they stir the lees that are present back into full suspension to enhance the flavors. Does any one have any experience with this a technique for the home winemaker?

I have a Chardonnay that has been bulk aging for almost two months and I plan to bottle it this next weekend. It has a thin layer of lees on the bottom of the carboy and my plan is to filter my wine with a Buon Vino Mini-Jet filter system just prior to bottling. I plan to give some of these away as gifts to clients so I want to ensure they are crystal clear. Does anyone think there would be any benefit to a vigorous stirring to mix the lees back into the liquid now and then let it settle until next Sunday when I plan to bottle it? Or if need be I can let it rest an additional week until the following weekend.

Thanks in advance for everyones thoughts or guidance on this.



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Old 02-17-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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If this Chardonnay is a recipe that you have a history with, then you are in an excellent position to try this variation and find out the effects, first hand.

If time allows, I'm thinking that multiple suspensions would be more effective though.

You could very well turn out to be the point of the plow that uncovers something here.

Pogo


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Old 02-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for stopping in Pogo. I am far from an Expert and this is actually my first kit. Its a Wine Expert kit. But after a little study it seems like this could be a good thing. I know a good cook stirs the pot ever so often.
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #4
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Here is the statement I read in their description of how they make a particualr variety of wine:

"The wine was then allowed to age on the yeast lees (sur
lie) for three months and is stirred according to a specific plan (battonage).
The yeast cells break down during this process and contribute further
roundness to the mouthfeel. "


Sounds easy enough, but I wonder if there is a benefit to this in most of the wines we would make at home.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:04 AM   #5
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I don't know if it would benefit kit wines or not. I've never done it, but read that it can give a depth of flavor to some grape wines that age a long time.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:20 AM   #6
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Hello Yooper-thanks for checking in. Maybe this is something that would be better suited to the red wines and not neccesarily my Chardonnay that is ready to bottle. maybe I'll take one of their winery tours some Saturday, and then just start asking questions while buying a bottle ot two of their wines.
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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My understanding is that some yeast strains are well suited to sur le lees(sp) aging this while others are not. D-47 I know is.
If this is your first kit I would just follow the instructions. The only thing I might change from the instructions is to increase the bulk aging time before bottling. Once you have an experience with wine making you can do some research on sur le lees and experiment with that next time.

Craig
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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It can be done with wine kits. WinExpert's head winemaker even recommends it for Chardonnays if you like the buttery quality that some commercial ones exhibit. You are too late in the process to do it now though. If you want to use it on a future batch you start batonnage as soon as secondary fermentation is completed. You do not rack the wine off the heavy layer of initial lees and only add the kmeta and potassium sorbate but leave the fining agents for later. Then once a day for a month you take your spoon and stir the lees back into suspension. At the end of 30 days you add the fining agents and continue on with the process as per the instructions though you will not have to worry about any degassing since you have stirred the wine 30 times at this point and if it still has CO2 in suspension, call an exorcist.

This technique is only recommended for very heavily bodied white wines. It will kill the lighter tastes of Reislings and Gewurztraminers and probably make red wines taste like ****.


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