Theoretically, winemaking is straightforward; grape juice in an environment that allows fermentation after coming into contact with the yeast. The process, however, has become a little bit more sophisticated with environmentally controlled techniques during its production, rendering it both as an art and science. Winemaking can be done at home due to the ease of the process. The best time to try out winemaking is in early autumn when grapes all over are maturing in vineyards and backyard gardens. Wine is made from an array of grape varieties, but the general methods, apparatus, and ingredients are the same. Below are the required equipment and processes to follow in the winemaking process.
Basic Winemaking Equipment
- Huge nylon draining bag
- Three 1-gallon glass containers to be used as secondary fermentation vessels
- Acid titration equipment
- Clear, elastic half-inch diameter plastic tubes
- Fermentation lock and stopper
- Five 750-ml wine jugs
- Hand corker
Steps to making wine
- Rinse and sterilize equipment to be used, advisable to clean and rinse immediately before using.
- Select grapes to be used and use only quality looking ones.
- Thoroughly wash the grapes.
- Carefully remove stems.
- Hinging on the quantity of wine you desire to make, if its small-scale production, use of hands to crush the grapes to discharge the juice into a primary container will work, but if its large scale a fruit press is needed.
- Add wine yeast.
- Using a hygrometer, measure the sugar levels and it reads below 1.010, adds dissolved sugar to boost the low levels of alcohol and stir thoroughly.
- Cover the fermentation bucket with a thin, clean cloth for a period of one week to ten days to allow fermentation to take place. During the days, you should see foaming occur and froth developing at the top and sediments falling below.
- Carefully drain the fluid to filter the sediments from the foam.
- Run the liquid through a funnel into disinfected glass fermentation bottles, filling it to the top to moderate the amount of air entering the bottle.
- Seal the flasks airlocks.
- Let the juice ferment for several weeks.
- Using a plastic tube, tap the wine into another fermentation container to separate the wine from sediments which form as wine ferments.
- Continually siphon the wine off the residue occasionally for about two to three months until wine is running clear.
- Using cleaned plastic tubes, run the wine into bottles allowing space for the cork and half an inch or so additional space.
- Insert stoppers.
- For three days, store the wine in vertical positions.
- Once the three days are over, store the wine at a temperature of 55 degrees F. In case of red wine, storage should be a minimum of one year while white wine is ready to drink after six months.