The grapes should be ripe and clean. The grapes are crushed to free the juices. The mixture of the grape solids and juices is called must. The solids, including the grape skins, pulp, and seeds, is called pomace.
Maceration is the time the grape solids are allowed to contact the juices from inside the grapes. This contact allows the juices to extract color, tannins, and phenols from the skins and seeds. White wines have a very short contact time, at most 24 hours, because no color or tannin extraction is desired. Red wines have a long contact time of a week or more. Some red wines complete maceration before fermentation, some continue maceration through fermentation, and some experience a post-fermentation maceration of up to 10 days.
This step effectively ends maceration. The must is pressed to separate the juices from the solids, which stops the extraction of color, tannins, and phenols.
Yeast is added to begin fermentation. Yeast is naturally present on the skins of grapes, and becomes inoculated in the juices as soon as the grapes are crushed. Adding a culture of yeast may be optional, if additives were not used in the recipe to inhibit wild yeasts and kill wild bacteria.
Yeast process the natural sugar in the juice and turn it into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and heat. Fermentation completes when the residual sugar, measured in degrees Brix, has reached the desired level for the wine style. Sweet wines have more residual sugar than dry wines.
Fortified wine is blended with
Sparkling wine can be created through one of four methods. These include Traditional Champagne, Charmat, Transfer, and CO2 Injection.
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