As people are becoming more and more self-sufficient nowadays, what’s wrong with trying to make your own wine? Obviously it will take time to be able to produce anything great but just because you’re attempting to make your own doesn’t mean that you can’t still buy a bottle of quality wine every now and again.
There are a huge number of home brewing kits out there now and if you use them then you’re pretty sure to produce a wine that you could actually drink. But where’s the fun in that? If you prefer your life to be a little more unpredictable and you want to go through the whole wine making process yourself then you’ll need some fresh grapes and the best time for perfect grapes is early autumn when they’re just becoming ripe.
There are loads of different types of grapes – that’s why there are so many different types of wines – and each grape will bring a different flavor to your wine. The type that you choose ultimately depends on where you live and what’s available to you. If you grow your own then that’s great but other people will be limited to whatever they can hold of at a market, green grocers or specialist store. One of the best and most popular grapes for making wine is vitis vinifera so if you can get it then make the most of it.
There is quite a lot of equipment that you need for making your own wine and all of this should be available from a home brewing store.
o Straining bag – preferably nylon
o Pail – enough to hold at least one gallon
o Flexible plastic tube
o Acid titration kit
o Glass jugs
o Bung for fermentation
o Wine bottles
Once you’ve got all of your equipment you need to inspect your grapes. You should squeeze a handful of the grapes and strain the juice from the pulp. Next you need to test the sugar level with your hydrometer; if the levels are around 22? Brix or 11% alcohol then it’s perfect.
As well as keeping an eye on the sugar levels you also need to monitor the acid levels with your acid titration kit. The acid levels depend on the type of wine that you’re making, for example, a dry red wine should have between six and seven grams per litre and white wines 6.5 to 7.5 grams per liter.
If your acid levels are below what they should be then they need to be adjusted with tartaric acid. For example, if you’re making a gallon of wine and your reading says that the acid content is 5.5 grams per litre then you need to add another one gram per liter (equivalent to 3.8 grams in a gallon). You should never add all of the acid in one go, instead pour small amounts onto a teaspoon and add it gradually.