Homemade wine can either taste really good or really bad. However, it is fun to make, and if you know what you are doing, the results are usually pretty good.
The best thing is the amount of money you will save by making wine at home and not buying it from a store.
After some practice, you will realize that your homemade wine turns out to be better than bought wine. Your relatives and friends will congratulate you on your skills and everyone will ask for the recipe.
These steps will teach you how to make wine at home:
These are a few things that you need to have before you learn how to make wine at home:
- 1 Open Container (min. 8 gallons) – This would be used for primary fermentation. Many people will tell you to use crockery or wood, but since those are porous alternatives, you will have quite a job of cleaning them later. It is always better to use plastic that is brand new.Never choose any metallic container because it might have a chemical effect on your wine. Always stick to plastic or wood and glass. The container needs to have an 8 gallon capacity because a smaller container would cause quite a lot of overflow.
- 1 Stainless Steel Pot or Enameled Bowl (2 gallons)
- 1 Mesh sack which is small in size (2 quart) – The mesh sack should be big enough to be tied on the top after it is filled with fruit pulp. Many people cut off small pieces from old nylon drapery. A handy and affordable option is to use pantyhose.
- 9 Jugs with a small mouth (1 gallon each) and 1 Jug with a small mouth (One half gallon) – It is best to go for a Cider jug.
- Tubing of clear and flexible plastic (6 feet) – This seems like minor equipment but it is actually pretty important. The tube should be clean from the inside and to check that, you need a clear plastic tube. This is to make sure that the pipe has not been previously used on something caustic.You can check that when the plastic is clear. Wine can get ruined if it gets mixed with undeveloped green wine. It will get the nutty sherry flavor, which would ruin the taste of your table wine.
- 25 wine bottles with a screw top and plastic caps
- Plastic food wrap (1 roll) – This would be used to airtight the bottles with the rubber bands. You can also go for wine making glass and locks, but this option would be cheaper if you are making a huge batch.
- Lots of rubber bands of various sizes
- Hydrometer – A hydrometer is not as intimidating as it sounds. It is simply used to measure the liquid’s density. You can use it to check on the progress on your wine and it can even be used to find out how much sugar you need to add to your wine as it progresses.Always read the instructions on the back well before you use it. Hydrometer is a must if the batch of wine is large because it leads to accuracy and will help you monitor the fermentation process better.
Recipe and Ingredients
This recipe will teach you how to make wine at home with all kinds of berries. The ingredients are as follows:
- Blackberries (15 pounds)
- Raisins (1/2 cup)
- Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid (1/2 tsp.)
- Water (5 gallons)
- Acid Blend (I tbsp.) or Lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Sugar (10 pounds)
- Dry wine yeast (1 pack)
Follow these steps to make the perfect homemade berry wine:
- Only sprayed fruit needs to be washed, otherwise, you don’t need to do that. You can wear gloves because you have to mash the berries with hand and collect the juice. There are two ways of doing this.You can take a handful of berries and squeeze them hard enough or you can use your knuckles to do the job for you. This is where the 2 gallons enamel pot comes into the picture. Put all the berries in it and let the squishing begin!
- Now, put your mesh sack over the mouth of your fermenting 8 gallon jar and put all the mushed berries inside it. Pick up the back and squeeze it to get the remainder of the juice out. Repeat Step 1 and 2 until all your berries are done.In the end, all the juice will be inside your fermenting jar and all the berries would be in your mesh bag. Now, put some raisins on top and tie up the bag properly. Put it inside with all the fruit juice and leave it.
- The Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid goes next. The main purpose of Vitamin C is to prevent oxidization of the wine later when it gets exposed to light and air. It would also prevent the wine from changing color.
- The next step is to boil 5 gallons of water and when it almost starts boiling, you need to add this water to your fermentation 8 gallon container. This hot water is to treat and kill the bacteria and wild yeast that are present in your fruit pulp and juice.If you don’t do this, it will later cause problems when you add dry wine yeast. However, do not boil the fruit pulp and the juice.
- Add the acid blend next. Acid blend is a blend of three natural acids – citric, tartaric, and malic. Most wine making houses have it, and you can easily get it from a store near you. If you don’t have an acid blend, don’t worry because you can use lemon juice instead.However, it is better to use acid blend because it is stronger than just citric acid from lemon juice and might work better to prevent oxidation of your wine. Adding acid is a must, though.
- Now, put in the sugar slowly by adding 1/3rd of the 10 pound bag first. Keep stirring it continuously and use your hydrometer. After that, you need to cover the can and let it cool for 10 hours at room temperature.When the time has elapsed, use the hydrometer and check the gravity of the liquid. Keep adding sugar until the reading in the hydrometer is 1095. Take your time in adjusting the sugar as this is an important step of how to make wine at home perfectly.
- Add the yeast on the surface and let it work. Don’t disturb or stir the yeast. You will see signs of fermentation in the next 12 hours. There will be a strong smell and you would notice bubbles and froth on top of your fermentation jar.Use a wooden device to stir it twice a day and check the gravity with your hydrometer once a day. It is time to transfer wine when your hydrometer reads 1030.
- Wash 8 out of your 9 one gallon jugs without using soap. You have to rinse them well with water (you can also use gravel to clear the bottom of the jars) as you don’t want the residual film of the soap.Now, take out the mesh bag from the large 8 gallon container and squeeze it well. Throw the pulp it contains and wash it properly. You can reuse this bag later when you make wine again.
- Transfer the liquid to the eight jars and leave some room at the top. The yeast has gone weak, which is why you need to airtight these jars. However, it is still strong enough to generate some amount of foam and bubbles and you should keep some space on the top for that. Use the plastic wrap and rubber bands for closing the jars.
- Now, after the second fermentation, you need to transfer the green wine into fresh containers. For this, you need to use the tubing and the 9th gallon. Use the tube and put one end near the surface of the full jar because you don’t want the sediments to be siphoned in.Suck from the tube and as the green liquid is close to your mouth, use your thumb to cap it and empty it into the jar. Make sure that you are careful as the other jar begins to empty and your tube’s end gets close to the sediments. Do the same with other jars as well. You can take the help of a friend as two pairs of hands would make it easier.
- After this, you can transfer your wine almost up to the brim because there is nothing left in the fermentation of your wine. Seal all containers properly using the rubber bands and plastic foil. You need to repeat the racking after 3 weeks and then after 3 months.
Use your hydrometer to find if the reading is below 1.000 and you will find out if your wine is ready to bottle or not. Clean your 25 wine bottles without soap and use the same siphoning process to transfer the wine. Use the plastic caps to seal them once done.
Of course, this is only one of the many ways you can do it. There’s are many different recipes you can use.