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Old 07-06-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
3Brothers
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"Racking" seems simple enough a concept: Get the good stuff off the top of the bad stuff before to much bad stuff collects on the bottom and start it all over again. NOT Quite Webster or Wikipedia but... Heres my question.

Just starting out we're trying to limit our required startup cost, and planning on just doing one 6 gal. batch, (at first) we budgeted 1 bucket and 1 carboy. But I here alot about not splashing or over sloshing your wine mix due to oxidation. Having to transfer my tinted concoction from one carboy to a bucket, clean the carboy and then back in for each racking, should i invest in two carboys right off the bat for my 1 batch?

 
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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Well, it sure is helpful if you do have another carboy. I always try to have at least one empty one, because it's great to be able to rack when you need to. It's also handing for mixing up the sanitizer, and sanitizing your siphon tubing and racking cane, too. I think it's well worth the $25 investment.

Oxidizing by racking into a sanitized bucket, and then washing and sanitizing the carboy and racking back, can be a real issue. Not to mention double the work. A bucket also has way too much headspace, and will leave your wine vulnerable while you wash and sanitize the carboy.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:11 PM   #3
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Seemed that way to me too, but thought Id ask in case it wasnt as big an issue as I was forseeing. We cant wait to get started, been "reading" and "talking" about it way too long now, we're ready to start. about 2 weeks till we go shopping!

 
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:15 PM   #4
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If I can throw in a quick question...does Wine oxidize faster than beer? I just did the rack and then rack back will beer but I was told for it to oxidize I would need to really splish and splash.

 
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:21 PM   #5

It's also a good idea to obtain at least one, but better a few, one and one-half gallon glass jugs. When making wine I always make slightly more in the primary (say 6 gallons instead of five) because you always lose a little each time you rack. With the extra jugs you can fill them for topping up after racking. You can obtain 1/2 gallon growlers from a local brewpub and the gallon sizes from a $12 gallon of Gallo which, also BTW, makes good topping wine. Invest in a variety of sizes 6, 6.5, 7, and 8 drilled rubber bungs and several bubble locks - they're inexpensive.

 
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
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Well, yes and no. See, when you rack beer, generally it still is fermenting a little or at least releasing some co2. That co2 is heavier than air, and makes a "blanket" over the beer to help keep it from oxidizing. Wine at this stage (before the sg gets below 1.010) is basically going to act the same way. You still want to prevent excessive aeration, of course, but it's not all that easy to aerate the beer.

But you ferment wine longer, and it will go to dry usually. After it's done fermenting, you will rack it and allow it to clear. Sometimes, I have lees every 45 days or so, so I rack it that often. That may be months after fermentation has stopped, and after the co2 is out. (You don't want co2 in your wine). So, you don't have that protective blanket of co2 to protect the wine from oxidation at this stage. To counter this, most winemakers use sulfites (I use one campden tablet per gallon at every other racking) to help prevent oxidation. The sulfite (in the form of a gas) helps keep o2 from binding to the wine. If you've ever tasted oxidized wine, you'll definitely make every attempt to not let this happen to your wine! It'll taste maderia-like, or sherry-like, and it's not good except in sherry.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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just watch buying new carboys for racking its to easy to find something to fill them up in between. Every time i get a new one i say i'm going to leave one open for making racking easier, so far I have six carboys and they're all full now.

 
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