How To Make Wine From Home

by admin on January 22, 2008

Wine has been said to be “the nectar of the Gods”, enjoyed for it’s robust fruity flavor, and intoxicating effect. It has been the center of society since man discovered the fermented juice of grapes thousands of years ago. Many attribute wine as being the reason civilization evolved. Churches have even used it for centuries as the Holy Sacrament, the blood of Christ, center of the ritual of the Eucharist. Wine was predominant throughout the Old Testament, and Jewish rituals. Whatever your reason and interest in wine making are you need not be intimidated by the process. It is quite simple and inexpensive to get started. Once you’ve mastered the basic principles you can try your hand at more advanced methods.

You do not have to plant a vineyard or own a winery in order to make a good wine. The process is basically easy to learn but the most important factor is your area and equipment must always be clean and sterilized. There are kits available at wine and liquor stores, through catalogues, or on the Internet that simplify the set up needed to begin. These kits take the guesswork out of the results. Ancient man went through many batches of bad wine before the process was honed to perfection. They had little knowledge of what chemical process was happening; they just knew they enjoyed the end product. One trial after another the winemaking became an art. The basis of the kits includes such equipment as a fermentor, hydrometer, sterilizer, airlock, and siphon hoses. Fomenters are 6-7 gallon, white or clear buckets that the wine stays in during the process of fermentation. A hydrometer measures the amount of alcohol. The sterilizer is used to kill bacteria that can ruin your batch. An airlock is used to seal the fermentation process from any bacteria or foreign material that can also spoil your wine. Siphon hoses are used to drain the finished product into the bottles for storage. You don’t have to have specific wine bottles. However dark bottles are usually preferred. Most any glass bottle with a cap or stopper will do. However you want to make sure the seal is tight to prevent it from turning to vinegar. You will be given specific ingredients to add to the juice such as acid blend, pectin enzymes, yeast, and tannin to name a few.

These are used to give your wine the body and taste you are looking for. There are various types of yeasts used. Please note various yeasts will enhance the taste of the wine, there is Port yeast, Tokay yeast that Japanese wine makers use for their rice wine along with at least another 30 types of yeasts. Therefore get as much information as you can regarding the yeast you will be using. There are dry yeasts or liquid yeasts. The yeast you choose will depend on the recipe you use including the amount and type of grape you have chosen for the ultimate wine of your choice. Some are good for blush wines while others are for Sherry’s and are used in the primary and secondary stages of the fermentation period.

Once you have your space and material organized you will need the most essential part of the process, the grape. Technically you do not have to use only the revered grape. Any fruit or non-toxic plant material is suitable for making wine. By all means be brave and try various flavors. Some more popular fruit wines are Apple, Cherry, Blackberry, Elderberry, Strawberry, and Peach. Japanese people know the enjoyment of Sake, or rice wine. You are not bound to using just grapes. When selecting any fruit test for sweetness, and ripeness. The deeper the color of the grape you select will determine the color and flavor of your wine. Ask your local wine vendor if they know where to buy specific varieties of grapes such as Cabernet, Merlot, Muscat, but don’t be afraid to try the grapes at your local market.

Now that your interest is peaked you can decide if homemade winemaking is for you. It does take up space and it does take time to ferment, but the end result is your own product, inexpensively made, to share with your family and friends. Even if you only make one batch the experience is worth it.

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