environment

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Creating the best environment for making wine.

Your winemaking set up is a very important part of crafting you own wine. Make sure you follow the tips below to make sure your space is not negatively impacting your winemaking process.

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1) Keep it clean!

Maintaining a clean and sanitary working environment is extremely important to the success of your winemaking process. Spoilage micro-organisms (yeasts & bacteria) are ubiquitous waiting for the “right” conditions to strike and once an area is infected it is difficult to clean up.

  • Avoid puddles and clean up spills immediately (water and especially juice / wine); these can become a breeding ground for spoilage micro-organisms.
  • Develop a strict cleaning & sanitizing regimen, and get into the habit of always cleaning & sanitizing equipment before and after use.
  • Avoid areas with odours (e.g. oil, gas, mildew) which could otherwise affect wine quality.
  • Ensure that the outside of all winemaking equipment is thoroughly sanitized, not only the inside of equipment.
  • Install hand sanitizing stations in washrooms and winemaking area.
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2) Not too warm,
not too cold!

Maintain an adequate temperature and monitor with a good quality thermometer.

  • 20°–25°C (68°–77°F) is the ideal ambient temperature for the must (juice) and ideal temperature for fermenting wine.
  • This aspect of the winemaking environment is often overlooked and is the number one contributor to stuck and sluggish fermentations
  • Avoid temperature spikes and fluctuations from HVAC units and sun, esp. in the fall & spring when furnace is not cycling as often.
  • Regulate water temperature to reconstitute concentrate.
  • Don’t stress the yeast with high or low temperatures; you may end up with a stuck fermentation that could prove difficult to restart and could result in a flawed wine.
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3) Ensure Proper Ventilation

  • Alcoholic fermentation produces an appreciable amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas.
  • CO2 is heavier than air and therefore it does not displace easily.
  • CO2 is colourless however it can be detected on the nose in the form of a sharp tingling sensation similar to “smelling salts” or strong vinegar.
  • Ensure good ventilation to the outdoors during fermentation.
  • CO2 is a deadly asphyxiant in concentrations >10%.
  • CO2 has proved fatal in both the commercial and craft winemaking industry.
  • Install a CO2 detector!