Monday, December 29, 2014

Cold Carboys and Clearing

I moved fourteen of the FlexTank 2013 vintage Riesling to cold storage for a few weeks.  These fourteen carboys contain wine fermented and cleared for six months in the FlexTank 80 gallon Dexter Tank.  It has not cleared like the batch from the WinePod, which I had transferred to Better Bottle carboys after three weeks.  I might attribute darker hue to extra oxygen permeation through the FlexTank, but the color in the fourteen carboys is not much darker than the WinePod originated carboys. 

I added bentonite to all the 2013 carboys and the WinePod (non-FlexTank batch) cleared on one racking.  I also tried adding a little Polyclar to a few of the FlexTank carboys, which lightened them, but did not aid much in clearing.  I am hoping the winter cold will do the trick.

Taking a look at the 2014 carboys, the color is much lighter than any of the 2013 vintage.  This is owing to less oxygen in the starting juice.  Since taste complexity is a big part of making a good Riesling, the extra oxygenation at the start isn't always a bad thing, but it does leave less room for error during the winemaking process. 

The 2012 and 2013 grape juice was very similar in starting color, with 2013 just a little darker.  2014 is much lighter and brighter, perhaps the lightest hue since 2009.  In fact, I was so fooled by lighter hue in 2009 that I bottled some of the Riesling early, mistaking the transparency and perceived clarity for the absence of yeast.  I ended up with a sparkling Riesling.