It’s important to follow your kit’s instructions as they have been tested in a professional lab for the best results and they really know what they’re talking about. Instructions can also change from time to time based on experimentation from our lab for the best results, so please make sure you follow the current instructions (the ones provided in your kit) not previous ones.
Introducing oxygen to the wine on Day 1 actually makes the yeast very happy! We want to avoid as much oxygen being introduced for the rest of the winemaking process, but on Day 1 – go wild! Check out our Videos to see what "stirring well" really means.
Wine will naturally have a yeasty smell during fermentation. This will dissipate once the wine has finished fermenting and you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful bouquet.
Fizzy wine is great, but only if it’s Prosecco or champagne! For the rest, this is usually one of two things:
• Your wine wasn’t thoroughly degased when stabilized. You can give the open bottle a couple of good shakes with your hand over the top to release trapped gas before serving.
• Your wine is re-fermenting. The wine can be re-stabilized by adding ¼ teaspoon of potassium metabisulphite to the carboy of wine and allowing it to sit and re-clear if needed.
• Taste your wine. Remove a small sample from the carboy after degassing. If the wine is spritzy on the tongue repeat the degassing step. At this stage it will not taste as it will at bottling.
• Fill a test jar halfway with degassed wine and give it a good shake with your hand covering the opening. If there is a big pop then repeat the degassing step. If the popping sound is small then the wine is sufficiently degassed.
These both indicate oxidation. Oxygen is a “frenemy” when it comes to wine. It opens up aromas and starts to break down tannins for a silky mouthfeel in a freshly opened bottle or glass (you’re a pal, oxygen!). If too much is introduced too early (i.e. before or during bottling or while it ages) these processes will go on too long. This degrades the wine, making it change colour and lose flavour – this is the dreaded oxidation (hey, how rude!). Unfortunately for those affected bottles, there is no chance of a return to glory, but the good news is that there are some ways to prevent this in the future:
• Add sulphite before bottling as indicated in the instructions.
• Fill bottles so there’s no more space than ¼ inch to the bottom of the cork.
• Make sure the corks are tightly inserted into the bottles.
• Keep wine in cool and dark conditions – avoid heat and light exposure as much as possible.
Topping up your carboy of wine with water is not recommended. If you need to top up your carboy, using a similar wine is recommended.