Making your blend of delicious wine can be your next kitchen project. It’s pretty easy, although it takes a bit of time. With this simple 6-step guide, you can learn everything there is on how to make wine from grapes.
Step 1: Ready the Ingredients and Equipment
One of the essential parts of making wine is keeping the ingredients clean and ready. However, to know that there are the ingredients you will need, such as:
- 3-5 pounds per one gallon of Black Grapes (Wine Grapes)
- Additional Fruits (Optional)
- 1-1.5kl of sugar
- Spices (Cinnamon, Cloves, etc.)
- 5g-10g Yeast
- 150-200g Wheat
- 7-10mL Pectic Enzyme
- Container with a Tight Lid
- Pressing Tool (Wooden Spatula or Masher) or Pressing Machine
- Bottles with Cork
When it comes to the main ingredient, the grapes, you need them to be almost ripe but not too sweet. You can give the black grapes a taste and check if it has a slightly bitter taste. If yes, then it means the grapes are still not completely ripe.
With the additional fruits, the common varieties are citruses such as oranges or lemons. It adds a nice fruity note to the wine. However, adding fruit is an optional addition. Adding fruits is unnecessary if you want your wine to be bolder with grape flavors.
You must add around three to five pounds of grapes for every gallon of water. The different fruits can be based on the amount of fruitiness you want.
When it comes to the spices, it’s up to your preference. Cloves and cinnamon sticks are among the most famous herbs as they have a smokey and earthy aroma. However, you can add or remove some spices based on your liking.
A small amount of pectic enzyme will significantly help in your fermentation. It releases the excellent aroma of the wine. It also neutralizes the alcohol content for some neutral kick.
Step 2: Cleaning the Fruits and Containers
After completing the needed ingredients and materials, cleaning and sanitizing it comes first. When buying and harvesting grapes, most of them are still attached to the stems. So, removing it before cleaning comes first.
As you remove the grapes, you should also check if it’s tainted or damaged. Choosing excellent quality grapes is a crucial part of making exceptional wine. You should also sanitize containers and lids before use to remove the contamination risk.
You can clean the containers and boil them in the water before using them. This can ensure that the bacteria will die out.
Step 3: Pressing the Grapes
The next is pressing the grapes. Pressing refers to juice extraction from fruits, seeds, and peels. It lets the natural fruit juice out to blend with other ingredients. A disinfected container with an airtight lid would be best in this process as it keeps the bacteria and air out.
When it’s done in a winery, most use a machine that does the pressing. However, for homemade wines, not everyone has the pressing machine ready at home.
Fortunately, you can press your wine manually. This method goes a long way back, starting in ancient times. Using a wooden spatula, hands, or masher, you can extract the fruit juices.
You can also use a fruit juicer as they can process the grapes like a pressing machine. A food processor can also be a tool for pressing wine grapes. However, make sure to nut crush up and puree the juice. You want them to be broken down and not liquified.
Step 4: Adding the Ingredients
After pressing the grapes, the next is adding the additional ingredients. Most of the measurements will still depend on your preference. For example, the amount of sugar will affect the sweetness of the wine. The amount can range from 1 to 1.5 kilos per gallon.
Adding sugar is the way to go if you want a sweeter wine. However, if you are a fan of dry and bolder wines, then reducing sugar is needed.
When it comes to spices, you can either use them or not. Most herbs are used to give off an earthy note that can complement the fermentation. However, adding spices is not crucial if it’s not what you like.
The following ingredients are wheat and yeast. Be sure to activate the yeast with lukewarm water before adding it to the mix.
These ingredients help with the fermentation of the wine. It also gives off a nice flavor. However, if you want a gluten-free wine, you should not add these two ingredients.
Although you can stop at the all-natural homemade wine, adding a pectic enzyme tablet can help elevate your wine. It has an excellent purpose in boosting the aroma and breaking down pectin. Adding a small amount can give you an additional boost to the taste.
When adding the ingredients, continuously press the blend together. Then lastly, add a gallon of water, preferably spring or purified. Then, combine all the ingredients until they are well incorporated.
Step 5: Let the Wine Ferment
After combining the ingredients, shut the lid and let the wine ferment. You will need to let the water soak all of the juices without decanting the ingredients. Make sure that the doesn’t have any air leaking into leaking. Any form of contamination can lead the wine to turn into vinegar.
When pressing the ingredients, you can either use a food-grade fermentation bucket. It offers the safest and easy-to-check way to ensure your wine is fermenting. However, a clear mason jar can be an alternative if you don’t have it at home. It lets you see the fermentation process and keeps the bacteria from getting in.
Using a clay pot is also an option if you want a more traditional way. Ceramic and other standard tight lid containers can also be a substitute. They can also work well if you are working on a small batch of wine.
In the first part of the fermentation, the wine can take up to 15 to 21 days to ferment. Be sure to stir it with a wooden spoon or spatula every day. Then once it reaches 21 days, you can transfer the juice to a bottle.
Check if your wine is fermenting and doesn’t go bad. If you are using a mason jar, it’s easier to check as you can see the bubbles running up. A food-grade fermentation bucket also has a tool that shows the gas bubbling up.
When transferring, you should separate the juice from the ingredients. The contents of the bottle should be only the juice. Although you can already enjoy this bottle of wine, letting it sit for another week or two can boost the fermentation.
And that’s it! You can now make your own delicious wine with this easy 6-step process. You can customize and enjoy your drink with a bit of sweat and time.
How to Make Wine with Grapes Without Yeast?
Yes, making wine without yeast is feasible. If you have a gluten or yeast allergy, not using yeast is vital to the safety of your wine. Although some yeast has no gluten, most of the ones used in fermentation have. Although it’s a standard part of a winemaking process, you can make your wine without it.
As you can watch in this video, a particular method is commonly used in Italy to make wine without yeast or sugar. It’s almost the same steps in this guide, without the yeast as an ingredient. It results in a bolder wine with stunning red color. If you want to make your wine without yeast, follow those steps.
Benefits of Making Your Own Wine
Although making wine from grapes might take a bit of time, it also comes with its own benefits, such as:
When making wine, you can add and subtract any of your ingredients. Whether you love citrus or earthy blend, you can add or remove the fruits and spices in your wine.
This benefit can be great if you want the perfect wine blend. If you are allergic to a particular ingredient, making your wine can supplement that. Removing allergens can help you enjoy your wine more.
You can ensure the process is clean and sanitary when making your wine. If you have particular concerns about wine production, making your own can be the answer.
Traditionally making it can also be more sustainable. Most modern wineries and large production tend to produce waste and consume energy. Making your wine can help a cleaner process for the environment.
Excellent Kitchen Project
Whether you are a novice in the process, making wine is a relatively easy and trouble-free process. It can be an excellent kitchen project for you, especially if you are interested in the fermentation process. The ingredients are also inexpensive, so that you can start your journey without risk.
With this straightforward step-by-step guide on how to make our wine from grapes, you can have an excellent bottle of wine in the comfort of your home. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some grapes and start making some wine.