How to Make Wine – Stabilizing Your Wine

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This article will take you deep inside the sometimes twisted world of making your own homemade wine at home. We are going to explore something you don't hear very much about: stabilization.

When you ferment your juice or must for the first 7 to 10 days, you can see and hear the fermentation going on. You'll hear it fizz and you'll see it bubble, and you'll smell the aromas.

After that first 7 to 10 days, you'll rack your wine into a secondary fermenter and wait a month or more for your homemade wine to complete it's fermentation. While the wine is in the secondary, it will have an airlock on it and you'll be able to see bubbles in the airlock: proof that the wine is still fermenting.

After a month or so – everything seems to stop. No bubbles, the wine is clear, and it appears that it's finished. This is the point that many amateur homemade winemaker's mess up.

They go right ahead and bottle it. BIG problem.

What is really happening on a microscopic level is that the yeast in the wine is still consuming the small amount of sugar that is still present. You can't see it or tell it's happening, but it is.

If you bottle the wine at this point, the yeast will still consume the sugar, even while the wine is in the bottle. And of course, one of the natural by products of the process is the release of carbon dioxide.

Over a month of so, the pressure from the carbon dioxide will build up and pressurize the bottle. The pressure will finally get to the point that it will blow the cork out of the bottle and then a gurgling foamy mass of wine mixed with carbon dioxide will begin streaming out of the bottle. If the bottle is sitting upright, this usually only causes a small mess. But if it's sitting on it's side – I think you get the picture – wine EVERYWHERE.

What to do to prevent this? Simple.

Add Potassium Sorbate, a preservative used in 1,000's of foods, 3 or 4 days BEFORE you bottle the wine.

Potassium Sorbate inhibits or stops the yeast from multiplying. If it can't multiply or reproduce, then the yeast cells that are alive at the time will die off within a day or so but there will be no new yeast cells to take their place. In essence, you have halted the fermentation process.

Now, it's safe to bottle the wine with no worries of your corks popping off!

There are many online and offline "How to make Wine" books that cover this aspect of winemaking. BUT, there are also many guides that leave this simple step out. so BEWARE Be sure you do this step or you'll have a huge mess.

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Source by Mike Carraway

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