I have a few questions regarding wine making. I just reracked 2 x 1Gal fresh fruit wines - a mixed berry and a strawberry. It has been 2 weeks since I started them.
Do they have to be stored at a certain temp?
Should I rerack in a few weeks?
When can I bottle?
After fermentation is done, the wines need to settle so the yeast and remaining fruit bits will drop to the bottom. That usually takes a month or so. It will clear faster at colder temperatures, but colder temperatures will inhibit degassing, which is the next step. I typically just leave the wines at room temperature, provided room temp doesn’t get above the low 70s.
After settling, you rack the wine again then degas it (a wine whip works great for this), or just let it degas naturally, which would take a couple months. Then you let is settle again, as more stuff will drop out. 1-3 months is typical for this stage, depending on the wine. Then rack it again.
If you are then in a hurry, you can bottle. Or if you want really clear wine, just rack every 2-3 months until there is no sediment left on the bottom of your container when you rack it. Different wines take different amounts of time to clarify.
Important point: after fermentation is done, protect the wine from oxygen. Minimize head space in the carboy or jug you are using (don’t use a bucket once fermentation is done), and treat with campden tablets. One crushed tablet per gallon of wine added every other racking is usually about right.
I reracked into a 3 Gal Carbouy and placed them into my basement. It stays in the low 60s.
I should now leave it for a month to let things settle, then rerack? At that time, I should degas the wine (I am planning on using a wine whip - does this shave overall time off of the wine making process?) Then I wait another 1-3 months to let it settle and then can rerack for clearer wine or bottle.
Seems pretty simple, but definitely a hurry up and wait type of game.
Thank you for your help!
See how things go as is. One issue is that trapped gas can have a negative effect on clearing. If in a few weeks the wine is still very hazy, you may want to warm up a bit. But for now, just wait and see.
When you go to degass it, you also have the option of fining the wine (especially if it is not crystal clear at degassing).
You may also want to add a little sulphite at this point to inhibit oxidation.