VINTNER’S BEST WINE KITS
HOW TO MAKE WINE:
SANATIZE YOUR EQUIPTMENT: In your primary fermenter: Mix one tbs of sodium metabisulphite for every gallon of water and place the lid, airlock, racking tube and hose in the solution and let soak for ten min. You must do this to every thing that will touch your wine, just before using it. No rinsing is necessary.
This is critical! Yeast is very close, on the food chain, to being a bacteria. If yeast can grow then bacteria can grow. The whole point of wine-making is to make yeast grow, so keep it clean! Once the yeast starts to produce alcohol, it will kill any pathogens that can hurt you. If you can get it past your nose.. it won’t make you sick (except too drunk).
Helpful tip: Rack (siphon) the sanitizing solution into your glass secondary fermenter and put the bung on. You will be using this in 7 - 10 days and if you leave the solution in it, it will be ready to go after you resoak the racking cane and hose. Fill the hydrometer tube with solution so it will be ready when you are.
MIX YOUR JUICE: You are making six gallons of wine. If you do not know where the six gallon mark is on your fermenter, then make one by filling your six gallon carboy with water and pour it in the bucket and make a line on the outside of the fermenter bucket. Do this before you sanitize.
Pour 1/2 gallon of water into your sanitized bucket and add bentonite (pack #1). Mix well. Add the yeast pack to the remaining half gallon of water but do not stir yet.
Add the juice concentrate to the bucket and add water up to the six gallon mark, using the yeast slurry (you can shake it up now) for your last half gallon. Adding too little water is better than too much, we will be topping off later.
If your kit has an “F Pack”, use less water so you have room to add the F Pack to the carboy later.
Extras: If your kit has oak powder or elder flowers, add them now. If you want to add figs, raisins, currents or etc., put them in a sanitized nylon bag or cheesecloth and drop them in.
PRIMARY FERMENTATION: This is where most of the sugars will be converted into alcohol. If you take a hydrometer reading at this point, it should read 1.070 to 1.090 because it is thick with sugars. The origional gravity is not as critical as the fact that you are making a six gallon bactch of finished wine. As time goes on the hydrometer will sink lower because the sugar is being converted to alcohol, which weighs less than water.
Seal the bucket with the lid, add a little water to the airlock and insert it in the grommet on the lid.
7 - 10 days later: The bubbles in the airlock should be slowing down. Peal back the lid and drop in your sanitized hydrometer. You are looking for a reading of 1.010 or less ( like 0.996 ). If it is too high, seal it back up and try again in a few days.
SECONDARY FERMENTATION: Whatever sugars are left in the wine will be eaten up in this stage. Racking your wine early will add a small amount of oxygen to the must and help the yeast to finish fermentation.
Sanitize your carboy and racking cane, If you carboy is full of solution, then soak the racking cane and hose for a few mins. and siphon the sanitizing out so that the inside of the cane and hose will be fully cleaned.
Rack your wine into the carboy. do not top off at this point. You should have 2 to 4 inches of head space for later use.
Leave it alone for 2 or 3 weeks.
FINISHING YOUR WINE: At this point your wine is fizzy and has live yeast cell in it. We want to drive off the CO2 and kill the yeast to prevent any further fermentation. DO NOT rack you wine before doing these steps. Stirring up the sediment helps your wine clear better.
Dissolve pack 2 and 3 into a small amount of water and add it into your carboy.
Stir Vigorously until you no longer see foam and your wine is flat, not fizzy.
Add clarifier pack and stir vigorously again.
If your kit has an “F Pack” Then add it now and stir again.
I am not a huge fan of “off dry” (sweet) wines. If my kit has an F Pack, I will add about half of it at this stage and carefully seal the bag to add the remaining portion on bottling day if I want more sweetness.
Top off your carboy and let sit for two weeks.
Batch aging option: There is thermal protection in volume. If your wine storage area changes 10 degrees from night to day, a 750 ml bottle will change 10 degrees, but a 6 gallon carboy will only change 2 degrees. Large and or rapid temperature changes will deteriorate your wine quickly. You need to decide if it is worth it to you to tie up a carboy for extended aging and preventing you from starting another batch.
After clearing for 2 weeks, rack into a sanitized carboy, add 1/4 tsp of metabisulphite and top off with wine.
You want to remove the wine from the sediment. The sediment is mostly dead yeast cells. Like all dead bodies, they decompose and give off nasty smells. We generally do not want our wine exposed to this.
Bottling: This job goes smoother if you have a second pair of hands to help. Since you will get about 291/2 bottles from your batch, fill the first one halfway and drink it. It’s young and rough but it will give you an idea of what your wine can become and it helps you understand the importance of aging.
Sanitize: corks, bottles, racking cane and fermenter and rack your wine for the last time. Give it a hearty stirring and add 1/4 tsp of sulphite if you are going to age it more than 6 months.
Fill bottles to about 3 inches from the top and use a corking machine to insert corks.
Leave the bottles upright for 3 or 4 days so the cork can setup. If you tip them over too soon, you will get wine leaking out around the cork.
05.29.2013 7:00 pm - 05.29.2013 10:00 pmIntro to Brewing Class
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