Make Wine in your Own Home!
You can make wine in your own home! All you need is the equipment and ingredients and you're set!
- Our Wine Equipment Kits have all you need to make a 6 gallon batch of wine including a primary fermentation pail, glass or plastic carboy and more! See "Wine Making Equipment and Supplies" for more information.
- Our wine kits include the ingredients that you need to make a high quality batch of 30 bottles of wine. These kits come with detailed instructions on how to make the wine. It's best to read through the instructions before starting. For information on the types of kits see "Wine Kits."
- You can also make wine out of the fruits and vegetables from your backyard or farmer's market. Some information is provided below on the basics of wine making. There are many recipes available in books and on the internet. One site we use often for "trouble shooting" and other wine making know-how is www.jackkeller.net.
Ingredients include fruit, fruit juice or concentrate, white granulated sugar, water, additives per the recipe and wine yeast.
Sanitation is very important. You will want to sanitize anything that will come in contact with your ingredients to prevent contamination or spoilage. You can only sanitize clean equipment, so be sure your equipment is free of residue and dirt. We carry many cleaners and sanitizers such as Star-San, One Step and PBW. A mixture of metabisulphite and water can also be used for sanitizing.
Basic assembly of your wine: Use clean fruit, free of rot or brown patches. Place in nylon straining bag, mash and strain juice into primary fermenter. Keep all pulp in straining bag, tie top and place in fermenter. Add other ingredients such as sugar, water and additives (but not the yeast). Additives may include acid blend, tannin, campden tablets, energizer, nutrient, and pectic enzyme. You may want to use your hydrometer to check the specific gravity of the liquid. This will measure the density of your "must" or the amount of sugar. The amount of sugar will determine the alcohol content of your wine. An average starting specific gravity is about 1.090. After 24 hours, you will add your wine yeast and cover the primary and add an air lock filled halfway with water.
After about 3-5 days your specific gravity should be around 1.030. Remove straining bag from wine and strain juice. Syphon wine into secondary fermenter or "carboy." Attach airlock. When fermentation is complete (S.G. of 1.000-about 3 weeks) syphon off sediment into a clean secondary and reattach airlock. Allow wine to clear for another 2-3 months and syphon off the sediment and again before bottling.
If a sweeter wine is desired: at bottling add stabilizer (potassium sorbate) then stir in dissolved sugar or wine conditioner.
Your wine will benefit from some aging. Some will be ready to drink in a few months, others will take several months. The bitterness and "hot" taste of the wine will decrease with age and the flavors will begin to mellow if allowed the time.
Below is a description of some additives and terms:
Acid Blend: A blend of citric, malic and tartaric acids. Used to increase and balance the acids and will give the wine it's 'bite.'
Ascorbic Acid: Anti-oxidant used to prevent oxidizing or browning.
Bentonite: A natural type of clay that binds to particles in wine to aid in clearing
Calcium Carbonate: Also known as precipitate chalk. Used to reduce the amount of acid in a juice or must.
Campden Tablet: Sodium or Potassium Metabisulfite. Kills wild yeast and sanitzes.
Chitosan: A fining agent to aid in clearing wine used often in conjunction with Keisosol. It is a shellfish derivative.
Citric Acid: Natural product derived from any citric fruit.
Energizer: Diammonium Phosphate, Springcell and magnesium sulphate. Used to boost the yeast or restart a stuck fermentation. Also called Yeast Energizer.
Glycerine: An additive used for an increased mouth feel and body in weak wines
Isinglass: A fining agent to aid in the clearing of wine.
Malic Acid: An acid naturally found in many fruits such as apples.
Mead: Honey Wine
Melomel: Fruit and Honey Wine
Nutrient: Diammonium Phosphate. Used to help the yeast stay active in many fruit and tea wines. Also known as Yeast Nutrient.
Pectic Enzyme: Aids in juice extraction and prevents pectin haze.
Potassium Metabisulfite: Kills wild yeast and sanitizes. 1/16 tsp = 1 Campden Tablet
Potassium Sorbate: Also known as "Stabilizer." Used to prevent renewed fermentation when sweetening a finished wine.
Precipitate Chalk: See Calcium Carbonate
Racking: Transferring liquid from one vessel to another
Sodium Metabisulfite: Kills wild yeast and sanitizes. 1/16 tsp = 1 Campden. A campden tablet crushed is a precise amount of SMS (.5 grams)
Sparkolloid: Clarifying agent.
Tartaric Acid: An acid primarily found in grapes.
Tannin: Tannin gives astringency or 'bite' to wine and helps with clearing.