Beaverdale 6 Bottle Wine Kit Instructions
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE A PLASTIC FERMENTING CONTAINER INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL GLASS VERSION WHICH MAY CRACK IF SHAKEN UNDER PRESSURE. IF YOU WISH TO USE A GLASS FERMENTING CONTAINER, DO NOT SHAKE UNDER PRESSURE.
- Make sure all your equipment is clean and sterilised before starting. We recommend you use our Ritchie Cleaner/Steriliser. We suggest you now mark your container at 4.5 litres as you will need this in instruction 2, do this using water.
- Pour the bag of grape juice (to open the bag, insert a blunt instrument to ease off the cap) into your 5 litre fermenter. Rinse out with warm water, and then add this to your fermenter. Continue adding water (which needs to be between 18º-25ºC) until your fermenter is just over the 4.5 litre mark. The liquid temperature in the fermenter should be approximately 20º-25ºC (68º-77ºF) the nearer to 20ºC the better. Make sure the contents are completely mixed, by shaking the container vigorously. It is as well-to-do a hydrometer reading at this stage, it should show a reading between 1075-1080. The only way to make sure you have an accurate reading is by doing two readings as follows; the first should be done when you think you have mixed the juice sufficiently well. The container should then be shaken again for a further minute or so, left to settle for 10 minutes, and the second reading can then be taken. If the second reading is the same as the first you know the juice has been fully dissolved. If it’s higher than the first, keep repeating this process until the two readings are the same. The kits however are perfectly balanced, and therefore a hydrometer is not necessary (more for your records)
- White Wines Only: Sprinkle the sachet of Bentonite on the surface of your grape juice and wait 15 minutes, then stir well.
- Oak Chippings: We recommend this is added to the wine (but you don’t have to add it) Add chippings to the fermenter.
- Sprinkle the sachet of Yeast into the container and shake, replace the cap/lid complete with airlock (the airlock should be half filled with clean water).
- Leave to ferment in a warm place 20º-25ºC (68º-77ºF). We would recommend you keep the temperature as close to 20ºC as possible (but no lower). If your airlock is bubbling vigorously this indicates the temperature is too high. Please check this carefully as the best quality wine will be produced at temperature nearer to 20ºC. Total fermentation time will be 10-15 days for whites and 15-20 days for reds, depending on temperature.
- Fermentation will be complete when hardly any bubbles are going through the airlock (less than one per minute). Check the wine with a hydrometer, and taste it. If it is too sweet allow it to continue.
Red Wines - 990-994
White/Rosé wines - 990-996
A hydrometer reading should be the same for three continuous days, if in doubt leave for a further period, it will do the wine no harm at all. Once you are sure the fermentation is complete, add the sachet of Stabiliser (this gives off a gas when mixed with the wine, do not inhale this), shake the container for 3 or 4 minutes to remove the carbon dioxide gases. This should be repeated several times (at least 3 times a day for the next 3-4 days). The more this is done the easier it will be to clear the wine.
- The wine should now have the finings added. Add the sachet of Kieselsol to the container, shake for 10 seconds to mix, replace cap and leave for 24 hours. Now add the Chitosan to the container, shake for 10 seconds to mix, and replace the cap. Leave in a cool place to clear. The wine should be clear in 3-7 days, dependent on the conditions it could be before this. Finings work best if they are lightly mixed in (folded in).
- When the wine is clear, it should be carefully syphoned off the yeast sediment using a U-bend and plastic tubing (the Ritchie Auto Syphon is the best complete syphon on the market), either directly into wine bottles or into another 4.5 litre container. The latter is preferable if you need to sweeten your wine. For sweetening we recommend adding and dissolving either sugar, Ritchie Grape Juice or Ritchie Wine Sweetener. Sugar should be added 10gms at a time with tastings between each addition until the desired sweetness is achieved. The wine is ready for drinking immediately, but will improve if matured for several months in a cool place.