Monday, April 1, 2013

Adventures in Winemaking: Part 2!

I previously posted the first step in our journey to making a Coastal Red. You can find the process for primary fermentation here: Adventures in Winemaking: Part 1.

Now it's time to move the wine to the secondary fermentation stage.

**Prior to starting the secondary fermentation, we cleaned and sanitized the siphon, hydrometer, test jar, wine thief, and the carboy, along with the bung and airlock.

Step 1: Five to seven days after you do the primary fermentation, you have to check the specific gravity to ensure that it is below 1.010. The lower the environment where the wine is being fermented, the longer it will take to reach this level. As the wine was still bubbling in the airlock, we waited about 8 days before testing it.

We drew a sample and placed the hydrometer in the wine thief. The specific gravity was .0992. Using the first specific gravity reading from Part 1, we were able to determine that the alcohol percentage of this wine will be around 12.4%. Our hydrometer came with percentages based on specific gravity readings, which is how I know this.

Step 2: Now we siphon the wine into the glass carboy. We do this carefully so that we do not pick up the thick sediment that has settled on the bottle of the primary fermentation bucket. There will be space at the top of the carboy, but that's fine. We add water and other chemicals in Part 3, so this space is necessary.

Step 3: Attach the airlock and bung to the carboy, filling the airlock halfway. Now we wait for ten more days before proceeding to the stabilizing and clearing stage.

We use a heat wrap to keep light out and to keep it from getting too cold. Our house is set at 62degrees, so this helps with it staying in the 72degree range.

Some of our finished products. Cabernet, Chilean Malbec, and a Chianti. Still aging!


  1. Your Going to send me some of that aren't you?! You can't post this and be a tease to me Tessa. YUM. YUM. YUM. Plllleeeeeaaaasssseeee! ;-)

    DP Amanda

    1. :) It's still aging. As long as it tastes good once it's ready, I have no problem sending some your way!!!

    2. Okay I was not notified that you responded and for that my deepest apologies for leaving you hanging! lol

      Oh yes...I want some!!! Please don't make me beg...:-)