You may recall, Brian and I started making our very first wine kit at home together a few weeks ago. Now, we are finished with step 3, and nearly ready for racking and clarification.
While I was in Vegas, Brian moved our wine into the second stage fermentation jug.
Yes, we were classy and had it in our kitchen for a while.
The step was fairly easy for Brian to do without any help. But step3 was pretty lengthy.
To keep the wine cool and a consistent temperature, Brian wrapped the jug. Here it is with a couple beers he has going. (The middle one has aromatic hops I believe, I know it looks unappealing)
First we tested the wine, which should be at .992-.996 gravity reading to begin Step 3 (Clearing and Stabilizing). Our wine was at .991, but Brian said as long as it’s not higher, it’s okay.
Then we taste tested it too, since we already had it out. The grape juice was clearly a “wine” now, albeit a young and fizzy one.
We added a stabilizing agent, and then it was time to stir it in.
To do the stirring, Brian and his dad rigged up the stir stick attached to his drill.
This step is mostly about motion, stirring up the yeast and in the agent, and getting rid of CO2 in the wine; so, I took a quick video to show you how the stirring worked.
Finally we added a clarifying agent, and then the real work began!
At this point, we need to get rid of the CO2 in the wine to eliminate fizziness. This part is called “degassing”. The test is drawing up more wine and shaking it in a tube. When you release your hand, there shouldn’t be any “pop”, or release of the gas under pressure.
We weren’t even close after a lot of drill-stirring. So Brian and his dad put their heads together.
After some Google searching, they came up with a vacuum pump system to eliminate the CO2. It worked!
It is a slightly risky move to be carefully watched so the wine jug doesn’t explode (we are using glass, so that would be a big and scary mess).
But all was well and a lot more bubbles rose up to the top! Soon we will be ready for Step 4