How To Make Wine
Introduction to Wine Making
Do you want to impress your friends by serving perfect home made wine? Or you just want to get in the know about how to make wine at home? I tell you, there are infinite ways of making wine at home. Here, we are going to describe the simplest, the most practical method of wine making. If you want to skip this and check out the more advanced techniques, click here. Nevertheless, on this mini-site, I am trying to give you a brief introduction to wine making and recommend some sources where you can develop yourself, if you really want to learn how to make wine.
We are going to use “100%” grape juice bottles or boxes of 1 liter, which can easily be found in many stores. Which brand? That is your choice. However, beware: even some famous brands may produce really bad results. Most probably, their juices are not exactly “100%”. Thus, we advise you to choose a “reliable” grape juice brand.
The method described on this site is probably the easiest way of making wine, thus it is perfect for a beginner who just wants to learn how to make wine at home. Here is what we'll need:
- 3 bottles or boxes of 100% grape juice (i.e. 3 litres)
- 4-6 empty glass bottles
- Baker’s yeast (dry)
- Granulated sugar
- Paper napkin (clean/odorless fabric)
- Rubber bands or cellophane tape
- 2-3 cl water
- a funnel.
The Fermentation Process
Now it is time to start explaining how to make wine. First, divide the 3 bottles or boxes of grape juice into four. Thus, you will need an empty bottle. You can use cleaned wine or juice bottles of 1 liter.
Now, you have four bottles/boxes containing 75 cl grape juice. Add 2.5 (two and a half) tablespoons of granulated sugar to each of them and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Granulated sugar is necessary to increase the alcohol volume of the wine to about 10-11%. During the fermentation process, the sugar content of the grape juice and the extra sugar will turn into alcohol.
Put 2-3 centiliters of clean water (room temperature), ½ teaspoon of baker’s yeast and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar into a glass. Mix it until sugar and yeast are dissolved. Cover the glass and put it in a dark place. Depending on the air temperature, a relatively thick layer of foam will form on the surface of the water within one or two hours (faster at higher temperatures).
Add 1/4th of the layer of foam and 3 teaspoons of water with yeast and sugar to each of the four grape juice bottles/boxes. You may shake the bottles/boxes in order to ensure complete mixing.
Then, in order to prevent air inflow and allow the outflow of gases produced during the fermentation process, seal the necks of bottles/boxes using napkin. 3 layers are sufficient for wider necks and 2 for narrow ones. In order to fix napkins, you may use the rubber bands or cellophane tape. However, do not forget to allow the outflow of gases to be produced during fermentation; i.e., do not fully cover the napkin with a cellophane tape. Otherwise, you will experience overflow.
Finally, place the bottles/boxes in a dark place as odorless as possible (in fact, during all phases of wine making, the environment should be as odorless as possible).
The ideal fermentation temperature is about 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). At that temperature, the fermentation process will take about 9-12 days.
At the end of 9-12 days, layers of sediment will have formed at the bottoms of bottles/boxes. Now, you have a turbid alcoholic juice.
Bringing it One Step Further
In order to revitalize the process of fermentation and to minimize turbidity, you should transfer the liquid three or four times at regular intervals (one or two days). Transfer the four bottles/boxes into 3 bottles of 1 liter, however, do not transfer the sediment. Thus, there will be some loss during each transfer.
After each transfer, seal the necks of the bottles as described above and put them in dark/odorless places.
You can reuse your old bottles after cleaning them with water and if necessary with the help of a toothbrush.
Meanwhile, taste your product during each transfer. If it is too sweet, sugar has not turned into alcohol and you should wait longer before the next transfer. If it is too sour, you should make the next transfer sooner than you have done the previous one.
During the last transfer (third or fourth one, depending on your choice), try to minimize bubbling.
Hey, your wine is ready to consume! Cheers!
If you want to refine your wine through aging, you may transfer your tasty product into wine bottles. Fill the bottles as much as possible in order to minimize the air remaining in it. Remember, this process needs a cool and dark place and you should place your bottles horizontally. Depending on your patience, you may wait 1, 3 or 6 months. However, do not forget: A bad wine will not become tasty through aging… Age your good products only.
How to Make Wine - Further Resources
So, you have just produced your first bottles of home made wine. Hopefully, it has been a great success and you can impress your family and friends with it. But make no mistake, this method is only the first step on your journey of becoming a wine making expert. I can recommend you two great resources, which I have used too in learning the various ways and techniques of wine making. If you really want to learn how to make wine, there is plenty of other books out there, but in my humble opinion these two are the best. (Both come with an 8-week money back guarantee, so you really do not risk anything if you give any of them a try.)
Making Great Wine
This is a great book for beginners, including detailed, specific instructions and a huge collection of wine recipes. If you fancy fruit wines, root wines, flower wines or other exotic types of wine, this book is just the right choice for you.
Wine Making At Home
This book comes with an audio interview from an expert wine maker, which makes it a good choice for beginners and advanced wine makers alike. You can pick up some really good tips from it on how to produce even award winning wines.
I wish you good luck on your journey!