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Home FAQ

How do I bulk age my wine?

In order to bulk age your wine, we suggest that you postpone clarifying your wine using the siligel and liquigel provided to 7-10 days before filtering and bottling your finished wine. Also, as mentioned in our new instruction sheets, the addition of the potassium sorbate will be performed just before you bottle your wine in order to have the full strength of the sorbic acid inside the bottle avoiding any possible re-fermentation and unpleasant sediment. If you do not have a copy of the new instruction sheets, you may download a copy from our Instruction Sheet menu item under Contact Us. While your wine ages inside your glass carboy, it is important that you perform several rackings in order to keep your wine as clear as possible until you are ready to add the above mentioned siligel and liquigel and bottle your finished bulk aged wine! When you perform each racking, it is very important that you reduce your wines contact with air and oxygen. Lastly, while your wine bulk ages, it is strongly recommended that you monitor the sulfite levels (see How do I check the Sulfite Levels within my wine? below) within your wine to assure yourself that your wine is being protected from bacteria and wild yeast as well as preventing oxidation.

How do I check the Sulfite Levels within my wine?

There are a couple of ways to check the sulfite inside your wine; using a small titration kit or you can equip yourself to perform a ripper titration. In the event that you are not equipped to measure your sulfite levels, we recommend that you add 3 grams of sulfite every 6-8 months. We, at Mosti Mondiale, strongly recommend that you measure your sulfite levels to avoid any unpleasant surprise either by contacting your local home winemaking shop to discover what tools can be made available to you to properly measure the sulfite currently found within your wines.

My wine smells bad

It is quite common to notice rather odd smells during the fermentation process. The musty smell of reduction sometimes appears and this could be during the first (alcoholic) fermentation as well as the second (malolactic). It could happen, from time to time, that the wine doesn't smell as good as you anticipated during the early days after the end of the vinification process. Most often this is because of a by product of the work of the yeast that converted the sugars to alcohol. Wait a few weeks at the most and the smell in question will have disappeared.

Should I add tannin?

Some home winemakers like their wine will enough but when they compare it to an equivalent ready-made purchase in a wine store, they're a little disappointed. This usually happens with red wine. They tend to think that their home cuvée has less "grip" and structure than the products sold in stores. Fortunately, there is a ready answer and it's quite simply to add a few teaspoons of grape tannin to the wine. Find out about it from the merchant at your home wine making supplies store. He will show you how best to profit from this precious ingredient.

Should I rack my wine frequently, or limit its exposure to the air?

The more often a wine is racked, the more oxygen it absorbs. As a general rule, this speeds up the aging process and sometimes removes certain sulphurous aromas that result from the fermentation process. Racking- transferring wine from one container to another - gets rid of eventual deposits, therefore reducing the need for fining and filtering the wine later. It should be noted that, as well as oxygenating the wine, racking also helps to eliminate some of the carbon dioxide gas. As with everything, however, this technique should be used judiciously and with moderation, especially if you wish to preserver the wine's fruity, varietal aromas at their best.

The Alchemy of Yeast

They are so small that we tend to forget them. They have different shapes and can reproduce by the thousand, if conditions are favorable. Finally, without them, however wonderfully appetizing the grapes are at the outset, there will be no wine – unfortunately. I’m talking about yeast, of course. These are the little soldiers who march to the front line and transform the sugar from the grape juice into alcohol and carbonic gas. (The exact equation is, however, rather more complicated I suspect, and enzymes are involved in a big way.) Whatever the case, yeast makes an enormous contribution and plays a most important role in the making of our home wines. The sachets provided in our home wine kits contain yeasts that are particularly well suited to each type of wine. Yeast, which is responsible for the alcoholic fermentation, may be either native or selected. In the first case, it exists in its natural state in the vineyards and appears naturally on the bloom, the waxy coating that covers the grape. Selected yeasts are also quite natural – they have been selected in the vineyards and reproduced in the laboratory – a little like the way in which the nurseryman cultivates and reproduces vine stocks. Some types of yeast possess special qualities: they can, for example, emphasize certain features of the resulting wine – its fruitiness, its more or less silky character and so on. Lallemand, one of the most important producers of yeast for commercial and domestic wine making is located on rue Préfontaine in the east end of Montreal. In principle, yeast stops its work of transforming sugar into alcohol when the latter has reached about 16 per cent by volume. Some of them have higher alco-genic powers and can go even beyond that should it be necessary. Chemistry is all well and good, and even alchemy, because it is all about complex sequences of reactions and transformations. But the important thing, as much for the winemaker as the wine lover who relishes his wines, is to be confident and let our friend, the yeast, do its job. All we have to do is to provide the best possible work environment. For this we only have to follow to the letter the winemaking instructions on each home wine making kit.

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