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.
Homemade Fruit Wine: Step
Recipes for fruit wines, sometimes called country wines, vary only slightly from one another, and you have tremendous leeway in the fruits and fruit juices you can use. This recipe is a general one that will work for a range of fruits, from sweet summer berries and soft orchard fruits such as peaches to the heartier fruits of fall such as apples and persimmons. See here for the range of possibilities. What they all share is a need for patience: you need to let them age gracefully for about a year.
Homemade fruit wine is easier to make than you might thinkthe main ingredient is time.
- Barbara Pleasant
- 4 6 pounds fresh fruit cut into small pieces
- 2 pounds sugar
- 6 drops liquid pectic enzyme
- 1 can frozen white grape juice concentrate optional
- 1 packet wine yeast champagne or Montrachet strains
How Do You Make A Dry Wine Versus A Sweet Wine
The final sweetness of your wine is determined mostly by two factors: how much sugar you add and how much sugar your yeast can eat. Different strains of yeast can consume different amounts of sugar before they peter out and die in the alcohol that theyve made.
For an example, lets walk through two different kinds of yeast in a wine batch.
- Yeast A can survive to 12% alcohol content. This yeast will eat some of the sugar you add, die off once the wine reaches 12% alcohol, and then the rest of the sugar will be leftover for the wine to taste sweet.
- Yeast B can survive to 18% alcohol content. It eats all three pounds of that sugar before dying off , and you end up with a dry wine.
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A Carboy For Secondary Fermentation:
This is simply a big ole glass jug! We brew almost exclusively in one gallon batches at our house, so we have an entire fleet of one gallon carboys. You can purchase them in a bundle with an airlock and cork. They also come in much larger sizes if you want to do big batchesfive gallon is a common carboy size. The shape of the carboy is importantthe narrow neck reduces the surface area of wine exposed to oxygen during secondary fermentation, which is good!
How To Store And Bottle Homemade Wine The Right Way
Now that you know how to make wine at home, lets talk about how you should store it, a process just as important.
Great taste is all in storage, many wine experts and enthusiasts say. And theyre right. Theres a lot more to the ritual than filling your wine bottles and stashing them away at a dark corner.
Winemakers take great pride in storing their bottles in mint condition, and this process begins with your bottle.
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How Many Pounds Of Muscadines Make A Gallon Of Wine
Trying to make a gallon of the sweet-tasting drink for your next party or event? Lets examine just how many pounds of muscadines you will need to make a gallon of wine: while no number will be exact, the general rule of thumb is that six pounds of muscadines will make a gallon of wine.
While muscadines can range in size from standard grape size to being as large as golf balls, what matters more in this context is the amount of grapes by pound you include in your recipe.
REMEMBER: not all of the flavors from these muscadines will be reaching the wine stage, as much is lost during the siphoning and fermentation process.
You may have to play around with your own muscadine wine recipe to find out just how much you need for a gallon of wine.
Siphon Into The Bottles
Position the bucket so it is higher than the bottles. Don’t move it unless you have to as this will disturb the sediment. If you do move it, leave it to settle again.
I taped the tube to the inside of the bucket so the end didn’t move around and disturb the sediment, also so the tube didn’t come out of the bucket.
Siphon the wine into the bottles. Pinch or bend the tube to stop the wine flowing between bottles. Make sure you leave an air gap at the top and space for a cork if it needs one.
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How Do I Make A Dry Peach Wine
The sweetness of your finished wine comes down to both the amount of sugar you add and how much sugar your wine yeast can eat. Different strains of yeast eat different amounts of sugar and live to a higher alcohol contenta yeast that can tolerate a higher alcohol content will typically give you a drier wine.
When you are just starting out, I recommend starting with 2-3 pounds of sugar and a yeast that has an average alcohol tolerance. With a 14% alcohol tolerance, Red Star Premier Blanc is a great yeast for a semi-dry wine for beginners, and you can sweeten to taste from there.
For a sweeter wine, add more sugar with the same yeast during the winemaking process, or add a simple syrup just before serving.
For a drier wine, use less sugar with the same yeast during the winemaking process, or choose a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance.
Test Your Must For Brix Ta And Ph:
Youll want to test your must for the sugar content , titratable acidity, and pH level. Adjustments may be necessary if any of these values are out of range. Making adjustments as necessary will help you make great wine. Start with the °Brix. Use a hydrometer or a refractometer to get your Brix reading from a well mixed sample of the must it should be within 22-25°Brix. If using a hydrometer, make sure you are using a pure juice sample. Leftover grape material will skew the reading. If the reading is below 22°Brix, youll need to add sugar to bring the reading into an appropriate range. Adding 1.5 oz. of granulated sugar per gallon will raise the Brix value by 1°. Add an appropriate amount of sugar to the must to bring the sugar level to within 22- 25°Brix. You can first dissolve the sugar in a small amount of water before you add to the must, or you can add the sugar directly. In either case, youll want to make sure the sugar is dissolved and mixed well into the must.
If the Brix reading is more than 25°, we would recommend diluting with unchlorinated water to within the 22-25° range. We recommend treating the water first with 7grams per Liter tartaric acid. This is to ensure the wines acidity isnt skewed out of range.
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Start The Fermentation Process
Pull out 1-cup of grape juice from the container, Wallace says and swirl in yeast. Let sit for two hours, Wallace says, then pull out another cup of grape juice. Crush four Campden tablets and add them into the juice. Next, add the Campden juice immediately, Wallace instructs. Wait two hours before adding the yeast juice back. Close fermenting vessel and wrap top with plastic wrap to make an airtight seal. Then, ferment for four weeks in a room set to 70 degrees F, Wallace says. Twice a week, open the tank and punch down grape skins for five minutes.
How To Make Wine What Is Wine
The definition of wine is simple: an alcoholic beverage made with the fermented juice of grapes. Wine was originally made with grapes and the grape is the single best fruit to make wine with due to its characteristics. However, you can make wine with several types of fruits including apples, peaches, various berries, plums, and even tomatoes. Wine is different from beer in that wine is made from fruit and beer is made from grains.
Wine grapes are different than standard table grapes that are made for eating. Wine grapes are seeded and they are smaller and sweeter than their counterparts. Most wine grapes come from a single specious of grape called Vitis vinifera. This strain of grape has been cultivated and grafted with many other types of grapes to create a variety of grapes we use to make wine today.
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A Primary Fermentation Container:
The size is important. I recommend it be at least 40% bigger in volume than what youd like your final amount of wine to be. Why? Because your primary fermentation will have fresh fruit in it, which well later filter out. Also: during the initial fermentation, the yeast can get quite overzealous, and youll need room for all the bubblesplus, extra room gives the yeast extra oxygen to work with! The strawberry wine recipe below is for a one gallon batch, so your primary fermentation container needs to be at least 1.4 gallons in size.
Muscadine Wine Is Not Moscato
Though the names of the two wines are quite similar, as is the tendency to drink both with sweet foods and desserts, muscadine wine shouldnt be confused with Moscato wine.
While Muscadine comes from the indigenous North American muscadine grape, Moscato wines have a rich history in Europe and Africa. Moscato wine itself hails from Italy and boasts a more naturally sweet flavor than muscadine wine.
Generally speaking, this alcohol is more inviting to first-time drinkers, though it lacks the acquired and quite unique taste that comes with most muscadine wines. Confusing the two can lead to quite an unexpected flavor experience!
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Choose The Proper Container
When making wine from fruit juice, always start with a very clean jug or bucket. A gallon milk or water jug will work and so will a clean cheap plastic bucket.
Avoid containers that have held anything toxic. Were trying to make wine here, not poison. And especially, dont use anything that has held vinegar unless you want to make more vinegar.
Smell the container before you start. If it smells like soap, your wine will taste like soap. Sometimes rinsing the jug with a bit of baking soda and water can remove lingering food fragrances. Be sure to rinse again with clear water before you start making the wine.
To make sure all smells are gone, let it dry completely and smell the container again. When you cant smell anything, the container is good to make wine.
So How Do You Actually Make Wine
A simple wine fermentation involves adding yeast to a mixture of fruit, water and sugar. Then the yeast eats the sugar, turning the mixture into approximately half alcohol and half carbon dioxide.
For example, if you had a gallon of juice with 2 pounds of sugar in it, and let the yeast consume it all, you would end up with a gallon of wine that had about 1 pound of alcohol in it.
Of course this isnt exact, you probably wont get exactly a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and carbon dioxide, but its pretty close. And you dont necessarily need to pour in all that sugar either-the fruit that you start with will have sugar of its own.
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How To Make Wine At Home From Bottled Juice
There are basically two methods of making your own wine at home-you can either buy the individual tools and ingredients you need, either online or from your local homebrewing store, or you can buy a simple kit that contains everything you need.
First lets look at a kit by Spike Your Juice.
The kit comes with a fermentation lock and stopper that should fit almost any bottle of juice, six packets of yeast , and six labels for your newly-spiked juice bottles-you dont want the kids confusing their grape juice with your grownup version!
The manufacturer recommends any 64 ounce bottle of juice that doesnt contain any preservatives. Just like making hard cider or grape soda, the preservatives in juice would kill off the yeast. Also, the juice needs to have at least 20 grams of sugar per serving-you have to give the yeast enough to eat to produce alcohol!
I started with a 48 ounce bottle of Welchs Farmers Pick Grape Juice at room temperature the same juice I had made grape soda with previously.
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The instructions say to just pour in the packet of yeast, but as you can see the yeast just kind of sits on the top, so I gave the bottle a bit of shake as well to mix things up.
Then you simply insert the stopper with the airlock, fill the airlock with water, and let the fermentation begin.
To start, I took a measurement of the pure grape juice, before the yeast package was added. The specific gravity was 1.066.
Brewing Easy Way List
How To Make Mulled Wine:
To make mulled wine, simply
Full ingredient amounts/instructions listed in the recipe below.
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Add Sachet 2 Stabiliser
Add sachet number two or one and a half teaspoons of potassium sorbate and stir with your sterilised stirrer. Some methods say to stir or shake the CO2 out of the wine at this stage, others say you don’t need to do this, particularly if you are planning to allow the wine to mature for some time. CO2 is added to the wine when it is fermented by the yeast. It increases the acidity as it is dissolved as carbonic acid in water. It easily leaves the solution into the air when stirred or shaken. However, if you remove all of it you can end up with a flat tasting wine. I decided to leave mine to stand so the CO2 left left slowly of it’s own volition.
How To Make Plum Wine Recipe By Brewbitz Homebrew
Plum wine is rich, and tastes like a deep white wine. Lots of tannins from the skins add a nice crisp dryness to the wine, while the sharp acids in the plum add a really good tingle on the tongue and gets your mouth watering.
Have a go and let us know how yours turns out.
Tip1 Depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar to 500g each.
Tip 2 Depending on the juicyness of the fruit you are using, you may need to add 1-2 pints more
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A Decision Must Be Made On The Kind Or Style Of Wine You Would Like To Make
1. Do you want grape wine or wine from some other fruit flower, vegetable or whatever. It does depend on who you ask, but many purists consider the definition of wine is that it must be made from grapes. For most people, fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, pears and peaches also merit eligibility as acceptable raw material from which to make wine. Things like dandelions, tomatos and beets garner less credibility as worthy wine raw material, but again that depends on the individual. If wine is defined as having sugar, converted to alcohol by yeast fermentation, then many raw materials can fit the category. If there ever can be resolution to that argument, we choose to leave that to others at another time.
2. Do you want to make white wine or red wine? The process is essentially the same for both except that before red wine liquid is separated from the solids, the liquid is allowed skin contact time in order to pull more color. The skin contact is usually 4-5 days and then pressing takes place. After that the process for whites and reds is pretty much, though not always, the same.
Add Airlock Top Up With Cold Water
Boil the airlock for a couple of minutes, getting some of the boiling water to run through the lock. Remove with tongs or a spoon, leave a small amount of boiled water in it and stick in the hole in your bucket, leave for 3 hours then top up to 23 litres with cold water.
The instructions with the bucket said to leave the edge of the bucket lid lifted to let the CO2 out instead of using an airlock but I was worried about backflow and contamination so I drilled a hole and added a rubber gasket so I could use an airlock. My friend Mike said that his elferflower brew used to ferment so violently it would blow all the water out of the airlock but I haven’t had this happen with grape wine.
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