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Tom's Tip

Posted by Tom Corbett, March 15th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Rack Early and Rack Often! Winemaking Myth?

One of the unfortunate urges that beginner winemakers get is the unseemly desire to fiddle with their wine. Even when the wine is perfectly adjusted, finished fermenting, fully stable and now needs only time to show its glory, they want to intervene.


Some sources urge winemakers to rack wine immediately off of any visible sediment to avoid H2S contamination. Since racking has the goal of separating the wine from sediments, thus leaving it clear, frequent rackings are a good way to satisfy this urge. However, in winemaking as in life, more is not always better.

In the first year of a wine’s life, four rackings are probably too many. Even red wine fermentations from grapes — which can throw very large amounts of sedimented pulp, stem material and yeast cells — only need to be racked three times to achieve decent clarity in the first year. Extra rackings should only be attempted if the wine begins to show off flavours and aromas that can be attributed to lees contact, and only after careful analysis shows that this is the best course of action.

In the words of the sage, “Don’t just do something, sit there"

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Jason wrote on Jan 29, 2011 7:19 PM:
Great site we are new to wine making

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