Basic Winemaking from Grapes or Fresh Fruit
- Prepare and clean all equipment, inspect for cracks or damage. Sterilize with sulfite solution. Drain well. Sulfite solution: 1 oz dissolved in ½ gallon water.
- Prepare fruit, grapes or concentrates according to recipe.
Check specific gravity: average starting gravity should be 1.080-1.095 (increase with sugar, decrease with water)
Check acid: fruit wines 0.50 tartaric
White wines 0.70-0.75 tartaric
Red wines 0.60-0.65 tartaric To increase acid, use acid blend. To decrease acid, use water and sugar, or calcium carbonate. If water and sugar is used, correct hydrometer before proceeding with recipe.
Pectic enzyme: helps clear white wines, aids in extracting the most color and flavor of all wines.
Yeast nutrient: gives yeast a boost. Use as directed.
Tannin: adds astringency to red wines. Use as needed.
Campden Tabs: Fresh fruit: add 1-2 tabs per gallon 24 hours prior to adding yeast. For all wines, use ½ tab per gallon at first racking, ¼ tab per gallon at each additional racking, 1 tab per gallon at final racking.
Yeast: 1 pkg. for 1-5 gallons, for larger quantities, make a yeast starter. Rehydrate in a little warm (not hot) water just prior to use. Yeast Starter: either follow directions of yeast starter culture, or make orange juice starter.
Bring 1 cup of orange juice and 3 cups of water to boil. Cool, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient. Put into starter bottle, add yeast, and attach fermentation lock. Activate for 1-2 days. Add to must.
- Fermentation lock: fill half way with sulfite solution.
- Clearing agents: use 30 days after fermentation is complete or 2 weeks prior to bottling. Follow directions for use. If using a kit wine, follow directions given.
- Bottling: soak corks prior to bottling in cool, boiled water. Make sure corks are fully submerged in water. Drain, then soak for 10-30 minutes in sulfite solution. Insert into bottles using corker. Keep bottles upright for 48 hours after bottling, then lay down for storage. Let age a minimum of 3 months before drinking. Wines made from grapes will vary in the amount of bottle aging time needed for maturation.
- Wine Filters: adds the final finishing touch. Aids in faster maturing of wine, eliminate sediment in bottles.