I keep forgetting how easy it is to make wine using the Wine Expert kits! It actually takes more time to write about it than to do it!
Be sure to read my first two posts on this subject before going on. You can go to:
I started the wine on 5-16-2010. Step one was completed on 5-23-2010.
Step 2 was completed on 6-3-2010. This involved "racking" the wine, which just means transferring it to a smaller carboy. So I transferred it using a siphon to a 6 gallon glass carboy.
But first you need to make sure you check the wine using a hydrometer. A hydrometer is an instrument used to measure the specific gravity (or relative density) of liquids; that is, the ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of water. In this particular case we are using it to help us determine the alcoholic content and how much of the sugars the yeast have absorbed.
For a more technical explanation go to: http://www.timswineblog.com/
So the first reading on the hydrometer I had was 1.093. After the fermentation "stops" the reading should be 1.010 or less. This is all explained in the kit instructions. Mine came in at 0.990 on 5-23-2010.
After sanitizing any of the equipment I use, including the glass hydrometer, I poured about 8 ounces of wine into a 12 inch tall tube. Then I recorded the number on the hydrometer that the wine comes up to. The fun thing about testing with the hydrometer is I can not put the wine that I tested back in with the rest of the wine. Oh darn! That means I have to drink it. ;-) Even though the wine is just getting past the fermenting stage I can begin to taste some of the notes of it!
If it matches the 1.010 or less on the hydrometer, you can transfer it to another carboy. In this case I used a six gallon glass carboy. To make it easier I used a syphon.
Here you can see there is space left at the top. Instructions say do NOT top it off at this point. This is because the yeasts have just been moved around and could now be active again.
So it's wait another 10 days.
After ten days, check the specific gravity again using the hydrometer. Again, I sanitized all my equipment before I began! I checked it again the next day to make sure that it is the same. If it is still going down, this means the yeast is still active. In my readings it was fine, and remained the same.
Then following the instructions I dissolved the contents of package package #2, the metabisulphite and #3 the package of sorbate in 1/2 c of cool water. Yes, I did remember to sanitize my scissors and the cup!
After carefully pouring this mixture in the carboy of wine I stirred it up for two minutes. I use a stirring rod that my husband, Ken, made for me. The stirring rod fits onto a standard electric drill. The stirring drives off the CO2 and disperses the stabilizers. I had to be sure to stir up the yeasts from the bottom.
Next I added package #4, the isinglass clarifier. Then I stirred again for two more minutes. If I didn't add this and stirred it up very well, my wine may not clear so it's an important ingredient and step!
That's it for this part which has been step 2 and 3. Next step will be bottling!
As I've said before, how is can you get?!