The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Tag archive: racking wine

Second Fermentation on 2011 Syrah

After our pressing class last night, the wine has settled out.  Now it’s time to pump off the cleared wine and start secondary fermentation: malolactic fermentation.  This process sometimes happens naturally, but it’s always safer to inoculate with fresh malolactic bacteria to be sure you know what is working on your wine — it could […]

Racking Barrels and Setting Up Shop

The barrels needed a new home, so we decided it was a good time to rack out the wine and clean out the barrels.  Both the merlot and petite sirah need more oak, so we’re going to leave them in the barrels for another year with some extra oak cubes added in.  We pumped the […]

More White Film on Wine

I checked in on the wines in the shower to make sure the airlocks weren’t contaminated or dried out, and saw another white layer on our 6-gallon carboy of merlot.  This was the first time I saw this white layer in this container, I found it previously on a smaller bottle of this merlot as […]

More Infection Problems

I discovered that one of the 4-liter bottles of merlot has a funky white layer similar to the one I found on the rescued petite sirah. I hope I can remedy this one better, since the infection came back in the petite sirah after racking.  Before racking I dipped cotton swabs in a Kmeta solution […]

Racking Primitivo and Petite Sirah Sludge

The primitivo has been settling out since October, so it seemed like time to poke at it.  I like to splash rack my wine that is bulk aging in carboys at least once to try to give it a little oxygenation while it’s hanging out. The primi has become wonderfully clear already, a lovely purple-ruby […]

As the Lees Settle

Another full day of wine racking and shuffling!  Dave sent me an email that the merlot barrel needed to be topped, so first I racked off the smaller bottles of merlot and took 2 cleared bottles to the office winery to top off the barrel.  I thought I had enough to top off and leave […]

Hanoi Towers of Wine

Today was a game of wine shuffling.  My hubby commented I’m playing Towers of Hanoi with the wines.  Here’s what I have to do:  I have 2 carboys of the syrah, and Paul needs those carboys back, so I need to move them into 5-gallon better bottles.  The only 5-gallon better bottles I have are […]

Pumping Merlot and Picking up the Petite Sirah

Today we pick up the Petite Sirah grapes from Chris van Alyea at his new digs up in San Marcos.  Unfortunately, the grapes arrived later than expected, although it’s not too bad, Paul and I had a lot to do before we head up to get them.  We spent about 4 hours racking the merlot […]

Famous Last Words

It was time to pump off the cleared wine into a clean trash can for inoculation of the MLB.  My hubby was nice enough to help me, since wrangling the wine pump could get a little hairy;  both hoses need to be held under the wine, while plugging in the pump and sucking air through […]

Is That Supposed to Look Like That?

I was racking off my Cellar Craft 5-week Old Vines Zinfandel kit today and noticed this yucky-looking white residue at the top of the wine, sticking to the side of the carboy as it was racked off.  There was a lot of lees at the bottom, too.  I have an extra liter or so of […]