About three weeks ago, I began the process of making two gallons of pumpkin wine. Since that time, I have stirred the wine in the primary fermenter each night; today I took the next step, and racked my pumpkin wine for the first time. The term racking means to siphon the wine off of the lees, or yeast sediment, into another container.
The wine was still in the primary fermenter, so I first removed the nylon bag containing pumpkin must, and let the bag drip back in to the fermenter without squeezing it. Once it had finished dripping, I removed the must from the equation. It is now sitting in the top bin of my worm bin, which intrepid readers of this blog will learn about as the weekend progresses.
The wine had a specific gravity of 1.085, which indicates its alcohol content is approximately 11.3%.
I dissolved 1 cup of sugar in two cups of boiling water, let it cool, then placed that in with the wine. I want this wine to be sweet, rather than dry. I stirred this water in gently, then, with the help of my wrecking crew, siphoned the wine into two gallon bottles. I added one teaspoon each of gelatin finings in the wine, which should aid in clarifying.
I capped the two gallon bottles with rubber bungs and airlocks, then placed them back in the basement. Afterwards I sanitized all of the equipment, and put it all away.
This wine will need to be racked at least one more time; adding the sugar kicked up a great deal of sediment, so there will likely be additional lees the next time around as well.