Author: Randy T. Slabey
The key to understanding how to make homemade wine that will age well is that all wine, regardless of whether you made it at home or bought it from a vintner or store, will eventually spoil if left unconsumed. This means you have to make or buy wine that will last only a specific period of time so that it ages gracefully before you opt to consume it.
Learning How Wine Storage Aids You in the How to Make Homemade Wine Process
The how to make wine at home process hinges on the use of proper wine storage facilities, such as a wine cellar, so that the wine you do make will last for a longer time in safe conditions. If the wine has been stored correctly, it allows wine to age properly so that both the bouquet (the wine aroma) and the flavor will still be of optimum quality. Since making homemade wine costs big money (even when you’re aiming to wind up with cheap wine) you will want to make your homebrews last longer so that you enjoy them longest.
The storage room or wine cellar you select has to be both dark and humid (damp) and has a stable room temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity hovering around 80%. The room temperature has to avoid wild temperature changes and stay at the cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit level so that the cool temperature will retard aging of your wine. If your storage room tends to be rather warm, then your wine will age faster (and you risk wine spoilage too.)
If you cannot find a good dark and damp room, one option (though more expensive) is to use an electricity-powered wine refrigerator. You can also try simply using the basement in your home, if any. The refrigerator is good for those areas that cannot guarantee stable temperatures for various reasons, so if you can find the budget to pay for the electrical costs of running a wine refrigerator this may be feasible for your place.
Another consideration in wine storage is that all wine bottles should be stored horizontally, not vertically. This allows the wine itself to stay in constant contact with the cork (if you still use cork-topped wine bottles) so that the cork be kept moistened 24/7. This round-the-clock moistening of the cork allows it to keep your bottle tightly capped without the cork being distorted out of shape if it dries out. In turn, if the bottle is air-tight and cannot get past the cork, oxygenation of your wine cannot occur and you can age your bottled wine much longer than you may suppose. This is also why you need a room with high humidity – the humidity in the air keeps your cork stable and moist, preventing a drastic drying out of the wine bottle cork.
Selecting the Correct Wine Refrigerator for Your Storage Needs
A wine refrigerator is not the same as your standard family-sized refrigerator. Actually, to choose your correct wine refrigerator, you need to know how many bottles you plan to store in it first. Some wine refrigerators may be able to store a minimum of six bottles while the larger wine refrigerators can accept more wine bottles for storage. But your wine refrigerator can only absorb so many bottles so you have to compute your capacity well, to avoid surpluses. If you will be using a wine refrigerator it is far better to under produce than to over produce wine.
Family refrigerators used to store food like meat and veggies might be convenient for such food storage but are generally unacceptable for wine storage because the family refrigerators are too cold. The food refrigerator has to be kept colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve food which means that your wine will be stored in conditions that are far too cold for its best aging process. Another reason you cannot use your family fridge to store wine of good quality is because you often open and close your fridge to get food, drinks and other stuff – this means the wine you store there will be subjected to fluctuating temperatures which is equally bad for wine.
To make matters even more complicated, different types of wine will require different ranges of temperature for wine storage. This means if you have a variety of wines to store in just one wine refrigerator, you may be surprised why some wines do well here and some do not do as well. The dry white wines plus the blush and rose varieties all have to be stored in the vicinity of 55 degrees only. Sparkling wine and champagne is never kept refrigerated for wine storage. Light red wine will thrive at exactly 55 degrees. Any full-bodied wines you plan for wine storage has to be kept cooler than 55 degrees as well. As you can see, since each type of wine has its own cooling needs, you may have a better chance of keeping all your wine stored well in the wine refrigerator if you only use one variety of wine.
If you are eyeing to make a huge batch of wine, it may be more practical to store this huge batch of wine in a wine cellar instead.
If your area’s climate doesn’t make it feasible to have a wine cellar or even a basement, then choose the wine refrigerator but make small batches of wine only. This also gives you some maneuvering room should your wine spoil, so you can analyze what went wrong and make the necessary changes in your home brew process. If you are still in the learning stage for that recipe, small batches are good for testing the outcome first, before you progress to making big batches.
Always compare terms and conditions plus retail prices for different brands and models of wine refrigerators too before buying one. The features of the wine refrigerator for cooling and storage should always take precedence over the external shell.
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By: Randy T. Slabey
Copyright 2008 RTS Leasing LLC
How to Make Homemade Wine
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