All racked Up & No Place to Go

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limoncello

limoncello (Photo credit: Shamballah)

I racked my (2) Californians and (2) Italians one last time before bottling in end of April. The (2) whites were so clear I could see through them clearly. They all tasted great. I will bottle in April and then into cold storage for aging. The Lemoncello was so yellow! I added sugar water and rest of vodka and it is now a little cloudy. It needs to sit until end of April. It should get a good yellow color by then. Then I will strain out lemon peels and bottle it. Lemoncello must be drunk iced in freezer for months. It won’t freeze but it will get syrupy and take the harsh edge off the vodka. Enjoy. Let me know what you are making.

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Amazing Clarity in White Wine

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This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always amazed at how clear I can get my white wines. When I first move them from the primary fermentor to secondary (glass), they are VERY cloudy almost milky. After 30 to 45 days they have cleared and I rack off the clear wine and throw away the sediment at the bottom. After  or 3 rackings, the white wine is crystal clear! After all who wants to drink a white wine that is not clear? Enjoy your wine making.

Tis a Good Time of Year

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This is a great time of year for wine making. Not much to do except rack and taste your creations. The wine making process is over and the new wine is aging and maturing. Each time you rack it you get more clarification and you can taste the maturity of your wines. Racking does have a negative side. Racking too often introduces oxygen to your wine. oxygen is wines arch-enemy. It with turn the color of your wine brown and give it a bad flavor if it is allowed. Adding some sulphites at each racking will help fight off the enemy.

It’s Cold Storage For My Wines

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Gąsior

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The Italian juices have finished fermintation (specific gravity is .996 or below). I racked them and cleaned the carboys to get rid of sledge and racked wine back into carboys. The juice is technically a wine now. It tastes like wine and has an alcohol content. They may be young still and their taste will develop with time. After racking I added 1/4 tsp of sulphite to protect the wine for long term storage. Most will be drunk in 2-3 years but some may last for 6-7 yaers in the bottle. I moved the carboys to a temperature controlled room (cold storage) where I store all my bottles. They will sit here until I need the carboys to start the cycle over again. Then I will bottle the wines and store them in cold storage.

It’s a Good Time of the Year

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St Sadurni d'Anoia - Cordoniu Grid - Shoes on ...

Image by Shoes on Wires via Flickr

My Californian juices and Rioja kits are finished fermentation and have been moved to cold storage (a room that stays at 55 degrees F for wine aging) along with my bottles of wine from previous years. My Italian juices are still in secondary fermentation. The specific gravity is around 1.000. After it gets down to .996 or lower, secondary fermentation will be finished. I will then rack off the wine and get rid of any sediments, add water to bring juice back to 6 gallon level and add a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Metasulfite to help it age longer. I enjoy drinking my wines 3 years old or older. I typically set aside 5-10 bottles of the 30 for long-term storage (Reserve bottles). I have drunk some of these as old as 6 years. Once the Italians are moved to cold storage there isn’t much to do. I will rack at least one more time to ensure a clear crisp wine. In the spring I buy my Chilean juices and bottle the Californians, Rioja and Italians. The process starts all over again. Home made wine is so much better than most wines to buy commercially.

California Must

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Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

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I picked up two 6 gallon buckets of California Must today from Gino Pinto’s in Hammonton, NJ (a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir). This fall I will do these two, (2) Rioja Kits and (4) Italian juices from Gino’s. The Selection Rioja kits had a confusing set of instructions that ended step #1 before adding the yeast. It had an arrow going to next page and under Step #2 was the remainder of step #1 telling you to add the yeast. Those that have been doing this won’t be fooled since you can NOT start fermentation correctly without yeast! But anyone doing kits for the first time read the instructions through once in their entirety before starting. Think about what you are doing and then begin. Enjoy your wine!

The Chileans are in Cold Storage

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map of some Chilean islands in the Pacific ocean

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The spring Chilean juices have completed fermintation. The wine is very young and not yet drinkable. It nows is moved to cold storage (55 degrees farenhite) for at least 6 months. It will be racked several times until little or no sediment shows up. This clarifies the wine for drinking. Some will be bottled in the fall (when I buy my Californian & Italian juices) to free up carboys and others over the winter. I basically taste the wine and look for any residual gases. If it doesn’t taste quite ready or there is gas, I won’t bottle it yet.

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