Parsons Vineyard and Winery

End your day with a glass of wine

How to Make Wine At Home

February 11th, 2014

Winemaking at home is allowed in the US and some parts of the world. However, the wine shouldn’t be sold and there is a specific allowed limit per year. Making your own wine has its advantages including having cheap wine in the house in case you have surprise visitors and, you can create your special recipe. Winemaking shouldn’t be hard if you have the right tools and know how. However, it can be potentially dangerous if you don’t have all that’s necessary. The following is a short guide in the home brewing process.

Wine making equipment

  • Glass or plastic container. If plastic go for 1 or 2 recyclable plastic
  • Rubber stopper into which you will drill a hole to attach to the airlock.
  • Airlock- can be commercial airlock, balloon or pvc pipe attached to vinyl bag
  • Funnel
  • Bottles
  • Stirrer
  • Sanitizer
  • Siphon

Ingredients

Many people believe that wine is made from grapes only. Although the world’s best wines are made from wine, you can make wine from almost any type of fruit provided it contains juice. You can decide to blend fruits for juice or, buy juice from the local store. A rule here is that the amount of wine you want to make is directly proportional to the amount of juice you use.

Sugar is the next ingredient. Yeast needs sugar to become active. You can use any type of sugar including brown sugar and corn sugar. You can also use honey but this takes longer to ferment.

Yeast is another important ingredient. It’s the active ingredient in the wine making process. There are different types of yeast available. Wine and champagne yeast is the best for your project.

A selection of chemicals including yeast nutrient, potassium or sodium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate.

Sanitizing

This step involves getting rid of any bacteria and microbes that make the wine making equipment home. The reason why this step is so important is that such microbes might interfere with the fermentation process spoiling the wine. The potassium metabisulfite mixed with water will act as a great sanitizer.

Mixing the ingredients

For 10 gallons of wine, you will need

  • 10 gallons of your preferred juice
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons yeast nutrient
  • 200ml solution of 2.5% potassium or sodium metabisulfite

Procedure

  1. Pour in the 10 gallons juice into a container and add the 4 pounds sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the potassium metabisulfite and yeast nutrient and stir to mix.
  3. Stir to remove any dissolved gasses in the solution
  4. Pour half the solution into the fermenting container and add yeast before adding the remaining half of the solution.
  5. Cork the fermenter with the rubber stopper and attach the airlock.
  6. Place the wine in a cool place. 65⁰F to 75⁰F is recommended. Keep checking the wine and ensure the airlock is tight and let the wine stand for at least four weeks. It’s usually ready once it clears up.
  7. Once the wine has cleared its time for bottling. Sanitize the siphon and bottles.
  8. Remove the airlock and replace it with the siphon tubing. Insert it such that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the container where yeast has settled.
  9. Place the container on a high surface.
  10. Suck on the tubing allowing the wine to flow into the bottles. Cap the bottles and label them if necessary.