how to make homemade wine

 Wine Clarification - How to Make Homemade Wine

Wine Clarification - How to Make Wine From Home

How to Make Homemade Wine Picture10

When you learn how to make homemade wine, it is inevitable that you will have to learn too about wine clarification. A simple definition of wine clarification is that it is that part of the winemaking process wherein suspended sediments or solids within the liquid will be sieved out and make the wine itself seem less “turbid” or hazy to the naked eye. Like its name suggests, when wine clarification is done right, the wine will look clearer when you look at it in a good light.

One misconception about wine particles is that solids have to be quite big to be considered a problem in how to make homemade wine. Actually, the clarity of your wine will be influenced by the presence of smaller particles that may hover in your wine liquid itself rather than be the bigger chunks settling at the bottom of the bottle – thus, we say that a wine is “turbid” or has “high turbidity” when the liquid seems rather hazy.

Learning How Bentonite Can Affect How to Make Homemade Wine

To induce wine clarification and minimize or eliminate turbidity in our homemade wine, we need clarifiers. And one clarifier that vintners use for homemade wine is called Bentonite. Bentonite is a type of clay that – when added to wine liquid – will cause protein-based particles to cling to it. Take note that there are different types of Bentonite so ask a reliable source of vintner products for food-grade Bentonite and not the type used for industrial applications. Bentonite is particularly good for the how to make wine from home process when you are trying to induce wine clarification in white wines which need to be clear to be drinkable and more highly valued. But Bentonite can also be used for the red wines too.

Bentonite functions in the process of how to make wine from home by emitting a negative electrostatic charge when placed as a granule within the wine liquid – in simpler terms, Bentonite emits static electricity. With Bentonite on the job, the finer particles or sediments in the liquid will adhere to the Bentonite granule so that they are easier to remove.

The protein-based particles have to be taken out of your wine because over time – when left in the wine itself – these particles will cause the wine itself to become hazy or turbid as the proteins denature under warmer temperatures. As you can tell, white wine would be particularly unattractive to look at and drink where it not for the use of clarifiers like Bentonite to induce wine clarification.

The Benefits of Using Bentonite in How to Make Wine from Home

Wine clarification gets easier when you use Bentonite because it has been proven effective at sieving out those protein-based particles like tannin and yeast which have to be removed once fermentation is done. Another side benefit that Bentonite brings is that some off-flavors in the wine can be eliminated as well with Bentonite use. Plus, Bentonite may also cut down on the tendency of your bottled wine to oxidize.

Choose the Bentonite that does release quite a lot of static electricity to get the best results.

How to Use Bentonite in Wine Clarification

Make sure that all fermentation of your wine has been completed before attempting to use Bentonite.

To use Bentonite, boil one pint of water first. This boiling water should then be poured into a blender – then add 3 tablespoons of Bentonite to that water. Blend this solution from between one to two minutes until a type of slurry solution is formed. Set aside this blended slurry so that it will set. While the mixture sets, the Bentonite granules will swell in size until they are saturated.

You may now add up to two tablespoonfuls of this set solution into one gallon of your homemade wine to induce wine clarification.

Getting the Best Results Out of Your Bentonite Saturated Slurry

To get optimal results, make sure that you chill your wine liquid to about 45 degrees first – yes, it is always possible to add your Bentonite saturated slurry to room temperature wine, but to improve the wine clarification you can cool your wine beforehand so that better results are obtained.

When you add the slurry to the cooled wine itself, it is not advisable to agitate your wine liquid. Rather, simply mix in the Bentonite saturated slurry well into the wine liquid until it is well dispersed into the wine.

You may then mix the wine that has Bentonite added to it several times afterwards, so that the Bentonite gains time to “suck in” the particles to itself with its static electricity prior to settling at the bottom of the container. It is recommended you stir the wine with Bentonite in it once every hour for one evening.

The good news about this is that your wine becomes more drinkable when as many unwanted particles as possible are eliminated from the final product.

Do Racking After Adding Bentonite to Your Homemade Wine

We know that racking is the process when we try to remove sediments from our wine liquid. Though it is inadvisable to do racking too often, it is necessary to do racking twice when we use the Bentonite as our clarifier. The first time should be done prior to adding the Bentonite saturated slurry to induce wine clarification. The second and last time should be done when we know that the Bentonite has done its job at wine clarification and we need to remove the accumulated sediments.

Never do too many racking because more racking does not produce better wine. Rather, too many rackings will induce heightened oxygenation of your wine and make the wine flavor quality decrease too. The two rackings indicated here are sufficient to remove the sediments that resulted when protein-based particles adhered to the Bentonite solution you added to your wine.

It is also inadvisable to do racking too much because you waste some wine liquid that way. Use Bentonite right and you will wind up with much clearer and even better tasting wine afterwards.

We recommend you read the hext article on bottling and aging wine.

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