How Often Should You Rack Your Wine?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Racking is simply the process of transferring a wine from one container to another while leaving behind any sediment or "lees".  Why do you rack your wine?  Over time fruit particles and dead yeast cells will settle out of the wine and pile up on the bottom of your container.  In the first days after pressing a wine, this layer will be very thick and particularly troublesome.  This thick layer of yeast and fruit crud is referred to as the gross lees, whereas the thinner sediment later on is known as the fine lees.  The main purpose of racking is to separate the clean wine from these decaying lees to eventually form a crystal clear and ready-to-bottle wine... but the question is...  How often should you rack your wine?

Racking Equipment

No crazy equipment needed here.  A simple 3/8 inch stainless steel racking cane and some 5/16 inch food grade tubing are my go-to racking equipment.  A 5/16" tube will stretch over the 3/8 cane nicely with virtually no risk of falling off or leaking on you. The stainless racking cane will last longer than you and the tubing can be replaced with very little cost.  Th