Wine Making Instructions Through Fermentation.
by Stan Spencer
To make wine there are a number of processes that the wine grapes must be put
through. First of all you must grow the grapes and then harvest them; once this
is completed the grapes must be put through the initial grape juice process and
taken to the winery, where the grapes will be crushed, fermented, raked, aged,
stabilized and pasteurized. Let us take a look at the process with a bit more detail:
Growing and harvesting the grapes: grapes are normally grown on a vine; the best
type of wine grape is European vitis vinifera as this grape produces a higher
sugar level than the rest. A good time to harvest your grapes depends a lot on
the time of year and the weather. If you harvest in a rainy season you risk a
high intake of water in your grapes which causes them to loose quality and sugar.
The best time to harvest is in a dry season, but always before the grapes turn
Grape juice process: there are two ways of achieving grape juice, the first
being the traditional method of placing all of the grapes into a large barrel and
stomping on them with bare feet, this process can take a lot longer as the stalks
have to be removed by hand. The other method is juicing the grapes using a special
machine that removes the stalks automatically and is a lot faster to complete the
Fermentation: to be able to ferment your pressed grape juice, you must place it
in a special fermenting container along with yeast that will help change the sugar
in the juice into the alcohol needed to make your wine. There are two ways to do
your fermentation process, the traditional way, using old wooden barrels used for
hundreds of years, or the modern method of fermentation that consists of fermenting
your wine in a stainless steel vessel.
Racking and aging: raking consists of keeping the wine completely still until
the yeast has settled. After this the wine is filtered and placed into barrels to
begin the aging process, again depending on the wine you want to make, the aging
process can last from several months up to several years. Although no air should
enter the barrels during this process, it is normal to mix the contents of barrels
to achieve the taste wanted in your wine.
When your wine has been through all of the above methods, it will be ready to drink
although the wine will be very young. Many people prefer to store the wine in a
basement so that the wine can age for a longer period of time and therefore gain
in taste and quality.
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