Bottling day gets easier with equipment upgrades and practice. But whether your first or fiftieth bottle run, certain fundamentals need to always be followed. Photo by Brett Cook I totally get it! There are some great articles about bottling in the WineMaker article archives at www.winemakermag.com. Though it’s a topic my fellow authors have covered
You have been diligent through every step of the process in making the best quality wine that is perfect for your palate. You have been a tireless caregiver, shepherding the growth and evolution of this living elixir for many months, even years, once you factor in bulk and possibly barrel aging, and it is finally
Learn about the various factors that affect a home winemaker’s decision when choosing cork size and corkers.
I hope I’m assuming correctly, but I’m imagining that you’ve got the smaller, lighter-weight red metal corker with adjustable spring-loaded bottle base and plastic jaws, sometimes called a “Portuguese” corker. These are decent corkers for a home winemaker with not much volume to bottle, but they can have their issues. Before I get into that,
The time period leading up to bottling day is the time winemakers need to take advantage of last minute adjustments and additions. Bob Peak takes readers on a spin through some techniques that winemakers can use before bottling white and rosé wines.
If you’ve ever opened multiple bottles of wine made from the same batch and noticed they don’t taste identical, then you, too, have experienced bottle variability. Learn the potential causes and ways to alleviate variability among your bottles.
Ah, the Wiz has visions of broken bottles in your future and it’s a prognostication I wouldn’t like to see become reality. Let’s just say my Fermentation Magic 8 Ball says, “See
It can be wrenching for a winemaker to look at his or her bottles developing a sediment over time. Many fruits, especially those high in pectin, proteins, or phenols are especially prone to sedimentation during aging. It’s often just too hard to wait long enough for everything to precipitate out of solution (months, sometimes years)
As I walked about the roomful of wine following April’s WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition judging, I was reminded of how little thought is given to closures. Winemaking problems notwithstanding, this could confirm the fact that I found far too many wines to be oxidized. There were recycled screw caps, both aluminum from wine bottles
As the penultimate step in winemaking, bottling can be one of the most exciting parts of the process. Crushing, pressing, fermenting, racking, clarifying, adjusting and weeks and months of waiting all come
Recently Brew Your Own magazine did a story about the pneumatic bottle capper that I had built to cap beer bottles. A short time later, I was contacted by WineMaker Magazine asking if I’d be interested in making something similar, only this time one that was able to cap standard 750 ml champagne bottles. Of
As renowned French wine scientist Emile Peynaud wrote, “Bottling is a very stressful operation for a wine and the enological problems it causes are numerous: Considerable oxygen uptake, keeping out microorganisms and particles in suspension by filtering, constant struggle to prevent any contamination of yeasts by the apparatus itself, cleanliness of the glass, efficiency of
The choice of bottle closure is a topic that winemakers the world over debate with regularity. Every time a new bottle closure or packaging method comes out (twist off? Glass? Stainless steel kegs?) the pros and cons are trotted out, and for very good reason. Whether for function, form, or just for marketing purposes, there
If you’ve done everything right in the winery and your wine tastes great going into the bottle, you might scratch your head when you open that first bottle to find your wine muted and disjointed. Fear not — your wine is likely experiencing bottle shock.
In the final installment of our year-long series, the wines are bulk aged, oaked, and bottled.
From cleaners to corkers, there are many options on the market for the home winemaker for the home winemaker when it comes time to get your wine into the bottle.
I have a number of novelty corks I brought back from Europe in 1960. They haven’t been used since then, so they are quite dry. Can anyone tell me if there is
Country (non-grape) wines can be combined to create a blend that is better than the sum of its parts. More and more savvy winemakers are discovering an unexpected similarity between grape and non-grape wines. The best wines are invariably blends. A great many varietal grape and non-grape wines lack depth, breadth and complexity. Blending not
Raising pH the natural wayI am seeking an organic means to raise pH. Any suggestions?Jim Romano Carrollton, Texas The most “organic,” natural way to raise the pH of your wine is to pick the grapes at such a time that you won’t have to do anything to it. I know, I know, that’s a terribly
Bottle quest I have a few batches of wine under my belt. I have been plagued with either cheap, flat bottom bottles or stuck collecting and cleaning out empties. Where do wineries buy high quality bottles from and is it possible to get my hands on a few cases? Christopher Franklin Gleneden Beach, Oregon I
High pH and Low TA in a Chardonnay I have a batch of 2006 Chardonnay that has completed primary and secondary fermentation. It tasted flabby so I had it tested for pH and TA. The TA was low at 0.444 g/100mL and the pH was high at 3.66. I bench tested two 100 mL samples.
No commercial wineries that I’ve worked with soak their corks before bottling because it’s not necessary for larger-scale businesses. Commercial wineries buy corks by the thousands from reputable companies with high turnover. They buy full bags and only order enough for their scheduled bottling runs, ensuring that small excess quantities aren’t left over to dry
Corks seem to be on everyone’s mind as of late — it must be bottling time! As I think I’ve mentioned before in this column, it’s impossible to sterilize corks and it’s almost impossible to properly sanitize them. Corks are plugs of tree bark, after all. Mold and bacteria are held in check relatively well