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Old 01-26-2010, 04:18 AM   #1
Dec 2009
Pacific NW
Posts: 593
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If you have 5 gallons of wine that you are going to drink in 9 months, would it be better to have it in carboys for 6 months and bottled for 3, or in the carboy for 3 months and in the bottle for 6? Why?

I ask because I have a tendency to rush to bottling (1-2 months), but then I do allow the bottles to sit for awhile. I know it would be better to wait on bottling (2-3 months), but I guess I'm trying to figure out if it really matters.

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #2

If you don't filter then you're better off bulk aging in a carboy. The sediment drops for several months and when you do bottle it's much more clear. Sediment also drops in the bottle but it will go back into suspension when you move the bottle upright and pour.

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
Mar 2011
Sayville, NY
Posts: 1,264
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I know i am dragging up this thread but I too have the same question. ANy other input on it?

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
Mar 2011
Kensington, MD
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One reason you would bulk age is if you don't really need the carboy for another batch! Who does that?

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Old 01-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
Sep 2011
Posts: 1,174
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The wine should be suitably fined before this aging.
That being the case, and "all other things being equal", the main other difference between bottle and carboy aging is that in a carboy, the mass of the liquid makes it less prone to temperature change. (A consistent temp is desirable.)

While there can be desirable micro-oxygenation if you use a natural cork with bottles this is not much of a factor for only 9 months of aging.

In the end, carboys are notorious for letting in inappropriate oxygen over time one way or the other (often thru the closure). The likelihood of problems due to these issues is higher than if you bottle ... and SO, I would say make the bulk of your aging in the bottle.

The exception to the bottles, and aging in the carboy instead, is if you are very careful to use a closure method that does not allow oxygen infiltration .... and either a Better-Bottle carboy or a newer, non-banged-around, glass carboy that has not been exposed to freeze, thaw cycles (as this can cause micro-fractures in the glass). And also being able to keep the carboy at a consistent temperature.

But what it really comes down to how much of a loss will it be if the wine ends up with faults due to storage.

While it's true, you might get thru 9 months without any serious problems in just any old carboy ... the issues and practices I've mentioned above are points to consider.

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Old 01-25-2012, 01:32 AM   #6
ejr's Avatar
Jan 2012
glenville, wv
Posts: 93
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seems to me if its done working its best to bottle and put in the cellar where its cool this process would no doubt help if air was to infect your wineyou wouldnt lose the whole 5 gallon just makes sense

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