Posted on 21 August 2012.
Posted on 05 August 2012.
Posted on 06 July 2012.
A number of different types of wine can be made and not all of them have to be made from grapes or fruit. Mead wine is one such wine and it is made from honey, it also happens to be one of the oldest forms of wine and it is known also known as honey wine. It is primarily made from three main ingredients and these are honey, yeast and water. The yeast is natural and comes from the version which is known as wild yeast.
In modern times these wines are made much more like other versions of wines but they tend to have longer fermenting times and the yeast is used in order to speed up the process. This ancient beverage also comes along with a number of other traditions, one of such traditions comes from the term honey moon which actually refers to an ancient tradition where a couple would take honey wine for a month after marriage because it was believed that it would help them give birth to sons.
At a certain time, people who made mead wine were skilled and specially trained men. The art of such winemaking was also a closeted and respected process, so much so that people who made wines in ancient times were considered very important persons.
For those who wish to change the flavor of their mead, certain things can be added in order to change the flavor. If spices are added to the mix, the name changes to metheglin. What this word means is medicinal liquor and the etymology comes from the welsh language. This name was given because spices and herbs in ancient times were known to cure medical problems and honey wine was used along with the mixture because it didn’t freeze during the cold winters.
Certain people added fruit to their honey wine and called it melomel. This helped these people make their fruit last much longer in summer when such fruit was usually prone to rot. In winter spices would be added and then warmed in order to create a winter delight. If medicinal purposes were intended, lavender or chamomile would be added. In order to spice everything up properly cinnamon or nutmeg would also be added too. Certain fruits were used and mixed along with the honey wine and these fruits included strawberries as well as blackcurrants. If the honey was required to be stronger tasting, more honey was used and the mix was called sack instead. Slavs from the East made honey wine and it tended to come with much more alcohol and they called their version Medovukha. It was much more like vodka with some honey mixed with it. One more type of mead was called Pyment and it was a mixture of honey wine as well as grapes. If white grapes were used in the mix, it was called white mead instead.
Different types of honey were used to make these wines and they all tended to depend on the place were a person usually lived. This honey could either be light colored with a light taste or as dark as buckwheat honey with a heavier taste but regardless, they all tended to result in very good honey wine.
Posted on 01 July 2012.
Of all the grapes used to make red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is easily the most popular option among winemakers. It is one grape that will surely result in a finely aged wine and it is also a wine which is guaranteed to improve as it gets much older. It can easily grow from a wine that is young and good to an excellent and superior wine with the most delightful of aromas. Sometimes it smells like blackcurrant and at other times it smells of cedar, flowers and even fruit. Other people claim new Cabernet Sauvignon wine smells like new leather, a taste which tends to smoothen out as the wine ages.
Some of the most profitable red wines made in the California are made from this popular grape out of all the red grapes available. These grapes were initially grown in the winemaking region of Bordeaux in France. Studies have been carried out which have tried to ascertain the true origins of this grape. Research however has shown that its origins can easily be traced to grapes such as the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes tend to be small and round, they tend to have very thick skins as well. This factor makes them more resistant to disease than any other form of grapes. These thicker skins mean that during the rains where many grapes experience damage, they stay free from harm. These grapes tend to ripen a little later than most other grapes but they have the characteristics necessary for great winemaking. It also adds to the reasons why the grape is popular among people on a global scale.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes tend to grow in areas where the weather is sufficiently warm enough but not extremely hot. The climate should be dry because this tends to give rise to a longer growing season. In terms of the soil, it shouldn’t be too fertile as this will result in the grapes not growing too well. If the weather is too cool or too hot or if the soil is overtly rich and if there is not enough sunlight or if the grapes are picked too soon, it will affect the quality of the grapes.
The popularity of the grape started as far back as the 1960′s. It’s a popularity was due to two reasons. One of these factors was due to the flavor of the grape and people felt at the time that the grape would become a collector’s item. These speculators were proved right and in time the wine attained the expected collectors’ status. It became so popular among a number of socialites as well as the nouveau riche who always want to remain in style. Regardless of the sort of aroma that you prefer, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes will always result in excellent wine. This is a fact whether you’re planning to make wine to serve to friends and family or you’re trying to make your own brand of wine which you’ll later put up in one store or the other for sale.
Posted on 09 June 2012.
Of all the terms that a person needs to understand in the winemaking process, there are a number of them which exist in order to describe the different tastes of wine.
Some people may feel that these things aren’t necessary. It could be felt that as long as the terms which speak specifically about winemaking and the terms which speak about winemaking are understood, nothing else needs to be learnt at all. This isn’t actually true, if you are unable to speak about the different tastes of wine, how then can you ensure that the wine tastes the way that you want it to? You will probably not be able to do so and as such you need to learn about an entirely new group of wine terms.
Lovers of wine will always say that the way wine tastes isn’t all about the flavor but the particular feel that it has in the mouth. This could be the case where you determine if wine feels sweet or tart. A tart flavor refers to wine that has a higher acid content and which was probably made from grapes that hadn’t completely ripened before they were turned into wine. Other than this, the texture of a wine explains the way that it feels when it is placed in the mouth. The weight of the wine tends to refer to the way the wine feels as well as its consistency. If the wine feels heavy or light when in your mouth, then it should be described as such.
If a person claims that the taste of a wine is balanced well, what they are telling you is that everything fits together perfectly. This includes things such as grapes, sugar, acids as well as the alcohol. No single taste dominates everything else and they tend to be all equal. It’s an excellent way for wine to taste. Wine which tastes supple is a wine that isn’t rough when tasted. It tends to pass over your palate quite fluidly.Wine which is called buttery refers to the taste and the texture of the wine. Wine which tastes charry means the wine tastes somewhat toasty. This can be achieved when the wine in question is aged in an oak barrel. A complex wine has an intense flavor and an equally intense bouquet. A dry wine is a wine that isn’t so sweet and wine which is off dry is neither sweet nor dry.
If a wine is called fruity, then it tastes of fruit. It may taste of fresh fruit, ripe peach or fruit that is as dry as a raisin. At certain times fruity wines tend to taste more like jam. A taste that most people are bound to find interesting is the oak taste. This taste occurs during the process of fermentation or more frequently when the wine is aged inside oak barrels. Flavors can also be added and can taste like a whole number of things as the aging process changes the flavor of wine a lot.
Posted on 27 April 2012.
A way to start off your winemaking experience is through the purchase of winemaking kits. By doing this at a reasonable price, you’ll have everything that is required for you to get started in your winemaking efforts.
An average kit has items such as a plastic fermenter with an airlock lid, a glass carboy with stopper, an auto-siphoning system, automatic bottle filler, hydrometer, corker, corks and a stirring spoon. These kits also tend to come with an instruction manual which will aid you in your efforts. These are all the items which are needed in order to create good wine.
Certain kits also come with supplies for cleaning such as a bottle brush and a sanitizer. The things that you have to add to the mix are the fruits that you need and the bottles that are required to make wine that you can seal with a cork. These kits will cost between one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars on the average.
With all these and your grapes, berries or any other winemaking fruit along with bottles, you will be prepared to make some great wine. This will usually be all that is required for your first winemaking efforts.
On the other hand if you have some experience with the process or you came up with wine that tastes a whole lot better than you hoped for and you wish to continue making your own wine, you need some additional pieces of equipment in order to ensure that your winemaking process is a whole lot simpler. This means investing some more money in certain gadgets.
It really depends on the type of wine which you are trying to make but you may want to use a fruit crusher instead. These fruit crushers range from anything such as hundred and seventy to about fifteen hundred dollars depending on what you’re rooting for. You have models which are completely manual and those which are electric models. You have those which are made for grapes and those which can crush fruits which are as hard as apples. Certain models will go further by helping you get rid of the stem and leaves easily.
One piece of gear most experienced wine makers would love to have is a press. Different kinds of pressers exist and they range from ratchet presses to bladder presses.
The ratchet press allows the juice to run out of the basket into a container beneath the contraption. It works by using a ratchet to press the fruit and get out the fluid.
The bladder press on the other hand uses water pressure. Winemakers tend to prefer this device because it is a gentler way that grapes can be pressed.
Both devices work excellently though and it’s all about your personal choice and your budget. Some of these devices cost as little as two hundred dollars to six hundred dollars, the bladder presses are the most expensive and they go for as much as seven to thirteen hundred dollars.
Posted on 27 January 2012.
Stirring the homemade fruit mash to make wine is important for fermentation. Learn how to stew the batch of organic wine at home in this free wine making video. Expert: Jeff Belli Bio: Jeff Belli heads his own business, Chi of Me, located in middle Tennessee. Coming from a family with a long tradition in gardening, Jeff is passionate about having a positive impact on Mother Earth. Filmmaker: Doug Craig
Video Rating: 2 / 5
Posted on 31 January 2011.
There are many different takes on what makes wine, wine. In some countries and localities, wine is only those drinks that are fermented with grapes. Others only consider wines to be those products that produced from a fermentation process where yeast and sugar get together to form alcohol. The only exception to this rule of thumb would be beer which is brewed and has a slightly different process from wine making. This is going to focus on those wines that are not based on the grape.
Mead – In some areas, and historically, mead is not considered to be a wine while many feel that it is simply a honey based wine. The same fermentation process is used in mead as in other wines so many modern wine makers are including this type of wine in their arsenal. The honey simply substitutes the sugar in the fermenting process and offers its own unique flavor. There can also be fruits added to create a different flavor in the wine.
Sake – Sake is also a wine that some do not consider being akin to grape based wines. Again, there is a difference in the fermenting process and many feel that sake is closer to beer than it is to wine. Making sake at home can be more difficult than making any other form of wine or beer. It is going to take a very patient and talented person to make sake from home. There are also many ingredients that may not be easy to acquire in the rice wine fermenting and brewing stages.
Fruit Wines – These are probably the most common of all of the non grape wine types and the ones that we a most familiar with. There is probably not one prison in our system that does not have a problem with inmates making their own versions of fruit wines from simply ingredients that they are offered every day. With this ease, many free people also experiment with many different types of fruits to come up with unique and tasty fruit wine flavors.
There are many more different types of wines that are made without grapes. Even worms and marijuana is used to make some wines. There is probably not much of a market for wine made with worms although there may be a market for the marijuana wine. It should be noted that marijuana is an illegal substance and should not be used for wine making purposes until it has be legalized by the government.
Posted on 12 July 2010.
If you’ve finally decide to make your own wine, the tendency is that you have a lot of questions which are yet to be answered. By searching through the Internet, you may have found the answers to some of your questions but there is no doubt that you will have some certain questions remaining in your mind. Your primary concern will probably be about whether it is legal for you to distill your own wine. There are a lot of movies which show people distilling wine in their basements in order to avoid getting in legal trouble. The last thing you want to do is end up in jail for your efforts and you may need to know about the legal issues involved in winemaking before you make your own brew.
The answer is that you shouldn’t be overly concerned about any legal repercussions. Making wine at home, provided you follow certain legal regulations is allowed. This was as a result of a law which was passed by the United States government in 1978 which allowed citizens to make wine in their own homes provided that they stuck to certain legal regulations. These legal regulations dictate how much wine you are actually permitted to make and you are not allowed to exceed more than one hundred gallons annually if you are a single adult. If you live together with other adults you have a limit of two times the amount for single adults.
You should also check to see if there are any other state laws which should be followed. Most states in the United States tend to stick to the federal version, unlike Alabama which only permits a meager five gallons of wine per household annually. If you live in a country like the United Kingdom, you’re perfectly free to brew as much wine as you want.
Since the legal issues are solved, the next thing which you’ll probably be bothered about is the amount of money which you will spend on buying the necessary equipment for your winemaking. You should ensure that you don’t make so much wine at your first attempt so that if you end up not liking your efforts, you wouldn’t have ended up making and wasting so much wine and money. In terms of your budget, you’ll probably need to spend about 100 dollars for your first winemaking effort. This amount of money should give you about five gallons of wine. As long as you have made the original batch of wine, the cost tends to drop to as little as sixty dollars per five gallons afterwards. This works out to less than three dollars per bottle of wine that you make. Something else that will reduce the costs greatly is if you grow your grapes or your berries by yourself.
A number of different advantages exist in growing your own fruit for your own wine. The best of all these is the pleasure that you derive from knowing that the wine you make comes from fruit that you grew with your own hands. It makes the whole effort completely yours while you save a lot of money on your winemaking efforts as well. I’m so hooked on winemaking and enjoy sharing this information.
If you’re that freaked out, of course consult an attorney – I’m not one – I’m just a handsomely bald Hungarian man who lives in Chicagoland and really likes to make wine at home. This hobby is awesome!
Posted on 17 June 2010.
Making wine on a budget can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, provided that one knows what one is doing. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from gathering all of your own fruit and grapes, then processing them into wine; the novice vintner may find it very efficient and more cost effective to invest money into a winemaking kit for their first few batches.
Most winemaking websites and supply stores have these kits for purchase, and they will include all you need to successfully make a good batch of wine. There are even kits available for mead, specialty and herbal wines. This way is a great way to begin a good batch with all of your ingredients together in place.
If you want to get your fruit and other ingredients in your own area of the country, farmer’s markets are an ideal place to save a ton of money. These markets are a place for local farmers and fruit growers to come sell their produce and are very popular during the summer months.
Since you are not paying for the supply chain and other cost associated with chain grocery stores, you can get a lot of fruit for pennies on the dollar as opposed to what you pay at a store. This is also a great way to support the local community of farmers in your area.
In my own area, I have seen a number of people who start their home winemaking operation by ordering their supplies online. While this is highly convenient, it is probably not the most cost effective way of acquiring fruit and supplies. At a local store, you can find most of the supplies you need without having to pay shipping costs, and it’s much easier to shop in your local area and find good deals.
There are numerous ways to save money by doing the above steps. Wine making in this way is not only fulfilling, fun and give one a lot of satisfaction, it also provides for cost effective solutions in wine making that most people would either overlook or not see when making their own wine at home.
Posted on 13 June 2010.
As you contemplate the prospect of making your next batch of wine you will need to decide whether you want to use fruit, such as grapes, or packaged fruit juices. Packaged juices are known as concentrates and can be easily purchased online as well as in home brewing stores. There are many advantages to using concentrates, including the fact that they come with easy to follow directions and usually all of the extra ingredients you may need. Many novice winemakers feel that concentrates are a great introduction to the process of winemaking. There are also advantages to using fruit rather than concentrates; however. The main advantage to using fruit is that you have more control over the process, and thus the results, when you use fruits.
For the most part, the process of making wine from fruit is similar to making it using concentrates. There are a few differences; however, and those differences are critical.
Before you begin, you will need to make sure that you have plenty of fruit. It is not uncommon for many novice winemakers to think they have a sufficient amount of fruit when in fact they do not. You will need at least 70 pounds of grapes in order to produce six gallons of wine. This is the equivalent of about two bushels. The one exception to this is if you are using wild grapes such as Muscadine. In that case you will only need about 25 pounds of grapes due to the fact that wild grapes tend to have a stronger flavor as well as more acid.
Since you will be dealing with a large amount of grapes, you will need to make sure that you have sufficient facilities to deal with them properly. Before you are able to use them to make wine, you will need to remove the stems as well as crush the grapes. Later, the grapes will then need to be pressed after they have had a few days to ferment.
You can easily remove the stems as well as crush the grapes by hand. For small batches of grapes, you can use something as simple as a potato masher to crush the grapes; just make sure it has been cleaned and sanitized first. If you are dealing with larger amounts of grapes it may be worth it to go ahead and invest in a grape crusher as this will speed the process along.
As previously mentioned, after the grapes have fermented for a few days, you will need to press the pulp in order to extract as much juice as possible. In the event you are making white whine, the grapes will need to be pressed directly after they have been crushed but before the first fermentation.
When working with fruit rather than concentrate you will also need to have a hydrometer on hand in order to assist you in controlling the sugar level. As you may recall, this essential in determining the alcohol level in the final wine so it is a step that must not be overlooked.
An acid test kit may also be helpful in controlling and monitoring the levels of acid that are present in your wine when you are using fruit rather than concentrate. When the acid level in the wine is too high, the resulting wine will typically have a taste that is too sour or sharp. If there is not enough acid; however, the wine may taste somewhat flat. An acid test kit will provide you with accurate readings and help you to determine whether you need to add water or acid blend for balance.
Posted on 23 May 2010.
As you go along with the winemaking process there may come a time when you have a batch of fruit that you think would make a great batch of wine. If you do not have a recipe available you may be tempted to begin throwing some things together and creating your own wine recipe. If you have been making some wine for some time, this is not normally a problem as long as you may sure you include important additions such as sugar and yeast. There are a few important guidelines to keep in mind; however, in order to make sure that everything turns out well.
First, you will need to take into consideration how much produce must be used. If you have only made grape wine in the past you may be tempted to believe that you will be able to use the same amount of any other kind of produce that you use when making grape wine. This is not the case. The main reason why you may not be able to use the same amount of certain types of produce as grapes is the fact that some types of produce are stronger than others.
The goal is to make sure that you achieve balance in your wine. If you are using a produce that is very strong and/or contains a high amount of acid then you will need to make sure that you balance that with some water for dilution purposes. Generally, the stronger the fruit; the less of it you will need. If you used the same amount of elderberries to make a batch of wine as you use to make grape wine, you will likely end up with a batch of wine that is practically undrinkable.
In order to make up an average five gallon batch of wine; however, you will need to add enough water to constitute five full gallons. If you are using wine grapes, you typically do not need to add any water at all to make up your full five gallons. On the other hand, if you are using something like ginger root, which is a much stronger flavor, then you will need to use a good bit of water because you will typically be using less of the actual produce.
You will also need to decide how much, if any, sugar you need to add to your developing recipe. With a lot of produce, you may not actually need to add any sugar because the produce may have enough of its own to support the fermentation process. If you are not sure whether the produce you are using needs to have any sugar added, use a hydrometer to test the juice. This is a very simple and easy to use device that contains a scale referred to as the Potential Alcohol. This scale measures the potential amount of alcohol that can be produced from the juice in terms of percentages from zero to twenty. This will give you a good idea of how much alcohol can be produced from the sugar level that is already present in the must.
For example, if you get a reading of 4 on the hydrometer then you know you have enough sugar to produce 4% alcohol content in your wine. This is not enough alcohol for most people; so you would need to add some sugar. If you wanted to increase that level to around 12% then you will need to begin adding sugar gradually and testing at intervals until you test it and the hydrometer attains a reading of 12. In most cases, one pound of sugar will raise the alcohol level by approximately 1%. Do keep in mind that it is usually not a good idea to try to produce a wine that with an alcohol content of more than 13%; however, because higher alcohol contents could interfere with the stability and balance of the wine.
Posted on 01 May 2010.
Most people commonly associate wines with grapes; however, it is entirely possible to make wines from fruits other than grapes. The production of wine using fruits other than grapes has become quite commonplace as the hobby of home winemaking has become more pronounced in just the last few years.
The process of making wines from various types of fruit is no more complicated than making wine from grapes. The only difference between making wine using grapes and other fruits is the fact that you may need to make some adjustments when using other fruits including sugar content and acid levels. This will mean a couple of extra steps that may not usually be necessary when making grape wine; however, winemakers who have made the decision to use different fruits report that the extra effort is well worth it as you can often produce a stellar wine.
Any number of different fruits may be used for making wine including peaches, watermelons, plums, strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries, gooseberries, pears, grapefruits, persimmons, pineapples and much more.
The first step in making wine using other types of fruit is the same as making wine using grapes. You will need to evaluate the fruit. Keep in mind that the resulting wine cannot be any better than the fruit that was used to produce it. This means that you will need to pay careful attention to the quality of the fruit that you use to make your wine.
Avoid fruit that contain excessive bruises and molds. Try to use only fruit that is completely ripe. Fruit that is not fully ripe tend to produce wine that is somewhat lacking in character. Make sure that you rinse off the fruit before the crushing.
In some cases, you may need to dilute the fruit with water in order to get a good wine. This is because certain types of fruit are too strong on their own without dilution. Other fruits have a level of acid that is too high without dilution and will result in a wine that is sharp tasting. Blueberry and gooseberries are both examples of fruit that require some dilution because of their natural acid levels. Take note that this is not the case with all fruits. Apples, for example, do not require any dilution. You may use pure apple juice with no worries.
The exact amount of fruit that you use to make your wine is dependent on a few factors. Really, there is not a single right formula when it comes to fruit amounts. If you want a dessert wine then you may wish to use more fruit in order to create a heavier, sweeter wine. On the other hand, if you want a wine that is lighter and crisper then you may wish to use less fruit.
In order to monitor and adjust the sugar levels as necessary when using fruits for your winemaking, it is necessary to use a hydrometer. The hydrometer will help you to easily determine the amount of sugar that is present in the juice and how much alcohol will be produce from the level of sugar that is present. This will aide you in understanding whether more sugar needs to be added to produce a higher alcohol content. A hydrometer is a tube of glass with a floating weight on one end. You will be able to gauge the sugar level by looking at how low or high the hydrometer floats once placed in the juice. Generally, there will be a meter on the hydrometer that indicates the alcohol potential.
You will also need to test and adjust the acidity as necessary when using fruits. This is imperative because acid levels can vary greatly among different types of fruits. There are two ways in which acid can be checked. One way is to use pH testing strips or litmus papers. This is generally a very fast and cheap way to check acid levels; however, it is not the most accurate way to check acid levels. The most accurate way to check acid levels is to use a process known as titration. A titration kit can be used to measure the acid level and how it will actually taste. If it is necessary to adjust the level of acid, you can do so using three different fruit acids. They are malic, citric and tartaric and they can be purchased either separately or in a blend known as Acid Blend. You can find these items in a home brewing store.
Posted on 28 April 2010.
As we all know, fermentation is one of the critical stages of winemaking. Without fermentation, it is impossible to create wine. In some cases; however, you may find that you have problems with the fermentation process. Usually, these problems will take the form of either fermentation that just does not occur at all or else is too slow.
One of the reasons that this may occur is that the temperature was either too cold or too hot. Remember that yeast cells are live and in order to become activated they require a temperature that is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, you should aim for around 72 degrees; however, if you drop below 70 or go above 75 degrees, you will have problems. When the temperature is too cool, the fermentation will likely not occur at all. When the temperature is too warm; however, the yeast can become damaged and will also perform poorly.
This is why it is critical to ensure that you have a stable temperature in the room where you ferment your wine. If the temperature in the room fluctuates, you will generally have problems. Basements tend to make the best places for fermentation; provided the area does not become too cool during the winter. In that case, you can provide a small heat source. Making sure that your fermentation containers are not placed directly on the floor may also help. You can also use a thermometer to monitor the fermentation. A floating thermometer can be placed right in the wine and you can lift it out when you want to check the temperature.
Improperly starting the yeast can also result in problems with fermentation. This is also commonly due to problems with temperatures. Most yeast packets require the yeast to be rehydrated, or moistened, with some warm water prior to use. Ideally, this should not cause any problems. That is, unless the water temperature was too warm. Most yeast packets call for the temperature to be somewhere between 95 and 105 degrees. If the water exceeds these temperature limits even just a small bit, the yeast is likely to be destroyed. As a result, it is unable to support the fermentation process.
As a result, it is important to make sure that you actually verify the temperature of the water before you add the yeast. In addition, it is important to make sure that you do not leave the yeast in the water for too long. Generally, you will need to leave the yeast in the water for about fifteen minutes. If you walk off and forget about the yeast and leave it in the water for even a few minutes longer, you will also run the risk of destroying the yeast cells. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the clock and make sure that the yeast does not remain in the water for any longer than 15 minutes at the most.
Adding too much sugar can also cause problems in the fermentation process. Remember that while it is necessary for yeast to have sugar in order to produce alcohol, you can add in too much sugar. When the sugar level is too high, it may begin to have a detrimental effect on the ability of the yeast to produce alcohol. This is why it is critical to verify the amount of sugar that is already present in a batch from the fruit itself before you add in any additional fruit. Remember that the fruit itself will have its own amount of sugar. This level can vary from one fruit to another, making it even more important to verify the sugar content level. A hydrometer can be used for this purpose. If you have not previously used a hydrometer it is a good idea to invest in one and become acquainted with it. A quality hydrometer can help you to avoid many of the problems that might otherwise ruin a good batch of wine.
Posted on 13 April 2010.
In making home made wine, there are certain necessary preparations that must be followed in order to make a quality wine. Within these preparations are seven easy steps one must follow in making home made wine and for success to occur.
1. Prepare the wine making fruit or materials by cutting up the larger fruit, bursting the skins on the fruit, chopping up fruits such as currents, and bruising heavily any ingredients like birch root, etc. Any large pits in the fruit of course should be removed.
2. Stir up all of the wine making ingredients, except for yeast, into what is called the primary fermenter. Collect any fruit pulp in a fermentation sack and submerge the sack into the wine making mixture. Add water to equal the batch to 5 gallons.
3. Cover the fermenter with a thin, clean towel or cheesecloth and wait 24 hours.
4. Lightly sprinkle wine yeast over the surface of the juice and then cover with a thin, clean towel. Allow this mixture to ferment for 5 to 7 days. This step cannot be overlooked.
5. After 5 to 7 days of fermenting, take out the pulp from the fermenter and throw away. Siphon the wine into a secondary fermenter very carefully, leaving all the sediment behind in the primary fermenter.
6. Attach the wine making air-lock and fill approximately half-way with clean water. Allow the juice to ferment an additional 4 to 6 week period or until the mixture turns completely clear.
7. Once the wine becomes completely clear, siphon it off of the sediment again. Stir in five Campden Tables found at your local wine making store that have been crushed and then bottle. When siphoning off sediment, unlike the first time you siphoned the wine, you want to leave all sediment behind, even if you lose a little wine.
These steps when followed correctly can and will produce a quality wine that you will surely enjoy. However, during the actual wine making process, it is extremely important to keep fermentation temperatures stable between 70 and 75 degrees F. Fermenting cool could and will result in the fermentation stopping before all the alcohol is made. Getting the fermentation too warm could result in off-flavors in the wine.
Posted on 08 April 2010.
Two of the keys to making a great batch of wine are testing and making adjustments based on those tests. There are two critical areas where you will need to perform tests and possibly make adjustments. Those are sugar and acid levels.
As you are already aware, the sugar level of your wine is incredibly important as it is the sugar that the yeast feeds off of in order to produce the alcohol. The amount of sugar that you start your batch with will ultimately determine the level of alcohol that is present in the final batch. In order to run these tests you will need to have a wine making hydrometer. This is not an area where you want to try and guess at how much alcohol and sugar is present.
The hydrometer gives you the ability to accurately test and measure the amount of sugar that is present in the juice and consequently the amount of alcohol that can be produced from the sugar. As a result, you will also be able to measure how much additional sugar you may need to add to the juice.
You can purchase a hydrometer online as well as in any winemaking store. It looks quite simple. It is comprised of a glass tube with a weight on one end that will float. Sugar levels are tested by reading how low or high it ultimately floats. Almost all hydrometers also have a scale on them. This is the Potential Alcohol scale. You can read this scale when you first start the fermentation process to determine whether you need to add additional sugar based on the amount of alcohol that you want to be present in the final wine.
If you determine that you need to adjust the sugar level in order to increase the alcohol level, you may wonder what type of sugar is the best type to use. There are many different types of options available. It is important to remember that each type of sugar will offer different characteristics. The different options include brown sugar, cane sugar, fructose, beet sugar, rice sugar, etc. Corn sugar and cane sugar are usually the cheapest and the most widely available; however, there is certainly nothing stopping you from experimenting with other sugar options if you have them available. Be sure to take notes so that you will know whether you want to use whichever type you decide upon again for future batches.
You will also need to test and possibly adjust the acid level of your wine. Remember that maintaining the right acid level in your wine will provide your wine with balance and character as well as assist in the fermentation process.
When testing acidity, it is important to keep in mind that it typically varies from one fruit to another. This is why it is so critical to test the acidity level and then make adjustments as necessary.
The best way to test the acidity level of your juice is to use a titration kit. You can find these at any winemaking store as well as online. This kit will help you to measure how acidic the wine will actually taste. For example, if there is too much acid in the wine then it will taste bitter or sour. If; however, it does not have enough acid then it will have a flat taste. Based on those readings, you will know whether or not you need to adjust the acidity level of your wine. If you find that you do need to make adjustments you can do so using one of three different fruit acids. They are citric, tartaric and malic fruit acids.
Once you are ready to bottle your wine, it is time to make any final adjustments that may be necessary. There are many ways in which you can adjust your wine in order to improve the flavor. Perhaps the easiest way to go about this is to simply experiment and find out what works well for you personally. By keeping notes, you will quickly discover what works and what you like and what should be avoided in the future.
Just a few ways you can adjust the flavor of the wine when bottling it includes blending it with other fruit based wines, adding spices or oak chips, body enhances or flavor enhances. You can even fortify your wine with something such as grain alcohol. The most critical rule that should be followed when making final flavor adjustments is to make sure that you adjust in small amounts. In other words, always experiment with small amounts rather than a full batch.