AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Donna Lysey » Sun, 28 Jan 1996 04:00:00



Hoping someone can help me with the following two questions ...

(1)  I am ready to bottle my first red wine (the kit's instruction say that
bottling can be done 1 to 6 months following filtering).  Is it better to
let the wine age in the bottles or carboy?  

(2)  I tasted the wine when filtering.  It had good flavour but lacked
body/depth.  Is this something that develops with aging?

Tx - D. Lyseyko, Hamilton, Ontario

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by ost.. » Mon, 29 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>(1)  I am ready to bottle my first red wine (the kit's instruction say that
>bottling can be done 1 to 6 months following filtering).  Is it better to
>let the wine age in the bottles or carboy?  

Aging takes place more slowly the larger the container. If you leave the wine
in the carboy it will take longer to develop the bouquet and complexity of
flavour which "sometimes" comes from aging. You are better to get the wine
into the bottles and get the aging process speeded up. Also red wines sometimes
go into "bottle sickness" after bottling, which can last for a few months - this
means the wine will seem to have gone "downhill". Usually the fuller bodied  
the wine the more likely it is to happen. Another reason for getting the wine
into the bottle earlier. However there are limits as to how early you should do
this. The 4 week kits suggest rushing the whole winemaking process, which is
OK if you are in a hurry to drink something. I usually bottle between 6 and 12
months after making the wine (I use fresh juice & grapes).  

Quote:
>(2)  I tasted the wine when filtering.  It had good flavour but lacked
>body/depth.  Is this something that develops with aging?

The wine will not really develop any more body with aging - that depended on
what you made it from originally, the *** level etc. It may very well
develop some complexity of nose and flavour though which should make it a
nicer wine 6 months after bottling than right now.

Quote:
>Tx - D. Lyseyko, Hamilton, Ontario

Dan Ostler
Pickering  Wine Guild
Pickering, Ontario


 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Carla A. Hurle » Thu, 01 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent

have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six
months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as
long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!
 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Paul Jean » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent

>have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six
>months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as
>long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!

Wine ages more slowly in bulk containers than in small vessels.

Paul Jean Jr.
Publisher GETTING STARTED IN WINEMAKING

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Derek Llo » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>>Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent

and  
>>have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six
>>months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as
>>long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!

>Wine ages more slowly in bulk containers than in small vessels.  

>Paul Jean Jr.
>Publisher GETTING STARTED IN WINEMAKING  

OK, this is starting to drive me around the bend. It seems that just about
everybody that I talk to says that it ages faster in a carboy, wait before
you bottle it. Then I see a post like this. I can remember seeing two post
that say this actually, over the last year ( I could have missed some of
course). So what's the deal??? Is it really better to bottle as soon as it
reaches a 'critical' specific gravity (or some other criteria), depending
on the wine of course, and then leave it to sit? I'm rather confused.
--
Derek Lloyd    amateur.astronomer.photographer

"Understanding....is a three edged sword" Kosh
 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Mark Richard Holfo » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00



:  
:  

: >
: >>Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent
:  

: and  
: >>have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six

: >>months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as
:  
: >>long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!
: >
: >Wine ages more slowly in bulk containers than in small vessels.  
: >
: >Paul Jean Jr.
: >Publisher GETTING STARTED IN WINEMAKING  
:  
: OK, this is starting to drive me around the bend. It seems that just about
: everybody that I talk to says that it ages faster in a carboy, wait before
: you bottle it. Then I see a post like this. I can remember seeing two post
: that say this actually, over the last year ( I could have missed some of
: course). So what's the deal??? Is it really better to bottle as soon as it
: reaches a 'critical' specific gravity (or some other criteria), depending
: on the wine of course, and then leave it to sit? I'm rather confused.
: --
: Derek Lloyd    amateur.astronomer.photographer

: "Understanding....is a three edged sword" Kosh
My observation on this is that commercial wineries always age in
bulk, generally oak barrels.  Wine is generally bottle in
preparation for selling it, not for aging it.  (Though of course
many wines improve a lot in the subsequent years)

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Colin Rasmusse » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> My observation on this is that commercial wineries always age in
> bulk, generally oak barrels.  Wine is generally bottle in
> preparation for selling it, not for aging it.  (Though of course
> many wines improve a lot in the subsequent years)

But then, if one is letting wine age, why ever be bottle at all. There
must be some advantage to bottling. For example at the Rothschild estate
they have "bottled" wine dating back over 100 years. This special
collection is reserved for special occaisions (i.e. they actually drink
the stuff once in awhile). If wine aged better in the cask you'd think
they would have left it that way, right ??

Colin

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by GREATFE » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Sometimes when you can't get a coherent answer, it's because the question
is wrong. Maybe fast or slow aging -- whatever that means -- is not really
a function of the size of the container at all.  What is the aging
potential of a 30,000 gallon tank, compared with a carboy ? Is it
reasonable to think it differs by a factor of 6000 ?

May I refer you to Chapter 20  "Maturing and Aging Wines" in Emile
Peynaud's book, "Knowing and Making Wine", 7 pages on the subject. M.
Peynaud concludes by observing:

"To tell the truth, the most rational way of accelerating aging, that is
to say, bringing forward the time when red wine can be put on the market
and drunk, has its point of departure in the vinification. The winemaker
tries to obtain in the young wine a harmonius balance of flavors,
particularly in the tannins. Moreover, it is incorrect that really
astringent wines become more supple with time. Wine should be born supple,
because supple wine matures more quickly and better. Then it can be
bottled as early as is reasonably possible to do so, when it still has
prime qualities of body, fat, and freshness, on the condition of course
that it has been satisfactorily stabilized. The best way of growing old,
which also holds true for wine, is to keep one's qualities of youth for a
long time."

I'm sure this reads even better in the original French...

Greatferm  

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Jack Zieba » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:



>>>Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent


>and  
>>>have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six
>>>months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as

>>>long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!

>>Wine ages more slowly in bulk containers than in small vessels.  

>>Paul Jean Jr.
>>Publisher GETTING STARTED IN WINEMAKING  

>OK, this is starting to drive me around the bend. It seems that just about
>everybody that I talk to says that it ages faster in a carboy, wait before
>you bottle it. Then I see a post like this. I can remember seeing two post
>that say this actually, over the last year ( I could have missed some of
>course). So what's the deal??? Is it really better to bottle as soon as it
>reaches a 'critical' specific gravity (or some other criteria), depending
>on the wine of course, and then leave it to sit? I'm rather confused.
>--

Maybe we can learn something from the commercial winemakers. I
regularly visit the Napa and Sanoma areas in Calif. in March and most
of them are bottling. When asked why they bottle then they say it's a
slack time in the winery and not much else to do. They also say they
would like to wait longer but know they will need the containers for
the new harvest and will be too busy then to bottle.

There is also Muphy's Law of winemaking that says if anything will go
wrong with the wine it will happen after it is in the bottle (when
there is little you can do about it).
After 30 plus years of winemaking I know this is true.
I keep my wine in bulk for a year or more before bottling it reduces:
blowing out corks
fizzy wine
excessive sediment
cloudy or hazy wine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          British Columbia Amateur Winemakers Association
```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          British Columbia Amateur Winemakers Association
         =================================================

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by Brian Lunde » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>  OK, this is starting to drive me around the bend. It seems that just about
>  everybody that I talk to says that it ages faster in a carboy, wait before
>  you bottle it. Then I see a post like this. I can remember seeing two post
>  that say this actually, over the last year ( I could have missed some of
>  course). So what's the deal??? Is it really better to bottle as soon as it
>  reaches a 'critical' specific gravity (or some other criteria), depending
>  on the wine of course, and then leave it to sit? I'm rather confused.

Wines will always age more slowly in a larger vessel, all things being equal. This means, in particular, that the wine in carboy must be
topped up to within an inch or two of the airlock and that the airlock is keeping air out like it's supposed to. In other words, you have a
giant 5 gallon sealed bottle.  Anyone who says their wines age faster in carboy is probably not keeping their carboy properly topped up
and they are confusing excessive oxidation with aging. Having said that, it should be noted that it would be several years before the
difference became noticeable.

However, there are many reasons for keeping your wine in carboy for an extended period. First of all, it allows the wine to gas off
naturally, instead of the ridiculous practice of stirring and shaking the carboy to drive off the CO2 so it can be bottled within that magical
28 day window that many kit people seem to strive for. It allows the wine to clear naturally, without unnecessary fining agents. It permits
an extended lees contact, which if done properly, will benefit whites such as chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. It improves the biological
stability of the wine be increasing the opportunity for ML to occur before bottling. Even  if ML was not planned, and no innoculation
done, an improperly protected wine can still undergo ML and if it occurs after bottling, will degrade the wine with off odors and a spritz on
the tongue. It allows excess tartrates to settle out naturally, if cold stabilization is not an option. Similarly, with unstable color pigments and
tannins, so there is less sediment thrown in bottle. Perhaps most importantly, it lets you taste the wine at a reasonable stage of
development, so you can determine before bottling, if the wine is in need of corrections or adjustments (ie sugar or acid additions, finings
to correct slight color or flavor flaws, blending options, etc).

Brian

 
 
 

AGING: Bottles or Carboy?

Post by your na » Thu, 15 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:


>>Definitely carboy!!!  They say that one month in the carboy is equivalent

>>have found that the 'body' starts to develop with wine approximately six
>>months after bottling.  Keep it in the carboy in a nice cool place for as
>>long as you can.  It will be worth the wait!

>Wine ages more slowly in bulk containers than in small vessels.

>Paul Jean Jr.
>Publisher GETTING STARTED IN WINEMAKING

Thanks for the tip.  I enjoy wine making and am obtaining more reference material with each batch. For your information you will likely not be able to respond to this message because i am taking an intro to the internet and am using a educational computer in Edmonton, Alberta. Bye