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Old 14-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
Andyhull
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Default Sparkling WOW

Hi all,

Has anyone tried a sparkling WOW by secondary fermenting in either a PET bottle or idealy an old Champagne bottle?
If so was it any good and what was it like?

Andy
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Old 14-06-2012, 10:00 AM   #2
alanwh
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

Yes, very succesful if you catch the secondary ferment just as the first is finishing and keep constant temps throughout bottling and secondary. The problem is getting rid of the sediment on secondary. Leaving it in the bottle isn't a real option unless you refrigerate really cold and pour a whole bottle of bubbly in one go as the sediment is quickly dislodged by the bubbles.
I have had some success in freezing the necks and extracting the sediment in a slug while holding the bottle upside down over a bucket but its a really messy job and you have to be a quick with the thumb and then bang in the cork almost all in one go.
Next batch I'm going to try and freeze the whole lot in the chest freezer and then gauge out the plug of sediment.
Ps I've experimented on several batches and have had a few that I would class as demi-sec and a few that are brut, like champagne which is how I prefer it. In my experience when drinking, the bubbles give the illusion of sweetness to the drink, so if you are after a Champagne like experience, then experiment with brews, adding lemon juice and getting the brews as dry as you can. Anything other than bone dry will appear demi-sec, anything medium will appear sickly sweet like Lambrini

A good tip is to make half a 500ML PET with the rest of the bottles, just as a check on how the secondary is doing and how clear it is so you can monitor when to extract the sediment.
I did one of my first brews in a 2L pet bottle and had to release some of the pressure after the first day of ferment, but its almost impossible to get a clear glass once you've brought the bottle back to vertical after pouring a glass.

Ps another tip is have a target ABV after the first ferment of not more than 10%
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Old 14-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
Andyhull
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

Thanks for the in depth reply alan.

I may foresake it then and just use the sodastream

Andy
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Old 14-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyhull
Thanks for the in depth reply alan.

I may foresake it then and just use the sodastream

Andy
That's exactly how I would do it. Any other method would be a huge PITA IMO IYSWIM ETC.
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Old 14-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
alanwh
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

You can do it that way if you want easy fizzy plonk. Each to their own
I prefer to get as near to the champagne experience as I can and that's all in high pressure, high absorbtion of co2 with a slow ferment over a few months in a propper champagne bottle. A proliferation of the tinest bubbles possible in the wine, lifting up the aroma into the glass and the nucleation of the bubbles on the tongue is my aim
A PITA maybe, but it gets easier with a little practice and a million miles away from injecting gas into wine
You may be able to get a similar experience with high pressure in a cornie at low temps leaving it alone for a while till you get good gas absorbtion, but this is just an idea that I haven't tried yet.
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Old 14-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

Hmmmmm... this is getting me thinking!!

I remember seeing a programme on the tellybox showing a champagne producer freezing the plug in the neck of the bottle and popping out the yeast.

Would this work:

1) A home made bottle rack that takes those rather perfectly sized/shaped tonic water PETs from the supermarket.
2) Secondary ferement in those in the rack, turned like the shampoo makers do every now and then so the yeast is effectively in the cap.
3) Chill
4) Freeze neck
5) Pop the plug
6) Recap
7) Store
8) "Enjoy responsibly"

???
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Old 15-06-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
Andyhull
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

So, how do you just freeze the neck and not the whole bottle?
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Old 15-06-2012, 07:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

It freezes first cos the neck is thinner
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Old 15-06-2012, 07:33 AM   #9
Andyhull
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

So you just place the bottle upside down in the freezer then screw the lid off once frozen and scrape the sediment out?
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Old 15-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sparkling WOW

The way the peoples on the telly did it was by using something very cold - I've heard tell of crushed ice/salt mixture which should get you down to about -5? then the inverted bottle is plonked in upside down so only a plug in the neck freezes.

Then comes the fun bit - the cork is removed and the plug popped out by warming the neck with your hand to unstick it from the side of the bottle...

...at this point I should point out that I haven't ever seen this done anywhere other than on telly.

I do want to give it a go though!!!
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