7 Day Fermentation & Quality
Your 7-day wine kit is one of today’s fastest fermenting homebrew wine kits – and yet it will produce very high quality wine.
Speed and quality do not go hand in hand, but with our new highly specialised yeast/nutrient we have managed to retain all the natural qualities of grape throughout the fermentation.
We have used 100% high quality varietal grape juice concentrate in this kit in order to achieve a well balanced wine, near the commercial equivalent.
The best vessel to use for 23 litre kits is a clear plastic bucket with a large lid. It will allow you to see the level inside and you can easily access the surface. It is also the easiest vessel to clean. Once you have got started with your hobby, a second bucket is very handy to have when racking off your wine kits. For 5 litre kits, use a glass demijohn.
The hydrometer is a very good instrument for all home brewing. You can use it to check alcohol, sweetening your wine and to check if the fermentation is over.
The use of high quality wine corks is highly recommended. A twin lever corker of good quality is also a sound invest- ment; it will insert the corks without damaging them and will make the whole process much easier.
For a professional finish, use wine bottle labels and shrink caps for your bottles, all available from Wineworks.
Instructions – Day 1
- Clean and sterilise your fermenter and other equipment using Wineworks sterilising agent. Be sure to rinse well afterwards.
- Add the grape juice, rinse out and add any remaining juice from the bottle using a little hot water. Top up to the full volume (23 litres/5 gallons) with a mix of hot and cold water to achieve a liquid temperature of between 25–30 °C77–86°F). Mix well. Check temperature before adding yeast.
- Add yeast/nutrient sachet (Sachet no 1), mix well then fit your airlock (half filled with water). Leave to ferment in constant temperature between 20–30°C (best is over 25°C/77°F). Fermentation will normally take 5–6 days and a little longer if you have a low room temperature. Try to find somewhere with fairly constant temperature for your fermentation and always consider the risk of frothing over, or even worse – a leak.
- Take a hydrometer reading if possible. This is your start value and is very useful if you want to monitor your fer- mentation and/or calculate your alcohol content later.
During the fermentation
- Check gravity with a hydrometer once a day if possible.
After 5–6 days of fermentation (6–8 if at a temperature of 20°c/68°f or lower)
- Check that fermentation is over, if in any doubt – wait another day or two before proceeding. Check with any of these methods;
- Check gravity with a hydrometer. If you have the same reading for at least 2 days, your fermentation has stopped. If it is below 998, everything is okay. If it is above, your wine has stopped prematurely and it is best to try and start again – shake it, try to raise the temperature a bit and in difficult cases try to add a new yeast sachet. Contact your homebrew shop for advice. Typical final gravities (on your hydrometer): White wines: 997, Red wines: 994 (it may vary a few units).
- Check bubbles in airlock. If there’s no more bubbles then your fermentation is likely to be over. It is not as ac- curate as the hydrometer test so you need to leave 1–2 extra days to be absolutely sure. Taste it to make sure it is dry enough – if not, follow the procedure above.
- Important: If your wine is still fermenting (even just a little) or contains residual sugar – it will clear slowly or not at all. It really needs to be finished. If you are having trouble at this point contact Wineworks for advice.
- Rack off to another sterilised vessel if available using a siphon tube. Add stabiliser (Sachet no 2) and shake/stir very thoroughly to remove CO2. Repeat 3–4 times with at least 1 hour in-between.
- Add finings A (Sachet no 3) and mix well. Wait a few hours or even better, up to one day before the next step.
- After 3 hours – 1day; add Finings B (Sachet no 4). Some of the wine types may contain an extract sachet – if so, add it here as well. Mix, carefully stirring up the sediment, for only 15 seconds. Leave the wine to clear for 1 day, prefer- ably in a cool place on a table or similar so you can rack it off later without moving it first. Important: Do not rack off before adding Finings B. After 1- 2 days your wine should be clear (in rare cases you may have to wait another day). Time to bottle! If you feel brave you can bottle it directly from the vessel with a siphon now. If you want to play it safe, rack off first to another vessel, shake out the last of the CO2 and then bottle your wine.
- Your wine is now ready to drink immediately will improve if left bottled for a few weeks before use.