All About Orange Wine – Part 2

All About Orange Wine - Part 2In “Part 2” of orange winemaking, we now look more into the sweeter styles of orange wine, which often make the style most enjoyed by the wine drinker.

“Sauterne” Type Orange Wine

This is prepared exactly as described for Riesling type wine up to final polishing filtration and bottling.

After the final racking and before the final filtration, sugar is added; 3 to 5 per cent for a “sweet Sauterne,” and 8 to 12 per cent for a Chateau type very sweet “Orange Sauterne.”

The wine receives, after filtration, a heavy dose of S02 to bring the FSO2 to 70 p.p.m. and TSO2 to 300 p.p.m. or higher. It is then bottled and the bottler prays fervently that it will keep. Orange wine is more prone to re-ferment than grape wine since it is a better yeast food. Up to 200 p.p.m. of potassium sorbate may be helpful to prevent any re-fermentation.

A better procedure is to pasteurize the wine. If this is done, the aged wine before sweetening should be flash pasteurized in a stainless steel pasteurizer at about 165° F., and quickly cooled, and then filtered brilliantly clear. Heating coagulates certain colloids and these are removed by filtration.

Sugar may then be added and only enough S02 to bring the total to 200 to 300 p.p.m. The wine is then flash pasteurized at 150° to 155° F. and filled into hot scalded bottles at 150° F. and the bottles sealed with crown or special screw caps. Or, the wine may be bottled cold, sealed, and the bottles pasteurized by heating in water to 140° to 150° F. (until the wine reaches 140° F.).

In general, Sauterne type orange wines are preferable to the dry.

Sweet Orange Wines of High Alcohol Content by Sugared Fermentation

To the fresh juice is added sugar, either dextrose or cane, to bring the Brix to 25° or 26°. A starter of about 2 to 3 per cent of wine yeast fermenting in orange juice is added. Fermenta¬tion is conducted at 70° to 80° F., cooling artificially if necessary.

When the Brix has dropped to about 1° to 3°, about 5 per cent of sugar is added; this is repeated until fermentation ends at about the desired degree of sweetness—probably at about 2° to 4° Brix, as a sweet orange wine is preferable to a dry one. The wine should readily attain 17 per cent of alcohol or more by this procedure.

When fermentation becomes slow, it should be allowed to pro¬ceed under a fermentation bung to completion. After all gas formation ceases, usually in 4 to 5 weeks, the tank or cask is filled completely and closed. After settling 2 to 3 weeks, the wine is racked and filtered.

The wine is then brought to about 200 to 300 p.p.m. of TSO2 and aged after addition of about 2 grams of dehydrated yellow outer rind of orange peel.

After aging to the desired degree, the wine is racked, S02 adjusted, filtered and bottled. No pasteurization is necessary.

Fortified Orange Wine

Probably the most satisfactory forti¬fied orange wine is one of about 18 to 20 per cent alcohol and 6° to 10° Brix made by fortifying fresh orange juice and, if needed, adding sugar to give 6° to 10° Brix. The average consumer will prefer the higher range of Brix, 8° to 10°. The fortified wine is brought to 200 to 300 p.p.m. of TS02.

The fortified wine is then filtered, flavored with dried outer yellow layer of orange peel, aged in oak, brought to 200 to 300 p.p.m. TS02, filtered and bottled. No pasteurization is needed.

Fermenting orange juice nearly free of sugar, by use of pure yeast and 100 to 150 p.p.m, can make a Sherry type wine. SO2. It is then fortified to 18 to 20 per cent alcohol with high proof brandy, filtered, brought to 150 to 200 p.p.m. TS02, aged without flavoring until well “Sherryized,” or is baked at 120° F. until Sherryized, racked, filtered and bottled.

Use of SO2 in Orange Wines

It must be remembered that orange wines darken and develop a disagreeable odor and flavor if given “half a chance.” Therefore, except in baking and aging Sherry, the S02 should be maintained higher than in grape wines, preferably at 200 to 300 p.p.m.

For several days after addition of 150 to 300 p.p.m. of SO2 to orange juice or orange wine, the taste of S02 may be quite pro¬nounced, but it soon ameliorates and is scarcely noticeable in sweet orange wine after several weeks’ storage in cask or in bottle.

Bacterial Spoilage of Orange Wine

I have never encoun¬tered bacterial spoilage of orange wine by lactic bacteria. It can develop acetic acid (vinegar) if exposed to the air but when exposed, it much more often develops a heavy growth of film yeast than one of vinegar bac¬teria.

Flavoring with Saccharomyces Anomalus

In several experi¬ments sweetened, pasteurized, fresh orange juice was heavily inoculated with a pure culture of Saccharomyces anomalus (Willia anomala, Hansenula). A film formed and was allowed to persist for 3 to 4 days at room temperature. Much aromatic ester of fruity odor was developed and some of the ester persisted in the wine, giving it a fruity bouquet and flavor.

After 3 to 4 days of film growth, the juice was heavily inoculated with a wine yeast starter and fermented dry to about 13 per cent alcohol. It was filtered, aged, sweetened, filtered, bottled, and pasteurized as a “Sauterne” type wine. A greater complexity was acquired this way and it was well worth doing.

You now have a basic understanding of making the different styles of orange wine and things to look out for when making them. I encourage you to give this a try and don’t forget to let me know how you make out.

Happy Fruit Winemaking!

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