Settling down with a good glass of wine can be quite a treat, can’t it? Sipping on a delicious vino has encouraged many people to begin brewing their own at home, with DIY winemaking gaining in popularity over recent years. If you’re interested in taking up the challenge of making a bottle or two of wine, here are three important things you need to know before you get started…
Winemaking can be quite a fun hobby that allows wine fans to experiment with different recipes and flavours, and they can take pride in their custom-made wine while sharing a glass or two with friends and family. And it can actually be a more affordable way to enjoy a good bottle of wine, compared to buying.
I’m actually considering planting grape vines as part of my garden landscaping project, with the aim of growing just enough to make a couple of bottles of home-made, home-grown wine. How fabulous does that sound? Of course there’s plenty of knowledge and skills involved in winemaking and you’ll need to have all the equipment and supplies ready to facilitate the process…
EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
Winemaking is a process that requires some essential homemade wine making supplies. It would help if you had glass or plastic fermenters to use during wine fermentation and there are two kinds of fermenters needed; a 30 litres primary and 23 litres carboy fermenter. The former is used on the first seven days of fermentation while the latter is used during the final stage. Also, a siphon hose and a racking cane are essential to transfer the wine from one fermentation bottle to another. Other supplies you must have are a stirring spoon, wine thief, cleanser, wine hydrometer, an acid test kit, wine bottles, and corks. Make sure you include all these items on your winemaking shopping list!
When wine comes into contact with dirt and germs, it can quickly spoil. So any equipment that comes into contact with your wine must be thoroughly clean and sterilised. It is crucial to clean them before and after use and basically, it’s just like washing the dishes but you should take your time cleaning each piece. Avoid using soap as it could affect the taste of your wine and it’s a good idea to use a sanitiser that kills the bacteria responsible for spoiling the wine.
For better a quality and taste to your wine, you need the right flavouring supplies. While a lot of the flavour will come from the grapes, some wine-making chemicals can be added to enhance the final taste of your wine if you prefer. When making fruit wine using fruit you’ve grown in the garden, you should use a peptic enzyme, which breaks down the fruit to extract its flavour.
Having the right acid level also improves the taste of your wine. Unbalanced pH affects the ability of yeast to activate, which prevents fermentation so test the pH of your wine to find out if it needs any adjustments. If the wine is alkaline, it will have a flat taste, and if it is acidic, the wine will taste sour. You can use a pH balancer like tartaric acid, which raises it to the required level.
Let me know if you’ve ever made your own own wine at home in the comments below – I’d love to know how it turned out! Always follow wine-making instructions to the letter if you’re going to make your own wine at home, otherwise the result may not be drinkable – or could even be harmful so please take care and only use official wine making kits.
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