Wine Making at Home – Pride is in the Bottle

You have decided to do wine making at home and now you are looking into the details of just what that will mean. First off it is important to know that wine making at home is relatively easy. Let me describe exactly what happens to make a grape into wine.

You take a bunch of grapes and add wine yeast to it, you may not know it but this works will grape juice too or any other kind of fruit juice. The yeast then eats the sugar, gobbles it up greedily and this then 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.

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

There are a couple of options that you can take in your journey into making wine at home. The first could be that you could buy a winemaking kit. These kits supply you with everything that you will need. They are inexpensive and you can make several gallons of wine.

If you want to make up your own kit, so you can use it again and again then the following is what you will need:

  • 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 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
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Grape Tannin
  • Finings

It is said, “That if you can master the processes, you can master the art.” Wine making 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
  • Aging
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Cleaning and Sanitation
  • Type of juice or grape you will use
  • Clearing wine

Now you can see that wine making 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.