Making wine at home requires attention to various details. Bottling homemade wine after fermentation is essential to the after-care and storage process. Although smaller quantities are consumed rapidly, larger quantities often require storage space. Proper storage conditions also are important for large quantities of wine. Many households do not have the ideal cool, dark and damp cellar. Therefore, homeowners must select a space, such as a garage or attic, with optimal conditions to store the wine and allow it to mature.
Things You'll Need
- Wine racks
Select a cool, windowless space that is away from heating units -- heat causes the wine to oxidize. The area selected should be large enough to store the amount of wine desired and should keep a constant temperature. Constant changes in temperature will cause wine to deteriorate.
Place a thermometer in the storage area to determine the temperature. Ideal temperatures range between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bottle the wine in colored glass to reduce light sources. Label the wine bottles if desired to easily distinguish between the bottles.
Soften the corks with steam by boiling water in a pot, taking it off the stove and dropping the corks in the water for three to four minutes. The softened corks will be easier to fit into the bottle.
Set a bowl of water on the ground in the storage area selected. The water will make sure the area always remains damp and humid to stop corks from drying out. Moist corks will expand, which keeps oxygen from entering the wine bottles.
Place the wine bottles upright. They should remain this way for the first few days after production to allow the corks to form and dry into the neck of the bottle for an airtight seal.
Arrange wine racks in the storage area, and place the bottles horizontally on the racks. The wine should stay in contact with the cork to keep the cork moist.
Allow the homemade wine to rest. Do not move the wine constantly because this will interrupt the wine's maturing process.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not store the wine in a kitchen. Cookers in the kitchen cause a constant fluctuation in temperature.
- If the area selected already is damp, the bowl of water will not be needed.
- Ultraviolet light also damages wine by causing the wine to age prematurely, so keep the wine out of direct sunlight.
- Sparkling wine is more sensitive to ultraviolet rays than regular wine.
- Ultraviolet light will also penetrate dark colored bottles, so make sure to store sparkling wine in a dark windowless room.
- Photo Credit wine cellar witch stacked bottles and barrels image by kubais from Fotolia.com
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