Once the correct TA/pH and SO2 levels have been adjusted, the lees will have been stirred-up during the addition and the wine will be cloudy. We can either transfer the wine now to our ageing/storage vessels or we can wait. The timing and how we carry out this racking will determine the amount of lees we end up with in our ageing/storage vessels after the transfer.
Note: We can use the full lees from the fermentation with no problem because we already racked off the press solids during the juice preparation. This eliminated the pulp, skin particles, vineyard residue, etc that could be the cause of H2S formation if present in the lees. If we did not settle the solids out of our juice before the fermentation began, we need to follow the “partial lees desired” protocol below to eliminate them from the wine. The unwanted grape solids are heavier than the yeast and will settle out first after each stirring. Thus they will be on the bottom layer when the lees settle back out. Racking only the top layers post settling will ensure the unwanted elements stay behind!
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