Sodastream revisited

Discussions of interest about making wine, cider and other fermented beverages

Sodastream revisited

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Oct 08, 2017 19:48

With the prospect of 60 litres of wine made mostly from English chardonnay grapes I am considering making it into sparkling wine. 90% of English grape juice goes into sparkling wine production because it is low in sugar and high in acid. Also, the end product sells for prices similar to champagne. The process is high in time and labour cost.
Heston Blumenthal has proved that low grade wine and a Sodastream can fool the average wine punter into thinking they are drinking champagne.
Sodastream claim that their gas refills can provide up to 60 litres of fizzy drinks, with a water base. Gas carbonation is based on injecting 1 litre of co2 gas into 1 litre of liquid. Although alcohol is lighter than water, it is more viscous and can absorb less gas. Cold water can retain more co2 than warm water. The presence of sugar reduces gas absorption.
The champagne method involves re-inoculating yeast into wine of about 10% abv, leaving it to ferment in bottle, teasing the sediment down to the neck of inverted bottles, freezing it and then blasting it out under pressure, topping up with a mix of sugar, still wine and brandy and then re-corking. The whole process can take 3 years.
I recently produced a gallon of Fragolino wine. I put it in 1 litre plastic containers in the freezer until it started to freeze. I transferred 1 litre to the Sodastream bottle and injected co2 in 15 one second bursts until the buzzer sounded. On releasing the pressure, a considerable amount of co2 foamed. Once this had subsided, I transferred the wine into a sparkling wine bottle via a funnel, losing more gas. The result was a good level of carbonation.
It works best with a dry wine with perhaps more acidity than your basic medium wine, say pH 3.2. 10 one second bursts gives a light sparkle with much less waste of gas. I can get refills for £15 from Argos. I used sparkling wine bottles, plastic bungs and wire cages, but the pressure is far lower than champagne, so screw caps or crown corks are adequate.
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Re: Sodastream revisited

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 20:18

Very interesting process. Something to try one day. For now, I’m happy trying to brew red wine.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Sodastream revisited

Postby oldbloke » Sun Oct 08, 2017 21:49

Great post.

I love the way you always give us all the details we might need if we wanted to try something you've done.
It's like a masterclass.
If I want to try something new and I know you've done it, I'll always check what you said about it
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Re: Sodastream revisited

Postby tonyhibbett » Tue Oct 10, 2017 13:01

I try to be practical. Too much of the information I read is incomplete, inaccurate, out of date, misleading and/or untested.
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