Basic Wine Making Process for the Beginner
Finding directions for a basic wine making process online is fairly simple. Trouble arises, however, when you start looking through the reams of pages available and get lost in the options. It is for this reason that you should do a search for “basic wine making process,” pick a result, and stick with it. One of the easiest methods is as follows.
One thing you’ll find you need for the basic wine making process is a list of equipment, which frankly can be very overwhelming. Don’t let this dissuade you, however! The good news is that there are many winemaking kits out there that have pretty much all the esoteric equipment you’ll need! Depending on what you want to make and other factors, a kit will cost you anywhere from $80 all the way up to $200. Your kit will also have more detailed directions for making homemade wine.
Once you have your kit, choose what sort of grape you want to use. Once you have the grapes you want, thoroughly wash them and remove all stems and other unwanted material. Now you have to extract the flavor. You do this by crushing and pressing the grapes to create the “must” – the extracted fruit. Your kit will have more detailed directions for this.
Now it’s time to begin fermentation. For primary fermentation, once again follow the instructions your kit provides. During this time, you’ll have to add some additives such as yeast, sulfites and enzymes – all of which are essential. You also have to be sure to follow the directions to the letter and add the additives at the appropriate time. After everything is blended, cover your fermentation container with cloth and tie it with a rubber band. Primary fermentation will take 3 to 10 days.
Now you move onto secondary fermentation. Secondary fermentation takes place in a glass jug called a carboy. Before you pour the wine into this vessel, however, it needs to be strained to get rid of all the pulp. Once in the carboy, the wine will need to ferment for an additional several weeks. During this period, you’ll need to “rack” the wine occasionally. Racking is the process by which you remove sediments from the wine by siphoning with a plastic tube.
Last, but not least, comes the bottling. Bottling is just as important as every other step, because if you don’t do it right all your work will be for naught. Siphon your wine into the bottles using the plastic tube you used for racking, taking care not to overflow the bottles. Cork the bottles and let them sit upright for three days. After this period, you should store them on their side at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wine needs to age for at least a year before sampling, and white wine needs 6 months.
The real final step is for you to enjoy your homemade wine! Great wine is a treat as-is, and if you make it yourself that makes it all that more special!