Bottling Home Made Wine
So when does the Bottling of home made wine happen? We have done all the hard work; grown the grapes, tended them, cared for their health and did everything that was necessary, we harvested our precious crop and went through all the winemaking lessons and now have our wine. Our bottling of home made wine is ready. Of course the bottle does not come to us, all prepared and ready to be filled. There is no label, no impressive picture or the wines history and worth on it. There are so many different options that you have for bottling home made wine and ideas that you; the winemaker can do at this most wonderful time. But all in all, the most important thing is to deliver the wine with the best quality you can.
Know the SO2 Level
If you are bottling home made wine you must know the SO2 level of your wine. If it is not where it should be, then you will end up with wine that is spoiled. The correct level of SO2 in the wine is what will stop it from deterioration of your wine quality due to undesired yeast and bacterial activities. It also helps in the protection of wine against oxidation. So now you are ready for your bottling home made wine and you need to pay close attention to the SO2 level and to take the right measures to make sure that your wine is not exposed by the air
Calculate if any SO2 is needed to be added
You now know what the level of your SO2 is, so now what? You need to calculate exactly what if any addition needs to be made to your wine. If you don’t add enough your wine might have a foul aroma and off setting flavor. If you add to much the same might happen. So your job before bottling home made wine is to add the right amount that will be a beneficial saturation for your wine.
An important point to remember is that the higher the pHs level the more SO2 you will need to add; and the lower the pH level the less amount of SO2 you will need to add to achieve the right level. You need to wait at least two months after bottling your home made wine for the wine to get over the “shock” of sulfite addition and the bottling before you take a taste.
Different wines will have different Sulphur levels
Red wines usually do not need any added sulphur dioxide because they naturally contain anti-oxidants, acquired from their skins and stems during fermentation. Most of your conservative winemakers seem to add some anyway.
Sweet wines will get the most added SO2 because sugar combines with and binds a high proportion of any SO2 added. To get the same level of free sulphur dioxide, the total concentration has to be higher than for dry wines.
White wines will also get a larger dosing of Sulphur Dioxide because it does not contain natural antioxidants in it. It is not allowed to stay in contact with the grape skins after crushing and for this reason they are more prone to oxidation
Before you actually begin bottling home made wine, be sure to go to your local winemaking store and get the things that will finish off your wine making experience, such as:
- Bottle- color and style are important
- Corks- there are many types and styles
- Decorative neck seals- You can have one made or not
- Bottle labeling-Choose what you want to say on your label
It’s time for your bottling home made wine. First each bottle that you are going to use should be cleaned, rinsed and sanitized. Get the things ready that you will be using during the bottling home made wine process, especially the corks and the corker machine.
When you are ready and everything is gathered you can begin your bottling home made wine. Use the same racking system you used before. Remember you want as little contact with the air as possible and this also means that after the wine fills the bottle, you should leave only a ½ inch of space between the cork bottom and the wine. If you leave more space, then the air could possible contaminate and ruin your wine.
What is found on the label of a wine produced in the U.S?
Class, Type or Designation
Location where it was bottled
Alcohol content by volume or within a range for type
Net Volume of contents may be molded into glass
Bottle size/volume: a regular bottle of wine is 750 ml
Vintage year: year the grapes used to make the wine were harvested
The name of the wine: may be named after the variety of grape it was made from such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, or for the region where it was made; or it can be given a name created by the producer
Government warning: pertaining to pregnant women, ability to drive, and general health
"Contains Sulfites": a warning to those who may be allergic
Class of Wines
- Class 1--Class 1: Table Wine, defined as having an alcohol content of not less than 7% and not in excess of 14% by volume
- Class 2--Sparkling Wine--wines made sparkling by any of the natural methods
- Class 3--carbonated Grape Wine--wines which is injected with carbon dioxide.
- Class 4--Citrus Wine--wine made primarily of sound, ripe citrus fruit
- Class 5--Fruit Wine--wine made primarily of sound, ripe fruits other than grapes or citrus
- Class 6--Wine from Other Agricultural Products--wine made from sound agricultural products (vegetables)
- Class 7--Aperitif Wine--wine having an alcoholic content of not less than 15 percent by volume, compounded from grape wine containing added brandy or alcohol, flavored with herbs and other natural aromatic flavoring materials
- Class 8--Imitation Wine--wine containing synthetic materials
- Class 9--Retsina Wine--grape table wine fermented or flavored with resin