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.
Preparing Supplies And Ingredients
Should I Use Campden Tablets In This Wine
Campden tablets are a frequently used additive in homemade wine that are used to sterilize wine at various stages during the winemaking process. They kill off all the yeast and bacteria.
Many people use them to stop fermentation before its complete if they want to achieve a certain level of sweetness. Some people 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 sterilization is of interest to you.
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A Lower Alcohol Version
On the flip side, if youre trying to reduce alcohol content and want a more intense spiced wine flavor, then up the cook time. After an hour the alcohol reduces to 25% and after 2.5 hours only 5% remains. However, after an hour or so theres not much wine left to drink as it can evaporate pretty quickly. Longer cook times also require stirring or the wine can burn. Personally I wouldnt go over 30 minutes.
What Does It Taste Like
Depending on how you brew it and the ratio of your ingredients, homemade red wines shouldnt taste any different than your commercial wine.
If you chose to freeze your grapes, then its likely that the taste is stronger and its more alcoholic.
If you used lots of sugar and room temperature grapes instead, then the final result would be a sweet wine.
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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.
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.
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Add Yeast Citric Acid And Bentonite Leave To Ferment
If you have a Hedgerow Wine Kit add sachets 1, 1c and 1d when the temperature has dropped to at least 30 degrees centigrade. If you don’t have one, add 1 sachet/5g yeast , 5 tsps citric acid and 2 tsps bentonite . Reseal lid and make sure airlock is sealed well and half full with water.
Leave to ferment for about two weeks at room temperature or slightly above, or until it almost stops bubbling. Stir with a sterilised stirrer and leave until it stops bubbling again.
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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Two Summer Wine Recipes
The best way to show that winemaking is easy is to provide a recipe. As it is now summer I have two for you: rose petal wine and strawberry wine. The first is unusual, but in a good way, and tastes of Turkish Delight.
The second is one of my very best and is unmistakably strawberry. Both recipes make six bottles. Two explanatory notes. My recipes use British measurements . And at each stage, you need to sterilize the equipment being used, with Sodium Metabisulphite. For instructions click here.
How Much Sugar A Rule Of Thumb
The alcohol in wine comes from sugar. Commercial grape wines are made by crushing the grapes and fermenting the juice. Adding sugar, called chaptalization, is done in some areas where grapes dont develop high enough levels of sugar to reach the standard alcohol percentage of 12 to 14 percent, but chaptalization is prohibited in some countries and in California. Most other fruits have less sugar than grapes and need to have some sugar added to their fermentation to reach appropriate levels of alcohol content.
Because I want my wines to keep and age well, but I dont use sulfites, they need a relatively high alcohol content. The minimal concentration needed to ensure proper preservation and aging is 14 percent, though some of my wines approach up to 18 percent alcohol, which is reaching the level of port wine. For my wines to achieve their characteristic high alcohol concentration, they need lots of sugar. The added sugar can take many forms table sugar, brown sugar, raisins, molasses, honey, and so on but in my wines, I use primarily plain white sugar and raisins.
My fruit wines are typically made with chopped or crushed fruit, rather than juice. I believe that using the entire fruit, including the pulp and skins, adds more flavor and color to the wine. Because I use fruit, rather than juice, I have to add water, usually with sugar, to the developing wine. But instead of a hydrometer, I use a rule of thumb for how much sugar to add.
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A: Fermenting For White Wine
Start with at least 5.25 gallons of white grape juice to end up with five gallons of wine. Pour the juice into a carboy or other closeable container larger than the volume you will ferment, as the wine can foam or expand and ooze out the top.
White grape juice is actually green or golden at first, but it will turn a brown color after its pressed and as it starts to ferment. Dont worry, it will lighten to pale yellow or gold later. Use an airlock to keep oxygen out and allow the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation to escape.
Add wine yeast, according to the instructions on the packet. Keep the juice at a comfortable room temperature, as advised on the yeast instructions. It should begin to emit a light foam of carbon dioxide within a day or two, which signals the start of fermentation.
Remove the stopper once a day, or as needed, to stir the juice and the lees that will begin to settle to the bottom. If the fermentation speeds up and the wine foams out of your vessel, just mop it up and cool the container slightly.
Are Muscadine And Scuppernong The Same
The scuppernong is a variety of muscadine grapes named after a river in North Carolina, but it is not the same as muscadine. They both grow wild and are now domesticated in the Southeastern United States.
A scuppernong, usually greenish bronze in color, is a particular variety of the muscadine grape, which is typically dark bluish purple. So, technically, you can call any scuppernong grape a muscadine, but you can’t call a muscadine grape a scuppernong.
Many people use scuppernongs interchangeably with muscadines but, in addition to the color, the flavor is different. Muscadines are sweeter than many kinds of grapes, more similar to Concord grapes. Scuppernongs are tarter.
Both kinds of grapes have thick skins and don’t grow in bunches like traditional grapes but instead, in clusters similar to blueberries.
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Should Peach Wine Be Refrigerated
In general, if the alcohol content of your wine is below 15%, you should keep it refrigerated. If it is above 15%, you should be able to store it safely at room temperature.
To figure out the alcohol content of your wine, you can measure the specific gravity with a hydrometer, or estimate it by looking at the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you used.
Additional Time: Total Time:
Peaches are one of the easiest fruits to use for homemade wine. Follow this peach wine recipe and learn to make peach wine today.
How To Make Wine From Grapes
Step 1: Remove the grapes from the stalks.
Step 2: Press the grapes to remove all the juice.
Step 3: Measure the specific gravity of the juice. Pour some juice through a sieve and pour the juice into a testing jar. Test the specific gravity using a hydrometer, it will tell you how much sugar is in the juice and how much you will need to add to get the required alcohol content.
Step 4: Put the crushed grapes into a brewing bucket.
Step 5: Add one crushed campden tablet per gallon of wine.
Step 6: Add the campden tablet to the brewing bucket. The campden tablet will kill any harmful bacteria that is on the grape skins.
Step 7: Cover the brewing bucket and leave for 24 hours for the bacteria to be killed.
Step 8: Make a yeast starter. Pour some boiled water into a glass jar and place the jar into cool water and allow the boiled water to cool. Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir until it is fully dissolved. Next, take wine yeast and add to the sugar solution. Cover to prevent bacteria getting into the yeast and after about an hour or so the yeast will start reacting with the sugar, producing alcohol.
Step 9: Dissolve sugar in boiling water. The exact amount of sugar depends on the specific gravity measured earlier. Stir the sugar until it is fully dissolved in the water. Allow to cool, then add to brewing bucket.
Step 10: Add the yeast starter to the brewing bucket,
Step 13: After six days sterilize a second brewing bucket with a campden tablet.
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More Things To Keep In Mind
Juice produces ethanol, not methanol: Making homemade wine, or alcohol in general, is simple because of the simple fact that yeast converts sugar to ethanol . There is a misconception that drinking homemade brew is not safe, but that’s only if you drink methanol. Brewing with fruit juices and yeast cannot produce methanol. It can only produce ethanol.
This process can be done in as little as three days: My attempts at wine making usually take around 7 days, but some people who have tried this method have reported that the fermentation stopped in about 3 days. So this method can actually produce wine with a moderate alcohol content in about 3 days.
You might need to add sugar: Since this fermentation method produces wine that isn’t very sweet , I am updating my recipe by saying that you should add one cup of granulated or cane sugar or corn syrup to a one gallon batch or half a cup to a half gallon batch before adding the yeast. This might produce a sweeter wine, if that’s what you want. It might be best to pour the juice into a large saucepan and heat it up slightly so the sugar will dissolve properly. Then pour it back into the bottle using a funnel and allow to cool to room temperature.
A hydrometer will tell you the alcohol content: I’m not sure of the alcohol content of this brew, but you could buy a hydrometer to measure it. They are cheap and readily available online or at any brewer’s store.
How Do I Make Sparkling Wines
Country wines and fruit wines are traditionally still wines . Making a sparkling wine is a bit of an advanced technique that requires a good knowledge of how yeast works, the fermentation process, and advanced bottling techniques. We recommend tackling it only after youve mastered a still wine like this strawberry wine. When youre ready to move onto sparkling wine, Wild Wine Making has some great information about that process.
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What Equipment You Need To Get Started
True, you do need to make an initial outlay to get the vital equipment but ask around. Once people knew that I made wine, I had several offers of equipment from those whose fathers had tried it in the 1970s.
What you need as a minimum is one large bucket with a sealable lid, two demijohns, a length of tubing, a rubber cork for the demijohns, and an air-lock. Anything else you are either likely to find in your kitchen or is desirable rather than necessary . Heres your shopping list:
- A large bucket with a lid
- Two demi-johns
- A rubber cork with a hole drilled through
- An air-lock for fermenting
- Kitchen utensils: spoons, potato masher
Instant Pot Mulled Wine
I love my Instant Pot because it saves me so much time. You can make mulled wine in the Instant Pot, but it isnt necessarily a time saver for this recipe. And you miss out on your house smelling amazing from the spices. However, if you do want to opt for the Instant Pot method here are two ways to do it.
- Add the ingredients to the pot, seal the vent and cook for 1-3 minutes
- Add all the ingredients and use the slow cooker button for about 2 hours.
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How To Make Homemade Pear Wine
I have tried several times making wine from pears and always end up with a wine that tastes like weak moonshine. It has a smooth taste but not much flavor. I had a friend make some homemade pear wine as well and his turned out the same way. We have come to the conclusion that there is probably sugar locked into the fruit that is being released during the fermentation. My question is do you think our conclusion is correct and if so how can I go about figuring how much sugar to add to the fermentation. I think these pears will make a very fine wine if I can just figure out the recipe.
Jeff L PAHello Jeff,
In general, pears do not have a lot of flavor relative to other fruits. Think of the raspberries used to make a raspberry wine. When you taste a raspberry you know it. They are bursting with flavor.
Pears on the other hand are not bursting with flavor. When you bite into a pear you can tell its a pear. You can taste its character, but its nothing explosive like a strawberry, blueberry or even peach. Put the pear flavor up against the tongue-numbing effects of alcohol such as the situation of a homemade pear wine and you have something that tastes just like you described, weak moonshine.
Here are some tips for making homemade pear wine at home. These are some ideas for getting more pear flavor into the wine when using fresh pears.