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Benjo's Mom

Aug 2, 2008
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This is going to sound really stupid, and sometimes I am;) I am seeing a lot of references to stabilizing a wine. What exactly does this mean and how do I do it? Thanks.
Cold stabalizing is the only way I know to do it. Place your carboy in the refridgerator for a few days and all action stops. Then add 1/2tsp sorbate/gal and you've got a stabalized wine.
Stabilizing a wine means to stop the possibility of any future fermentation. With wine kits it involves waiting for the initial fermentation to complete, then adding metabisulfite and sorbate.

Stabilising a wine means making it stable biologocal and chemical.

When high temperatures arise some proteins might precipitate (did I spell that right ???) out. The wine then gets hazy.
So test the wine by taking a sample and heat it. If it gets hazy you will have to fine it with fining aids.

Next is cold stabilising.
A wine with a lot of tartaric acid might throw chrystals when the
wine is chilled. The chrystals are parts of tartaric acid at (again spelled) precipitate out of the wine.
So the wine is chilled then look if any chrystals form and if they do rack the wine.
The racked wine is then cold stabilised.

Last is to indeed add sulphite and sorbate.
Sorbate prevents any living yeast cells to multiply (reproduce). And sulphite helps kill molds, bacteria and helps keeping oxygen in control to prevent the wine to oxydise.

There is a lot of free literature around on web-sites.
If you read my wine-weblog you will find in the right column on my log a list of free downloadable winebooks.
They might shed some more light on all these complicated matters.

Thank you all very much. This is helpful as I will be bottling my fruit wine and kit wine at the same time (or maybe not, as I continue to learn more.) The fruit wine, I am learning, needs different things:)
Thanx for putting all that info out there for us. Will come in very handy when I start up my first few batchs...