Saturday, November 13, 2010

Winemaking 101: Part 2

So you've got grape juice fermenting in a cooler. It's been about two weeks, so you should start checking to see how much longer the juice needs to ferment.

Materials List for checking the juice: Hydrometer, graduated cylinder

Put some of the juice into the graduated cylinder. You want to make sure there is no grape skins or seeds in the cylinder, so cover the top and slowly let the juice through your fingers and into the cylinder. Put the hydrometer in. Make sure it isn't touching the sides of the cylinder when you read it.

Once it reads zero, you are ready for the next step.

Materials list for transferring containers: A large pot or two, a colander, a funnel, carboys, airlocks, stops big enough for the carboy tops with a hole in it for the air lock, oak chips.

First start straining out the seeds and skins.

If you like, squeeze the skins to get every drop of juice.

Discard skins and seeds.

Pour the juice into the carboy until the juice reaches where the bottle starts to slope in. You need to make sure there is some room for the oak chips.

Take your oak chips and pour them into the carboy. You want there to be at least a quarter inch to half inch layer in the bottle. Make sure that there is very little extra space in the carboy. If there is too much oxygen in the bottle, the wine will become vinegar.

Place the stopper and airlock into the top of the carboy. I breath into the bottle a little to get rid of some of the oxygen.

Once the oak chips settle, we'll move onto the next step.


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