Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Post by Kevin Brushet » Thu, 19 Mar 1998 04:00:00



I have just started a batch of Red Wine - Pinot Noir - from one of the
28 concentrate kits.  To enhance the finished product I have added some
oak chips to the primary fermenter.  Can or should I transfer the oak
chips to the secondary fermenter?  I have heard that the longer the wine
is in contact with the oak - this less 'overtly' oaky the wine will
taste - ie the oak flavour will be more subtle.   Should I add new oak
chips at this stage if I want a subtle oakiness or will new chips make
give it a stronger oak flavour?  Or should I simply take them out
altogether.

Secondly, I'm interested in aging the wine in the carboy rather than
individual bottles.  Will this improve the flavour etc... of the wine -
or in the case of these concentrate kits does it make any difference?
Also how many and how often should I rack the wine off the lees so as to
halt the excessive autolyzation of the yeast.  I want some of the
benefits lees contact and malolatic fermentation, but since I'm new to
this I haven't yet got the feel for the process.  Any useful tips here
would be great.
--
"History and memory share events; that is, they share time and space.
Every moment is two moments."
- Anne Michaels, FUGITIVE PIECES

Kevin Brushett
PhD ABD
Department of History
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario

 
 
 

Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Post by zemo » Thu, 19 Mar 1998 04:00:00


Howdy.
I made a Vitner's Reserve Cabernet kit that came with oak - it was kind
of like sawdust - that went in the primary. I also used oak chips in the
secondary. It was not over oaked. I say: oak it. Oakay? (sorry:)

Quote:

> I have just started a batch of Red Wine - Pinot Noir - from one of the
> 28 concentrate kits.  To enhance the finished product I have added some
> oak chips to the primary fermenter.  Can or should I transfer the oak
> chips to the secondary fermenter?  I have heard that the longer the wine
> is in contact with the oak - this less 'overtly' oaky the wine will
> taste - ie the oak flavour will be more subtle.   Should I add new oak
> chips at this stage if I want a subtle oakiness or will new chips make
> give it a stronger oak flavour?  Or should I simply take them out
> altogether.

> Secondly, I'm interested in aging the wine in the carboy rather than
> individual bottles.  Will this improve the flavour etc... of the wine -
> or in the case of these concentrate kits does it make any difference?
> Also how many and how often should I rack the wine off the lees so as to
> halt the excessive autolyzation of the yeast.  I want some of the
> benefits lees contact and malolatic fermentation, but since I'm new to
> this I haven't yet got the feel for the process.  Any useful tips here
> would be great.
> --
> "History and memory share events; that is, they share time and space.
> Every moment is two moments."
> - Anne Michaels, FUGITIVE PIECES

> Kevin Brushett
> PhD ABD
> Department of History
> Queen's University
> Kingston, Ontario


 
 
 

Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Post by Bruce Suse » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00


The "sawdust" type of oak was probabally a type of Oak-Mor, which is a
very fine powder.  It is included with some kits to add to the primary.
The powder circulates pretty good during the primary stage when the
yeast is floculating (sp).  

This topic interests me as well.  I've been trying different types of
wood in different sizes, during different stages of fermenting.  I'd be
interested in the size and country of origin of the "chips" that ou used
in your batch.

I have been working with the following:  
Oakmor:  (the sawdust)
Franch Oak shavings:  (these are made from actual french oak barrels,
and are lightly toasted.  they are about the size of pipe tobacco in
it's processed form).

We also have american toasted oak, which is about the size of a dime or
quarter.  Haven't used them yet.  

FYI - my latest oak experiment was using approx 2oz French oak shavings
in A Vintage Harvest 3gal. Porto kit.  I added it during the last 10
days of clearing. (we'll see how the kit comes out, never made a
concentrate Port,,,,)  Last night I bottled a Cuvee Vendange Shiraz,
which included approx 2oz of Oak-Mor, which was added to the primary.

I must admit I'm a "babe in the woods" when it comes to oaking wines,
and hope to learn some great techniques.

Bruce

http://www.vinotheque.net

 
 
 

Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Post by Glen Duf » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00


I use two oak barrels, 10 gal for reds and a 15 gal French oak barrel for
whites and I feel this is the best way to age and oak the appropriate
varietals for several reasons.  I do understand that this is not for
everyone, especially when starting out, as it is expensive and there is  
extra work required.

I have previously used oak chips purchased in a bag from a wine supply
shop, and although I have not personally tried it, I understand from a
very good source that oak chips can be toasted.  I think this can be done
on a barbeque or grilled in the oven.  For light toasting, the chips
should be removed just as they begin to turn a light brown.

In response to Kevin Brushett's queries about the use of oak chips, this
is the art side of winemaking and one of the pleasures in making wine
is that the "proof of the pudding is in the taste."  The level of
oakiness is very much a personal choice.  Obviously you want a balanced
wine and do not want the oak to overwhelm the characteristics of the
vinifera.  This is a good opportunity to experiment and learn.  In the
future you might consider breaking your wine into three smaller
batches after the secondary fermentation is finished or almost
finished and have a control batch without oak chips and two other
batches one with oak chips for 2-3 weeks and the other for much
longer.  Have your friends do the blind tasting, see which one they
like best and if they can guess as to levels of oakiness.

With pinot noir, the red grape of burgundy, oak aging is standard
practice and has been the tradition for decades with this variety in
France.

With respect to your question on aging in the carboy rather than
individual bottles, I routinely age in carboys and have a few with 1996
Chardonnay and Riesling wines.  They will probably be bottled soon.  I
understand that wine ages more slowly in bottles than it does in bulk
although this is difficult to verify.    

Best regards,
Glen Duff
Rockwood, Ontario

Quote:

> The "sawdust" type of oak was probabally a type of Oak-Mor, which is a
> very fine powder.  It is included with some kits to add to the primary.
> The powder circulates pretty good during the primary stage when the
> yeast is floculating (sp).

> This topic interests me as well.  I've been trying different types of
> wood in different sizes, during different stages of fermenting.  I'd be
> interested in the size and country of origin of the "chips" that ou used
> in your batch.

> I have been working with the following:
> Oakmor:  (the sawdust)
> Franch Oak shavings:  (these are made from actual french oak barrels,
> and are lightly toasted.  they are about the size of pipe tobacco in
> it's processed form).

> We also have american toasted oak, which is about the size of a dime or
> quarter.  Haven't used them yet.

> FYI - my latest oak experiment was using approx 2oz French oak shavings
> in A Vintage Harvest 3gal. Porto kit.  I added it during the last 10
> days of clearing. (we'll see how the kit comes out, never made a
> concentrate Port,,,,)  Last night I bottled a Cuvee Vendange Shiraz,
> which included approx 2oz of Oak-Mor, which was added to the primary.

> I must admit I'm a "babe in the woods" when it comes to oaking wines,
> and hope to learn some great techniques.

> Bruce

> http://www.vinotheque.net

 
 
 

Pinot Noir - Oak Aging and Aging in Carboy

Post by Allan » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00


 At the risk of shattering myths about oak...

 A wine fermented in contact with oak, weather new or old oak.
will be far less "oaky" than a wine aged in oak but fermented elsewhere.

 New oak will impart more flavor than used oak (obvious)

Oak chips used in the Primary fermenter will have less profound effect than chips in the secondary,
and oak chips during bulk aging...

Let me point out that "oakyness" is, like most other things, personal taste.
If you like a particular flavor, do whatever you have to do to get it the way
you want.

 I think by now I've made my point..

BTW, Part of the "oak" taste is from certain (partially)fermentable sugars that can only be
metabilised by yeast during very active fermentation.
It is for these sugars that Cognac is aged in NEW oak barrels.

 I have two ounces of oak sugar (extracted from "sweet" acorns) any suggestions?

Allan
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