Oh how I love to make wine. I find myself making wine when I get bored making beer. If I end up getting in a stump on what recipe I should make next, usually I’ll turn my attention to making a batch of country wine.
Making wine in general is pretty easy. In a lot of ways I think it’s at easy or easier then making beer. I do have to make this one note though, I make country wine. I don’t make wine from kits generally. I’ll either buy the ingredients from the store or pick them from my own garden, because of this the wine recipes are generally small (1 gallon – 3 gallons). I do this for a few reasons: 1) It’s pretty old school 2) It’s what I learned from the time I was “mini home brewer Derek” 3) I feel you have a high level of control doing this versus buying a kit.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind for making your first batch of wine.
There are a few guide lines when making wine from scratch though, as well as a few pit falls.
- Use the correct yeast, not beer yeast or old yeast.
- Make sure you keep it clean and sanitary.
- Use good fruits and vegetables – fresh matters.
- Make sure that secondary fermentation doesn’t get oxidized.
- Don’t let wine sit to long on excess sedimentation.
- Know time is your friend, unless it’s vinegar just let it chill out – it will change in flavor.
A Few Pieces Of Equipment That You Will Want
- 1 gallon glass jug
- 1 2.5 gallon primary bucket
- Mini siphon
- Hose (5/16th”)
- Air lock
- #6 Rubber Stopper
- Nylon Straining Bag
- Wine Bottles (I prefer 375ml bottles)
- Bottle Washer
- Measuring Cups And Spoons
Chemicals Which You Will Want In Your Pantry
Acid Blend - Gives wine a bite, helps keep the colors from fading out. It will also help preserve your wine.
Tannin - Gives dryness to the mouth-feel to wine. It will also help clear and stabilize the wine.
Pectic Enzyme - This eats pectin up, and prevent haze.
Yeast Nutrient - Yeast food so you don’t get stressed out yeast
Stabilizer - Potassium Sorbate will prevent the yeast from growing again after you get the FG that you want
Campden Tablets - Potassium Metasulphite, you can use this as a sanitizer or also to kill the yeast.
Calcium Carbonate - This will help the wine become less acidic.
Now that we got that out the way time to get the fun part YOUR FIRST RECIPE!
3.25 quarts of water
2.5 lbs sugar or 3 lbs honey
3 lbs fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp acid blend
1/8 tsp tannin
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 Campden Tablet
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 packet Montrachet Yeast
- Put water and sugar or honey in pot and bring to boil.
- Wash berries in cool water and drain
- Put berries in nylon bag and place in primary fermenter
- Squish berries with clean hands or potato masher
- Pour hot sugar water over the crushed berries
- Add acid, tanning and yeast nutrient
- (If you add campden tablet let it sit for 24 hours with top and air lock)
- Add pectic enzyme and yeast then add top and air lock
- Let ferment for 2 weeks then remove the nylon bag
- Rack into secondary fermentation (glass jug)
- Let it sit for 4 – 6 months
- Add campden tablet, and stabilizer (1/2 tsp per gallon) wait until air lock has shown no more fermentation
- Add 6 ounces of sugar boiled in water
- Then bottle
- Keep for a year before you drink
This is one of my personal favorites. Let me know if you guys have any killer wine recipes in the comments below!