How to Make Wine - Introduction to DIY Winemaking at Home

You might consider learning how to make wine if you enjoy a glass of vino every now and then. This is actually good advice, especially if you are prepping for a time when it won’t be possible to run down to the nearest store for your favorite vintage.

Many people do make their own wine, as it requires more patience than anything else but some skill is necessary otherwise, everyone would create their own refreshing beverage and no demand would exist for manufactured alcohol. You should also know, that as long as you are over the age of 21 and do not plan on selling your homemade wine, which is completely different from moonshine, it is completely legal.

Getting Started

You can make wine from a variety of fruits and wild grown flowers, such as dandelion, but before you decide on which recipe to use, you first need to obtain the equipment and supplies necessary to create your own brand of wine. It is also important to know the time and effort that goes into maintaining and cleaning these items so you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to commit to this task, even if it is only one time.

How to Make Wine: The Supplies

If you want to know how to make your own wine, you first need to know that a large plastic water bottle or glass jug, a rubber stopper and an air-locking device are some of the necessary supplies. For the air-locking device, you may opt to attach a balloon to the jug opening using a rubber band, buy some PVC pipe and vinyl tubing or purchase a three-piece commercial airlock, all of which cost under five dollars.

Additionally, you need a stirrer, bottles, sanitizer, a siphon, a funnel and a turkey baster. The sanitizer is very important and while you could use bleach, which you must follow with a very thorough rinsing, or iodine, the recommended products are BTF Iodophor and Star-San 5 Star. As for the siphon, it should be five to six feet long and for a couple of dollars more, you have the option of buying an automatic one, which is advisable.

Lastly, and most importantly, you need real sugar, no sweetener substitutes, water, though not distilled, and yeast, preferably wine making yeast and not baker’s yeast, as this is the ingredient that causes your fruit or flowers to become wine and does affect the taste.

How to Make Wine

Now that you have your supplies, you probably already have a recipe in mind, so you can begin by putting the fruit, flower or juice in the jug, with the water and the sugar, which you then need to shake very well. Next, prepare your yeast according to the directions on the package so that it hydrates, at which time you need to add in and stir the sugar. Once the yeast begins to foam, add it to the jug, shake it very, very well and immediately move on to the next step.

Remove the lid from your container or jug and replace it with the balloon, which you need to securely attach to the opening, ensuring the rest of the balloon is inside the opening, not hanging on the outside. Now, all you have to do is wait and occasionally check to see if the balloon inflates, a sign that the yeast is fermenting the liquid. If the balloon is not inflating within a day, the yeast is probably not active and you need to add new yeast.

The Finished Product

Now that you learned how to make your own wine, you are almost ready to enjoy it, as a few more steps must take place. After a period of two weeks, the yeast is dead, the fermentation process is over, and the wine is ready for drinking or aging. However, at the bottom of the jug is all the dead yeast, which you can drink but do not want to, so you simply siphon the wine into another bottle, leaving about an inch of sediment in the original container. You should now have two bottles full of wine to share with friends or save for a special occasion.

Learning how to make wine is not rocket science but it does take time to master the flavors and techniques, as you do not become a wine connoisseur in just two weeks. Still, it is fun, likely to impress others and you can control what goes into your wine, like sulphates, which you should avoid using whenever possible.

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