Wine Making Header Image

 

Basics of Making Wine

Many wine collectors enjoy their wine so much that they turn it into a hobby and get into making their own wines. Some casual wine drinkers also enjoy this art of making wine and therefore also do it themselves. Whether one is a collector or a casual drinker, several factors should be considered in order to ensure that the process is successful. 

Most people make too much wine at the same time and this is among the biggest mistake they could make. It is wiser to make wines in smaller batches that one can easily focus on as opposed to making too much and running the risk of it not turning out as expected in the long run. Before making wine, all the equipment that will be used should be washed and sterilized well using glass cleaners.

To ensure that the yeast removes as much flavor from the fruit as possible, it should be frozen and thawed before use. Sterilize the fruit as well using sodium metabisulphate during the entire thawing process. 

Oxidation makes fermentation very difficult and should be reduced by crushing the fruit and removing the seeds while it is still in the sodium metabisulphate. Ensure that the fruit is protected from oxidation immediately after crushing and seeding.

Sterilize the sugar as well by boiling it in water for 3 minutes. It should then be poured over the crushed fruit to remove traces of sulphur dioxide. The liquid sugar should not be too hot as it will give the fruit a cooked taste, which extracts the flavors and is not good for wine making.

Another tip is using a starter bottle by mixing yeast and sugar of equal amounts in already boiled and cooled water and letting it ferment before adding the must. The tub used for making the wine should be big enough to allow the fruit to float freely on top and allow one to press it easily on the side of the tub about twice daily. Depending on the weather, the fermentation process should take about a week in cold weather and 4 days if it is warm.

If one wants to increase the body of the wine, a few sultanas or raisins can be added. A banana taste will not be noticed if just a single banana is used to increase the body. When adding sugar, it is important to do it in two phases and always leaving room for frothing at the top of the tub. The wine will take about 2 years to mature and should not be hurried or bottled too early. By doing this, one risks the chance of spoiling a wine that was well on its way to good maturity after two years.