The Dandelion Wine experiment, pt.2
Here we go, the much awaited follow-up to pt.1. I think this will be pt.2 out of 4 hopefully, the next being bottling and then several months later, tasting! The Demijohn has been sitting in my flat for quite a while now, smelling wine like and bubbling away as much as it pleases. Sometime during the holiday, I am not so sure when, the lees dropped, which meant it was time for racking!
Basically, this means a load of cloudy sediment had fallen to the bottom of the demijohn (this apparently happens very quickly, it will all just drop over half an hour one day) and although the sediment (lees) is not overly harmful to wine in the short term, after a while it can kill the yeast and begin to create hydrogen-sulfide gas, and who wants that?
To rack the wine, I bought a long, clean and sterile syphon tube and a second Demijohn from the brewery shop just down the road, slowly and gently placed my wine filled Demijohn on the counter and the empty Demijohn on the floor below. I then placed the syphon tube so that one end was in the wine, about 1/2 an inch off the surface of the lees, having gently removed the airlock and then left the sediment to settle.
After that you get the other end of the pipe and suck till the liquid begins to flow, push it into the empty (sterile) Demijohn, right to the bottom, so its opening is quickly submerged and then watch as liquid flows uphill, defying your GCSE level understanding of physics! Reseal it and then leave for a month or two before repeating the process and carry on till no more lees develop and fermentation has stopped. Which will be pt.3!