The above picture shows carboy 3 with oak chips added on December 20, 2008. The oak remained in the carboy for 12 days. After the new year, I racked the wine to clean carboys and tossed the old oak chips.
After racking, I tested a glass of wine from carboy 2. The wine is definitely improved from my last tasting. It is starting to clear up, but the carbonation from the yeast is still strong. It was like drinking champagne. Unfortunately racking involves losing a small volume of wine from each carboy. The loss results from the sludge at the bottom of the carboy. All of the dead yeast makes it impossible to rack the last bit of wine from the bottom if I want to avoid sucking the sludge into the clean carboy. I topped off each carboy with a bottle of commercial dry Riesling from Anthony Road Winery (to keep consistency with Finger Lakes grapes).
I managed to get the Titrets SO2 test kit to work. Well, sort of. I find it nearly impossible to suck individual drops of wine into the test vial. But I got enough in to begin the titration, as the vial turned blue. Then I got enough extra drops to see that the titration was reaching an end point somewhere just above 100ppm SO2 on the scale. That means I need to take it easy on the sulfites from here on out to bottling.
I may need to top up a little more next weekend, but I will not rack again until February. At that time, I will add potassium sorbate and cold stabilize in the garage.