Last edited: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wine making

Notes on wine making from several books on that subject. A list of those books will be included at the bottom (bibliography). No direct quotes will be included except where there is no other way to reiterate the information. The authors name from the book where the information was collected will be shown at the end of the note with the page number (Anderson, 45). My suggestion is that people obtain these books and use this web page as a guiding hand. Much that these authors include has been excluded as my primary concern is to produce an overview of the process.

Apertif-a sweet fortified wine meant to be used as an appetizer. Brandy or Vodka is used by the winemaker to raise the alcohol content to 20% or more. Table wine-dry wine (not sweet) containing 9% to 12% alcohol. Desert wine-sweet wines that include Sauternes. After Dinner wine-sweet wines with 20% alcohol or more including Port, Cream Sherry (Anderson, 3).

Louis Pasteur made a scientific study of winemaking beginning in 1857. Before Pasteur winemaking could just as easily produce vinegar as wine because the process was not completely understood. Pasteur discovered the mechanisms governing fermentation and spoilage (Anderson, 5).

Grape ripens, bloom develops, bloom is cloudiness on skin, the bloom is a film containing yeasts and molds. Grapes are crushed, stems are removed as they contain tannin (to much tannin too bitter), tannin in pips remains, remaining pulp etc is "must", white wine skins are removed, red wine skins are left in for their color, rosay wine skins are left in 24 hours then removed, sugar and acid is measured and may be corrected. action of wild yeast and mold is inhibited by "sulphiting" (sulphur dioxide 120 parts per million). Innoculation with select wine yeast (yeast starter should be 3% to 5% by volume of your must) resulting in primary fermentation. The cap forms (and must be broken by stirring 2 times a day for several days to deter spoilage) composed of particles of skin and pulp floating on surface. heat of the must is kept below 85 F for red and below 65 F for white. After fermentation, liquid is drawn away to the settling tanks for secondary fermentation (fermentation locks applied). after 3 weeks racking occurs (siphoning off leaving behind most sediment called "lees"). after 3 months Racking is repeated which adds oxygen aiding the final fermentation (add sulphur dioxide 60 parts per million). Another 3 months Wine is then clarified with "finings" or filters (add sulphur dioxide 60 parts per million). Cheap wines are bottled after being clarified, expensive wine is aged in oak (Anderson, 7 to 9). Slightly different processes for different colored wines.

Tools include; Primary fermentor (could be a 10 to 20 gallon plastic trash can covered with a plastic sheet), Grape crusher, De-stemmer, Press (for white wine pressing follows crushing, but with red primary fermentation occurs between crushing and pressing. A press is not necessary for red (you sacrifice a little wine without it) but is for white. Siphon (5 feet of rubber tubing up to 9 feet of plastic garden hose for bigger quantities), Secondary fermentor (one gallon jugs with narrow knecks for fermentation locks), Plastic strainer with funnel, Fermentation Lacks (fermentation gives off carbon dioxide, oxygen passing into an open bottle can damage flavor, fermentation lock consists of glass valve with metabisulphite inside (it allows carbon dioxide to get out without allowing oxygen, bacteria and fruit flies in). Fermentors without fermentation locks have been known to explode. When pressure tollerant bottles are used it can produce champagne. Vinometer (for measuring alcohol content), Thermometer (for measuring the temperature of the must), Boiler (boil water to exclude chlorine), Stirrer ( a spoon for breaking the cap), pump (for large quantities) (Anderson, 12 to 25).

Other books to be added as I read them.

"The Art of Making Wine" by Stanley F. Anderson with Raymond Hull published by Hawthorn Books. Inc. New York Library of Congress Card #72-160632 (I obtained it from the Voorheesville Library in Voorheesville, NY 12186) 180 pages.

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