Fining is the process of adding an organic agent to your wine creating a bond with suspended particles to make them easier to filter out of the wine. It takes place sometime between 1 and 5 weeks after racking, depending on the kit. Your wine is in secondary fermentation during that period and we check it regularly to ensure it’s progressing as it should. During that period, sediment has accumulated once again at the bottom of the carboy.
Racking and Degassing
Using a siphon, we move the wine into a clean carboy, ensuring we disturb as little of the sediment as possible. Once all of the carboys have been racked, we degass each one for between 3 and 5 minutes. By degassing, we remove the majority of the co2. This is a slow process involving a drill, a customized mixer and a lot of patience. The staff are careful not to whip the wine into a frenzy with foam spewing onto the floor.
After degassing is done, we add Kieselsol and Chitosan to the carboy and manually stir to mix them into the wine. These ingredients are clarifiers which stop the fermentation process and aid in clarifying your wine.
For kits having additional ingredients such as flavour packs or oak chips, we add them to the carboy. We place the carboys back on the shelf in the front row. This is so we can observe the clarification process closely and ensure things progress as planned.
And now for the recurring theme, the cleanup.
We rinse each carboy thoroughly, then subject it to a Diversol bath (mild bleach solution). After the Diversol has completed its job of sterilizing the inside (about 3 minutes), we rinse the inside of the carboy thoroughly and wash/rinse the outside by hand. We dry and cool the carboys before we put in fresh airlocks and store them on the shelves for rotation.
We’re careful to follow our rotation pattern in the back room ensuring that the all of our vessels are fresh and clean.
Next Months topic Crafting Your Wine Step 5 – Filtering.