If you’ve never had a chance to see wine brewing you’re missing out on quite an experience. Even if you do not plan on making wine I suggest you take a winery tour whenever possible to see a fermentation in action–up close and personal. It’s very interesting, and you’ll get to see all the wine making materials and equipment that go along with making wine at the winery.
The first thing you will notice are the wonderful smells that permeate the area where the wine is fermenting. An array of aromas that can range from tart plums to yeasty bread, all blended together to create a pleasant bouquet of sorts.
When you actually see a wine brewing you will notice tiny bubbles being created and floating to the top. The bubbles are actually CO2 gas being created by the fermentation activity. Wine yeast eat the natural sugars in the juice and ferment it into half CO2 gas and half alcohol.
This bubbling also causes a layer of foam to form on the top surface. Pulp will also rise to the top because of the bubbling. From time to time a worker will have to push the pulp back down in to the liquid so that a dry cap is not formed. This is a process called punching.
While making wine at home is not usually done on such a grand scale as that of a winery, it is certainly just as interesting to watch. For the home winemaker the actual wine brewing is usually done in carboys, also known as water jugs. You can see right through the glass as if you had your own little winery to watch.
Foam forms on top and pulp rises to the top just like in a winery, and the pleasant aromas fill the room where the wine brewing is taking place. It is truly a fascinating hobby. And one that brings its own rewards.
To learn more about making your own wine just visit our website and take a look at all the articles we have on how to make your own wine at home.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.