Of all the areas of winemaking that must be studied, one of the most essential is the area of racking. The racking process is what is done in order to have a clear wine that can be bottled. Bits which are left floating about are usually called the lees. These bits must usually be removed in order to allow the wine taste and look better. Nobody (and this especially refers to people who are buying wine) wants to drink wine which has different unknown elements floating in it. Lees or bits may be anything from dead yeast to other things such as dirt and pieces of skin and stems which get into the wine in the process of winemaking.
Racking can be done by taking wine from one bottle and placing it in another one without taking the sediments along with it. Several techniques can be employed in this process; one of these techniques is where wine is siphoned from one bottle to the other. You should then stop the bits as they come closer to the neck of the bottle. After this you should do it again when some months have passed and some time before you bottle the wine as well.
You should repeat this process for the number of times that it will take to clear out the wine. If you still have the sediments after a couple of months, you should repeat the process again and do some waiting before the last bottling process. However you should ensure that you don’t do it that often. You should make sure that it isn’t done more than once every three weeks or so.
Bits may be left to sit for three months if you feel that this suits you best. What you should ensure is that you do not bottle your wine with lees remaining at the bottom. Whatever these sediments are, they may be rotting in your wine and this can affect the flavor of your wine in a way that is very detrimental to everything else. Your wine may be smell and taste bad due to these lees. If you’re the sort that prefers to leave the lees alone for a while, make sure you stir it weekly. This won’t affect the flavor but it will enhance it just as long as it is stirred often. You can also rack your wine if you feel that you have received enough advantages from the lees. When the wine is being racked you should be careful and reduce the contact that it has with the air.
When you have purchased your winemaking equipment you will notice that other than the kit that can be purchased, a lot of other pieces exist which can do a number of other things. You can purchase a number of items which will help you along with the racking process but then again you may not want to do this if this is your first time of making wine. This is because you may not be sure if you want to repeat the winemaking process again. It may just be a one time thing.