Homemade Balloon style Airlock:
Poke the straw into the mouth of the pricked balloon (tape it around the straw if it’s loose) – when gases rise from the wine they will fill the balloon until the hole is opened by the expansion of the balloon. The balloon then continues to “stand up” until fermentation ends and the balloon “flops over” again signalling that it has done.
These are chemicals used to kill bacteria in wine, and so act as a preservative. Metabisulphite powder can be used to sterilise bottles and brewing equipment; and Campden tablets (sodium or potassium metabisulphite) are used to stop fermentation before bottling – The sulphites given off when a crushed tablet is added to the wine will kill the yeast.
It is important to note that some people should avoid drinks containing any sulphites as they aggravate respiratory membranes, and no one should consume them alone.
In general, it is best to use sulphites sparingly. If you do use them for sterilisation, be sure to rinse everything thoroughly before using.
One day in the early eighties I made a batch of Rice and Potato wine. I forget the recipe – It was cheap and I had rice and potatoes in the house… so rice and potatoes were in it 😛 . . . also I believe there may have been some raisins. After all the bubbling and such subsided, this wine was bottled and put in the small cupboard under the sink, to be forgotten.
A few years later, I got married and sold my house to move to the US. In preparation for moving, all the cupboards were emptied and I found these 3 bottles of wine, covered in dust. I was on a tight schedule, and they couldn’t be shipped, so I emptied them into the sink… I don’t know why, but I tried a small glass from the last bottle – It was the best wine I had ever made – clear, light, fresh and not too sweet!
What can you learn from this?
- Keep a record of ALL the recipes you use to make EVERY batch of wine that you make.
- Even homemade wine keeps a lot longer than you can imagine ~ If it is bottled and stored properly.
- Never throw wine down the sink until you are sure you won’t want to drink it.