What Does Organic Winemaking Mean?
As it sounds, organic wine is produced from biologically grown grapes. The grapes that are grown organically, without sprinkles of artificial fertilizers, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, growth regulators, and hormones are used in the production of organic wines.
However, there have been some debates regarding the organic wine and many people believe the organic wine to be sulfite-free. If we see, the sulfites are natural derivatives of the fermentation process and wine cannot be produced without sulfites. Wines with less sulfites or free of externally added sulfites do exist. Indeed, sulfites in winemaking are mandatory as the bacteria and some species of yeast present on the grape skins would darken the color of wine and may oxidize it, and thus sulfites help preventing the wine from oxidizing and inhibiting the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeast.
Organic wine makers avoid adding sulfites and other preservatives and chemical substances in excess quantities to the wine, but winemaking process and storage conditions never differ from the other winemakers.
Now, let us see the process of organic winemaking at home.
Process of organic winemaking:
1.Before getting started with organic winemaking at home, make sure that you are sterilizing all equipment to be used in winemaking
2.Small sized grapes derive distinctive flavor from the outer skin and hence smaller ones are generally preferred for their superior ratio of skin to juice
3.Wash the grapes and separate them from stems
4.Combine grapes, add them in a sufficient amount of water and boil in a kettle
5.Once the above has become tender, remove it from flame, strain the juice and let the juice refrigerate for 24 hours and then strain again
6.Now add sufficient sugar to the above strained grape juice and boil
7.After boiling, pour the hot juice into the jars, along with some yeast and airlock the jars
8.Now keep the above sealed jars in a warm place maintaining steady temperature
9.Make sure that you are checking the sugar levels at different stages with hydrometer
10.At the end of fermentation, you can add one to two Campden tablets and re-airlock the jar to avoid any further oxidation and spoiling the whole wine
11.Now the jar filled with wine must be left in a cool place to clear and a few days later transfer the wine from the sediment.
Organic winemaking is done by keeping various steps in mind. Though it is not that complex, it is not easy too. You have to be more precise in carrying out the winemaking process. Always remember that even a single minor mistake can ruin your wine. So be careful in following the steps. It is always recommended to train yourself before jumping in. Ask any local winemaker for assistance or just be a spectator when someone experienced does the job.
However, the basic steps will help you in carrying out the basic procedure of organic winemaking at home. Before you begin, try at least twice by giving it a rough test.
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