In full honesty making Wine is as easy as falling off a log
. Yes, you can
ferment your own perfectly palatable Wine at home with no or at best with very little effort.
Not only you can ferment Wine but also, you can experiment and tweak the wine making
process to give your Wine desired texture and taste. What is more, home made Wine
could be produced at the fraction of the cost of Wines sold in superstores.
Well, here we go then!
An as easy as pie Wine recipe - Grapes contain all the essential ingredients
for making Wine. Grapes literally convert themsevles into Wine. What you need to do
is crush the grapes to separate seed, skin and the pulp from the berries. The outside
of the grape skin already contains yeast which will initiate the fermentation proocess.
Alternatively, if you don't want to take the trouble of crushing grape
berries, you can use readily available grape juice
concentrate (without preservatives) and add some yeast to it. Now, you need to mix
some water and sugar syrup to
your grape juice and leave it for fermenting in a warm place for a few days. Siphon
your Wine off the sediment and enjoy!! It's that simple. Well, okay - if you are really
serious about making your own Wine, read the next one.
A little formal Wine recipe-
Even though they are not strictly necessary,
we still add some additives for making Wine such as Wine yeast, yeast nutrient,
pectic enzyme and citric acid. They all serve specific purposes which are described
Wine Yeast - There are two main reasons why we use yeast for making Wine. Firstly, it ensures
that fermentation leads to Wine not vinegar and it also prevents mold formation. Secondly,
Wine yeasts are engineered to ensure maximum alcohol content and flavor.
Yeast nutrient - It helps yeast to reproduce fast, hence leads to quicker fermentation.
Pectic enzyme - It facilitates juice extraction from pulp and in the clarification of the wine.
Citric acid - It aids in acid adjustment to taste in fruit Wines.
Campden tablet - Helps destroy wild molds and bacteria. Also, used with water
to sterilize winemaking equipments.
Potassium Sorbate - Generally added before bottling to help
eliminate the chances of re-fermentation while in the bottle. Also called as
Take approx. 500 grams of sugar and put it in half a litre
of boiling water. Leave the syrup to cool down. Add 3 litres
of grape juice (without preservatives), cooled sugar syrup, 1 teaspoon
of citric acid,
one teaspoon of Wine yeast and one teaspoon of yeast nutrient
to a 4.5 litre demijohn. Top-up the demijohn with cooled boiled water.
Half fill the airlock with water and insert it into the bung
to seal the demijohn. Keep it in a warm place (~21-24 Degree Celsius) and
shake everyday for a week. For next 3-5 weeks,
regularly check the specific gravity (sugar level) of the solution using a hydrometer.
For a dry Wine the remaining sugar level should be 0.990 - 0.996, for
a medium Wine 0.996 - 1.009 and for a sweet Wine it should be 1.009 - 1.018.
One you have achieved the desired sugar lever add two crushed Campden tablets and a little
potassium sorbate. Now, leave the Demijohn for in a cool place (~15 Degree Celsius) for
a week for Wine to clear. Some Wines may not clear on their own. If that's the case
add one teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Once clarified, your Wine is ready to be siphoned off
the sediment. Pass the siphoned Wine through a filter for a professionally refined Wine.
If you wish you may consume your Wine at this stage. However, for a remarkable
complexity and a
smoothly rich flavour age the Wine in your cellar
for another three-six months in oak barrels. Oak barrels will add vanilla, oak overtones,
butter and spice flavours. Aging in oak barrels also adds some tannins to your Wine.
Finally, transfer the Wine to sterilised Wine bottles and fit the corks with corking tools.
Leave it in the bottle for a few days before imbibing it.
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2007, 09:50 PM