All racked Up & No Place to Go

2 Comments

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.

Advertisements

Amazing Clarity in White Wine

2 Comments

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

1 Comment

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

7 Comments

Gąsior

Image via Wikipedia

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.

The Italians are here!

2 Comments

A glass of the Italian wine Barolo made from t...

Image via Wikipedia

I just picked up my Italian juice from Gino’s in Hammonton, NJ. This year I got (2) Brunello’s, (1) Barolo and (1) Chianti. The juice is dark colored and looks great. I had it in primary fermintation for about 8 days (until specific gravity went below 1.0000. I then racked it to carboys for secondary fermintation. I also have the (2) Rioja kits in secondary fermintation. They will probably be here for another week or two. Then I will rack off sediment, add some water to bring all juice bacl to 6 gallon mark and move the carboys to my wine storage room (55 degrees F), cold storage for aging.

Winter Racking

3 Comments

A glass of pinot grigio wine.

Image via Wikipedia

I racked 5 of my Italian wines today. They were bought in fall of 2010, fermented and have been sitting in cold storage after an initial racking. Today I did the second racking. I enjoy tasting the wines at each step as to how they are progressing. I also look at the color of the wine, especially the whites. I racked an Italian Pinot Grigio that was great tasting even at this early stage and had great gold coloring. The wine was very clear and showed no signs of any residual gas. At this stage if the sediment is low, the wine is clear and there is no gas, I mark it as ready to bottle in the spring. If it needs another racking or shows some gas, I will rack it another time before the spring bottling. It is always amazing how the same wine can progress so differently. I had (2) 6-gallon containers of Italian Brunello, a great aging wine with full body and a dry taste. Both of them tasted good and were clear. Sediment was slight but one had some gas while the other had no gas. I will let the one with no gas go until Spring bottling. The one with gas will get another racking in 6-8 weeks.

It is critical to get all the gas out of your wine before bottling (unless you are making an effervescent wine). I use a drill with a long wine stirrer attached to churn up the wine and release any gas. BE VERY CAREFUL TO NOT OVERFLOW THE WINE ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS A LOT OF GAS! Bottling a good dry wine with gas will ruin your wine. It will feel bubbly (like Champaign) on your tongue. Take the time to do the extra racking(s) as needed. Your wine will be greatly improved.

Snowy Day to Rack my Wine

8 Comments

Tempranillo varietal wine bottle and glass, sh...

Image via Wikipedia

On this day with snow and ice falling, I decided it was a good day to rack my wine. I have two industrial strength wire tables that hold 3 carboys/demijohns each, so I can rack 6 bottles at a time. I first sterilize each piece of equipment I will use. I place a plastic bucket (from the Must) below each bottle and siphon out the wine. I look for clarity as the wine moves into the bucket. The siphon prevents the last bit of wine to be moved with the sediment in it. I then wash the glass bottle and siphon. I use a standard drill with a wine stirrer (you can buy these in any wine making supply store or on the net. I stir the wine to release gasses. If it starts to foam up, STOP or it will overflow onto your floor. I make note in the cellar log of how much gas I find in the wine. You NEVER want to bottle with gas or it will never escape (unless you are making Champaign). I place the bucket of wine up on the wire table and the empty carboy/demijohn below it. Now I re-siphon the wine (clarified) back into the glass bottle. I move the racked wines to the floor and put up any other bottles to be racked on the wire table. I normally leave them settle on the table for 4 to 5 days. This allows the sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle. Do not move or shake the bottles or the sediment will go back into the wine. I normally taste my wines as I rack them to get a feeling of how they are progressing. They are getting closer to bottling day and then they can be enjoyed.

Older Entries