Charging - Lemon and Elderflower Sparkling Wine

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Mar 3, 2024
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Manchester UK
This is something that I make every year.

My question is how long/far can you leave it to clear before secondary fermentation fails?

Normally I clear for about a month, however sediment is still present with slight cloudiness of the wine.

I haven't got disgorgement equipment so not really a solution for me.

The longer left, the longer it takes for secondry fermentation due to the litter yeast count. I don't mind. Tastes better a long left.

Thanks for any advice.
@GTMonster There is really only one fermentation, unless you are doing MLF (Malolactic Fermentation). When you rack the wine into a secondary vessel, it will continue fermenting if it has not finished. The best way to tell if fermentation has finished is to measure the SG. If it is below 1.000 and has not changed in multiple readings, then fermentation is probably finished.

You can bulk age your wine in a carboy for a year or more without a problem. You should rack it off the gross lees (fruit sediment) and add Kmeta. It is important that the carboy has very little headspace and an airlock. A small amount of fine lees (yeast sediment) isn't a problem.

Normally I let my wines bulk age in the carboy for at least 6-8 months before bottling. Most of them clear very well during that time.
The issue here is I'm looking to clear a 'sparkling' wine to reduce sediment in the bottle.

Once best cleared, I want to bottle and add sugar to get CO2 from secondary fermentation hence not wanting to add Kmeta.

What I want to know is.... how far can I naturally clear my wine before I'm at risk of no fizz from the second fermentation?
With my cider, I've bulk aged for 3-4 months and still had the yeast wake up and digest the priming sugar for carbonation. If you age a long time, you can always add a little fresh yeast along with the sugar to get ensure that you get carbonation.
Why can you not use finings?
Then prime with a little yeast and sugar.
I generally tend to naturally clear. I think the final product tastes very slightly better.

Wine definitely tastes better aged. So if I have to wait anyways... may as well clear at same time. Just rack a few times on the way.