Other Protocol for creating Sparkling Wine via bottle carbing...

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Bmd2k1

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Looking to create an easily repeatable protocol for creating Sparkling Wine via bottle carbing - from a full 6gal wine kit with NO Freezing, disgorging, bottle riddling, filtering.

I'm hoping someone else has done this before and can help me up the learning curve ;-)

For me, I'm looking to do this with some bulk aged whites (Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Grigio & maybe a Rose' -- all Dry vinos) - but certainly doesn't have to be limited to those varieties.

So, assuming I have a 6gal dry vino that has been bulked aged for some period of time, adequately racked, had no yeast defeating chems added (sorbate etc) and is ready for bottling.

My thoughts and some questions:

- Use EC1118 since it's a beast and has an alcohol tolerance up to 18% - thinking a Yeast starter should be created like many do when kicking a fresh batch off? A full 5g pack?
- Added sugar, but how much is Ideal to yield great carbonation but not impact the sweetness of the wine?
- Both the Yeast starter and Sugar get added to the 6gal vino and swirled/mixed adequately - how long should everything be allowed to sit before bottling is then done?

Any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
 
In theory you could just use a priming calculator that is used to determine the amount of sugar to use for bottle carving beer and do the same with wine.

The only issue is that if you do it that way there will be some sediment in the bottom of the bottles. So you have to pour carefully and ideally pour the bottle into glasses once it is open.
 
Definitely make a yeast starter, as you need a viable ferment to carbonate the wine. Use EC-1118, as it's a champagne yeast, designed to accomplish this very task. Start with a wine in the 10% to 12% ABV range. Higher ABV may prove to be a problem with a renewed fermentation in the bottle.

In my last attempt I made 1 US gallon / 5 bottles, so I used carb drops. If I was doing a full carboy (19 or 23 liters), I'd stir sugar into the wine.

When carbing beer, I used 2/3 to 3/4 cup white sugar in 19 liters. In early batches I had problems with 3/4 cup sugar producing too much carbonation, but later I used 2 stage (ferment beer out, rack to carboy for 2 to 4 weeks of bulk aging, then carbonate) and had no problems with over-carbing. I assume my problem batches had residual sugar, which produced too much carb.

I had one batch over-carbed, so much that no matter what I did, the bottles overflowed when opened. At room temperature (70 F) a bottle was a geyser, and there was maybe 10% left in the bottle afterward. Even chilled to 35 F for a day, the bottle overflowed (no geyser) and about half was left in the bottle.

Note: the problem is not making a sweet wine, it's making grenades. Champagne and beer bottles are rated for pressure, but there is a limit and it is possible to exceed a bottle's limit. If that happens, the weakest section of glass will blow. Last spring I researched pressure rated bottles as someone posted about pressurizing regular wine bottles (which is an amazingly bad idea), and one bottle vendor had a caution about exceeding the stated pressure rating.

If you are using a carbing dose of 2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar in 19 liters, you're fine -- millions of cases of homemade beer have been produced using that amount.
 
A topic after my own heart since I'm planning to bottle my first sparkling wine this coming spring! I have helped to make sparkling wine on a commercial scale, however this will be my first venture as sole winemaker.

(1) What's the alcohol content and FSO2 level in your base wine? @winemaker81 mentioned this already, it may be hard to restart fermentation if your %ABV is too high, and/or it may get stuck. I would also ideally want FSO2 to not exceed, say 15ppm.

(2) What level of carbonation do you want? In round numbers (and assuming secondary fermentation goes to completion), 4g/L sugar will produce 1 bar pressure (~1atm, 14.5psi). Commercial champagne method wines can have over 6 bar pressure (we use 25g/L at the winery where I work). I would recommend lower than that, I'm currently thinking 16g/L for mine. That's still ~4 bar, over 60psi - ie twice the pressure of a car tire! I think even 12g/L would give you good carbonation. (@salcoco above suggests 3/4c sugar per 23L, which I think is about 6.5g/L - so maybe that's enough and also increases your safety margin). Needless to say, only use bona fide champagne bottles. If you can, it might be worth getting a glu/fru test on your base wine. It may taste dry but still contain a few g/L residual sugar - which will affect how much sugar you need to add.

(3) Make sure the wine is cold stabilized - ideally, put it in a cold fridge (a bit below freezing if possible) for a few weeks, then rack off the precipitated tartrate deposits. If you start to form tartrate crystals in the bottle they can act as nucleation sites for bubbles and lead to a gushing fountain when you open the bottle, even if it's cold. There are commercial tests to determine the level of cold stability, it depends how far down this rabbit hole you want to go or whether you're willing to risk it after a good faith cold stab effort. There are also some alternative (non-cold) treatments that can be used to block tartrate crystal growth - I described them recently in this post. FWIW I'm planning to try and cold stabilize by leaving my kegs outside this winter, but I'd also like to use one of these treatments as an insurance policy.

(4) Definitely make a starter - EC1118 is a good choice. I would use ~1g/gallon as you suggest, ie for 5 or 6 gal, I'd use 5g yeast. The key is to gradually acclimatize the yeast to growing in an alcoholic milieu. Start on the day before bottling. Briefly, set up your culture with Go-ferm and once the culture is going, gradually add some sugar solution at 5 minute intervals and continue fermenting for 2 hrs. Then gradually add some of your base wine mixed 50:50 with water and containing some sugar over the next few hours. Add some nutrient (DAP or fermaid) and leave in a warm-ish place overnight.

(5) Next day, sugar up your wine. Be sure to reduce your target amount to account for any residual sugar in your base wine and the sugar that you added to the yeast starter. You'll also want to add some DAP or Fermaid to the base wine. Add the starter to the wine and mix in prior to bottling. (Though the way I've been taught is to gradually add the base wine to the starter over a period of a few hours - again, helping that yeast acclimatize. But I know plenty of people have success just adding the starter into the base wine...) If you have a transfer pump, set it up to recirculate the wine in your bottling vessel, so that the yeast doesn't stay on the bottom - otherwise give it a good stir at regular intervals during bottling.

(6) I plan to seal my bottles with crown caps. Bear in mind that some champagne bottles (I think mainly some domestic US bottles) take standard beer bottle caps, but most use a larger cap size. You can also get plastic caps with wires if you want a more traditional look.

Good luck!
 
My plan is to use swing top 1L bottles (ie. larger Grolsh style bottles). I've used these in the past for both beer and bottle carb'd hard ciders -- and they've worked flawlessly.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Cheers :cool:
 
My plan is to use swing top 1L bottles (ie. larger Grolsh style bottles). I've used these in the past for both beer and bottle carb'd hard ciders -- and they've worked flawlessly.
In that case I'd definitely want to stay on the lower end of the carbonation scale. Some of those style bottles may be rated up to 100psi but others only 50 or so.
 
(2) What level of carbonation do you want? In round numbers (and assuming secondary fermentation goes to completion), 4g/L sugar will produce 1 bar pressure (~1atm, 14.5psi). Commercial champagne method wines can have over 6 bar pressure (we use 25g/L at the winery where I work). I would recommend lower than that, I'm currently thinking 16g/L for mine. That's still ~4 bar, over 60psi - ie twice the pressure of a car tire! I think even 12g/L would give you good carbonation. (@salcoco above suggests 3/4c sugar per 23L, which I think is about 6.5g/L - so maybe that's enough and also increases your safety margin). Needless to say, only use bona fide champagne bottles. If you can, it might be worth getting a glu/fru test on your base wine. It may taste dry but still contain a few g/L residual sugar - which will affect how much sugar you need to add.
Thanks for posting the numbers -- I went by beer recipes and information in beer books, as I figured the carbonation will be similar enough.

I may try the equivalent of 1 cup sugar in 23 liters, which is ~8.7 g/l based upon 3/4 cup being 6.5 g/l.

Food for thought -- beer is higher final gravity than wine, as it contains heavier constituents. I'm wondering if the relatively light amount of carbonation sugar is required because beer contains more things that can act as nucleation sites. So wine can handle more without the same "boom".
 
Nice thread , I’m going to do some soon , like keeping things simple , so my listing to your conversation.
I’m going to try and make a cherry , raspberry berry sparkling wine .
Very soon, the wine is just sitting waiting for me to take the first steps.
 
Nice thread , I’m going to do some soon , like keeping things simple , so my listing to your conversation.
I’m going to try and make a cherry , raspberry berry sparkling wine .
Very soon, the wine is just sitting waiting for me to take the first steps.
This website has a nice description of making sparkling (non-grape) fruit wines...
 
I see you are well versed in your options, but I was going to suggest the charmat method before reading the article you just posted. Of course, I did not know that is what is was called then. 😀 There is the initial cost, but it sounds like you intend to do enough that you could amortise that over many batches to validate the cost.

Amazon has very cheap corny kegs and supplies. I think I got 2 kegs and taps for under $150. The gas and regulator would be your biggest cost.

I can't see anything being more simple, though. There is no guess work as to what the yeast will produce. You can set the pressure to your preference for an exact amount of carbonation every time, and you can use the CO2 to force bottle. This will also protect the wine eliminating the O2 factor.

I suppose it depends on how repeatable, reliable, and variable free you want it vs out of pocket expense.
 
I see you are well versed in your options, but I was going to suggest the charmat method before reading the article you just posted. Of course, I did not know that is what is was called then. 😀 There is the initial cost, but it sounds like you intend to do enough that you could amortise that over many batches to validate the cost.

Amazon has very cheap corny kegs and supplies. I think I got 2 kegs and taps for under $150. The gas and regulator would be your biggest cost.

I can't see anything being more simple, though. There is no guess work as to what the yeast will produce. You can set the pressure to your preference for an exact amount of carbonation every time, and you can use the CO2 to force bottle. This will also protect the wine eliminating the O2 factor.

I suppose it depends on how repeatable, reliable, and variable free you want it vs out of pocket expense.
Are you using this method? Is so, what do you use for bottling from kegs?

Cheers!
 
The first times I did sparkling wine, I used the Champange method including riddling (collecting the yeast in the neck of the bottle) and disgorging. However, though pretty cool to do, it wasn't a reliable method as @vinny wrote. So I turned to force carbonation and I will never go back to bottle carbonation. I already had the kegs so I didn't have to buy anything but a counter pressure filler. The filler looks like this: filler.jpg
 
Actually, to be honest I bought them for storage (secondary) so I could move it from shop to house when I had less space. I have a co2 tank because I drink soda water by the gallon. This post has made me consider trying it for the first time.

I don't see why you couldn't just use a cheap line to bottle with. $18 Canadian, so you can likely find one for $10 US. You would need a similar line from the CO2 tank to the keg. I just read guys were bringing beer to 30 psi to infuse carbonation, and then resting the beer at 8-12 psi which is what they use to keep the line pressurized and beer flowing. I think once you find your preferred carbonation level you could drop to line pressure and bottle with the cheap tap below.

I know @VinesnBines carbonates hard lemonade with a keg set up, and could likely chime in.

1670961924695.png
 
The first times I did sparkling wine, I used the Champange method including riddling (collecting the yeast in the neck of the bottle) and disgorging. However, though pretty cool to do, it wasn't a reliable method as @vinny wrote. So I turned to force carbonation and I will never go back to bottle carbonation. I already had the kegs so I didn't have to buy anything but a counter pressure filler. The filler looks like this: View attachment 96341
There is a lot of info in this picture. You could use a soda stream CO2 bottle so your CO2 investment cost is $20 to start, not the $400 I paid to buy and fill my bottle. I think regulators are about $30 on Amazon.

I assume you could carbonate in the keg (corny kegs are small, even 5 gallon ones take up very little space) and use the tap I pictured to eliminate the pressure bottler. Someone with more experience can hopefully confirm or deny.
 
use the tap I pictured to eliminate the pressure bottler. Someone with more experience can hopefully confirm or deny.
Well, I would say you can't unless you're happy with a (very) low level of carbonation. I tried and I wasn´t happy with a tap like the one you have suggested because I carbonate the wine heavily and no matter how long my serving tube (3/16") is, I will get too much foam (I tried with over 10 meter). And hence, the wine will only be semi-sparkling in the glas. And it will be even less if trying to bottle from a tap like that. But if you are after a fizzy wine maybe the tap will be ok.

On a side note; a tap like that can be used to fill beer in bottles with decent result (google ghetto filler).
 
Well, I would say you can't unless you're happy with a (very) low level of carbonation. I tried and I wasn´t happy with a tap like the one you have suggested because I carbonate the wine heavily and no matter how long my serving tube (3/16") is, I will get too much foam (I tried with over 10 meter). And hence, the wine will only be semi-sparkling in the glas. And it will be even less if trying to bottle from a tap like that. But if you are after a fizzy wine maybe the tap will be ok.

On a side note; a tap like that can be used to fill beer in bottles with decent result (google ghetto filler).
Excellent. I am glad you know and no one wasted time based on my assumptions. 😄
 

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