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!

January 2011
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Know Your Temperature

January 28, 2011

BruceThe programmable Set-Back Thermostat in your home is your friend, except when you make wine.

It is a proven fact that a programmable thermostat will save you money. If set up properly it will heat up your house when you are there, and reduce the temperature when you are not. Wine, however needs constant warm temperature to ferment.

cold-thermometerI make my wine in a section of the laundry/furnace room so I thought I would run a few tests on my winemaking environment. My wall thermometer reads 20c during the day and 18c at night. The liquid in the fermenter reads 2 to 3 degrees cooler when the pail is sitting on my table. I then sat a pail on a collapsed wine kit box to act as an insulator between the pail and the table (a cool surface will act as a ‘heat sink’ and actually draw heat from your fermenter). This improved the reading to only 1 to 2 degrees cooler than room temperature. (I use an infra-red digital thermal thermometer for my readings so it’s very accurate). So as you can see you have to know what the temperature of you fermenter is- not just the room your fementer is in.

Here’s a few tips for fermenting:

1) Never ferment on the floor or a table without an insulation barrier. Use cardboard, a towel, or a cut up ceiling tile. Again, the surface your pail sits on can act as a ‘heat sink’ and draw heat from your pail or carboy.
2) Have a Stick-On Digital Thermometer attached to all pails and carboys. You can monitor the fermentation temperature at a glance. This will tell you if action needs to be taken.
3) Use a heat belt. This will ensure the fermentation temperature is at the level required- especially if you have a Set-Back Thermostat 

Good fermenting!

Bruce, Manager (Wine Sense- Pembina Hwy)


Filed under: General by Craig

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