Wine Making

    Wine Making

      There are some basic things that you will need to make wine, these can be bought from a Homebrew shop, or online.

      Demi Johns (DJ), these are normally glass vessels that contain a gallon, or 4.5 litres. I have never bought one, I have about 20! I get mine from freecycle/freegle.
      Airlock and cork, these are plastic one way air devices that sit on top of the Demi john. They are used with a rubber bung/cork, that has a hole in it. The idea is that excess CO2 escapes from the DJ, but O2 doesnt get in (unless you are making vinegar!!)
      Fermenting Bucket these are plastic buckets of varying sizes, I like to start my wine in the bucket and once it has calmed down, I transfer the wine to a DJ, they have lids, some have holes in the lids for airlocks (can be useful), they are easy to use when you still need to add more ingredients, as they are easy to get a spoon into to mix. You can get different sizes, I have a 30l, a 25l and a 10l.

      Other useful things – funnel, plastic tubing, tap, long handled spoon, bottle brush.

      Yeast – You can buy a pot of basic wine making yeast quite cheaply, or you can spend about £1 on a specialist yeast. I always used specialist yeasts, but recently I have started using Youngs wine yeast.
      Nutrients – Some of the fruit (or veg or flowers) that you ferment are lacking in the nutrients that are needed to feed the wine and make a good wine, so these need to be added. You can buy ‘Nutrient‘ which contains a standard mix, but sometimes you will also need to add other nutrients e.g. Citric Acid, Tannin.
      Pectolase  or Pectic Enzyme – Some fruits contain pectin, this is th stuff that makes jam jammy! You want to make wine and not jam, so you will need to add this to kill/neutralise the pectin. You only need about a tsp if you add it before fermenting, but if you do not add enough, you could end up with a pecin haze – I get these a lot!! Imagine little balls of jelly floating around in your wine! Yep, thats the pectin, it will stop your wine clearing, so you will then have to clear it by adding the pectolase/enzyme! And by the time it has fermented, you need a lot more enzyme than before, around 3-4tsps. (If you want to know more about this ask me)
      Steriliser – Everything needs ot be spotlessly clean (and washing up liquid residue rinsed off first), you are fermenting fruit, it is going off, you do not want it producing the usual rotting yeasts/moulds or bacteria (unless you are making Cider – but that’s another story). Most wine makers use Campden Tablets – you grind them up and use 1 tab in a DJ, (they can also be used for stopping a ferment, but again if you want to know more ask). But I use Milton – it is a baby steriliser, sterilizes in 15 mins (but I usually leave for 20), and once rinsed well with cold water (twice) it does not leave any taste (like some other sterilizers you can buy) I find it handy to have a fermenting bin full of steriliser and I put everything I will need in the bucket.

      There are some other nutrients, and products, but I have not come across them yet for anything I have made, so I do not know anything about them!!

      Then when it’s made, you will need bottles, corks, a corker, shrinks and labels.

      Other useful things are a funnel, a sieve, cheesecloth/muslin/nylon straining bag. It is useful to have a set that you justuse for wine making.
      I have also used a masher, a passata maker, but these can be used for other things that I need them for too.

      This may sound like a lot of stuff, but once you have got most of it, you will just need to replace the consumables as they run out.

      I think this is everything, if I think of anything else I will add it later.

      EDIT Bottles!! Save your wine bottles, get your friends to save their wine bottles! Make sure they are rinsed out as soon as they have been emptied, otherwise it can be a problem if mould grows in the bottom. They have to be the bottles that have corkd tops, the screw top ones are narrower, so you won’t get a cork in them!


One thought on “Wine Making

  1. ive got two lots of very cloudy pear wine (2 x 23 lts) how much pectin per gallon do i need? ive tried finnings but not clearing, thanks rob

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