Sediment

Sediment

Post by Frank Miriglian » Sun, 29 Oct 2000 03:12:37



Hi All

Thanks to all of you who have been so much help during the last year.
Wish I would have found this before we started making wine last year.
Hoping as I gain more experience to be able to contribute more to the
group.

Went down to the cellar yesterday and smelled the wine.  Everything
seems to be going well.  Bought  grapes last month destemmed and crushed
(with the help of my wife and one of my kids), sulfited, macerated, and
pressed. Oh yeah.  And cleaned and washed and sanitized and whew you
guys know the drill.  The results are that I have 24 gal. of Barbera, 16
gal. of Zin, 6 gal. of Muscat and 5 gal. of Seyval Blanc resting for the
last month in carboys in the cellar.  The Seyval is from juice-thanks
Joe!  Have another 15 gal. of Barbera-Zinfandel (second pressing)
resting too.  Tonight we will bottle 5 gal. of last years Italian Red
which is a blend of Muscat and Alicante my grandfather used to make.
Even though he died fif*** years ago when I drink it I can hear him
laugh.  Of course the great thing about bottling is that a 5 gal. carboy
does _not_ fit into 2 cases of bottles.  Luxurious problems.

Last year we put our wine in a used whiskey barrel and experienced many
of the problems that can happen with that method when you don't know
what you are doing.  Plus you can't see inside the barrel.  The barrels
are now planters but there is a lingering problem for this years wine.
How much sediment is normal at the bottom of the carboy?  Two of the red
carboys have a good three inches of seds.  The others have an inch or
so.  Is this a function of pressing?  Or is it just the way things are?
Last year we used a four foot iron pipe "torque increaser" on the press
head.  This year just a light press to leave some goodies for the second
press.  Is this a normal amount of sediment?  It seems that when these
carboys are racked there will be a substantial loss of wine.

Thanks

Frank

 
 
 

Sediment

Post by Tom » Sun, 29 Oct 2000 04:56:14



Quote:
> How much sediment is normal at the bottom of the carboy?  Two of the red
> carboys have a good three inches of seds.  The others have an inch or
> so.  Is this a function of pressing?  Or is it just the way things are?

That's not abnormal.  Let it settle, rack the clear juice into clean
carboys, combine all the sediment into another container(s), top everything
up, re-settle the muck, letting it go for a long time, re-rack the clear
stuff from the muck, repeat ad nauseum.

You might want to give my washing machine centrifuge trick a whirl.  Put the
lees into 2 liter soda bottles, stand them up in the tub of your washing
machine (filling empty spaces with empty bottles or bottles of water to
balance the load), and run them on the spin cycle several times.  I've had
great success with this - especially as I have a modified machine with the
timer and brakes disabled, so I can leave it on for several hours.  I throw
away only very heavy mud.  It works better on finished wine than on fresh
juice.

Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment

Post by Zinfu » Sun, 29 Oct 2000 05:11:45


  Is this a normal amount of sediment?  It seems that when these

Quote:
> carboys are racked there will be a substantial loss of wine.

> Thanks

> Frank

Frank,
That sounds about right to me.  I'm sure some here have techniques to
limit the amount of sediment, but I usually end up with around 3 inches
of gunk after pressing reds.  My Cynthiana left more like 4-5 inches.
Yes you lose volume, but not wine.  Remember to smell these wines often
as they go through MLF.  That much sediment can very easily start off
odors to develope.  If you are going through MLF and you detect any
funk smells, rack, and leave at least an 1/8" of lees in the new
carboy.  Your first racking will get rid of a substantial amount of the
lees, but expect maybe a 1/2" to 1" or so to settle during your 1st
rack's settling period.  AFter your second racking you should only get
about 1/8" of sediment.  For your third racking try leaving all
sediment behind and get it as clear as possible.  You should only have
one or two more rackings left, and those are the ones I make sure
everything gets nice and clear.  When I rack I will leave the wine
level a good 1/2" - 1" above the sediment, making sure I don't siphon
any of it up.  I then carefully get what's left and siphon it into a
glass.  It's a little yeasty and murky, but lets me know how the wine
is coming along.  Make sure you have topping up wine ;-)

cheers,
Zinful
--
If all the world's a stage,
then where's the audience sitting?

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Sediment

Post by Frank Miriglian » Mon, 30 Oct 2000 02:44:54


Thanks Tom.  It's good to know the wine is on track.

When you stand the bottles up (vertical?) in the washing machine how does the
wine come to the top.  It would seem the seds would be on the side facing out.
Is this true or does it settle with the seds on the bottom and the wine on the
top?  Also, how long do the bottles need to spin?

Frank

Quote:



> > How much sediment is normal at the bottom of the carboy?  Two of the red
> > carboys have a good three inches of seds.  The others have an inch or
> > so.  Is this a function of pressing?  Or is it just the way things are?

> That's not abnormal.  Let it settle, rack the clear juice into clean
> carboys, combine all the sediment into another container(s), top everything
> up, re-settle the muck, letting it go for a long time, re-rack the clear
> stuff from the muck, repeat ad nauseum.

> You might want to give my washing machine centrifuge trick a whirl.  Put the
> lees into 2 liter soda bottles, stand them up in the tub of your washing
> machine (filling empty spaces with empty bottles or bottles of water to
> balance the load), and run them on the spin cycle several times.  I've had
> great success with this - especially as I have a modified machine with the
> timer and brakes disabled, so I can leave it on for several hours.  I throw
> away only very heavy mud.  It works better on finished wine than on fresh
> juice.

> Tom S