Gordon on the Rack

Gordon has started to clear - actually a bit too much to be honest eep! - so its time to put him on the rack. Racking is done to put a bit more air into the wine (to help the yeast) and to clear out the lees, or sediment, or was I call it "that gross stuff that settles at the bottom".

Following the book instructions it was fairly easy. You put the full demijohn needs higher than the one you are racking into, but basically gravity does the work. I have a sediment trap on the end of my siphon tube a bit like this one, but not the tap because I don't see the need, as long as you err on the side of caution when doing the suction thing.

Once I was all set up and sterilised, the end with the sediment trap went in, all the way to the bottom of the full demijohn. Then a few attempts of sucking just enough on the other end and gravity takes over, and the wine starts to flow. This isn't for drinking, you have to quickly move the end from your mouth to the jar before that happens. Keep the tubed high up in the new demijohn to gives it maximum aeration.

The sediment trap should stop you getting any of the gross stuff in the bottom of the jar - but keep and eye on it and just whip out the tube if you need to. I didn't, but you really don't want to get caught out and suck it all up.

Once you've got all the good stuff across, you might need to top up the level of liquid to the neck - if you do, as I did, do this with a syrup made from 8oz of sugar and 5oz of water (or multiples of) rather than water. Otherwise you are just diluting the wine. Not a good thing.

That done, Gordon got his airlock back in, and is happily waiting in the corner for his bubbling to stop so I can bottle him up. That should be soon, he's slowed up a fair bit now, but I'm giving him time to be sure. I don't want flying glass everywhere!

He's looking a rather dashing shade of red thou, isn't he?


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