Fermentation, sourdough for fermentation of domestic wines, fermentation dowel, checking wine material for sweetness.

Fermentation is one of the most important operations in the process of making homemade wines. The alcoholic fermentation of the cooked wort is caused by yeast. To obtain wine of any strength, it is better to use a pure yeast culture used in industrial winemaking. In the absence of pure yeast, fermentation can be carried out on wild yeast present on the surface of the berries. Baker’s yeast is not suitable for this purpose.. 

Fermentation, fermentation fermentation for domestic wines, fermentation dowel, checking wine material for sweetness.

Fermentation is prepared as follows. 10 days before the start of wine preparation, whole berries of early cultures are picked (raspberries, strawberries, white currants, etc.). Berries are harvested in dry weather from clean areas and are not washed so as not to wash off the yeast. Pour 100 ml of warm water into a milk bottle, put 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1.5 cups of mashed berries.

The mixture is shaken, covered with a cotton plug and put in a dark place with a temperature of 22-24 degrees. After the mass is fermented (the pulp rises up with a cap), it is held for 2-3 days. Then the juice is separated through cheesecloth, and used as a layout for pure yeast. To prepare dry and semi-sweet wine per 1 liter of wort, it is necessary to use 200-300 ml (1-1.5 cups) of starter.

Sourdough is prepared once a season. You cannot store the starter for more than 10 days. In the future, if it is necessary to obtain wine from late-ripening fruits and berries (gooseberries, apples, plums), instead of sourdough, they use sediment formed during the fermentation of wort from fruits of earlier crops. In this case, sludge should be taken less than sourdough: about 10 g of wort, about 100 g of sludge, i.e. 1%.

Under adverse conditions for the preparation of sourdough, you can use raisins. To do this, put a handful of raisins in a milk bottle, add 40 g of sugar and pour 2 cups of warm (30 degrees) water. With fermented sourdough, they do the same as with sourdough from fresh berries. Fermentation usually begins in 6-12 hours.

Fermentation process for making homemade wines.

The prepared wort is poured for fermentation into the prepared dishes – wooden barrels and glass bottles of different sizes for 1/2 volume. Bottles or barrels with wort are placed in a darkened room with a temperature of 18-20 degrees. Glassware is convenient for observation, but glass transmits light and does not protect the wine from fluctuations in external temperature. To eliminate these shortcomings, it is better to place the bottles in wicker baskets and cover from light.

The bottles are tightly closed with clean boiled corks, in which small holes are pre-drilled through which carbon dioxide formed during the fermentation will be released. The simplest and most effective way to isolate the wort from the atmosphere is a regular plastic bag or rubber glove, which is placed on the neck of a bottle and tied with an elastic band. In this case, an excess of carbon dioxide is etched under the gum.

To prevent harmful microorganisms, such as acetic fermentation bacteria, from entering the wort from the air, a water lock is arranged. It is a rubber tube with a diameter of 8-10 mm and a length of 30-40 cm, one end of which is hermetically mounted in the cylinder cover using alabaster, gypsum, paraffin or wax, and the other end is immersed in a glass of water.

Fermentation, sourdough for fermentation of domestic wines, fermentation dowel, checking wine material for sweetness.

During the entire period of fermentation, carbon dioxide is released through this tube. This is clearly visible by the bubbles rising to the surface of the water. If the tightness of the water seal during the fermentation process is violated, air oxygen will enter the cylinder, which will decompose the alcohol into acetic acid and water. If the wort roams in the barrel, a fermentation tongue is installed on the barrel to isolate it from the surrounding air..

Fermentation sheet pile.

The fermentation sheet pile consists of a cup, in the middle of which there is a tube inserted by the lower end into the sheet pile hole of the barrel and serving as a sleeve. From above, the sleeve is covered with a glass, upside down. Near the lower rim of this glass there is a circular row of holes or cutouts. The cup is filled to a certain height with water. The carbon dioxide generated in the barrel goes through the tube into the glass, and from the latter through the holes, passing through the water, goes out.

Fermentation, sourdough for fermentation of domestic wines, fermentation dowel, checking wine material for sweetness.

The amount of water in the cup should be such that in the event of a decrease in pressure in the barrel due to any reason, the water leaving all under the glass does not reach the top of the tube and cannot get inside the barrel. Such a fermentation sheet pile is made of porcelain, clay, glass or cement. Fermenting dowel is especially necessary when the wort is subjected to spontaneous fermentation with wild yeast without introducing a pure yeast culture, as well as when preparing light table wines.

Fermentation, sourdough for fermentation of domestic wines, fermentation dowel, checking wine material for sweetness.

In cases where fermentation is caused by the introduction of a pure culture of wine yeast into the wort, as well as in the manufacture of dessert and liquor wines, instead of fermenting sheet pile, you can close the vessel opening with a tight stopper made of absorbent cotton.

The conditions and course of fermentation in the preparation of homemade wine.

The temperature of the room where the wine is fermented should be constant day and night, without sharp and frequent fluctuations (18–20 degrees), dishes with must must be kept in a heated room during fermentation, but not near the oven and not in a draft. It should be borne in mind that sunlight negatively affects the yeast, so the wort must be fermented in a place that is closed from sunlight..

If all conditions are met, then after 6-12 hours, fermentation will begin in the must. The wort starts to boil, a faint noise is heard, through the fermentation dowel, carbon dioxide is released more and more every day. Stormy, or upper, fermentation lasts 4-8 days;.

If the vessel is more than 1/2 full, the foam clogs the fermentation sheet tube, blocking the gas outlet. Without a way out, gas can knock out a tube or even break a vessel. During the period of rapid fermentation, it is necessary periodically (3-5 times a day) to shake up the yeast precipitate, stirring the must with a wooden stick, or ventilate the fermenting must, first pouring it into a wide dish (pan), and then again into the fermentation tank.

Gradually, the wort calms down, violent fermentation gives way to quiet, which continues until, under the influence of yeast, all the sugar in the wort turns into alcohol or the concentration of alcohol becomes such that the yeast stops its activity. Gas bubbles are released less and less every day. By this time, a bulky sediment from yeast and partly from the fiber of fruits is accumulating at the bottom of the vessel. Quiet fermentation lasts 2-3 weeks.

Checking young wine (wine material) for sweetness.

Young wine (wine stock) is unclear, but more transparent than the wort. Now you can begin to remove from the sediment. The temperature in the room should be 20-22 degrees. At higher temperatures, the vital activity of yeast decreases. At the end of violent fermentation or upon termination of it, you should taste the new wine to taste to find out how much sugar is left in it and whether the termination of fermentation is premature.

In this case, the wine needs to be “ventilated” (overfilled). Preservation of excessive sweetness happens in those cases when the temperature regime in the room was not observed, the wort was sweetened incorrectly. And also because of the insufficient fermentation ability of the yeast or their improper use.

If, at the end of fermentation, there is no sweetness in the wine and pleasant acid is felt, then the most important thing has been achieved – the bulk of the sugar is fermented, the strength and stability of the young wine.

Based on materials from the book Making wine, moonshine, liquors and tinctures. Preparation technology, equipment, formulation, storage and use.
Team of Authors.

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