Sediment in bottles

Sediment in bottles

Post by Brian Huntle » Sun, 18 Mar 2001 23:53:33



I seem to have bottled a Sauvignon Blanc a bit too early, and now
there's sediment in the bottles.

Is there anything I can do? Is re-bottling a viable option, or will it
oxidize the wine too much?

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Tom » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 01:52:48



Quote:
> I seem to have bottled a Sauvignon Blanc a bit too early, and now
> there's sediment in the bottles.

> Is there anything I can do? Is re-bottling a viable option, or will it
> oxidize the wine too much?

I'd recommend you just deal with it on a bottle-by-bottle basis rather than
rebottling it all.  Stand the bottles upright as long as necessary to allow
the sediment to settle and decant them before serving.  Keep a few standing
up in the 'fridge if you have room, and another half case or so standing in
the cellar.

Start another batch now so you'll have time to properly bulk age and fine it
before bottling.  Most of the better winemakers here give their wines at
least six months in a carboy before even considering bottling them.

Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by NightRunne » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 03:35:09


On Sat, 17 Mar 2001 08:52:48 -0800, "Tom S"

pondering the various ironies of life:

Quote:
>I'd recommend you just deal with it on a bottle-by-bottle basis rather than
>rebottling it all.  Stand the bottles upright as long as necessary to allow
>the sediment to settle and decant them before serving.  Keep a few standing
>up in the 'fridge if you have room, and another half case or so standing in
>the cellar.

I agree with Tom here... I made a batch of strawberry last summer and
almost immediately after bottling the stuff thew a fair amount of
sediment, much to my chagrin. Rather than risk the safety of that
wonderful stuff, I simply keep one bottle stood upright as "next in
line", and when it comes time to pop the cork, I siphon it out
(carefully, mind you) into a decanter. Did just that thing for our New
Year's party and it was a big hit with the guests :-)

 - NR

"The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical
model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a
universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go
to all the bother of existing?"

 - Stephen Hawking

NightRunner's Pages
---------------------------------------
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/osiris
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/nukenorn
http://members.nbci.com/Nite417
http://niter417.virtualave.net/       <--under construction

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Dorox » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 04:39:56


I too have some sediment in a white, although can only be seen in the one
clear bottle I used.  It was in the carboy 3 months and quite clear and
finished (SG 992); I then moved it to cold storage (40-50) for 2 weeks then
I used Kieselsol   and finally ran through a MiniJet filter #2 filter.  This
stuff was CLEAR.... flashlight test looked like a laser beam.   What
happened?   I FORGOT TO STABILIZE WITH POTASSIUM SORBATE.   I also forgot to
add sulphite, but it was only a 3 gallon batch so it got consumed quickly.
Lesson learned.
Quote:



> > I seem to have bottled a Sauvignon Blanc a bit too early, and now
> > there's sediment in the bottles.

> > Is there anything I can do? Is re-bottling a viable option, or will it
> > oxidize the wine too much?

> I'd recommend you just deal with it on a bottle-by-bottle basis rather
than
> rebottling it all.  Stand the bottles upright as long as necessary to
allow
> the sediment to settle and decant them before serving.  Keep a few
standing
> up in the 'fridge if you have room, and another half case or so standing
in
> the cellar.

> Start another batch now so you'll have time to properly bulk age and fine
it
> before bottling.  Most of the better winemakers here give their wines at
> least six months in a carboy before even considering bottling them.

> Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by NightRunne » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 08:55:52



with the following whilst pondering the various ironies of life:

Quote:
>I too have some sediment in a white, although can only be seen in the one
>clear bottle I used.  It was in the carboy 3 months and quite clear and
>finished (SG 992); I then moved it to cold storage (40-50) for 2 weeks then
>I used Kieselsol   and finally ran through a MiniJet filter #2 filter.  This
>stuff was CLEAR.... flashlight test looked like a laser beam.   What
>happened?   I FORGOT TO STABILIZE WITH POTASSIUM SORBATE.   I also forgot to
>add sulphite, but it was only a 3 gallon batch so it got consumed quickly.
>Lesson learned.

Maybe I'm being nitpicky here, but uh when a wine is truly clear you
shouldn't be able to see a flashlight beam in it at all... Try it on
storebought to see what I mean. My best stuff so far shows a very very
thin trace of beam using a three D-cell Maglite. Prob I could do
better, but I don't filter, and I only fine if I feel it could look a
good deal better in the glass.

 - NR

"The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical
model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a
universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go
to all the bother of existing?"

 - Stephen Hawking

NightRunner's Pages
---------------------------------------
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/osiris
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/nukenorn
http://members.nbci.com/Nite417
http://niter417.virtualave.net/       <--under construction

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Dorox » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 09:41:18


I used a poor analogy... when I look through the bottle, straight on at the
flashlight, (not at right angles to the beam) it is super clear.
Quote:
> Maybe I'm being nitpicky here, but uh when a wine is truly clear you
> shouldn't be able to see a flashlight beam in it at all... Try it on
> storebought to see what I mean. My best stuff so far shows a very very
> thin trace of beam using a three D-cell Maglite. Prob I could do
> better, but I don't filter, and I only fine if I feel it could look a
> good deal better in the glass.

>  - NR

> "The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical
> model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a
> universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go
> to all the bother of existing?"

>  - Stephen Hawking

> NightRunner's Pages
> ---------------------------------------
> http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/osiris
> http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/nukenorn
> http://members.nbci.com/Nite417
> http://niter417.virtualave.net/       <--under construction

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Gora » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 10:52:07



Quote:
> I seem to have bottled a Sauvignon Blanc a bit too early, and now
> there's sediment in the bottles.

How early did you bottle?
What type of sediment is it?

Even if you wait 2 years before bottling, if the wine is not stable you will
still get sediment in the bottle. So we need description of the sediment and
winemaking details before knowing what went wrong. Don't bother rebottling,
just decant.

Gorak

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Tom » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 11:16:21



Quote:
> I too have some sediment in a white, although can only be seen in the one
> clear bottle I used.  It was in the carboy 3 months and quite clear and
> finished (SG 992); I then moved it to cold storage (40-50) for 2 weeks
then
> I used Kieselsol   and finally ran through a MiniJet filter #2 filter.
This
> stuff was CLEAR.... flashlight test looked like a laser beam.   What
> happened?   I FORGOT TO STABILIZE WITH POTASSIUM SORBATE.   I also forgot
to
> add sulphite, but it was only a 3 gallon batch so it got consumed quickly.
> Lesson learned.

There're a couple of points to this lesson you missed.

First off, regarding sorbate, there's no need for a sorbate addition to a
_dry_ wine.  If the wine was bottled off-dry or sweet you should have added
sorbate _and_ sulfite to it to prevent refermentation in the bottle.
Sorbate by itself isn't effective in preventing fermentation.

Secondly, if you failed to bentonite fine the wine that could easily account
for the formation of a precipitate in the bottle.  This is true in the case
of both sweet and dry wines.  The time to bentonite the wine is at the same
time you added the kieselsohl.

Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Tom » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 11:27:18



Quote:
> Prob I could do
> better, but I don't filter, and I only fine if I feel it could look a
> good deal better in the glass.

It seems apparent that you don't appreciate that fining is a good deal more
than merely a tool for aiding in the clarification process.  By judicious
use of fining materials it is possible to significantly improve the flavor
of wines, even if they appear clear to the eye.  It is possible to transform
an ordinary wine into a good wine, or a good wine into a _great_ wine by
careful fining.  This has perhaps been the single best thing I learned in
school, over fif*** years ago.

Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Frank Miriglian » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 21:58:34


Most of the popular winemaking books speak of fining as  a process to create a
cosmetically  superior product.  If I read you correctly  the "possibility" is
not  a certainty. Given any "flashlight tested clear" wine how do you base the
decision to fine or not to fine?

Frank

Quote:

> <snip>
> By judicious
> use of fining materials it is possible to significantly improve the flavor
> of wines, even if they appear clear to the eye.  It is possible to transform
> an ordinary wine into a good wine, or a good wine into a _great_ wine by
> careful fining.  This has perhaps been the single best thing I learned in
> school, over fif*** years ago.

> Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by NightRunne » Mon, 19 Mar 2001 23:58:40



with the following whilst pondering the various ironies of life:

Quote:
>I used a poor analogy... when I look through the bottle, straight on at the
>flashlight, (not at right angles to the beam) it is super clear.

>> Maybe I'm being nitpicky here, but uh when a wine is truly clear you
>> shouldn't be able to see a flashlight beam in it at all... Try it on
>> storebought to see what I mean. My best stuff so far shows a very very
>> thin trace of beam using a three D-cell Maglite. Prob I could do
>> better, but I don't filter, and I only fine if I feel it could look a
>> good deal better in the glass.

>>  - NR

Oh, yeah, that's different then... Sorry bout that :-)

 - NR

"The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical
model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a
universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go
to all the bother of existing?"

 - Stephen Hawking

NightRunner's Pages
---------------------------------------
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/osiris
http://web.infoave.net/~missy1/nukenorn
http://members.nbci.com/Nite417
http://niter417.virtualave.net/       <--under construction

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by NightRunne » Tue, 20 Mar 2001 00:04:56


On Sat, 17 Mar 2001 18:27:18 -0800, "Tom S"

pondering the various ironies of life:

Quote:
>It seems apparent that you don't appreciate that fining is a good deal more
>than merely a tool for aiding in the clarification process.  By judicious
>use of fining materials it is possible to significantly improve the flavor
>of wines, even if they appear clear to the eye.  It is possible to transform
>an ordinary wine into a good wine, or a good wine into a _great_ wine by
>careful fining.  This has perhaps been the single best thing I learned in
>school, over fif*** years ago.

>Tom S

Hmmm... Well I didn't know that let alone appreciate it, probably
because all my "vast" knowledge comes from the web and here, and I
never heard anyone claim that fining improved the flavor of a wine,
only made it clearer and hopefully didn't add off flavors. I was under
the impression that the best finings only cleared and had a neutral
effect on taste. Do I assume correctly that this improvement effect is
due to the elimination of off tasting particulates...?

 - NR

"The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical
model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a
universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go
to all the bother of existing?"

 - Stephen Hawking

NightRunner's Pages
---------------------------------------
http://www.FoundCollection.com/~missy1/osiris
http://www.FoundCollection.com/~missy1/nukenorn
http://www.FoundCollection.com/
http://www.FoundCollection.com/;     <--under construction

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Lum » Tue, 20 Mar 2001 02:36:27


Hi Frank and NR,

The following paragraph is from "The Home Winemakers Manual."
You can read the rest of the chapter here:

http://home.att.net/~lumeisenman/chapt14.html

Regards,
lum

                                     Chapter 14

FINING
         AND FINING
                          MATERIALS

     Fining materials are used for the specific purpose of removing something
from wine.  A wine might be fined to remove unwanted color, haze, bitterness,
excessive astringency, off-flavors, unpleasant odors, etc.  Usually, the fining
agent itself is eliminated before the wine is bottled. Wine has been made for
thousands of years, and over that lengthy period many different materials have
been used as wine fining agents.  Each fining material has different
characteristics, so each material must be evaluated carefully by the winemaker.

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Tom » Tue, 20 Mar 2001 03:54:25



Quote:
> I never heard anyone claim that fining improved the flavor of a wine,
> only made it clearer and hopefully didn't add off flavors. I was under
> the impression that the best finings only cleared and had a neutral
> effect on taste. Do I assume correctly that this improvement effect is
> due to the elimination of off tasting particulates...?

The flavor components associated with very tannic wines are not necessarily
particulate.  There are macromolecules that are in solution in wine that are
too small to be trapped in a filter, but render wine harsh and astringent
tasting.  Gelatin is a good fining material for removing excessive
quantities of these offenders.  Egg whites and isinglass are a couple of
others.  Sometimes it takes a series of materials to polish the taste of a
wine correctly.  The only way to find out is by conducting fining trials on
sample amounts of the wine.  With experience, you learn to estimate which
and how much of a particular agent to use - at least well enough to get into
the ballpark.  For example, I usually use a combination of bentonite,
kieselsohl and gelatin on my Chardonnay (prior to cold stabilization and
filtration) so I start there, adjusting the quantities as necessary
depending on my trials.  Although Chardonnay isn't particularly tannic, I
find that fining it rounds the palate nicely and leaves the wine almost
sweet tasting.

Fining is where art and science converge most closely in winemaking.

Tom S

 
 
 

Sediment in bottles

Post by Tom » Tue, 20 Mar 2001 03:59:46



Quote:
> Most of the popular winemaking books speak of fining as  a process to
create a
> cosmetically  superior product.  If I read you correctly  the
"possibility" is
> not  a certainty. Given any "flashlight tested clear" wine how do you base
the
> decision to fine or not to fine?

By conducting fining trials on sample size bottles of the wine to see if
fining improves the flavor.  That's the only way to tell for sure.  You can
eyeball a given wine sometimes, say a really tannic red, and predict that
(for example) about a pound per 1000 gallons of gelatin will smooth out a
lot of that astringency.  It takes practice and experience, but it isn't
really difficult.  The important thing is to make your final treatment as
representative as possible of the sample you liked the taste of best in your
trials.

Tom S