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What Are Critical Control Points in the Wine Making Process?

There are slight differences to how people make wine at home, according to their personal preference. However, there are several points that are critical for the wine making process to be successful. Also, it is important to remember to use equipment, containers and bottles that are thoroughly sanitized.The refractomers such as grape refractometer,alchol refractometer and brix refractometer are the important tool.

Crushing the Grapes
Grapes must be clean and ripe, and should be checked for insects and blemishes. There should be no stems before crushing as this will make the wine bitter, and the sugar levels of the juice of the grapes should be assessed with a brix thermometer, which measures the quantity of dissolved sugar in liquid with light refraction. It should read 22 Brix. For red wine the skins are left in the mixture; they are removed for white wine.

Primary Fermentation
During primary fermentation, the sugars in the grapes turns into alcohol. A wine yeast needs to be added to facilitate this; different strains of yeast can affect the flavor of the wine, therefore it's important to pick one that is suitable for wine making. The liquid needs to be kept at a warm temperature to aid the fermentation. Ideally it should be kept at 55 to 65 F for white wine, and 80 F for red wine. It should be left to ferment for a week.

Secondary Fermentation

Secondary fermentation takes place when the wine is "racked", which essentially means transferring from one container to another via a hose. This separates the sediment from the wine and you will see the wine bubbling through the hose. This process can take between a week and 10 days. Wine can taste of yeast if it hasn't been given enough time to ferment.

Bottling and Aging
The final step is to bottle the wine by siphoning it into clean bottles. A clear hose pipe is fitted over the top of the wine container to transfer it to the bottles to prevent spillage. A gap of 2 inches of space should be left at the top of each bottle. The wine can be aged for several months before consuming, depending on the type of grape used. Six months is the average time for aging wine made at home. 

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