A Sense of Wine

A Sense of Wine is Wine Sense's journal of new products, techniques and behind the scenes info for those who love to make wine. The authors are the Wine Sense staff. You will be familiar with them as the friendly faces that serve you whenever you stop by one of the stores. Join us as we share our insights on new procucts, advice and our experiences. Please feel free to comment on any posts- we look forward to your input!

December 2009
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Keep that Carboy Warm and Snug!

December 14, 2009

BobThis past week, after a conversation with a long time customer about clearing issues, I had him bring me in a sample of his first beer making experience. The sample was dropped off Monday, and when I returned to work Thursday, the sample was perfectly clear. My past experiences told me that his problem with clearing is probably being caused by fluctuating temperatures in his household.

The main reason I suspected a temperature problem was through past problem solving. The first time I encountered this issue was about 8 years ago when a customer had never ending clearing problems. We tried everything; sparkoloid, isokleer, repeated stirrings… and nothing worked! I asked the fellow to bring in a bottle and I would send it to Winexpert in B.C. He brought the sample in on a Saturday and I couldn’t ship it until Monday because the couriers are all shut down on the weekends. Low and behold, I came in to work on Monday and the wine was crystal clear. The store here on Springfield Road is always set to one temperature, so no fluctuations, and therefore, no clearing problems because of temperature. So, after some more discussions with the customer, it was determined he had a temperature issue. This has now happened on numerous occasions with other customers.

Today’s programmable thermostats will guarantee you’ll have temperature fluctuations if you set it to a cooler temperature while you’re at work or at night.

You can’t always rely on your thermostat as an indicator of your wine’s temperature. Place your hand on the surface that your carboy is sitting on. Does it feel cool to touch? If so, it’s acting as a ‘heat sink’. That means its drawing heat from the carboy- so even if your themostat says 20 or 21 degrees the wine is likely a few degrees cooler. Once you go below the suggested temperature range you may start to have clearing and degassing problems.

The moral of this story is that once you transfer your wine to the carboy for stage 2 that you wrap it up in a blanket or, as I do, in old winter jackets to stabilize and insulate your wine. It doesn’t take much to throw your wine off into some direction it hasn’t gone before.

So as we continue through our current cold snap check your carboy’s temperature and environment. A simple blanket can help keep it warm and snug.

Bob

Manager- Wine Sense (Springfield Road)


Filed under: General by Craig

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