Winemaking can be an extremely satisfying hobby with a wonderful end result that can make for a wonderful gift idea! If you have ever experimented with brewing beers you may already be familiar with many similar steps with the process of winemaking.
While much of the equipment is similar to home-brewing, cleanliness tends to require a bit more attention in the process of winemaking.
Why Cleanliness is required for Winemaking
Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of making wine. If your work area and equipment are not clean you will encounter innumerable problems. In the process and the end result will not be a delightful wine.
Poor Wine Sanitation
Before you begin any new batch you’ll want to make sure that your equipment has been cleaned and sanitized thoroughly. The most common cause of contamination to wines is a result of poorly cleaned equipment. It has been estimated that as much as 90% of failures in winemaking can be attributed to poor sanitation. To avoid this problem, make sure that you sanitize all of your equipment that will come in contact with the wine.
This can be easily done by rinsing equipment using a solution of potassium metabisulfite. Place 3 tablespoons of the compound into a 1-liter container of hot water. If the container is kept tightly sealed and stored at room temperature, the cleaning solution should last up to six months. Using the solution, make sure all equipment is rinsed thoroughly. Afterward, rinse all equipment with cold water.
Make sure you take the time to clean all equipment before you store it as well as before you take it out of storage before each use. This will help you to avoid any contamination problems and assure that your equipment lasts as long as possible.
Final Wine Thoughts
In addition, patience is quite important as well. One of the most common mistakes of many new winemakers is a lack of patience. They want to rush through the steps and as a result, discover that their wine is not all that it could be.
Remember that just because wine is ready to bottle that does not necessarily mean that it is ready to drink. While it is common to be anxious, waiting is well worth the effort. At a minimum wait at least one month from the time your wine is bottled before you sample.
Generally; however, you should wait at least six months before your wine will develop sufficient character. For heavy reds, be prepared to wait at least a year for the wine to improve. While waiting may be difficult, you can be assured that it will be rewarded with a bouquet that is absolutely delicious.
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