The winemaking industry is a very booming business here in America and all around the world. For generations upon generations, wine has been a way to bring people together. It is symbolic of letting loose and celebrating the good times with the people around you. The purpose of wine as a way to celebrate and bring people together has not changed at all. People to this day use wine as the best go-to for parties, celebrations, birthdays, or even having some special time with that significant other. No matter the reason, people love wine and they cannot get enough of it. I mean it makes sense when you think of all the uniqueness that wine can offer to your taste palate. It truly is a drink made for everyone no matter their individual tastes and preferences. The art of drinking wine is shared by many and this is no lie, but what about the art of winemaking? Many people do not know much about home winemaking since people can get very busy and i mean why even spend all that time making your own wine when you can just get bottled greatness from your local store? Well just like drinking wine brings people together, winemaking also has the power to create a great time between friends and families! If you are not set on the idea of making your own wine then maybe we can illuminate the concept of winemaking for you so you see it from our point of view.
Benefits to Home Winemaking
No Dent in Your Wallet/
One great benefit to giving home winemaking a try is that it does not create a crazy dent in your pocket! If you do end up enjoying the process of home winemaking (which I guarantee you will!), then you can rest easy knowing that you can still enjoy quality wine for an inexpensive price. Once you factor in the price of all the supplies and equipment needed to make wine at home, you will actually find that it really does not cost that much when compared to how much you can end up paying for a bottle of wine. In addition, making additional batches of wine can end up being as low as $3 per bottle.
You Do Not Need to Have Master Skills
Another amazing thing about making your own wine is that you honestly do not need to have serious winemaking skills or a passion for wine to know to how to make wine at home. Winemaking is something that everyone can partake in You can purchase easy wine making at home kits with very detailed instructions on what to do so that you know what you are doing. Over time it will only get easier and easier and then you will ask yourself why you didn’t think of doing this sooner.
Experiment to Your Own Individual Tastes
The great thing about making your own wine is that you get to call the shots on what flavors or aromas you want to go for! This means that winemaking becomes even more personalized to your own individual taste palate. Everyone enjoys different things. We are all unique in our own way and the great thing about wine is that the industry of wine acknowledges the many profiles, tastes, and aromas of wine that may suit an individual person. When heading out to the store it is very natural for a person to stick to a certain type of wine once they know that it is the type of flavor they are looking for. Over time though it can get very mundane to grab the same type of wine over and over again and people acknowledge this but don’t buy other types of wine for the fear that they will spend a hefty price on a wine they think is good, only to find out that they do not like it at all. You can put those fears to rest when you decide to make your own wine at home. At home wine making offers you the chance to branch out of your normal wine varieties and you can branch out knowing that at the end of the day it is completely inexpensive and you aren’t breaking your wallet while trying to find new flavors to love. Once you have become accustomed to how winemaking works then you can feel free to spice up your winemaking to whatever suits you!
Make Some New Friends
Winemaking (just like wine drinking) can connect you to a plethora of people. You now have the possibility of creating new friendships and keeping old friendships together. Many social media accounts and blogs online actually work hard to make new types of wine to share with others online. People love it! Checking out what others make is actually a lot of fun and it gets people talking and asking questions about how they do their own wine process. It becomes a great way to connect with other people and pour your energy into a fun and stress-free hobby!
The Feeling of Accomplishing Something New
Winemaking is great in the essence that it offers you the chance to feel that amazing feeling you get when you accomplish something new. Nothing beats actually working hard on something new or out of your comfort zone and then having the chance to experience the end result. Pouring and drinking a wine that you made from your own hands will make you feel incredibly proud of yourself and I can guarantee you that once you know that feeling you will want to experience it over and over again. If the wine isn’t up to your standards or you think you messed up somewhere then no problem. Supplies are inexpensive so you brush it off and get back into the kitchen and work on your art of winemaking until it becomes the wine of your dreams!
Lose the Stress
I mean we often forget that the reason we drink wine is because we love how wine makes us feel. It gives amazing flavors and offers us a feeling that makes us feel as if our problems or stresses in life become just a little less important than they were before. Winemaking can offer you that same thing. Winemaking is in no way a stressful hobby to undertake (and it isn’t supposed to be!). You can enjoy winemaking as a way to destress from a stressful day or week and unwind with a significant other, friends, or even by yourself (because having some time to yourself is super important too!).
How to Make Your Wine
Alas hopefully the benefits listed above will make you excited to get started on your own wine making! Check out the basic equipment and ingredient checklist so that you know what you need to have before you begin your winemaking adventures! The list may seem like a lot at first but keep in mind that a majority of the list is equipment so once you buy it you will never need to continuously buy more equipment, therefore as you continue to make wine, the price of your winemaking will soon be very inexpensive to the amount of money you pay at the store for each wine bottle.
Checklist of Equipment
● One 4-gallon food-grade plastic bucket with a lid
● Three -gallon glass jugs
● Three airlocks
● A funnel that can fit into the mouth of the glass bottles
● Hydrometer for measuring sugar levels
● A rubber cork
● About 20 wine bottles (keep in mind that you need about 5 bottles per gallon of wine)
● Nylon mesh straining bag (large)
● Hand corker
● A 6 ft. of clear half inch plastic tubing
● Pre-sanitized corks (number 9-size)
Checklist of Ingredients
● Many, many, many wine grapes
● Granulated sugar
● Filtered water
● Wine yeast
Keep in mind that the checklist of ingredients is very basic and you can continue to add more and more to the list to make your wines fancier and more suited to your taste.
You are now ready to begin your wine process! Let’s hit the basics to get you going!
1. Make sure that all equipment is sterilized and cleaned properly. You can ask people at the wine store for all kinds of bleaches, detergents, etc. that you can use to make sure that everything is cleaned properly.
2. Select the best grapes from your pile of grapes. Toss out any grape that looks odd or is completely rotten. The better selection of grapes, the better your wine will taste! After selecting such grapes, be sure to wash them thoroughly, while removing the stems from each one.
3. Your primary fermentation container will be the one 4-gallon food grade plastic bucket. Crush all your grapes to release the grape juice into this container. The best results will happen through using your hands over anything else. If you are making a large amount of wine then you can go into renting a fruit press instead!
4. Add in your wine yeast.
5. Use your hydrometer and poke it into the must (your grape juice). If the hydrometer reads anything less than 1.010 then you should heavily consider adding in more sugar. If you are adding sugar the proper steps you should follow include first dissolving the granulated sugar into pure filtered water. This sugar will also help to boost low alcohol levels. Then stir the sugar and must thoroughly.
6. Cover up your bucket with a cloth and allow this mixture to ferment for about one week to 10 days. As the days pass by you will notice that fermentation will cause a froth to develop over the top of the must, allowing for the sediment of the must to fall to the bottom.
You are On Your Way!
1. You have now reached the middle of your wine making process, congratulations! So far, so easy! Now just take you must and use a strainer to gently strain the liquid from the froth and sediment.
2. Run the juice through a funnel and allow the funnel to pour the juice into your second fermentation containers (this is the 3 1-gallon glass jugs that we talked about earlier). Aim to fill up the top of the jugs so that you have the least amount of air reaching the wine mixture.
3. Fit the containers with airlocks.
4. Now continue to let this juice ferment over the duration of several weeks.
5. Then using your plastic tube, siphon the wine into clean secondary fermentation containers. This is to once again help aid in the process of separating sediment from the fermented wine.
6. Continue to siphon the wine off the sediment periodically for about 2-3 months (also known as racking), until your wine has become clear.
1. Whew! You have come a long way from where you begin and your hard work will not pay off! Run your clear wine into bottles using clean plastic tubing. Leave space at the top for the cork and about an extra half inch of room.
2. Insert your corks into the wine bottle.
3. Store your wine upright for the first three days.
4. After three days have passed, store the wine on its side at an ideal angle of about 55 degrees. For red wine allow it to age for about a year. White wine on the other hand only needs to age for about 6 months! After this step, voila! You are done and ready to enjoy this amazing wine that you have worked so hard for!
Winemaking does not need to be difficult at all! Yes, a lot of time and patience runs into it, but at the end of the day wine making turns into something that you can definitely be proud of! You can also do research on fancy new wine recipes and ingredients that you can add to this process so that you can experiment with your own tastes and preferences. Either way choosing to make your wine at home will never make you bored and can still keep the good times rolling between you and friends!