- Author Phil Bermann
- Published June 1, 2012
- Word count 923
Winemaking is also referred to as vinification, which is a process of wine production. The process starts with selecting the types of grapes and ends with bottling of the final wine product.
Most wine is usually made using grapes, but it could also be processed using fruits or even non-toxic materials from plant.The process of winemaking is divided to two major categories namely, still wine production and sparkling wine production. Still Wine Production is made without
carbonation while Sparkling Wine Production is made using carbonation. The principle of winemaking and finished wine is called oenology and the person who is involved in the principal is referred to as the vintner or winemaker. After harvesting, the grapes are usually taken to winery and the necessary preparations are made
for the primary ferment. This is where the divergent of red and white wine making occurs. Red wine is usually made from must have of the black or red grapes and they undergo fermentation alongside the grapes skins while white wine is made through juice fermenting. The juice is obtained from crushed grapes pressing.
At this stage the skin is removed and has no role further. Blending white and red wine makes rose wine.
In making red wine, yeast should be added onto the pulp (must) during primary fermentation stage or allowed to occur naturally in form of ambient yeast or in the surrounding air.
Fermentation normally takes one to around two weeks a during this time, yeast is in a position to convert simple sugars from the grape juice into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Carbon dioxide gas escapes to the atmosphere. After primary fermentation, free run from the red grapes is pumped into tanks while the skin remains behind to be pressed in order to extract the remaining wine and juice. The wine is then kept warm as the rest of the sugar get converted to form carbon dioxide and alcohol then the wine is taken to
secondary fermentation. During this stage certain bacteria are involved in the fermentation and they convert Malic acid into Lactic acid. The process aims to decrease the level of acid in wine as well soften the wines taste. In some case’s red wine may be transferred to oak barrels in order to mature it for duration of several weeks or months in order to impart the oak aromas into the wine. Prior to bottling and filtration, the wine should be settled and the correct adjustments made. Time for consumption from harvest may vary from months to decades for top wines and Beaujolais nouveau wines.
Home winemaking is gaining popularity among individuals, as it has been taken as a rewarding hobby.
The equipment may be purchased from a wine shop or home brew for as low as $100. Wine can be made at home using home winemaking kits, which derives fruit juice from grapes.
The derived fruit juice has a concentration, which has a different range depending on region and the grape variety. The kits make around 30 – 750mls of wine. Equipment like plastic carboys and glasses are usually geared to producing about 23 litres of wine. The juice may be purchased using six gallon buckets for around $45 – $60 per pail, yeast and around five pounds sugar bags. The wine’s quality is highly dependent on the grapes quality. Its variety, weather, acidity, and soil minerals, pruning method or harvesting time, may affect the quality of the grapes. In tradition winemaking the grapes could be crushed through trampling over them or using inexpensive crushers.
The stemming decision makes the whole difference between white and red winemaking.
In white wine making, the fruit is just crushed while the stems are pressed alongside the berries. In making red wine grapes and stems are normally removed just before fermentation since stems have high content of tannin. If the stems contain less tannin, the wine maker might decide to leave them in order to give them vegetal aroma. This is, however, acceptable when the stems are ripe and are turning brown. Since red wines get their colour from the skin of the grapes, the contact between skins and the juice should be emphasized in order to extract the colour. It is also very possible to produce white wine using red grapes. Pressing fruit fastidiously and minimizing the contact between the skin and grape juice can achieve this.
This is done to reduce the chances of tannin extraction from the grape-seeds or skin. In other times, some wine makers opt to crush the grapes for short durations in order to increase skin
contact normally for 24 hours.
This help’s extract tanning and flavour from skins and also potassium ions, which helps in Bitartrate precipitation. In making rose wines the grape fruit is normally crushed together with the dark skin and left for long periods to extract colour according to wine makers desire. Then, the must should be pressed followed by fermentation like that of white wine. The primary fermentation may be aided with natural yeast, but this may produce unpredictable results according to the type of yeast extracts. It may also lead to an incomplete fermentation with some sugars remaining unfermented. For red wine production the fermentation temperature should range from 22 – 25 Degrees Celsius while for white the temperature should range from 15 – 18 Degrees Celsius.
For a production of 12 sugars in the must. In secondary fermentation, the wine could be fermented in stainless steel. However, it is highly advisable to put it in oak barrel to complete fermentation, but most home wine makers use carboys glass for fermentation.