After waiting the required 5-7 days, it was time to test the specific gravity to see if the wine was ready to see if it was time to move on to step 2 in the process.

I prepared the equipment needed for this step. Again, cleaning and sanitizing anything that comes in contact with the wine is essential.

Equipment:

  • Secondary fermenter (carboy)
  • Siphon rod and hose
  • Wine thief
  • Hydrometer
  • Airlock & bung

The kit instructions said that if the specific gravity (SG) was below 1.01 it was time to rack the wine into the carboy. Make sure the primary fermenter is at least 3 feet off the floor. Place the carboy on the floor. Put the siphon rod in the primary, and suck on the other end of the siphon hose to start the siphon. I ended up with a mouthful of wine. Honestly it didn’t taste too bad. If it improves between this point and bottling, I’ll be in for a treat. I may decide to opt for an auto-siphon in the near future. It allows you to start your siphon by operating a pump within the siphon rod. Earlier when I was using the Sparkle-Brite cleaning agent, I ended up with a mouthful of the cleaner. Ugh. Not recommended.

It was recommended that you prop up one side of the primary up with a piece of wood, a book , or something else that is a couple inches high. This will allow you to transfer more of the wine and leave behind the thick and heavy sediment. It took roughly ten minutes to rack the wine, with a bit of assistance from my wife. Once done siphoning, fill the airlock half full with water, and place it and the bung in the mouth of the carboy.

The airlock is a pretty simple piece of equipment. It’s a one way gas release valve. As the carbon dioxide pressure inside the carboy builds during fermentation, it allows the gas to escape, while preventing any oxygen from entering the vessel.

Now, I wait another 8 days or so for the next step.

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