Stage 4 Closed Fermentation
Left in a cool, dark place, your cloudy, sweet liquid will gradually turn into a clear, alcoholic one: a fantastically pleasing sight, accompanied by the hiccupping sound from the airlock that lets you know the yeast is still working.
Over the next few months, exhausted yeast cells will sink to the bottom of your demijohn, forming a deposit known as “lees”. These dead yeast cells are digested by their own enzymes and their “guts” get released into the liquid, generating flavour. However, if you leave this sediment too long it will start to decompose and release unpleasant flavours. To avoid this, transfer the wine to a new demijohn when there is 1-2 inches of sediment at the bottom. This is called racking. You might need to repeat this several times, but ensure that you always carefully minimise contact with oxygen. Top up with clean water after each racking.
After about nine months the fermentation should finish, the bubbling should come to an end, and the wine should be clear. You can check the yeast has finished producing alcohol by moving the demijohn to a warm place for a few days to see if that wakes it up.
What’s Next Wait For The Homemade Wine To Ferment
Take your bottle of soon-to-be wine, and store it in a cool dark place . After a couple of hours, check and see if your balloon has inflated. If it hasn’t, you might try gently sloshing the mixture or just continue waiting. If your balloon does look inflated then you’re well on your way to a marvelous batch of wine. Just keep it stored in a cool dark place. Over the next couple of weeks, the wine will bubble, and biochemical reactions will take place.
The wine after a few weeks
How To Make Sake
Like other alcoholic beverages, the basic alcohol brewing formula is followed: fermentation of sugar and yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Sake is made by fermenting sugar coming from rice starches. When combined with a yeast starter, this will transform the rice starch to sugar during fermentation.
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Watch The Fermentation Magic
Test the sugar levels of the fermenting juice periodically with a basic hydrometer in a graduated cylinder. Its measured in degrees Brix, which equals sugar percentage. Your juice will start out between 1826 degrees Brix, and it will reduce to minus-2 Brix once fermentation is complete.
White wine fermentation lasts several days to several weeks, and it depends a lot on temperature. The cooler the room, the longer it takes. Red wine that reaches a good, warm temperature during fermentation should be done in a week or two.
Once fermentation is complete, separate the new wine from the gross lees of fermentation. Pour the wine into a five-gallon carboy to mature.
For white wine, use tubing to siphon off the juice and leave most of the lees behind to dump out. Elevate the fermentation container at least two feet above the carboy in which you will age it. Start the flow using your mouth for suction, and gravity will do the rest.
For a red, transfer the juice to a carboy and then press the skins to squeeze out any remaining juice. Add this to the carboy as well, and top it with an airlock.
Where To Buy Winemaking Kits
The following online stores offer wine kits and wine making equipment for sale:
- Midwest Supplies has a huge variety of wine kits, and lots of equipment.
- Homebrewer’s Outpost is a good resource for everything from basic starter kits to specialized ingredients.
- E.C. Kraus offers wine kits for every level of wine making, whether you’re using your fruit or theirs.
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Transfer To The Final Bottle
Once a good 6 months have passed, check on your country wine.
When there arent bubbles moving through the airlock or at the top of the wine, you can siphon the clear wine into the glass bottles, just in time for your anniversary or date night.
Hot Tip: Store the bottle longer for a richer taste that is if youre willing to wait.
Basic Wine Making Equipment List For Beginners
If you want to jump right into making wine without using a pre-made wine making kit, it can be done just fine. But there are certain pieces of equipment that you should have. With that in mind Ive put together a basic wine making equipment list for beginners.
- Primary & Secondary Fermenters/Carboys: These can be made of plastic or glass, with both having pros and cons to using either one, and are used for the fermentation of your wine. A primary fermenter is used for the first 5 to 7 days of fermentation. The secondary fermenter is used to finish the fermentation.
- Air Lock & Rubber Stopper: The rubber stopper is used to attach the air-lock to the top of the secondary fermenter. The rubber stopper has a hole in the center to which the air lock is placed. The air-lock allows gases to escape from the secondary fermentation without allowing: air, bugs, mold, bacteria and other little nasties from getting in.
- Spoon: You need a long stirring spoon so that you can reach in the fermenters and stir the wine. May not seem all that important now, but once you get in the middle of making your wine having a long-handled spoon will be one piece of wine making equipment youll be glad you got. Stirring allows you to mix the wine making ingredients and break up any pulp that may rise to the top during the primary fermentation.
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Read Me: An Important Winemaking Caveat
Like most things in life, the craft of home winemaking falls on a wide spectrum. On one end, you have the folks who love to dive all inthey spend hundreds of dollars on special tools, they sanitize everything using synthetic chemicals, they take scientific records, they use very specific winemaking additives. On the other hand, there is what I like to call heritage winemakers. These people use barely nothing more than a clean canning jar, fruit, water, and some sugarafter all, thats the way folks have been making wine for generations. And then there are all of us who fall somewhere in between on the spectrum.
Convert A Wooden Crate To Hold Wine
Wooden crates are really inexpensive and can be picked up at any local craft store. All you need to do to store wine is add an X or Y to the center space. Beyond that, you can paint, stain, or distress the wood depending on your existing decor.
One thing to consider about this wine rack is that it isn’t the most secure. You’ll want to be sure it’s anchored to the wall on the top and the bottom to ensure there’s minimal movement. If you’re able to do that, this piece will act as a functional piece of wall art.
This wine rack is one of the easiest to make and would work well on a kitchen countertop. As is, the wine rack looks very modern. However, you can make it look more rustic by aging the wood and painting the spikes bronze or black. Just be sure if you lean it against the wall that it’s fully secure.
This nautical-inspired DIY wine rack is made using manila rope, a slab of wood, and a hot glue gun. Make sure whatever rope you use is really stiff so it holds its shape and doesn’t droop over time. You could even use a clear finishing spray or adhesive to harden the rope into place.
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
This blogger made this wine rack based off of a version by Crate & Barrel. As far as wall wine racks are concerned, this version is much more secure since the bottles are housed upright. Even better is the fact that step-by-step diagrams are included in the original tutorial.
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What Else Can You Put In A Wine Rack
The great thing about building a rack for all of your wine is that it can double as storage for other things. While you never want to be low on vino, if you find yourself with some extra space, here are a few other things you can store in your wine rack:
- rolled up towels
- craft pens, markers, and crayons
- beer bottles
- kitchen storage
- kids school crafts
How To Make Your Own Wine At Home
Manufacturing wine brings to mind artisans with years of experience, crafting an expensive and refined vintage beside a picturesque vineyard. If you don’t own such a place, and are in more of a hurry, you can still make your own wine at home. Trevor van Hemert uses a variety of methods, but this process for producing wine directly from grapes is a simple starting point for budding vintners.
To produce the juice, obtain 40kg of not-too-ripe grapes from a farmer’s market, a grape press and a 30-litre bucket with a seal. You’ll also need 3 to 4kg of sugar and a wine or Champagne yeast packet. For fermentation, get a 25-litre plastic or glass water bottle, a rubber stopper with a 6mm hole in the middle, an airlock, a stirrer able to reach into the glass bottle, a funnel, a turkey baster and a siphon . You’ll also need a solution with which to sanitise your implements. Coffee filters and a hydrometer will help you to perfect your wine, but they’re not essential.
Unwanted bacteria would love to live in the vat of sugar-water that you will be making, so it’s best to keep them out from the start. Before embarking on your wine-making journey, clean all implements that will touch your juice. Van Hemert uses a solution called PBW to wash his implements, and Star San to eliminate organisms still residing on his equipment. Home brewers are quite adamant about cleanliness, citing this as the most critical aspect for successful fermentation.
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Instructions For Making Fruit Wine
Country wines or fruit wines are a great choice for an alcohol drink to match with a fine meal of fish and chicken. Whats nice about it is you can choose from different types of fruits as a base!
Whether its homemade strawberry wine or banana wine, you can make it using our recipe.
Just a little warning, youll need lots of patience. The process can be long and might take you nothing short of 6 months. But, trust us, its worth the wait!
B: Fermenting For Red Wine
Red must doesnt need a tightly closed top or airlock during fermentation. It can ferment in a large open container with just a towel or a piece of thin plywood on top to keep dust and fruit flies out. Add wine yeast, and give it a good stir. It may begin to ferment in as little as 12 hours.
Red wines need to be stirred, or punched down, at least twice per day when fermentation is going strong. Youll see a cap of skins that floated to the top. This needs to be submerged back into the wine regularly to keep the skins wet. This allows the juice to extract the key color and flavor compounds from the skins.
Its good for red wines to warm to 80°F or more during fermentation to aid this extraction. You can check this with an old-fashioned weather thermometer.
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What Happens If You Bottle Your Wine Before Its Done Fermenting
You might make little wine bombs! If the wine is still fermenting when you bottle, itll keep producing carbon dioxide, which will eventually build up to a point in the bottle where it needs to escape. When it gets there, the bottle might pop its cork, pop off its flip-topor in the worst case scenario, break the glass of the bottle. You can prevent this by making sure the wine is still and finished fermenting before bottling or by sterilizing the wine with Campden tablets before bottling. I personally like to live on the edge, so I never sterilize my wine , and occasionally, I open up a nice carbonated bottle!
Leather And Wood Wine Rack
This is a great freestanding hammock for your wine bottles. It is also really easy to put together and requires minimal tools to get the job done.
You will need to connect the base with the side wall and then screw in the wood dowels that act as the side posts.
Next stitch the leather pieces together and then attach them through the wood dowel posts.
This unique wine rack idea makes use of more than just wood to give you a fun and creative final product.
Check it out here: www.themerrythought.com
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How To Make Plum Wine
Are you looking to try your hand at an alternative fermentation? How about a fruit wineand Im not talking grapes.
Im going to show you how to make plum wine.
Yes, I know its a little early in the season to be picking plums, but its a great time to start planning your future brews.
Plums start to hit the stores in May, so you have a little time to start your planning and researching.
Last August I did my first plum wine and I wish it did it a little earlier in the season as the plums in my area were not as flavorful that late in the season and the choices in varieties were a lot less.
Do a little research on all the steps to create your own fruit wine there are tons of resources on line. They are all very similar, but have their own twists on techniques.
Making Wine Like A Pro
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What Kind Of Airlock Should I Buy
Youll see two different kinds of airlocks out therethe 3-piece airlock and the twin S-bubbler. Both work just fine for making wine. The only real advantage here is that its slightly easier to see bubbles moving on the S-bubbler. I have and use both kinds.
You will need a stopper or cap with a hole to affix the airlock to the top of your carboy or fermentation container, so make sure to grab that, too. They are often sold together in sets.
How To Make Your Own White Wine Vinegar
One of our most popular posts on the Vintage Cellars Blog has been How to Make Your Own Red Wine Vinegar. Our readers seem to love the idea of using up bottles of red that are a little past their prime to make something delicious and useful. But did you know that it’s just as easy to make your own white wine vinegar as it is to make red? Here’s what to do:
1. Buy a ceramic or glass crock. At least a one gallon size is best–this seems excessive, but you’ll want enough room to add lots of extra wine, and you don’t want to be limited in how much vinegar you can produce–small bottles of your homemade vinegar make great gifts! Make sure your crock has a spigot to make bottling your vinegar easy.
2. Obtain a vinegar starter, commonly referred to as a mother. A mother is a combination of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria. It uses oxygen from the air to turn alcohol into acetic acid. A mother is a weird cloudy mass that sits at the bottom of your vinegar crock. Although it looks unappetizing, it won’t hurt you, and you can easily strain it out of your vinegar with a coffee filter if you want to. You can get a vinegar mother from a beer and wine-making supply store, from the internet, or from a vinegar-making friend.
5. Cover the top of your crock with a cheesecloth and attach it firmly with a rubber band. This keeps out insects, but lets in the oxygen that makes the process happen.
6. Add small doses of white wine once a week or so.
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Plywood Art Wine Holder
If you are looking for a statement piece that will also hold your wine, then this is the DIY project for you. You can keep it all one wood stained color, or really make it pop by adding in a two tone design.
It may look intimidating, but with the broken down step by step instructions its not as advanced as it looks.
You will start with a piece of plyboard and then create the 3D back design. Once finished, you will add on the wine bottle cut out holders, securing them with screws and some wood glue.
Check out the plans here: www.uglyducklinghouse.com