Beginners Guide To Making Wine From Fruit Juice
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Are you looking for an easy way to make wine at home but you dont have any winemaking equipment? Heres an easy homemade wine recipe using common items that you already have around the house. Winemaking at home is easy with our beginners guide to making wine from fruit juice.
It’s Not That Difficult To Make High Quality Fruit Wine In Your Own Home
Dear Wine Enthusiast,
Have you ever tried a raspberry wine? Or how about a nice blueberry wine? Sweet Potato wine? While most people are familiar with the many types of standard red or white grape wines out there, not many have had the chance to try such unusual types of fruit wine. If you’ve never tried a well-crafted fruit wine, the first time you try it you will probably be surprised how similar it is to a regular grape based wine.
Farming Level In Stardew Valley
As you know by now, you will need to have at least level 8 of farming to make wine. If you havent reached it yet, here are some of our favourite suggestions to improve your farming and start working on your wine:
- Harvesting crops
- Milking your animals
- Picking up animal products
Basically, most things related to your farm will improve your skills. It might take some time, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run!
Also, youll get to choose various professions once you level up. For example, you can choose between an Artisan and an Agriculturist in level 10. The first option, Artisan, will make your wine 40% more expensive when selling.
If thats not a great deal, we dont know what is!
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How Do You Check The Alcohol Level
Easy! A hydrometer will do the job. Unlike store-bought wine, a homemade wines exact alcohol content is much more to tell.
But here are key points to remember:
- Higher sugar level means higher alcohol
- Freezing wine after fermentation will lead to a mixture thats close to a brandy in terms of alcohol levels
- To lessen wine, add more fruits or grapes
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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Other General Wine Making Tips
- Pectic enzyme: When using liquid, use 5 to 10 drops in fruit wines instead of the teaspoon measure listed in most recipes. The teaspoon measures in recipes are for powered pectic enzyme.
- Campden tablets: 5 Campden tablets are the same as 1/4 teaspoon of metabisulphite.
- Never boil corks: Soak your corks in a solution of hot tap water and a crushed Campden tablet for about 15 minutes. Then rinse well and cork your bottles.
- Aging: Most fruit wines should be aged at least 6 months to 1 year. Of course, some wine can benefit from longer aging depending on acid and tannin levels.
- Stabilizer: A common wine stabilizer is potassium sorbate. Do not overuse it the recommended dosage is 1/2 teaspoon per gallon.
How To Make Brandy: Full Guide
Brandy, everyones favorite alcoholic beverage Or at least it should be. Its not just an old mans drink, as some would say!
Its signature amber color and distinct flavorful aroma are enough to convince enough to grab a bottle now.
Today, well help you re-discover your love for brandy, or perhaps find a new way to fall in love with it! Lets get started and learn how to make brandy.
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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
Adjusting The Level Of Acidity
Reaching the proper amount of tartaric acid in your wine will improve its character and balance while also aiding the fermentation process. Every fruit has acid and there are two main ways to test it. The use of pH strips is an inaccurate way because they judge all acidity, not just the actual flavor. Purchasing a wine titration kit is the best way to test for acidic flavor with a simple process once practiced. Too much acid makes for sour bitter wine while too little can create a flat lifeless concoction. Tartaric, malic, and citric acid are the three most commonly used for increasing acidity.
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How Long Does It Take To Make Wine From Fruit
Winemaking is a time tasking project and there isnt really anything you can do to speed it up. A fresh batch of wine will generally take between 8 and 12 weeks before itll be ready for bottling. From there most people will continue to age their wine for another 3 to 4 months. Depending on the fruit aging could be necessary for up to a year.
Where Can You Get More Information On Making Strawberry Wine
As if my 5000+ words on making strawberry wine wasnt enough! If you are looking for more resources on making fruit wines, here are some of my favorite brewing books to check out:
- Wild Wine Making < this is my absolute favorite resource if you are going to pick just one!
Additional Time: Total Time:
You’re going to be shocked by how easy it is to make fruit wine! Our beginner’s tutorial will teach you step-by-step how to make homemade strawberry wine.
- 3 pounds frozen, hulled whole strawberries
- 2 1/2 pounds cane sugar
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Racking And Secondary Fermentation
Once the primary fermentation has slowed down, its time to strain out the fruit and rack the wine into a carboy.
Adjusting The Available Sugars
The fermentation process is caused by yeast consuming the available sugar to become half alcohol and half carbon dioxide. All the sugar wont ferment but this is how you determine how much alcohol will be made. The best way to measure this is with a winemaking hydrometer. This simple object can be dropped into your juice to measure the potential alcohol. Once that is determined you can add in more sugar if necessary. There is no best sugar so try experimenting with many. Other sweeteners like honey and concentrated fruit juices can work as well.
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Road To Brandy: Distilling Process
Yes, so far, youve only managed to make wine.
Is it brandy? Not yet.
Before your wine becomes brandy, youll have to distill it.
Step 1: Get Your Dutch Oven and Still Ready
If you dont have a dutch oven, we recommend using a large stove-friendly container as long as it can fit your still.
Step 2: Fill Your Still
Step 3: Start the Distillation Process
At this point, you need to pay close attention. This is where things get a little complicated, and you need to be particular about this step.
Now, once you still get heated up, youll notice liquid starting to drop from the spout. Before you get excited and think this is brandy, dont be just yet! And heres why.
There are four phases of distillation you need to take note of: foreshots, heads, hearts, and tails. Of those enumerated, the only thing you want to keep is the HEARTS.
Step 4: Collect the Foreshots and Get Rid of Them
Step 5: Collect Some Heads
Step 7: Get Rid of the Tails
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.
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Equipment List For Homemade Fruit Wines
The equipment list for making wine is short, but these are the necessary items you’ll need. You can find items for making homemade wines of all types at home brewing shops or online such as Midwest Supplies or Adventures in Home Brewing. If you’re a fan of quick shipping and you have Amazon Prime, you can even order them at . In fact, there’s a home brewing small-batch fruit wine kit you can purchase for about $50 that has everything you need to make 13 one-gallon batches of wine using your own fruit. If you’re not buying a kit, you’ll need the following.
If you are just learning how to make wine, save the use of barrels for secondary fermentation until you have learned the basics of wine making. The use of barrels requires a lot more care in order to make successful batches of wine.
Many home wine makers prefer to use new plastic carboys. Used carboys are fine only if their previous use was for wine making only. Plastic carboys previously used for other food items, such as pickles, can sometimes cause the wine to have an off-flavor. Glass carboys, if cleaned properly, should not give any off-flavors to your wine.
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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Starting Your Brandy: Making Wine
It all starts by making your wine, using your favorite fruits, sugar, and yeast. Lets begin!
Step 1: Get Your Fruits and Place them in a Big Bowl
Step 2: Slice Your Fruits and Remove the Pits
Slice your fruits into small pieces, or until the size is enough to be easily mashed.
- If youre making peach brandy or apple brandy, youll need to be extra mindful of the size of your slices.
- Apples, for example, are slightly tougher than grapes which can get crushed easily. We recommend making small apple cubes, but whatever is convenient for your work. For grapes, slicing them in half should be enough.
- You also want to be sure that you remove the pits of your fruits. For apples, getting the pits out is pretty easy. But for grapes, not so much. That being the case, you might want to choose seedless grapes to make fruit brandy.
Also, do note that you dont have to peel the skin off of your fruits. You can leave them as is!
Step 3: Start Mashing Your Fruits and Release All Your Frustration!
Now for the fun part. Its time to mash your fruits!
If youre NOT using berries, you can follow this step:
Leave it to rest.
Why Dont You Use Campden Tablets
If you have dabbled in winemaking, you may have heard of a frequently used additive called Campden tablets. They are sodium or potassium metabisulfite tablets that are used to sterilize wine at various stages during the winemaking process. They kill off all the yeast and bacteria.
Why would you want to do this? Well, for some people, they want to have a completely sterile process to start off with . Some people also use them to stop fermentation before its complete if they want to achieve a certain level of sweetness. And some people also add them to the wine just before bottling to make certain fermentation is over to avoid making bottle bombs.
I personally do not use Campden tablets. Mostly because I just dont find that I need them in my winemaking process, but also because I enjoy including wild yeasts and bacteria in my creations. There are tons of resources on the internet about using Campden tablets if stertilization is of interest to you.
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The Art Of Winemaking: Final Word Of Advice
See? Making wine at home is simple. Its a careful ritual of adding, siphoning, and storing.
A parting advice that wed like to leave you with is to enjoy the process.
Winemaking is an art as much as it is a science. What would taste good for you might be different from others, so dont be afraid to mix things up.
The recipes are merely a guide. Wine is a matter of taste.
Go play around and have fun!
Enjoy A Glass Of Home
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your fruits of labor. Nothing feels better than to drink your wine after a long hard day.
Hopefully, youll love our recipe as much as we did.
Let us know how it went!
Oh, and keep wine away from minors.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.
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