The theory goes that mankind came to know of its beloved beverage wine through happy accident. According to the legend, the first wine testers were the travelers who found this strangelooking brew pooling inside a rock crevice bowl, tested it, and liked the taste and went on to discover its secret. That ur-wine was perhaps made by a combination of some natural yeast that had blown over some squashed grapes and the grapes themselves and then got fermented by the weather.
In fact, if it comes to that, winemaking is indeed that simple. Obviously, over thousands of years, the process of making wine has gone through various sophistications and subtleties. Yet the basic rule still is the same: you have to make the grape juice meet the yeast in an atmosphere that facilitates fermentation.
What You Need for Make Wine at Home Process
Making wine at home is easier than most people tend to think. All you need is some inexpensive equipment, through cleanliness and some good patience.
Make Wine at Home Equipment:
As fermentation vat, a four-gallon plastic bucket of food grade quality
As secondary containers for fermentation, three one-gallon jugs
Three airlocks which will perform as fermentation traps
A bung or a rubber cork to fit into the 1-galon jug.
Large nylon mesh straining bags
Transparent ½” plastic tubing of about six feet
20 wine bottles (it will take five bottles to contain one gallon of wine)
Hand corker (to be rented from a wine supply store)
A hydrometer for measuring sugar levels
Pre-sanitized corks of No. 9 size
Make Wine at Home Ingredient:
- Wine grapes
- Filtered water
- Wine yeast
- Granulated sugar
You can modify the above make wine at home ingredients list by adding fancy wine ingredients like yeast nutrients, Campden tablets, enzymes, acids, tannins, etc. for a greater control of your make wine at home production and preservation.
Make Wine at Home Part 1
Start by checking if all your make wine at home equipment is thoroughly sterilized and then rinse them clean. You can use for this purpose special detergents or bleaches available at the wine supply store. Perform the cleaning immediately before you start using the equipment.
Select the grapes that are in good condition and leave the rotten or funny-looking ones out.
Wash the grapes in a thorough manner.
Separate the stems from the grapes.
Squeeze the grape juice (‘must’ in wine jargon) by crushing the grapes by hand or foot. If you are making a rather huge quantity, the feet will help better. Get a fruit press from a make wine at home supply store for this purpose.
Add wine yeast to the juice.
Check the sugar levels by inserting the hydrometer into the must. If the reading shows less than 1.010, you may add some sugar to the must. The process of adding sugar demands that you must first dissolve the granulated sugar into a bowl of filtered water and then mix the container of the bowl into the must.
When all is done, cover the fermentation vat with cloth. The must should be allowed to ferment from 7 to 10 days. During the process of fermentation, you will see a froth developing on the top of the must and the sediments will recede to the bottom.
Make Wine at Home Part 2
Start with straining the must to remove the froth and the sediment.
Use the funnels to channel the liquid into secondary sanitized glass fermentation containers. Fill the bottle right up to the neck so that little air can come into contact with the wine.
Fit the airlocks into the containers.
Let the liquid aside and let it ferment for several weeks.
After a few weeks, siphon the wine off to the clear glass containers by using the plastic tube. This is to remove the sediment from the wine.
Continue separating the sediment by siphoning periodically for two to three months. This process is called ‘racking’.
Make Wine at Home Part 3
Channel the wine into the bottles by using the plastic tubing. Leave enough space for the cork plus ½” of extra room.
Put the corks into the bottles.
Let the wine stand upright for the first 3 days.
Afterwards, store the bottles on their side. The ideal temperature for storage is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wine will require one year of aging. As for white wine, you can start drinking it after six months of storing.