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Why Home Made Wine Needs To Settle After Fermentation

May 24, 2008
The wine should be moved to a cool place; around 10C (50F) seems ideal but cannot always be achieved. During a week or two at this temperature, all the solid particles of yeast and debris should settle firmly on the bottom of the jar and the wine should begin to clear from the neck downwards.

As soon as there is a firm deposit, siphon the clearing wine from the lees into a clean, sulphite-rinsed jar. With care all but the actual paste can be removed but there is likely to be a small air space at the top of the newly-filled jar. Except for sherry-type wines, air should be excluded by topping the jar up with some of the same wine, a very similar wine or a little cold boiled water - or even some sterilised glass marbles. Some sulphite should now be added to prevent infection and oxidation.

Fifty parts per million is adequate for a dry wine and 100 p.p.m. for a sweet wine. Insert a clean cork or rubber bung into the jar, soaking the one and rinsing the other in a sulphite solution. Shake off any loose solution but do not dry the cork or bung. Push either well home in the neck of the jar, label the jar with details of the wine and store it in a cool dark place, free from vibrations.

Now comes the hard part of winemaking - waiting for the wine to mature. This period of impatience varies with every wine and no firm guidance can be given. In general terms light wines mature more quickly than heavy wines, whites quicker than reds, wines low in acid, tannin and alcohol quicker than wines containing larger quantities of these three ingredients.
A few will mature in three or four months but wines made at home tend to be somewhat high in alcohol and often a year is needed before a wine has developed its bouquet and flavour to the full. Dessert wines of the Sherry, Port, Madeira and Tokay type may take from two to five years to reach maturity.

Each wine differs and only experience of tasting different wines can give guidance about any particular wine.
After some months in bulk store, a wine may be bottled for further storage. It is quite remarkable that nearly every wine benefits from a period of storage in bottle. Every effort should be made to give a good wine a minimum of three months and preferably six to nine months or even longer in bottle. By the time the wine is ready for bottling it should have been racked twice and, of course, be absolutely star-bright. Hazy wines do not mature in bottle.
About the Author
Gordon Warre writes about cheap homes in bulgaria read more at cycling crazy and low fat foods.
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