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Everything About Winemaking and Necessary Supplies

Sep 11, 2008
Winemaking is a centuries-old process. It is fascinating to witness and leaves one heady for more.

Man had been drinking wine since the remotest period of history. Grape juice or juices from other organic sources are fermented to make wine. The making of this alcoholic beverage is one of the most enduring legacies of our fore fathers. Many cultures have their own techniques and processes of making wine.

Vinification is the term used when referring to winemaking. It is the process of the production of wine. Winemaking encompasses the whole procedures of producing wine, which start from the selection of grapes and end in the bottling of the finished product, the wine.

When speaking in scientific terms, wine and winemaking is known as oenology. Winemaking has two general classifications. In still wine production, there is no carbonation involved. When there is carbonation involved, the category is sparkling wine production.

In the past many centuries, winemaking is considered as a lengthy and ceremonious event. Nowadays, in our modern times, wine has changed significantly from its simple beginning many, many years ago. The reason is technology and need to mass produce wine for a much larger consumer demand.

Winemaking has processes easy to understand and perform. At times, it could be a challenging chore. It requires some skill and knowledge of the basics of the fermentation process. For a start, it is helpful in knowing what kind of wine one likes to produce and also including the extent of time the wine must be stored. Wine making with out professional assistance is quite difficult.

Grapes ordinarily are the fruit whose juices are fermented for wines. However, almost all kinds of fruit varieties are suitable to be fermented to produce this alcoholic beverage. In fact, all organic things can possibly be raw materials for winemaking such as elderflowers, dandelion and blackberries, to mention a few. Use of different juice sources for fermentation is to have a selection of wine flavors.

Winemaking starts with the grapes, or any other source of juice. Make sure that the grapes are clean and in perfect condition for winemaking; no mold, no insects or diseases are in the fruits. Crushing of the grapes is the next step in the winemaking process. Grape crushing may take time and this crushing is included in the winemaking timetable.

Juice is allowed to flow into a special container after crushing. The crushed, mass of the grapes, undergoes further solid separation. The liquid is allowed to settle before fermentation. The next step is essential in determining the flavor and color of the finished product, the wine.

Yeast and sugar is added to the grape juice to activate fermentation. Fermentation needs a controlled environment. Temperature should be at the correct level. There should be a proper mixture of good yeasts and bad yeasts. Steps should be taken to prevent oxidation. Steps should also be taken to treat skins and pulp still contained in the juice.

Fermentation takes place for at least 10 to 30 days. Fermentation process has steps to be performed. These procedures are (a) fining, (b) filtration, (c) centrifugation, (d) refrigeration, (e) ion exchange and (f) heating. After fermentation, clarification is done to prevent cloudiness; this is to remove remaining suspended materials in the fermented juice.

Wine quality through aging is improved. This process reduces acidity and enhances clarity. Aroma and flavor are also improved by aging.

When it comes to the supplies necessary in winemaking, of course, the most essential is the grape juice. These grape juices are bought in concentrate kits. Concentrate kits have almost any variety of grapes coming from different regions of the world. The kits may be bought at price range of $35 to over $100. Each kit can produce up to 30 bottles of wine.

Cleaning and sanitizing is essential in winemaking. This is to make sure that no foreign elements can contaminate the raw materials and finished product of winemaking. Supplies of environmentally friendly hygienizing solvents and bottle brushes, specifically made to reach the curves of all winemaking containers are essential.

Important in monitoring the progress of the fermentation process is a hydrometer and a thermometer. Also important is the acid test kit in determining the level of acid in the formulation.

Supplies of bottles as wine containers are of course a requirement. Corks to seal the bottles of wine are as important. A corker might also be used for easy corking of bottle and shrink cap might also be used around the cork for decoration purpose.

After the proper aging, let's open a bottle of wine and celebrate. Cheers.....!!!
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