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Wines have been homemade practically since their creation. The process of winemaking is officially known as vinification. This process includes the production from the fruit of your choice to the fermentation and bottling the delectable final product.
Much like with baking, winemaking or vinification is a science. It takes a good amount of study and know-how to perfect DIY wine. The science behind wine creation is known as oenology, or the study of wine. While the process of growing grapes is known as viticulture. There are hundreds of varieties of grapes, meaning many decisions must be made when making your own wine!
Homemade Wine: The Two General Categories
As most wine enthusiasts are aware, there are multiple different types of wine. We have our choice of red wine, white wine, rosé, and champagne. Due to their different and delicate natures, they all take different processes in order to create them. There are two general categories of homemade wine making.
These categories include still wine production and sparkling wine production. The differentiation between these two is that still, wine production lacks carbonation. Sparkling wine production, of course, calls for the use of carbonation that either comes naturally or is injected. Red wine, rosé, and white wine fall into their own categories along with others.
The majority of wines are created from grapes. Although it can be made from other fruits and plants. Some of these other varieties include fermented honey, H2O, kumis, and fermented milk. Additionally, some wines have other base ingredients including different fruits, flowers, and herbs. These fruit wines are especially popular with DIY winemakers.
Making Homemade Wine
When making your own wine, there is a great deal of preparation that goes into it. The same goes for making any of your DIY alcoholic drinks. When it comes to preparation, there are a few things you are going to find yourself in need of. Without these things, the DIY wine will be more difficult to produce!
Whether making wine made from a concentration of the fruit, the equipment needed is very much the same. When you are deciding what equipment you need, you need to figure out how much fruit you will use. It takes around 4 – 6 pounds of fruit per gallon in order to produce your wine. Therefore, for 20 pounds of apples, consider a 3-gallon carboy kit.
Here is a list of necessary equipment for most homemade wine:
- A press
- Fruit Crusher
- Some sanitizer
- Nylon straining bag
- Plastic fermenter with a lid
- Siphon tube
- Racking Cane
- Glass Carboy
- Bottling bucket
- Sulfiter (Bottle Rinser)
- A corker
Whether you are a beginner at DIY wine or you are somewhat advanced, these recipes are sure-fire successes.
DIY Wine Recipes: From Concentrate
If you plan on making wine from concentrate, then the recipe you use might be much simpler. So, let us begin by reviewing a humbler recipe that both saves time and makes great wine. This recipe calls for wine yeast, sugar, any non-citrus can of frozen juice concentrate, and lastly, water. To be more specific:
- A package of wine yeast
- 4 cups of white sugar
- A 12-ounce can of frozen juice concentrate WITHOUT citrus
- 3 ½ cups of water (more if needed)
Combine your wine yeast, sugar, and concentrate in a gallon jug. Fill the remainder of the jug with water. Next, you will secure a large balloon over the jug, held in place with a rubber band. Afterward, you want to place the jug in a cool place. As the sugar converts to alcohol, the balloon will fill with gasses. Once the balloon is deflated, the wine is ready to drink.
DIY Wine Recipes: Fruit
Some choose to craft wine from concentrate, which let’s face it, is the easy way for homemade wine. However, if you are looking for a true winemaker’s experience, making it from actual fruit is simply sublime. Below is the list of ingredients you will need in order to create successful DIY wine.
For this particular recipe, we will be using different equipment. Find the list below:
- A 3-gallon stoneware crock
- 2 airlocks with stoppers and siphoning tubes
- 3 1-gallon jugs
- A fine mesh strainer
- A funnel
Now you have some idea of the equipment you will need for fruit wines. Next, it is imperative that we take a peek at the ingredients. Depending on the flavor you desire you can choose between stone fruits, blueberries, apples and beyond. It all depends on personal tastes. Once you decide on the fruit, you will need the following:
- 4 pounds of the fruit of your choice, frozen for at least 3 days
- 2 pounds of organic white sugar
- 1-gallon water
- 1 tsp powdered yeast nutrient
- A package of wine yeast
First, you must bring your H20 to a rapid boil and add your sugar. Remove your fruit from the freezer and carefully add it to your crock while waiting for the sugar/water to boil. Next, slowly add the sugar and water mixture to your fruit. Make sure not to splash any on your skin! Mix your fruit and sugar water, then cover it with a cloth or lid. Leave overnight.
The following day, mash the fruit by hand. Next, add your yeast and mix thoroughly. Now cover it with both cloth and a lid. Leave it in the crock and stir it once a day for a week total.
Following this week-long period, you are ready to begin siphoning the clear wine into your gallon jug. With this amount of ingredients, you should successfully fill a gallon jug with a bit of room at the top. If you have any remaining, it is excellent for cooking!
Homemade Wine: A Rewarding Process
Whether you are a beginner at DIY wine or you are somewhat advanced, these recipes are sure-fire successes. With your fruit or concentrate, wine yeast, and proper equipment you should be able to produce a great product. This is not only a real learning experience but a fun, enriching and rewarding one as well. Whether this is your first, third, or 50th time making homemade wine, enjoy the process and most of all, the results!