As you might know from my previous three home winemaking blogs my 'winery' is under my desk. The desk as it happens is upstairs. Today's task - 10 days into fermentation - was to transfer my batch to a fancy looking container from the bucket under the desk. Along the way I also racked my new wine off it's sediment. Then I set my wine to finish its ferment in a cool place for a further six days.
Here's how it went.
I peeked into the bucket for the first time in ten days and was IMPRESSED.
Here's how it looked. I'm sorry now that I took the photo with the bucket on the loo!! Not only does it look a bit odd in the photo but I am now going to tell you that it smelled absolutely fantastic. It had the bouquet of fermenting wine with oodles of rich fruits, light yeast, along with some butterscotch and pear syrup. Looking good.
The task now was not to disturb the sediment (which I couldn't see...) while I readied the contents of the bucket for its transfer to the new fermentation vessel. I chose a gravity feed system to my winery ie I carried the bucket - very, very carefully - downstairs to the kitchen table.
In the meantime I sterilised all of the new equipment I was about to use. I made it easy on myself by chucking everything - airlock, seals, tube - into the bigger container, added water and a couple of teaspoons of sterilising powder, sloshed it all around and left it for 15 minutes.
After rinsing everything off I set up my siphon system to transfer the wine into my fancy new vessel. I have to admit it looks the part and seems to be made from very strong and durable materials. Then I did what every good wine maker should do all of the time. I had a think. This led me to realise what the two pieces of equipment I described yesterday as my 'bonus pieces' might actually be used for!! These weren't listed at all in the section of the Instructions titled 'What's in your Kit?'
One is a filter that fitted neatly onto the lid of the vessel we were about to siphon into and the other I presumed was to fit onto the end of the tube so I might not siphon off sediment. Well, the filter fitted well but I just couldn't attach the blue yolk onto the tube. So I only went with the filter - after remembering to sterilise it also.
Ready to go:
I really had no idea what the sediment was going to look like, I even doubted that there would be any there at all. Well, when I lost the siphon at one stage I disturbed the wine in the bucket just a little, but also just enough, to discover how fine, and how much, of a sediment there actually was lurking beneath the depths at the bottom of the bucket. As I really didn't want that near the wine I stopped siphoning probably a bit too early - ie a whole bottle of wine early methinks!! No wonder its so hard to make money in this game .....
A real bonus to siphoning is to have a quick taste. It's good so far - a bit light on acid - but showing well.
I screwed the airlock on and added some water into it. Then I found an excellent, and cool, hidey hole to place it all for the next six days. Top of the good book case in the back room. Winery expands once again. Hope no-one notices!