The wine is siphoned into a funnel with a piece of screening and cheesecloth. The carboys are then capped with plastic air lock devices.
The wine stopped fermenting on Oct 7, exactly 10 days after it began. This seems to be the usual amount of time it takes in the RootsLiving Cellar.
Once the wine stops fermenting (you can tell when it stops gurgling), the juice is taken out of the wooden barrel immediately. This is because air is the worst enemy of wine and will quickly turn it into vinegar. So once this happens you have to siphon the juice out of the barrel and put it in a nearly airtight container.
I say “nearly” airtight because you still want the air bubbles (or gas?) inside the wine to be able to leave the bottle. The way this is accomplished is by using “air lock twin bubblers.” These are rubber corks, large enough to fit into the 5-gallon carboy, with a hole in the center for the plastic air lock device. The air lock device looks like something out of kid’s chemistry set. You fill it with water and that way, gas or air can escape from the wine, bubbling through the water, but air can’t get in.
A think wooden disc, cut in half, is placed over the mushy grape remnants. Boards are placed ontop and then a metal disk. A metal bar with a large nut is then screwed into the verticle metal rod and is turned, tighter and tighter to press the grapes.
After all the wine is siphoned out of the barrel, you’re left with the remnants of the grapes, a mushy, potent mess. You take this out and put it in a wine press.
When we did this, we got another 6 or 7 gallons of wine.
The wine will sit in the glass carboys until St. Martin’s Day, Nov. 11. On that day, we’ll siphon the wine out into another clean carboy and throw out the sediment (lees) at the bottom.
We got a total of 34 gallons of wine, but after changing it from glass to glass (and throwing out the lees), we’ll probably end up with about 30 gallons total of potable, potent, and tasty Zin.