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When Should I Rack To Secondary Fermentation?


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#1 tys151

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 12:58 PM

6 Gallon Batch

6-White Grape Juicy Juice...64 oz
2-Apple Banana Juicy Juice...64 oz
2-Orange Tangerine Juicy Juice 64 oz
1- (Water) 64 oz
14.5 Cups Granulated Sugar

My SG was about 1.085 when I pitched a packed of EC-1118 Lalvin yeast 8 days ago. My SG is 1.030 now. I'm shooting for a dry wine. I understand I might have to add back some sugar at the end to get a palatable flavor. If I have to do that, I hear adding Kmeta and potassium sorbate will prevent a new fermentation.

Questions:

What is the range for the SG when you want to rack your wine to the carboy from the primary?

I want to put some light french oak chips in this blend...is 1 packet enough? and based on this crazy mixture, do you think that will enhance the flavor or make it taste worse? (I'm pretty sure this recipe won't be winning any awards..haha)

Also, when should I add these chips? Right when I rack to the carboy or after secondary fermentation is complete?

Any ideas on aging this mixture? Is bulk aging in a carboy the best? How long before bottling?
What is the minimum amount of time this stuff needs to sit around before it can be consumed?

#2 SouthernMan

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 01:29 PM

Judging from your recipe, I'd say that you are making a mostly fruit wine. The starting SG looks fine, anything higher might make the batch taste like jet fuel, because fruit wines taste better when the PA is around 10-11%. I leave my fruit wines in the primary until it reaches an SG reading of 1.020 and then I rack it to the secondary. After the wine has fermented dry, you can sweeten it up a bit but make sure to add potassium sorbate first.

QUOTE
I want to put some light french oak chips in this blend...is 1 packet enough? and based on this crazy mixture, do you think that will enhance the flavor or make it taste worse? (I'm pretty sure this recipe won't be winning any awards..haha)


The oak chips will help age the wine better, but be careful how much you add and how long it ages on the wine, because you can end up having Chateau Plywood. I use 2 oz chips for white wine per 5 gallons and let it age for about 3 weeks on the chips, but I check it during those three weeks to make sure I don't over oak it.

QUOTE
Any ideas on aging this mixture? Is bulk aging in a carboy the best? How long before bottling?
What is the minimum amount of time this stuff needs to sit around before it can be consumed?


Depending the type of wine I make, I generally age my wines for about 6 months before I bottle it. In my cellar I have different wines that has been bulk aging for a year now, so it really depends on the wine.
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#3 Luc Volders

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 02:08 PM

QUOTE (tys151 @ Feb 16 2009, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
6-White Grape Juicy Juice...64 oz
2-Apple Banana Juicy Juice...64 oz
2-Orange Tangerine Juicy Juice 64 oz
1- (Water) 64 oz
14.5 Cups Granulated Sugar

Also, when should I add these chips? Right when I rack to the carboy or after secondary fermentation is complete?



Personally I would not oak such a wine. I do not think a white wine
improves with oaking.

Generally I oak when fermentation is over.
When the wine is aging in a carboy then I add oak.
It is easy to monitor (taste) at that time to test if
the wine is 'oakey' enough.......
It is a lot harder to taste when fermentation is still on its way.

I would split the batch in several carboys amongst whom a 1 gallon
carboy which I would oak.
That way I could test if oaking suits this wine without spilling the whole
batch.

You could also make an oak-extract.
Put oak in a bottle and fill it with vodka.
Leave it for a few months to soak.
Next add some drops to a glass of wine and you know instantly
if a wine benefits form oak.
Then you can oak the whole batch.

For a story on how to make oak-extract read here:
http://wijnmaker.blo...ak-extract.html

Luc

Luc's wijnmaker web-log
or have a look at my girlfriends art:
The art of Els Mulder




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