Racking of your wine helps with clarity, flavor and more.

Racking is a very important step in your wine making.
Racking is a process of siphoning wine from one carboy or secondary fermemter to another.   The benefit of this is that as the wine sits and finishes its secondary fermentation, the dead yeast and lees fall to the bottom of the carboy providing a clearer wine.   This sediment can impart a bad taste to the wine, so it is good to get it away from the wine.   You'll want as much as you can get away from the wine.   Have you ever had a bottle which looked good when you bottled it, but after a year or so of sitting, you can now see sediment?

 

What do I need?
Primarily you'll be siphoning wine with this long tube.   The important part is the J-tube or siphoning cane.   These devices are used to suck the wine and not the sediment on the bottom of the carboys.  

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J-Tube or racking cane

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long clean tube for siphoning

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a friend

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clean carboy for the wine

It's actually quite simple... 
Just take your time, and even take a taste if you want to see how your wine is doing.
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Get the container with the wine in it set up on a high solid location at least 24 hrs before racking.

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Be sure not to stir up the sediment back into the wine

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sterilize all equipment and carboys to be used

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Slowly insert racking tube into carboy and be sure not to stir up the sediment

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Have your friend begin the siphoning by the other carboy

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Once started, have the wine run down inside against the wall of the new carboy so you don't aerate the wine.

Here is an apple wine which I was about to rack.  If you look closely, you can see the different layers in the wine of suspended particles.  It's amazing to see the actual different lines of clarity.  It seems that each layer was about 3-4 inches high.   

 

Be careful when racking, this is the stuff you don't want to disturb.           


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Racking is a simple process
All you're doing is siphoning from one carboy to another to leave the sediment behind.

How Often?
It is recommended to rack your wine every 3 months after the initial racking from the secondary fermenter to the carboy when the fermentation process has stopped. 


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