Wine making and fermenting your own homemade wine takes a lot of time and effort. It doesn’t necessarily equate to being a complicated process, the procedure is actually very simple but the whole wine making process will require an extended period of toiling.
Most people would define wine as an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice. It is a popular definition because grapes are the usual base fruit or juice used in making wines, but according to some wine connoisseurs , Wines are basically any alcoholic drink produced from any non-toxic fruit juice (Strawberry wine, Pear Wine, Apple Wine, etc.)
Wine making consists of very simple steps that any person with the right equipment could do. As long as you have the basic wine making kit, you could produce wine whenever you desire.
Making homemade wines if, done properly, could produce good quality wines that may taste just as good as any commercially available wines. And since you are the one making your own drink, you could experiment on the acid levels, alcohol levels and the sweetness of the beverage that would suit your taste.
If you’re planning to produce your own homemade wine, you will need a few equipment necessary for the fermentation of the juice. The list of equipments consists of the following:
1.A primary (primary
fermentation vessel) which most of the time comes in the form of a
plastic bucket or pail. This is where you will mix your concoction
together with your ingredients.
2.A sieve or a mesh bag or a nylon straining bag where you will put your chopped, crushed or sliced fruits during flavor and aroma extraction.
3.Sterile cloth that will cover your bucket during the primary. This will prevent contaminants and bacteria from getting in to your concoction and at the same time, it will allow the unwanted vapors from your mixture to escape.
4.A siphon hose which you will use when you are going to transfer the wine from the primary to the secondary fermentation vessel. You will also use this when you are going to rack your wine.
5.A secondary fermentation vessel, most of time, Carboys are used as secondaries because it is easy to airlock and it is more resistant to scratching.
6.Air locks which is vital for the anaerobic fermentation process that the mixture must go through to produce wine.
7.Bottles which will be used for aging the wine.
8.Corks to secure the wine inside the bottles.
9.Hydrometer, which is one of the most important equipments you will need because this will measure the specific gravity of the wine.
The listed items is actually the basic wine making kit. Some of the tools you will need that were included on the list could be replaced by or substituted by common household items. Just remember that the substitutes you will use are sanitized and sterile.
Using tools that haven’t been properly sanitized may cause spoilage in the wine you are making.
Of course, there are other tools and equipments as well that you could use to ferment your own homemade wine. But some of those are already for advanced wine makers. As a beginner, the list should suffice until you have become a true fanatic of homemade wine making.
There are additional ingredients or additives as well that you will require when making your homemade wine. These ingredients may not be bought from regular convenient stores and may be difficult to find. If there is a Wine Maker store near your place, then you are in luck, otherwise, these essential ingredients will be difficult to obtain.
These additives required in wine making are:
1.Sulfites, the most common sulfite used is the Campden Tablet
2.Acid Blend or Citric Acid
All of these ingredients are essential to wine making. If one of these is absent or missing during your wine making process, it is likely that the fermentation will produce a bad batch of wine or the fermentation will not be successful at all.
Be sure that before you start making your wine, you have the complete ingredients along with your complete tools.
Now that we have listed the complete basic wine making kit you will need to ferment your alcoholic beverage, we are going to give you a simple step by step instruction on how to turn your fruit juice into wine.
preparation – from the moment you pick out and choose the fruit you
will be using as your base fruit, it is already part of the wine making
process. This also entails the chopping, slicing and crushing of the
fruit which will be put in the straining bag or sieve in the primary.
2.Pour water in the primary where the bag is. Whether to use cold or hot water will depend on the specific instructions of that specific recipe you are making.
3.Adding the Ingredients – All additives that were listed, except the wine yeast and the yeast nutrients will be added in the concoction. These should be mixed until all the ingredients have dissolved.
4.Cover the primary with the sterile cloth and leave for at least 24 hours depending on recommended specific gravity required as specified in the recipe.
5.Transferring to the secondary – When you have reached the recommended specific gravity, you will now have to transfer the must into the secondary, add the yeast and yeast nutrients, stir then cover with air lock.
6.Racking – When the wine have reached a specific gravity as indicated in the wine making recipe you have, you will need to transfer the wine to another secondary vessel. You are to leave the lees or the sediments found at the bottom of the Carboy. These lees are dead yeast cells. Prolonged exposure to it may cause the wine to taste bad.
7.Rack again – After a recommended period, you may check your wine’s clarity. If the wine is already clear and has no more sediments at the bottom of the vessel, you may proceed to the next step. Otherwise, you will have to rack again and again until the wine becomes clear and free of lees.
8.Bottling – once the wine is already clear, this is will indicate that the fermentation process is over. You may now transfer the wine in smaller bottles.
9.Aging – this step will require a really long time. It may take six months to a year before the wine is aged enough to have that good taste. The recipe or wine book you are following should have a recommended period of time for the aging process. Once it has aged long enough, you may now taste your wine to see if it still needs to age longer.
10.Enjoying – At this point, your wine have already aged long enough and already tastes like expensive wine. It is now time to enjoy your home made wine.
The listed steps are the general steps in fermenting homemade wine using wine making kits. If you will notice, it was mentioned repeatedly that some procedures will depend on the recipe you are following. This is because the amount of time, additive or ingredients required may vary from one fruit to another or from one variety of fruit to another.
Each fruit and each variety of fruit will have its own characteristics and its own level of acidity, sweetness and the like which may affect the variation of needed additives.
Now, if you find these steps complicated, you may want to start with fermenting fruit juices i wine kits. There are Wine kits available now that sells concentrated juice together with pre-measured ingredients to add and an easy to follow recipe or instructions to homemade wine making.
These wine kits are expensive and don’t come
with the wine making equipment but if you really want to learn, this
may be the simplest and easiest way to learn since everything is already
laid out for you. Just so you’d get the feel of fermenting wine.
But if you really want to experience first hand what it’s like to make wine from choosing the fruit to enjoying the beverage, then you better start looking for fully ripe fruits now.
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