Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Next wine step uses power tools!

One of the rituals that tells me it's spring is cleaning the barbeque. We use it year round. I try to clean it every time I fill the propane tank, but don't always. It's been needing a cleaning really badly. Mainly it's getting all the guck off the bottom of the rack, and cleaning out the bottom where all the charred bits go.

This evening was the next step in turning a wine kit into bottles of wine. Up to now I mixed it all up, kept it warm, and let it sit. Tonight I racked it into a carboy, added some stabalizers, stirred the gas out of it, and now it will sit again for 30 days or so. Here's some photos.

The primary. No fizzing anymore, all the oak chips have sunk to the bottom.

Here I am siphoning the wine from the primary to the carboy, or racking it, as we wino's like to say it. I need to hang on to the top of the siphon to keep it out of the sediment, and that limited how far away I could get the camera. Not the best shot of the process.

This is what is left at the bottom of the primary. Lots of dead yeast, the bentonite, and the oak chips. This will stain cloth like you wouldn't believe!

The packets have stuff that will kill the yeast, help the solids clump together and settle out, degas the wine, and help it remain stable in the bottle.

Here's the part that guys love, the use of a power tool.

The idea is to stir the wine thoroughly to help degas it, and assist all the solids in settling out. Sure beats stirring by hand.

Afterward, you get to clean stuff up. The photo doesn't really do justice to how shockingly bright purple the sediment is.

Here's the two batches of wine on the go. I stabalized the white yesterday, and you can see that it's settling out nicely. After I stirred it, it looked like it was snowing in the carboy as the yeast settled out. You can sometimes see this in red wines, but it's harder to see.

The red will sit for another month or so, settling out. The next step is to very, very carefully rack it to another carboy. The trick is to get all the wine and none of the sediment. Do it right and you can bottle. Do it wrong, and you wait a while longer. I'll be back then.


  1. I'm learning a lot here Keith, thanks!!!! I can't wait to see the finished product. Looks like hard work.

    PS - you don't have to do the "tagged" thing. :)

  2. Thanks for the wine making pics, makes for a really interesting post.

  3. Keith, the Rum Runner! Making moonshine in the basement -- in a different time, you'd be skirting the law...Hahahahahahahaah!!

    Looking forward to seeing you and Linda this weekend! :) :)


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