Tutorial - Wine Making a BRIEF Overview
How Wine Making Works
- Wine is made through a process called fermentation. During fermentation, a living yeast breaks down sugar into two by-products, carbon dioxide and alcohol.
- Fermentation consists of two stages: primary fermentation (a very violent, fast first bubbling) and secondary fermentation (a slower, more mellow step).
- Wine must be racked, or siphoned away from its sediment before it is aged
Wine Making Ingredients and Additives
- Must is the raw juice which will become your wine. You can make the juice yourself, open a bottle from the grocery store or special order concentrate from a vineyard.
- Yeast. An inexpensive, all purpose wine maker's yeast is best for the beginning wine maker. Baker's yeast from the grocery store is not acceptable.
- Sugar is the food that lets the yeast do its magic. You may need to add some.
- Campden tablets help keep things clean and sterile. They are also added to the wine at several stages to stabilize the wine and prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria.
- Acid blends, pectic enzymes and grape tannins are sometimes added to correct the flavor and improve the quality of the wine.
General Directions for Wine Making
- Preparing your ingredients and cleaning your equipment are the important first steps.
- Prepare the must by adding sugar and sometimes water, acid blend, pectin, tannin and a campden tablet.
- Wait 24 hours before adding the yeast.
- Primary fermentation is a fast, very violent bubbling. The yeast is very active.
- Secondary fermentation is a slower, more mellow bubbling.
- During secondary fermentation, the wine must be kept away from contact with the air.
- When you rack a wine, you remove the clear wine from the sediment.
- Aging is an important step, as you let the wine mellow and develop flavor.
Wine Making Equipment
- A primary fermenter is used for containing the must during its first, violent fermentation
- A secondary fermenter, usually a glass jug with a narrow opening plugged with an air lock, is used for the second stage.
- A hydrometer measures the amount of sugar in a must
- An acid titration kit measures the amount of acid.
- Bottles, corks, a corker and wire brushes help make the wine maker's job easier
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