How to Make a Good House Wine. Tips From a Vinter
If you are a fan of homemade wine, you’ll want a fine drink that will impress your guests. And if up to now you came across all sorts of problems like your wine turning sour or starting to taste funny, follow these tips from a vinter on how to make a good house wine.
1. Use sweet, well ripen grapes
A good wine means an alcohol concentration of at least 10.5 degrees after fermenting, because a high concentration is what makes it resistant to diseases, says Dumitru Toma, horticulture engineer. To obtain this concentration a certain level of sugar in the grape juice is necessary, at least 170 grams of sugar in 1 liter of juice.
2. Crush the grapes within 8 hours
Harvested grapes should be crushed generally within 8 hours, but if it’s very hot and you have them stored in plastic bags, you should have them crushed in 4 hours at the most.
3. How to make a good house wine. Only use wood, plastic or stainless steel instruments
Observe this rule to avoid one of the most common wine diseases, the iron-browness. It makes the liquor turn cloudy and colorless as you pour it, while the taste becomes very unpleasant. So don’t use any iron instruments.
4. Separate the grape juice from the mash within 48 hours
If you leave the mash in there longer, there’s a good chance your wine will be sour, bitter, acid, too colored and tasting like grass.
5. Filter the juice before pouring in the barrel
It is essential that you filter the juice using cloth, mostly to eliminate the seeds, which harm your wine because of their tannin content. Some specialists also recommend letting the juice rest for 8 – 10 hours, in the cold, before putting it in the barrel to ferment.
6. How to make a good house wine. No air in the barrel
Make sure you take all the air out of the barrel before fermenting, otherwise the wine will oxidize and nourish bacteria that affect its quality.
7. Filter the wine at least 3 times
After the first filtering, described in step 5, two more should follow, in 20 – 30 days time and then in 6 months, to make sure it will be nice and clear.
Here is a list of the best Romanian wine grape cultivars for you to consult.
Photo credits: aflacum.ro