a DIRT & WINE blog

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Batch #4: Stabilizing and clearing

Finally, last step before bottling! Time to stabilize (kill the yeast) and scoot the wine along to clearing.

When I pulled the carboy out of the closet, I noticed a lot of moisture. The wine did not continue to ferment, as it was noted that it could or could not. I’m not sure if this is an issue but taking note of it anyway in my Winemaker’s Log. batch4moistureAs always, we start by checking the gravity reading. I consistently hit this 0.990 mark as shown below and needed to be less than 0.996. As this stage, we can take a stab at the alcohol content.

The initial reading when we started the fermenting process was 1.084, less the 0.990 we just got, and multiply by 131… we’re looking at roughly 12.31% alcohol content. Not bad!

I dissolved the package of metabisulphite and sorbate in 1/2 cup of cool, distilled water, and then added it to the must. Then, time to whip the hell out of the wine. The purpose of this step is to release any and all gas out of the wine. Trapped gas can lead to foul tasting and smelling wine, as well as tasting bubbly when it is not intended to.

I used the degassing whip attached to a drill, whipping for 2 minutes, then stirring with the spoon to make sure I’m stirring up the bottom, and then back to the drill. I must of done this 4-6 times. I was still getting a lot of fizz.

batch4degassingI remembered we had a specific bung to attach to the whip and insert into the carboy, creating a sort of vacuum. I put that sucker on and regretted it. The damn drill shredded pieces of the bung INTO THE MUST.

batch4bungI was able to get a lot of it out using the spoon. It’s a pain because that opening is not much to try and scrap the top of the must. After researching the internet, I learned the wine IS NOT ruined. I may or may not rack it again before bottling, carefully siphoning around the plastic pieces.

It’s very hard to post and share such a stupid lesson learned! But I learned. I assure you it will still be drinkable. It’s food grade plastic anyway. Besides, if you don’t want it, that means more for me!

We have another 14 days before it’s time to bottle, which reminds me… time to order another kit!

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Batch#4: Secondary Fermentation

It’s time for Step #2 for this Pinot Noir wine kit. As always, the first step is to test the gravity reading. Ideal reading per the directions was to get between 1.010 or less. We got 0.996 – win. Next, rack the wine.

This step is simply racking the wine to the glass carboy, leaving as much of the sediment behind as possible. Using the fancy siphon hose, it was really just a waiting game to transfer the must.

batch4step2We may or may not see any further fermentation. Now we wait for another 10 days!