Racking & Bottling

We’ve made a lot of wine this summer. It has all been done as the particular fruit in use was available, so the time to deal with it seems like it should be staggered. The process goes something like this. You add all the ingredients except the yeast, and let it sit for 24 hours. Then the yeast goes in, and it (hopefully) bubbles away for about a week until the specific gravity is below 1.030. Then it is “racked,” which means the fluid is moved from the current bottle to another clean one, hopefully without disturbing the gunk (this is a technical term used mostly in wine making) at the bottom of the bottle. This is again racked in about 3 weeks, and again after 2 months. The wine maker can decide whether to bottle at this point, or rack it again. The idea is to get the wine to have settled as clear as possible before bottling.

IMG_3989In the last week, several of these batch rackings seem to have coincided, and I have acquired “wine rackers dishpan hands.” Not really, but my wine making stuff has been sitting around a lot because it is senseless to put it away. So far I’ve bottled 3 batches, dandelion, strawberry, and raspberry. I’ve also racked all 14 gallons of cider wine, the blackberry wine, and the concord grape wine. We’ve been tasting it as we bottle it, but I am pretty inexperienced at telling whether the batch will turn out or not. When Alice tasted this year’s strawberry this evening, she said, “whooh, that’s strong.” I guess that must mean it is good.

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