Wine Making at Home
Yehaw, it is time! The grapes are grown and now ripe on the vines, You set about to pick them at just the right time. This is what you have waited for when you decided to do wine making at home and now that it is time you are looking into the many details of what you will need. So much to do and think about, but you are up to the task. First you need to realize how important it is to know that wine making at home is relatively easy. I mean it, it is not as hard as it seems. So let me describe exactly what happens to make a grape into wine.
You decide the grapes are ready for you to do wine making at home. You gather your grapes into a container and add the yeast that is made for wine, not the bread yeast. You may not know it but making wine from a grape juice concentrate works too and any other kind of fruit you can think of. The yeast then gobbles the sugar up like a kid in a candy store and this act produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The carbon dioxide then bubbles off and what you are left with are juice and alcohol, better known as wine.
Now when I said it was simple, I do realize that most times nothing is ever as simple as it seems or could be and that you will have many steps to follow and details to know for wine making at home.
Of course if this is your first foray into wine making at home you can start like many others do and simply buy a winemaking kit. The kits have the complete process with all the equipment and ingredients you will need and what they might not have, they will list on their box what is extra that you will need. They are inexpensive and you can make several gallons of wine.
If you want your wine making at home to start from scratch, you will need to purchase seperatly everything you will need then here is the list for you:
- Airlocks--keeps the air out the wine
- Corks-- for sealing the bottles
- Corker--for inserting the corks
- Carboy and Bottle Brushes--needed to clean bottles
- Hydrometer--for measuring sugar
- Wine Bottles--for storing wine
- Oak Barrel (optional)
- A large food grade plastic container, at least 30 liters
- A 23 liter plastic or glass carboy
- A long narrow tube or jar of glass to put the wine in while you check the specific gravity
- A heavy duty thermometer
- At least five feet of rubber tubing for siphoning
- A long spoon
It’s important to know when wine making at home, that even knew equipment needs to be cleaned and sanitized. Use Sodium metabisulfite to sanitize and B-Brite to clean. Use only food grade plastics or the cheap stuff will be leached into the flavor of the drink
Ingredients you will need:
- Sodium or (Potassium) Metabisulfite
- Campden Tablets
- Yeast and Yeast Nutrients
- Acid Blend
- Grape Tannin
So now let's get into the actual process of wine making at home. The process is pretty simple if you take your time and go step to step. Of course nothing is ever as simple as it seems and there are many steps to follow and details to know. Below are the main ones:
- Sterilize Equipment
- Prepare the Juice
- Primary Fermentation
- Secondary Fermentation
- Clearing, Bottling and Aging
It is said, “That if you can master the processes, you can master the art.” Making wine at home involves managing and ultimately optimizing the process which turns juice to win, which is the fermentation process, along with controlling the storage and aging of wine. The main processes that you will be dealing and can control are:
- Acid levels
- Sugar content
- Type of fermenting containers
- Air exposure
- Cleaning and Sanitation
- Type of juice or grape you will use
- Clearing wine
Now you can see that making wine at home can be fun and fulfilling and there is nothing better than when you open that first bottle of your own signature wine and share it with family and friends.