FAQ

 

RACKING

Q: Is it OK to make wine without racking?
A: 
The U Winemaker single stage method does not require racking.

  • There are so many variations in winemaking instructions about leaving the wine on the gross lees (pulp sediment) or fine lees (yeast) and racking the wine off at various times within the winemaking process. Inexperienced winemakers can easily become confused.
    There are only two main reasons for racking the wine:

    • Primary fermenters are large pails that provide additional space to accommodate fermentation foam and typically have loose fitting lids. When the fermentation slows down the fermentation emitted CO2 gas is no longer available to protect the wine from outside air/oxygen and contamination. The wine must be protected and is racked into an airlocked carboy and allowed time to complete the fermentation.
      The U Winemaker single stage fermenter retains CO2 gas and is airlocked.
    • Primary fermenters allow open access for pressed grape skins, crushed, chopped raw fruits to be put in contact with the wine juice. They produce gross lees which is pulp sediment. If gross lees are left too long in contact with the wine it will produce undesirable tastes. Wines produced from raw fruit must be racked leaving the pulp sediment behind. Wine kit juice has no pulp and grape skins, when used in our method are contained within straining bag(s) then removed leaving only the fine yeast lees.
      The U Winemaker single stage fermenter method produces no pulp sediment.
  • The yeast or fine lees do not have a flavour that will remain in the wine until autolysis takes place. The function of the yeast is to convert sugar into alcohol and to unlock flavours found within the grape.
  • Autolysis and sur lie ageing
    After two or more months the yeast will start self-decaying and start spilling out of its shell, a process known as autolysis. Leaving the wine on the decayed yeast is a process known as sur lie ageing. It can result in beneficial contributions of flavour and aroma (particularly in white wines) and is now used by many winemakers for wine production in many parts of the world. Sur lie ageing is not as common for red wines as it reduces the oaky aromas and absorbs tannins.
  • Our 28-day single stage process is completed before autolysis starts and is not impacted by autolysis and sur lie ageing.
  • Our clearing process mixes and degasses the wine using a user applied Rock’n’Roll motion to agitate and splash the wine within the CO2, Oxygen free cavity space. Fine lees (yeast) and bentonite are remixed along with a double Super – Kleer clearing agent to produce crystal clear wine.
  • The U Winemaker’s removal of racking is extremely important. It eliminates oxygen exposure and maintains an absolutely clean environment that in turn produces remarkable aromas and flavours in brilliant, vibrant, clean tasting wines.

 

For further reading about yeast and lees:
Gross vs. Fine Lees – Winemakers Academy
Yeast Autolysis by Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari
Wine Flavors from Yeast – Wine Spectator

28 DAY METHOD

Q: Can 4, 5, and 6 week wine kits all be made in 28 days?
A: Yes

  • Once the fermentation is complete, generally within 14 days, stabilization and clearing can commence. The U Winemaker single stage method successfully clears wine within the next 14 days.
    Verifying dryness and clarity is part of the process.
  • Wine is made from blends of fruit juice, concentrate and sugar. Better wine kits are composed from mostly juice, the not as good small kits are composed of simple concentrate and sugar. They all take the same time basic to ferment and clear.