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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Darkness and Wine-making
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
WangusKahn
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Default Darkness and Wine-making

Is it true that you need to learn how to make wine in order to properly hail the dark lord?
Nah, just kidding...

I'm starting this thread to discuss the role of light in wine-making. I tried searching around on the internets a little bit and it was surprisingly hard to find all that much good information on this.

So, the reason I'm wondering is because the first wine I made was an apple wine and I literally put it outside in the sun on hot summer days during fermentation I'm beginning to think that this was a mistake... However, the apple wine actually became very good after being bottled and sitting for a few months. At first it was.... not so good. I have a few more bottles that I'm not touching for a few years.

Can anyone shed some LIGHT on this?!!

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Old 12-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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I keep mine in the dark laundry room. It is probably the only room in the house that maintains a 70-80 degree temp year round, here in Southern Mississippi (we don't have air). BUT, I make simple country wines passed down from my "will work for wine" family. I brew them in (GASP) 5 gallon buckets with ballons for airlocks. They are much better than the "prison brew" that I fondly call them, but wouldn't win any contests. I just have to many jars of jelly that I made, so I learned to make wine. I am here to tell you, the wine gets consumed MUCH faster than the jelly!

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WangusKahn
Is it true that you need to learn how to make wine in order to properly hail the dark lord?
Nah, just kidding...

I'm starting this thread to discuss the role of light in wine-making. I tried searching around on the internets a little bit and it was surprisingly hard to find all that much good information on this.

So, the reason I'm wondering is because the first wine I made was an apple wine and I literally put it outside in the sun on hot summer days during fermentation I'm beginning to think that this was a mistake... However, the apple wine actually became very good after being bottled and sitting for a few months. At first it was.... not so good. I have a few more bottles that I'm not touching for a few years.

Can anyone shed some LIGHT on this?!!
The only benefit I see from the sunlight is to kick up the temperature. Don't forget, with any red wine, the sun will bleach out the color.

As long you are fermenting above 60F, it'll ferment just fine.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by novalou View Post
The only benefit I see from the sunlight is to kick up the temperature. Don't forget, with any red wine, the sun will bleach out the color.
I was actually asking because I think you are supposed to keep your wine out of the sunlight. But I didn't know that yet when I made my apple wine. So I was wondering what it does that's all that bad. Cause the apple wine isn't too awful in the end. Everybody likes it a lot, actually.

So basically I'm not asking why keep it in the dark?

I'm the kind of person that starts from the ground up when I get into something and I like to know about everything. So if this seems redundant, then
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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The sun will bleach out the color anthocyanins in red wines, not sure what it would do to whites, but as you would have little temperature control if you leave your wine set out in the sun you could easily kill your yeast. We put a paper bag over our red wines in secondaries, nothing over the white wines, but do keep them out of the sun, out of the window, out of drafts, off of direct contact with the concrete floor, away from lound music and long tounged dogs! WVMJ

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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Actually, I think it is because they are a fungus, and that is their prefered growing environment, dank, dark and moist.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
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Yeah, I never put the apple wine outside until the end of fermentation a couple days. Before that it was inside, so it was a controlled temperature, with sunlight on it part of the day. Now that I know what I did wrong, it's just part of the charm and mystique of my apple wine...
Ahem...
But I think you both are right. Especially about the long tongued dogs. They are bad for the yeast.

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Old 12-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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"Lightstruck" wine simply doesn't taste as good as non-lightstruck wine. It has a stale, sherry like taste and it changes color.

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Old 12-22-2012, 01:43 AM   #9
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No, the yeast is bad for the dog, actually he doesnt care, but the gas he makes after - we care about that! WVMJ

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Ahem...
But I think you both are right. Especially about the long tongued dogs. They are bad for the yeast.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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I have heard that wine can spoil when exposed to specifically UV rays. So sunlight vs. Indoor lights can be different IMO. My wines are regularly exposed to incandessent light, but I avoid exposing them to the newer CFL bulbs, or direct sunlight.

There is also the big risk of larger temperature swings with that much energy being added to the wine, then bled away at night. Could lead to the wine taking deep 'gulps' of air each day.

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