Leigh Erwin: Bottling My Rosso Fortissimo Wine Kit

Glass of homemade wine that was bottled.Hi everyone!
So, my Rosso Fortissimo wine kit is just going along doing it’s clearing thing, though honestly the wine is so dark it’s really hard to tell if it’s actually clearing or not! I’m somewhat worried that it’s not going to clear as well as it should since I did a couple of oddly timed rackings last time, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
According to the wine kit directions that came with it, I should be bottling the wine kit between day 42 and day 44. However, I did run into a scheduling conflict as one of my sisters was in town and I didn’t want to give up precious time visiting with her to bottle the wine. I figured extra days in the carboy wouldn’t hurt it, so I just waited until she left to get on with the bottling.
That being said, I didn’t get to bottle the wine until day 47.
I really couldn’t tell if the wine had cleared up completely, as it was very dark and the lighting in the room wasn’t actually the brightest. I did see a bunch of debris at the bottom of the carboy, so I know that SOME clearing had occurred, but whether or not it was enough wasn’t something I decided I wanted to consider. I decided to move full speed ahead and just bottle it already.
In retrospect, I really should have spent more time considering how clear the wine actually was and whether or not I should have let it sit, because I did put a lot of time and effort into making the wine up until now, so it would be silly and wasteful to just throw two sheets to the wind and plow forward with reckless abandon.
So, bottling day for the wine it is! I got everything all set up and sterilized, and was really looking forward to what would hopefully be a flawless bottling day.
HA! If only things were that easy…
The part that came as quite a challenge—again—was the filtering the wine. If you recall, I had some problems with filtering the last time I made a red wine, in that I didn’t quite read the instructions correctly for how to put the wine filter together. I ended up passing all the wine throughShop Wine Bottles the wine filter just fine, but turns out I didn’t put the filter pads in quite the correct position. I probably ended up only really filtering about half the wine, but that’s OK because it still tasted great in the end.
I’m going to save the horror filtering story for my next post, but for now I’ll let you know that I did end up bottling all the wine—23 bottles to be exact. That’s 7 bottles less than predicted by the instructions, but due to some filtering errors and expected “day to day” losses, that’s not so bad I think.
Final alcohol of my Rosso Fortissimo based on specific gravity readings from my hydrometer at the beginning and end of the process was 13.2%. Nice!
If you have any advice for me about bottling my wine, please leave them in the comments below…
leigh_erwin_bioMy name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.

0 thoughts on “Leigh Erwin: Bottling My Rosso Fortissimo Wine Kit

  1. I had some problems like that with real dark heavy red’s So i just used a clarifier (kitosol two
    stage) and check the wine with a good flashlight, by shining it from the opposite side, this usually
    gives you a good idea how clear the reds are. By sliding up and down with the light, You will sometime see where the clearing line is. It will be lighter at the top of the carboy and darker as you go down, means still has to settle some. then I used the filter.

  2. I have been making wine for about11 or 12 years. The best advice I could give you would be to continue doing as you are already doing. Experience is the best teacher. Learn from your mis-steps. Try new things, don’t be afraid to experiment. I enjoy the challenge of the process and while I have made some great wines, I have also poured a few 5 gallon batches down the drain. But don’t despair, with experience, things get better.
    I applaud you for your spunk in trying !!