Keg o’… Part Deux! April 27, 2016 10:11
Last week, in the blurb on the pros and cons of kegging your homebrew, I touched on and then quickly ran away from the idea of kegging wine. It’s time to complete that thought.
Keg wine, you say? Aye, I do. Why not? Because wine kits make six gallons and kegs only hold five? Okay, so you still have to bottle a little bit, but that is still so much easier and faster than bottling the whole batch.
There is really only one question when it comes to kegging wine: to carb, or not to carb? And the answer is… it depends. Do you like champagne? Did you make a light and sweet wine that you wouldn’t mind a little fizzy for the hot summer months? Great! Carb it! Otherwise, don’t. Just purge the air from the keg and set on a low pressure to pour your wine. Boom! Instant wine!
Benefits to Kegging Wine:
- This is the easiest way to make homemade champagne, or at least the closest you can get to it. Champagne is mostly made from chardonnay grapes. If you want to carbonate wine in a bottle, you have to cork and cage it in thick glass. This is a time consuming and tedious process, and the bottles are more expensive than standard bordeaux/claret style bottles. It is easier and faster to put your chardonnay into a keg and follow our handy kegging instructions - just shake it for longer than the recommended 2-3 minutes you would shake a beer. The secret to the constant flow of bubbles you see in champagne is essentially an imperfect glass - either imperfections or scratches on the interior surface, or a dirty surface. (This same premise is utilized in Sam Adams pint glasses.)
- Your wine will not experience bottle shock, so it is ready to drink (almost) right away. Wine still benefits from aging - which will take longer if you keep the keg in a fridge. Carbonated kegs should still be given 24 hours to set and absorb the CO2.
- You can get small kegs! We sell 1.5, 2.5, and 3 gallon kegs as well as 5 gallon, so you could even bottle half a batch of still wine, and carbonate the other half! We can’t make this stuff up!
The Downside of Kegging Wine:
- You will drink it faster and thus have to make more.
- The upfront expense still exists, but a fridge is not as important or necessarily desirable for uncarbonated wine. A cool spot is still recommended, though.
- Literally nothing else.
Why are you still reading this? Get in here and get some kegs!