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JustKay 04-22-2012 08:11 AM

Bottling wines
How do you bottle wine? This there more then one technique, which do you prefer and why? When in the process should you bottle it?

brazedowl 04-22-2012 01:43 PM

questions for you first (with some answers)... not trying to be condescending, just not sure your skill level. :)

1) How have your rackings gone? You should rerack it every few months until it stops dropping lees (the layer of dead yeasties at the bottom)

2) Have you stabilized? Generally once it has sat for a month without dropping any more lees you stabalize by racking onto sorbate and campden. 1/2tsp sorbate and one campten tablet per gallon. I just dissolve them in a cup of warm water, add to the next carboy you plan to rack to, then rack the brew in question to this next carboy. If you plan to sweeten to taste do so now, and wait a few weeks to make sure it doesn't start fermenting again. If it starts bubbling and fermenting, wait it out and repeat process. I don't know that you'd need to add as much sorbate and campden for the second stabilizing attempt... I'm sure yooper the like will chime in any moment with help to that one. :)

If it's clear, and stabilized then...

I siphon my brew into a bottling bucket or ale pail and bottle from there. Just hold the bottle to the tap and fill. I like to do a verity of bottles... 1.5L corked, 750ml corked, and then a bunch of 12oz, 1L and various other sizes with crown caps. Caps are WAY cheaper per bottle than corks. Doesn't age as well but makes for smaller servings and samples. Also if you use beer bottles you don't have to worry as much about fermentation restarting. That would break a wine bottle or shoot out the cork, but with a beer bottle you can get some nice sparkling wines without too much worry.

cyberlord 04-22-2012 07:40 PM

One thing that I noticed while my wines were clearing, after the yeast had cleared the wines still dropped bits of what I guess were fruit/tannin/phenols. As they combined into heavier chunks these particles settled into a suspension that didn't quite compact at the bottom of the carboy. I assume these were like charged particles that like magnets repelled against each other. They were fun to watch when I moved the carboy as they just danced around keeping the same distance from each other.

I added bentonite and it settled the first round out but I'm noticing more forming. So unless you don't care to have these floaties in the bottom on your bottles make sure all these thingies have settled out of the wine also.

I think that is why most people suggest to wait for up to six months before bottling. I'm at the 3 month mark or there about having started mid January.

As for bottling, if your wine is sweet you'll want to stabilize with sorbate and sulfite a week before bottling the using racking cane/siphon hose/bottling wand keep the splashing to a minimum. Mark the depth of the seated cork on the bottles and fill wine to within 3/4" of this mark. You want a little head space but not too much.

More at Jack Keller

kk1181 04-23-2012 01:55 PM

Once my wine is done and I add PS I then add some clarifier. I use one that is a two part one that takes about a day or three. It's called something like chitson and Benzol...(sp?)

huesmann 04-24-2012 12:40 PM

Chitosan and kieselsol.

divi2323 04-24-2012 03:14 PM

Your lhbs will sell a pack of what is called super kleer. It's amazing stiff and will clear your wine or cider in a matter of 24 hours. It is .... Awesome. It's ingredients are chitosan and kielesol. You stir one half the packet into your wine. Then wait 1-2 hours then stir the other half in. In 24 hours your white wine will be super clear. Your reds will have no more floaties.

I used so many packets that my lhbs suggested I go in bulk. He sold me two liter sized bottles each of the products and you just measure out what you need and same process.

kk1181 04-24-2012 05:29 PM

That's the stuff!!! It's awesome!!!

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