Monday, April 5, 2010

Wine making Part 2

At the end of yesterday's post, we were left with a drum of fermenting grape juice. Keep testing for sugar with your hydrometer. When the baume is zero, it's time to celebrate. You've made wine!
Now is time to borrow a press and press the wine.
The grape leavings after pressings are destined for the compost. In some traditions, the grape leavings are mixed with sugar and water and fermented again to make grappa ie. rocket fuel. Nothing wasted, you see!
After you have pressed, decant the wine into airtight containers (preferably with airlocks) and resist the temptation to taste, which introduces air. Air + wine = oxidisation. Not good in wine.

After about 4 weeks, it's time to rack your wine, as above. Siphon wine through food grade plastic tubing from one container to another. In the process, the fine particles in the wine will have formed a sludge at the bottom, which is left behind. Clean out the container, and again treat with sodium metabisulphite to prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage.
Repeat the racking process again.
You can bottle your wine any time from now on. Wash your bottles thoroughly, again with sodium metabisulphite and do not rinse. This acts as a preservative. Fill bottles from the bottom up with plastic tubing.
Leave for as long as you can manage, and enjoy!

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