"So there are Oliphaunts. But no one at home will ever believe me."
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Category — oikoenopoeia

Grüner Veltliner: Racking for stabilization and fining

I spent a large part of the day cleaning five gallon kegs which previously held beer, in order to rack the Grüner Veltliner. It’s a labor intensive process, so it’s tiring, and it also takes a lot of hot water, so it is energy intensive too.

My technique for cleaning the kegs out is the rinse with cold water and brush to get all of the gross (as in bulk) debris out—mainly trub and yeast sediment—and then to add hot water and Trader Joe’s Oxo Brite solution. This type of oxygen cleaner tends to leave a film of detergent, so after that is complete I fill with hot water again and add the One Step oxygen cleaner, which reacts completely and doesn’t leave any residue. You can tell it is effective by all of the particles that float up to the top, even though visual inspection with a flashlight revealed no obvious debris. Still, that’s a lotta hot water, especially when washing more than one keg.

Once that was done, I used a special line with “out” hook-ups on both sides and a CO2 source on the Grüner Veltliner to push the wine into the freshly cleaned and sanitized 5 gallon keg. I captured about a gallon of young wine in several flip top bottles, these are mature enough to be enjoyable while hinting at the full potential of the wine to come. The wine had a gravity of .990, surprisingly low but I suppose that the residual CO2 may have contributed to a lower density than expected.

Then I cleaned the 10 gallon keg in preparation for racking the Barbera into it, which is currently happily fermenting in the lauter tun (a 10 gallon brew vessel). I’ll have to finish the racking tomorrow before I leave for Ft. Irwin for my seven week tour.

When you make beer at home, it is called “homebrew.” I am not aware of a similar word to describe the activity of making wine at home, so I have coined the category “oikoenopoeia” (Greek, home-wine-making) until a proper Anglo-Saxon alternative suggests itself. This post christens the category; according to Google it is unattested.

April 5, 2009   Comments Off