Posted on 14 May 2010.
This article provides for tips as to how ferment your own wine at home. The actual fermentation process that is involved in wine making is based around a chemical reaction which occurs when turning raw grape juice into an alcoholic beverage called wine. Some consideration should be taken into account when considering the exact timing and lengths of the fermentation process prior to beginning. This is mainly a way to protect the final integrity of the product and the wine itself.
A seasoned vintner will have a specific plan in motion before starting the process. Yeast will interact with natural sugars in the fruit juice during the fermentation process creating ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol. It also creates carbon dioxide as off product. The temperature and timing of the fermentation process is of great importance when fermenting the wine. Great care should be taken to avoid risks of stuck fermentation. It causes a delay in the fermentation process. When stuck fermentation happens it usually delays the process anywhere from five to fifteen days time. This is crucial for the home made wine maker in making a quality product. It could change the entire batch of wine and could produce vinegar if left unchecked.
This drawback of stuck fermentation is usually caused by a number of influences. It happens due to a lack of nutrient content needed in order for yeast to complete its fermentation process. Another cause of this is often low temperatures, or fluctuating temperature changes causing the yeast to stop fermenting early. Finally the alcohol percentage rate could have grown too high as a result of the type of yeast selected to be used in the fermentation process.
The majority of fermentation is often done in stainless steel tanks, open wooden vats, inside wine barrels, or inside the wine bottle itself as seen in the production of many types of sparkling and brut wines. For the home making vintner, these concerns are not large concerns. But often fermenting wine at home will mean a little bit more effort and work from the maker and usually this work is crucial to making a quality wine product.
Posted in Winemaking Tips
Posted on 11 December 2009.
After your wine has been bottled you will need to take careful steps to ensure that careful temperatures are maintained in order for the wine to remain stable. In most cases, it is best to store your wine in cool temperatures. For long-term storage, most bottled wines do better when stored at a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason why it is so important to store wine at cool temperatures is because cool temperatures help to reduce the effects of oxidation.
Keep in mind; however, that you do not necessarily need to obsess if you absolutely cannot obtain a storage facility at exactly 55 degrees. The improvement provided for each degree in temperature you are able to reduce in the storage area is really only marginal. Of course, a dark area that has a temperature of 65 degrees is always going to better than an area with a lot of light that has an average temperature of 75 degrees. Being able to store your wine in an area at 55 degrees; however, would only be slightly better than the 65 degree storage area.
The most important key is to try to avoid fluctuations in temperature in the area where you store your bottled wine, even if this means that area is slightly warmer than 55 degrees. Changes in temperature can be very difficult on bottled wine. Over time, temperature fluctuations will wear down your wine. Wine that is stored in an area with temperature fluctuations will take on a weak aroma and may begin to lose its character. The main reason that temperature changes have such an effect on bottled wine is due to the expansion and contraction that occurs.
When temperatures change, anything in that area naturally expands and contracts. With bottled wine, the glass in the bottle will expand and contract; however, the wine inside the bottle will also expand and contract. They do not expand and contract at the same level; however. Wine tends to expand and contract at a far greater level than the glass in the wine bottle. The result is the buildup of pressure inside the bottle. The aroma of the wine may then seep through the cork. In addition, the expansion and contraction process can result in carbon dioxide seeping into the wine through the cork and the vacuum that is left in the process. This can result in a very bad taste in your wine.
In some cases, you may not be certain whether the temperature in your storage area is stable. In that case, it is a good idea to set up a monitoring system to make sure that the temperatures are remaining stable. It is not uncommon for an area that was thought to be quite stable to have temperature fluctuations. In some cases, these fluctuations can amount to as much as 10 degrees each day. Over time, this can prove to be disastrous for your wine. Therefore, if you are not entirely certain that your storage area is consistent in terms of temperature it really is a good idea to monitor it over a period of time to make sure that the temperature is remaining consistent. Keep in mind that when monitoring your storage area, you should check the temperature at least twice a day at different times in order to get an accurate idea of whether the temperature is remaining stable on a daily basis.
Posted in Wine Storage