Wine making

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Dan's Guide to winemaking

Making wine is pretty simple.

You need to obtain (I would recommend from your local brewer store):

  • 2x5 gallon PET or Glass bottle
  • Siphon tube
  • Stopper + bubbler (for gas to get out but not get back in)
  • 10 grape juice concentrate (or other juice, just not high acid)
  • Amount of water appropriate for the 10 grape juice concentrate
  • Yeast (Recommend EC1118 - http://www.lalvinyeast.com/images/library/EC1118_Yeast.pdf )
  • Some kind of cleaner, I use starsan, you can use iodine, just wash it out well when finished (you dont want to kill your yeast)
  • Between 3 - 8 LB sugar depending on how sweet you want your wine
  • Funnel, to make things easier

Process:

  • Add room temperature water to jug
  • Add grape juice concentrate
  • Add sugar, mix throughly
  • Put EC-1118 into luke-warm water, allow to come back to life for ~5 min (this will bubble if ok)
  • Add EC-1118 + water to 5 gallon jug
  • Put stopper + bubbler (with a little water or vinegar water) to allow gas out but not in
    • Wait for 2-3 weeks, try to store in dark temperature controlled place to prevent damage from light or too much heat. After it stops bubbling or at least very very slow bubbling, do the following:
  • "rack" the wine, by putting the siphon tube near the bottom of the bottle containing your potential wine, try to not suck up the gunk on the bottom, you will be leaving a portion ~1/2 to 1 inch of the wine at the bottom of this jug and discarding it.
  • You then siphon the wine from the current jug to the new jug, then cap it with the plug and bubbler like the last one.
    • Wait for 2-3 weeks, try to store in dark temperature controlled place to prevent damage from light or too much heat.
  • Bottle your wine, you may want to discard the bottom 1/2 to 1 inch of material for good measure.

Ronnie's guide to Winemaking:

If anyone would like to know how to turn grape juice into wine see Ronnie. I'd like to make a class and have everyone in attendance start a several gallon jug of wine. Below is a list of the main parts of it.

  • 1 five gallon water jug or brewer's carboy, clean or unopened
  • 4 gallons of grape juice (other juices and honey can work as well)
  • 4lb of sugar (one pound sugar per gallon of juice unless working with honey)
  • 1 packet or tablespoon baker's yeast
  • vinegar (to sterilize kit
  • 1 vaporlock or section of clear tubing

To get the wine started you only need the above. After 1-2 weeks the wine should be "racked" into a secondary carboy or water jug to be allowed to age until bottling or a secondary racking. This is really an easy and not very labor intensive process. Saving up the bottles to bottle and give out your glut of homemade deliciousness and making up a name for your housebrewed hooch is easily the hardest part of the process, but there are some pitfalls that having a little experience and theory on can help a lot with.