Wine is one of the most admired drinks around the world. There are hundreds of types of wine, and we all have our favorites. Homemade wine is a great alternative to store-bought drinks: when you’re the one making your wine, you know exactly what’s in it and whether it’s a high quality product, unlike many factory-produced wines. Find out how to make wine at home in a couple of simple steps.
Red wine vs. white wine
These two wines differ not only in taste and flavor, but also in production method. The basic process is similar: you take the juice from the grapes and ferment it for a set period of time. Red wine is fermented from the juices that come from grape skins, while white wine is fermented from the solid grapes.
Wine making may seem like an easy process, but it still requires a lot of preparation, and one of the initial steps you need to take is get the necessary equipment. If it’s your first ever time making this delicious drink, you’re going to need a plastic bucket with a lid, a smaller bucket with no lid, a fermentation lock, a basic kitchen strainer, a jug for measuring liquids, a soft cloth, 1 meter of plastic hose, and bottles for the wine to be packaged in.
How to start
The next step in making homemade wine is one of the most crucial ones – you need to thoroughly wash the equipment, preferably with very hot or even boiling water, so that the equipment is completely free of germs. Then you’ll need to sort your grapes, especially if you bought them in bulk and didn’t gather them yourself. Make sure there are no rotten or broken grapes, and look out for any foreign objects like insects or dirt; they can stay among the berries even after washing and spoil the quality of the drink.
What to do next
The third step in making your own wine or crushing the washed grapes. Factories use professional equipment, but if you don’t plan to make large quantities of wine, you’ll do fine with just your hands, the two plastic buckets, and a kitchen strainer. When making red wine, it is advised to leave approximately 30% of stalks on the grapes – they add tannin, an essential wine making ferment, and enhance the flavor of the wine. Taste a couple of stalks, and if they taste sweet and have brown coloring, it means they are exactly what you need. Crush the grapes, put the crushed stuff into the large bucket, and cover with the cloth.
It’s not as hard to finish the wine making process as it may seem. With red wine you simply need to leave the bucket covered with a cloth – not only does it protect the mixture from the flied and debris, but it also seals the flavor. However, you’ll need to leave the lid off, since it will prevent the fermenting gas from escaping. Keep an eye on the skins floating on the surface of the wine – they need to be wet at all times. Next your job is to monitor the fermenting process, which can take from a week to a couple of months. When the wine is ready, drain the drink through a strainer, applying pressure to the skins for some extra flavor, and bottle. Homemade wine can be stored in a fridge or a cool and dry place for months.