Last week was the start to the Kit Wine, Spanish Tempranillo:
Believe it or not, Step Two is even easier than Step One. The Primary Fermentation went off without a hitch, I checked the SG levels and since it was hovering around 1.010, it was time to 'rack' the wine from the bucket to a carboy:
I didn't get pictures (this time) of the wine siphon and all that, because Princess Nagger and Hovering Hubby made short work of my clean counter. They piled a bunch of stuff on it and I wasn't in the mood to move it. So for now you can live with the picture of the carboy getting filled.
Once the carboy is full, this is what's left in the bucket, known as 'sediment':
When we get into the 'fresh fruit' wine making, you'll see how different the sediment is for kit wine vs. fresh fruit wine. This particular wine had the oak chips that we added - a majority of them are left behind of course, because you don't want the oak to overpower your wine during the next stages. A few errant oak chips made it through the siphon, but that's not a worrisome thing, as it's not enough to cause any flavor issues, and they'll be left behind in the subsequent racking modes.
Notice how 'cloudy' the wine is at the moment - that will eventually dissipate as it settles and finishes with the fermentation. It will also be 'left behind' in the future racking that will take place:
Once the wine is safely in the carboy, top the carboy with a rubber bung and air lock:
This will keep oxygen out of your wine, but allow the gases to escape during the next stage of fermentation. You don't want air to get in, because it will ruin your wine...pretty much turn it into vinegar, or contaminate it with bad stuff.
For the next 10 days you let it sit and percolate (that's what it sounds like it's doing, as the gaseous air escapes through the air lock). Check the air lock periodically to make sure it still has sufficient water in it to continue to keep air out - you might have to top it off if it evaporates.
You want to stash your carboy in a dark area, away from direct sunlight. Since we have no closets to speak of on the first floor, I improvise...I save the tall boxes that I get wine equipment and whatnot in, and use them to 'hide' the carboys in:
It's the perfect height to contain this 6-gallon carboy, while leaving only the air lock out so I can keep an eye on it:
Reuse and recycle... Now the waiting game continues. Only this time it will be a bit longer. I'll check it in 10 days, and see what the Specific Gravity is at that time - chances are I may have to wait a bit longer before I transfer it again (aka 'rack' it) because Mother Nature has started to give us some 'unseasonably cold' weather to start off our Fall. We haven't turned on our furnace as of yet, but it might be conceivable in the near future, if she keeps giving us lows in the low to mid 40's at night.
Second verse, same as the first...
Now that my 8-gallon bucket has been freed up, I decided to go ahead and sanitize it and start the Wild Blueberry Blush kit I also picked up:
All the ingredients provided again:
In this kit, there are no oak chips, but there is an extra 'bladder' of juice:
This will be added almost at the end of the racking process, to enhance the blueberry flavor.
This time the little packet of Bentonite seemed a little different - more 'coarse'. Princess Nagger though it looked like 'little rocks':
Then you add warm/hot water and stir for 3 minutes:
Time to add the big bladder of grape juice:
Top it off with cool water until you reach the 6-gallon mark, and check the temperature:
The recommended temperature is between 68 and 78 degrees...I got it just under! Time to check the starting SG levels:
The SG on this kit is starting off at 1.080 - so we may be looking at a slightly longer Primary Fermentation time to make sure the levels are prime for perfect wine. Now it's time to add the yeast...this kit contains a specific 'champagne' type yeast:
This yeast had a more pronounced pungent yeast odor compared to last week's kit. I bet I'll notice the stronger smell of fermentation every time I walk past it in the dining room this week. Last week's kit was only noticeable on occasion.
Now to close the lid and let it do it's thing:
Let the waiting commence! Since the temperatures have been decidedly cooler, there's a distinct possibility that I won't be able to do the first racking next Sunday, it'll probably be more like a week from Wednesday. We'll see how it progresses.
Meanwhile, I'll be testing the grapes on the grape vines again this week with my refractometer - they weren't quite ready last week, but chances are I'll be starting a batch of fresh grape wine later this week, just in time for next week's informative post!
A little reminder...
Don't forget, you have until NOON (EST) today to enter my Blogoversary Giveaway - I have to say, that Blackberry Merlot turned out even better than I expected. It's slightly on the sweeter side, but not too sweet, and not bone dry like a typical Merlot. And the fragrance of blackberries is amazing!
Of course if you're a 'dry Mormon' like the hilarious and awesome Kristina P., have no fear, I didn't leave you out of the celebration - there's a non-alcoholic gift pack up for grabs, too!