Introduction: How to Make Wine

Picture of How to Make Wine

Making wine is actually pretty idiot proof, with the right stuff, equipment, and sanitizing again and again.

In this Instructable, you'll learn how to make fruit wines, including grape wines. This instructable will focus on the techniques, equipment and materials, rather than recipes.

You'll need to procure some equipment and some chemicals but don't worry. Most of it will last many batches with the proper cleaning and maintaining.

EDIT: Wow. 200k views! Never thought I'd actually get this many. I will be preparing another batch before too long, so I'll try to include some more photos.

Step 1: Legality and Warning

Winemaking, also known as Homebrewing, is completely legal in the US and many other places. As follows is what I KNOW is legal in the US(1):
1. You can make up to 100 gallons by yourself or 200 max, if you live with other people, annually.
2. You may not sale your homebrew.
3. You must be 21 or legal drinking age to make and drink your homebrew. *
4. You may not distill spirits.
5. You may share and taste homebrewed beverages
*Technically it is 18, but you'd 99% of the time be seeking to consume or possess alcohol, which is illegal.

Since you are producing substance that kills more people a year than most forms of cancer, you will need to treat alcoholic beverages with the respect they command.
1. Do not drink and drive.
2. Do not drink while pregnant.
3. Do not drink if you suffer from liver, heart failure, or anything else just about.
4. Consult your doctor if you are unsure how alcohol will interact with any drugs you are taking.

Home wine making is not making moonshine. It will not cause you any more harm than consuming alcohol does. You will have few, if any, methyl alcohols that cause blindness. You would die from alcohol poisoning long before having to worry about this.

Almost all commercial wines contain sulfites. This Instructable teaches users how to add sulfites if needed. This may be left off if sulfites cause alergic reactions to you or those you want to consume the wine. Potassium Metabisulfite MSDS
Sodium Metabisulfite MSDS

Potassium Sorbate is potentially added if additional sweeting is required. Do not add if you are allergic to it. Here is it's MSDS Potassium Sorbate MSDS

Finally, your final product will be about 12-18% alcohol. Keep that in mind when serving.

With disclosures and warnings out of the way, let's go to it!

1= Wiki Link

Step 2: Equipment

Picture of Equipment

You'll be able to make some of the stuff for this instructable but I fear that, if you want to keep homebrewing for long term, you'll be better off buying specific homebrew equipment anyways. Especially if you've got a Local Homebrew Store nearby.

1. Plastic Water Bottle or Glass Jug aka- the container
You can find these at any grocery store pretty much. Make sure you look at the bottom and see either 1 or 2 for the recycling. If it is anything else, it will not work.

The reason behind this is that you will be doing long-term fermentation/aging in this bottle. Using one that is not 1 or 2 will allow oxygen to seep in at the microscopic level. This can cause the wine to become oxidized and have a "stale" taste to it. Also, with #7 plastics, you do not know what it is made of. Therefore, you may have chemicals leech into your wine.

Using glass jugs can be substituted as well. Make sure the jug is NOT scratched on the inside

Variable cost, no more than $20 or free if you have clean, unscratched plastic jug.

2. Rubber Stopper
Typically #8-9 will work, though if you can, test fit it to your just before buying. Only needed if you use the tubing or the commercial airlock. Drill a 1/4 hole in it.

3. Airlock
This can be a few things
a. A balloon- The CO2 the yeast release will inflate it and cause it to expand. When the balloon expands to a certain point, the CO2 will begin to escape but not allow any air in(Pressure inside is great than that on the outside). Use rubber bands to keep it attached to the neck of the container
$.19 ?
b. pvc pipe + vinyl tubing- pvc goes through the rubber stopper and attach the vinyl tubing to it.
c. Commercial Airlock - cost usually around a $1.59. these three piece airlocks have alcohol or some sanitized liquid put in to keep the center pipe submerged. Highly recommended.

4. Stirrer
You'll need to throughly mix the solution. A long, plastic handle works great. Must fit into the neck of the bottle. If you cannot find one, a dowel with a spoon attached to it will work though you must dispose of after use (the wood tends to house baddies)

5. Funnel
For pouring liquid into the container

6. Turkey Baster
You'll need it for sampling after the fermentation finishes.

7. Bottles
You will need something airtight to store the finished product in. 2L and jugs work best. Make sure you can securely tighten the top and clean them.
Free hopefully. (What did you pour the juice from?)

8.The siphon
A 5-6' vinyl tubing. You will need to siphon the liquid from the container, ideally leaving out the yeast. If you have a homebrew store nearby, it's advisable to just buy a autosiphon .
$6 for the tubing or $9 for the autosiphon (trust me. you'll want it).

9. Sanitizer The most important equipment here. Get lots of it. You'll use it...alot. It even has it's own step.

This is commonly cheap bleach, but you will need to use LOTS of water to rinse afterwords. Otherwise, you'll be left chemical smell. I do not recommend it, but it'll work in a pinch.

You can also use any Iodine Sanitizing solution instead. It can be found at some grocery stores and just about any feed store for very cheap.

Ideally, getting B-T-F iodophor or Star-San 5 Star is the best choice. Follow the directions for mixing. They require no rinse if I remember correctly and the foam from Star San actually helps the yeast!

You can get these at your local homebrew store or restaurant supply for a small amount.

Iodine and bleach are pretty cheap, but Star-San and Iodophor are the right tool for the job when it comes to home brewing.

Step 3: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

1, Juice of fruit to ferment
Just about ANY fruit is capable of being made into a wine. If it's got juice, it's fermentable pretty much. You can go ahead and buy juice from the store. However, make sure you read the ingredients on the label. Concentrate is fine too.

It MUST NOT CONTAIN additives other than Asorbic Acid(vitamin C). If it contains any Sorbate at all, it will not work.

You will need to get enough to match the total amount you want to make. IE- a 5 gallon batch of wine needs 5 gallons of juice.

Alternatively, you can use fresh fruit and get juice from that. The juice you will get is superior to your bottled variety. It is a separate process on it's own, though, so for this Instructable, stick to juices that have already been squeezed for us.

Costco and Sam's are your best bet. 5 gallons of juice goes for $23.

2. Sugar- Yeast need this to grow. The type of sugar and amount you use will determine your alcohol and flavors. I recommend Corn Sugar(Dextrose), which can bought at health or alternative grocery stores. Homebrew Stores will have plenty on hand.
You will need about 4 pounds which cost $5-6.

You can experiment with Brown sugar, white sugar(sucrose) or even honey. Keep in mind though that if you use honey, it will take much longer to ferment.

If you do use sucrose, I recommend creating a simple syrup by using boiling one cup of water for every 2 cups of table sugar. Simple boil the water, stir in the sugar and boil for 10 minutes. You'll end up with a solution that is no longer sucrose, but glucose and fructose, which the yeast find easier to metabolize than sucrose.

3. Yeast- The single most important thing to add. Again, a homebrew store is your best friend. I recommend Red Star Montrachet, but you are free to try many types of wine or champagne yeast. It is very cheap @ $.49 usually.

In a pinch or out of necessity, baker's yeast can be used, but expect  worse flavors, clouder wine and other defects.

Under no circumstances try to use distiller's or high-alcohol yielding yeast. You will regret the decision to ferment with it on the first sip.

One packet is generally good for up to 5 gallons. Some yeast can do more.

4. Chemicals
These are pretty much going to be found at chemical supply or home brew stores. You don't need a large amount, but they are very cheap and can be used for lots of batches. They do not impart any undesirable flavor to the wine when used properly.

Sodium/Potassium Metabisulfite - Preserves the wine and allows yeast to grow unchallenged. When working with fresh fruit it is necessary or if you plan on using sorbates. You MAY NOT need this if your juice is pasteurized or bought from the store. However, if you got it on the side of the road, I recommend using it. DO NOT USE IF ALLERGIC TO SULFITES $2.39

NOTE: Potassium Metabisulfite is what the vast majority of wineries use. Using Sodium will add sodium to your wine, but it will work just as well.

Potassium Sorbate - Let's you add sugar to the wine after fermenting without reactivating the yeast.DO NOT ADD IF ALLERGIC TO SORBATES $2.39

Yeast Nutrient- Wine tends to be a bit more sparse in building blocks for yeast to thrive in. Giving them some nutrients helps them work faster and help reduce the chance of off flavors. Optional, but recommended $3.19

Word on Chemicals

Don't go running just because we are using chemicals. What do you think is in that apple you're eating there? Tons of chemicals.

Unless you are allergic, I'd strongly urge you not to omit the recommended chemicals.This instructable is about making wine, so it would be a shame to leave out what wine maker's have being doing for centuries. If you follow the directions on the label and this instructable, you'll be fine.

Lastly, double check the labeling on the chemicals you get. Some will have varying amounts of ppm. They will usually have some instructions on amount. They may vary from the amounts used in this sample recipe.

Step 4: Sanitation

Picture of Sanitation

If the yeast are the most important part in this instructable, then sanitation is the most important step. If not done thoroughly and properly, your "wine" will just turn out to be a giant jug of vinegar and be hardly palatable at all! You can tell if this occurred by the stench of vinegar.

You are making a batch of basically acidic sugar water that any mold or bacteria would love to set up shop in. Even though you cannot see them, those spoilers are lying all over your equipment, in every microscopic cranny and nook. Before making wine or any fermented beverage, you need to get rid of them.

Using your chosen sanitizer, make sure your container, stirrer, funnel, air lock parts, measuring spoons and work area are sanitized. You will need to have a contact time(being wet) of usually 30 seconds. Also make sure your hands are cleaned before beginning or at any step of dealing with the wine.

If you are using bleach, you will need to follow with a rinse to get any standing solution off, which means you need clean water. I suggest distilled water, but I also suggest not using bleach.

Why not sterilize?

Sterilize means to kill all life off a surface. Nothing survives. Sanitation means to reduce the amount of bacteria, wild yeasts, etc. to negligible levels. You will be hard pressed to sterilize unless you can fit all of your equipment into a boiling pot or can autoclave it.

Yeast do not need a sterilized surface. Just one that is sanitized so they set up shop and crowd out any invaders.

Step 5: Getting Setup

Picture of Getting Setup

In this instructable, we'll make Edwort's Apple wine aka Apfelwein. It's easy and cheap to make. Plus, it tastes great.

For five gallons, you will need:

5 gallons of apple juice/cider
2 pounds Sugar(corn is recommended)
1 Yeast packet(from 1-10 gallons)
1 Table Spoon of yeast nutrient
100 mL/ 3.38 fluid oz. solution of 2.5% Potassium/Sodium Metabisulfite(if needed)

Note:The sulfite is not required at this point if the apple juice/cider has been pasteurized. You may need to use it later.

Recipes for other wines exists. I'm just using this recipe as an example for the process to follow.

Making the Sulfite Solution(if needed)

Take 1/2 teaspoon of your Sulfite and mix it into 125 mL/4.25 fluid ounces. Take 100mL /3 1/3 oz and discard the remaining amount.

If you want to make smaller or bigger batches, scale accordingly @ ~20mL a gallon.
For those chemistry nerds, you're aiming for 50ppm in the container.

Step 6: Pouring the Juice

Picture of Pouring the Juice

Depending on how many bottles, you may need to combine steps 1&2:

1. Pour half of a bottle of apple juice/cider into the container then put one pound of sugar into bottle and shake it to dissolve the sugar into it. Pour another half of a bottle of apple juice/cider in.

2. Repeat again with your other pound of sugar.

3. Pour your Sulfite(if needed) and yeast nutrient into that bottle, mix it thoroughly and then pour into the container.

4. Pour in enough apple juice till you have about enough space for half a bottle of apple juice/cider

5. Save the bottles and wash them out. You'll need them for storing the finished product. Make sure you do a good job of cleaning them as they will get gross very quickly if left dirty. Any left over sanitizing solution will do a wonderful job. 

Step 7: Mix Your Juice

Mix the container thoroughly for about 1-2 minutes. You want a nice vortex to form. This is referred to as "degassing" the wine. It is getting any dissolved gases out of the liquid.

Step 8: Pour Yeast In

Pour your yeast through the funnel into the mixture. This is referred to as "pitching" the yeast. Keep the funnel in the neck for the moment.

Step 9: Pour the Remaining Apple Juice/Cider In

Now, depending on what yeast you are using you may be able to get away with filling it right up to the neck. I would recommend you leave about 3-4 inches below where the neck begins at the bottom as there will be a foam build up.

Anyways, pour the remaining amount of juice in, washing the yeast out of the funnel and leaving enough space.

No further mixing is needed.

Step 10: Attach Airlock

Picture of Attach Airlock

Depending on your variety of airlock, attach it.
1. Balloon- Attach to the neck and secure it with rubber bands.

2. Commercially Airlock -stick it into the rubber stopper and stick that into the neck of the container. Fill the big piece up to the line with vodka or any other type of alcohol and put the smaller piece on top. Put top on the whole assembly.

3. Attach PVC through rubber stopper. Attach hose to end of PVC.

If you are using tubing airlock, you will need to submerge the hose into a jar or glass once you've placed the container it the proper location.

Step 11: Fermenting Your Wine

Picture of Fermenting Your Wine

Place it somewhere relatively cool (65-75F) and out of the way. Animals and kids love to play with the airlock, so it's best in the bottom of a closet, out of the way.

Check your airlock occasionally and make sure it is still firmly attached, especially the first few days. "DO NOT REMOVE IT."

Check often to see if the sanitized liquid is gone from the commercial or tubing airlocks. Refill it if needed.

If the foam gunks up into any of them, do not panic. Remove them, clean them off, sanitize, and place them back on. That gunk has a layer of CO2 keeping the air out.
I keep a spare airlock for just this reason.

You may smell a something akin to a "Rhino Fart" Don't worry. It will dissipate in time.

Leave it there for about 4-5 weeks. Once it becomes clear, it's ready for tasting and drinking. Some wines are quicker, some require longer. The key is to wait until it clears up.

One exception is that if you used anything other than wine yeast, it may not clear up. You can generally expect it to be done at 4 weeks then.

You can use other equipment to judge if it is done, but that is another tool you'd need to buy.

Step 12: Adjusting to Taste

Picture of Adjusting to Taste

Adjusting to taste
Once the wine has finished and begun to clear on it's own, you can modify it to your taste. Sanitize your turkey baster by submerging it in a jar of sanitized liquid and sucking some into the baster. Discard the sucked up liquid and and pull a sample from the container. Don't let the airlock get too far.

You'll want to get about a glassful of wine before judging. Feel free to seal the container back up and come back to it if you want to judge later.

If it's fine, proceed to the next step.

If it needs to be sweetened, follow the below.

1, Sanitize the mixing handle from earlier.

2, Get two cups of sample.

3. Boil about 4 pounds of sugar to 4 cups of water. Let it cool.

4. Pour into sample about a 1/2 oz at a time. Mix it thoroughly and taste. Do not drink. Once it is good, read on. Go ahead and pour that sample into a glass and enjoy! Don't return it to the container.

For every 1/2 ounce you added to the sample, pour 4 fl. oz. of sugar solution per gallon into your container.
For instance, if the sample needed .75 fl. oz to taste good and I had 3 gallons, I would add 18 fl. oz. to it.

5. Add potassium sorbate into the container. Use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of wine OR follow the directions on your package.

6(sorta optional). Add 1/4 tsp of Potassium Metabisulfite if you've made a 5-6 gallon batch. Look at the earlier step on how to scale the solution if you need to make it smaller or bigger.

This is optional if you went ahead with sulfites from the start. If not, then you will need to add it.

Again, omit if you are allergic to sulfites, though Sorbate works better in the presence of sulfite. This will also help long term stability.

You are looking for 70 or so ppm in the final beverage. You can use less if you are worried about sulfur tastes or don't plan on keeping much wine on hand. It is needed though, if you plan on aging for an extended time.

7. Mix the container. Get a nice vortex and do so for a 4-5 minutes. You will knock yeast back up into the solution. Don't worry. It will settle back down in time.

8. Replace the airlock.

9. Go ahead and leave it alone for about a few days or so. Once yeast and other stuff settle back down at the bottom of the container and it is has cleared again, go to the next step.

Don't be afraid to wait up to a week or two. If it isn't getting clearer after that time, don't worry and just proceed to the next step. The wine is not ruined. It will just be a little cloudy.

Step 13: Bottling

Picture of Bottling

Sanitize the siphon/siphon tubing(inside AND out), funnel and the caps and bottles you wish store the wine in. Additionally, you may wish to sanitize a coffee filter. I find that it's better to just avoid getting the siphon tube near the yeast in the first place.

Remove the airlock and put the siphon into liquid. Make sure you do not let it sit on the yeast at the bottom of the container.

A bathroom or laying down a towel is recommended.

OPTIONAL-if you have a big enough container and plan on bottling right away, you can further reduce yeast bottling by siphoning all of the liquid out of the container and into another, allowing it to settle for a minute or two, then bottling. Of course, make sure you sanitize the second container.

Having another person also helps as they can make sure the tubing stays in the container at the proper level, avoiding yeast. An autosiphon can do that, as well as eliminate step 4.

1. To siphon, you will need to place the container on top of cabinet or ledge.
2. Put your bottles underneath it.
3. Making sure the tubing is still inside the container, let the other end fall below it.
4. Suck on the tubing. Do not blow on it in anyway.
5. Once liquid is over the top of the container in the tubing, put your thumb over the end.
6. Grab a bottle and release your thumb. The liquid should start flowing out of the tubing. Fill the bottle through the funnel. Do not submerge the line into the bottle, as your mouth has touched the end.

(Optional) If you want to remove yeast from the bottling, put the coffee filter in. It will not remove all of them, but will help to a degree. Keeping them in does not hurt though. I find that the coffee filter slows down the process too much also. YMMV.

7. Once it is filled, quickly grab another bottle and begin filling it. Cinch or otherwise cut off the flow of the tube. Continue until you are done.

8. Place caps on the bottles.

Step 14: Finished!

At this point, chill and serve your wine. Leave a little bit of wine at the bottom of every bottle to avoid getting yeast. Enjoy it in moderation.

Otherwise, do not blame me for your hangovers and other unintended consequences, including but not limited to:
*Crazy hookups
*DUI/DWI/vehicular homicide or far worse
*Losing your money at poker
*Shunned by your friends for reenacting "Dirty Dancing","Made in Manhattan" , etc.
*Youtube video of you "Rick Rolling"
*Estrangement of loved ones

Read on if you want to learn more about what just happened.

The yeast in the container reproduced and turned the sugar + minerals+O2 in the liquid into more yeast cells + waste. This waste includes alcohol and CO2. The yeast have an alcohol "tolerance" and will not produce any further (meaning stop making CO2 and alcohol) at a certain percentage. They do not die, however.

If you added additional sugars to the wine without the potassium sorbate, the yeast will reawaken and produce CO2, carbonating the wine and adding a minor amount of alcohol before becoming dormant again.

Too much sugar followed by immediately bottling creates what is called a "Bottle Bomb" The yeast will produce CO2 that has no way of escaping. This naturally carbonates the beveage, but too much and the material the beverage is in becomes compromised, high pressure rupturing it. Yikes.

The Potassium/Sodium Metabisulfite helps keep other organisms from setting up shop in the wine, Yeast, which has some sulfite tolerance as well, will far outnumber the rouge organisms and will be able to grow in the solution. This allows you to ferment wine for many months without it spoiling or oxidizing.

You can find many resources and recipes on the web at great websites such as Jack Keller's Wine Making for more info.

If you are interested in making more wine, you'll probably want to get proper equipment to make the process smoother, so check for a local Homebrew store in your area. If there are none, you can check Austin Homebrew Supply Or Northern Brewer online.


WestonP5 (author)2017-04-06

what do you get when mix rice wine with fruit wine and distilled it

Ulu Meli (author)2014-11-09

I just made 5 gal of passion fruit wine and found the part about adding more sugar very helpful. Thank you much !

ManuelV68 (author)Ulu Meli2017-03-04

When did you add more sugar

pnwitch (author)2016-07-03

Have you tried using a stronger yeast (like rum yeast) in this? Because I would very much like to know why it would be regretful to do so, please.

ash03 (author)2016-05-09

Give this a try, you can make delicious wine with this kit!!

Richard39 (author)2016-05-06

I learned to Make wine using an easy method I found HERE.

abadfart (author)2016-03-30

I have been brewing beer for a cople of years and plan to do a short run (about a gallon) of both mead and wine this next month just to test my hand at it for a upcoming wedding. Just a hint on bottleing, if you have a dishwasher that is a grate place to bottle as you just run the dishwasher when you sre done and it is all clean

Phillip30 (author)2015-12-30

This is so cool. I will love trying this at home. I have already tried to make my own wine at and it was amazing!

BobS98 (author)2015-12-23

hey Borderlander, I mistakenly used bread/bakers yeast. a winemaker friend said I should let it ferment a little longer than normal and taste it. is there anything else I can do to make it better?

after 3 months in the carboys it has created a huge amount of sediment, about 1.5". I am racking it now.



Borderlander (author)2015-12-08

95% of this instructable I liked but making wine for the past 7 years had that remaining 5% of it make me shudder. 1: if you add sugar to your wine regardless of reason your making flavored alcoholic horse piss(simply add more juice concentrate). 2: if your equipment is sterile (I recommend cheap vodka for cleaning) you will never need any chemical. 3: I don't care if Jesus turned water into wine, If he didn't do so in a glass carboy I wouldn't drink to save my soul(use glass for all stages! it's not that much more expensive!) 4:on the topic of bread what? granted it's not as good a specially developed strains but I assure you its pretty good if done right (fermented around 60-65degrees F). And on a side note: if your wine is rather tart or even a little bitter it usually means it's a dry style wine(little sugar to balance out the juices natural ingredients) so don't hate it. might just need a little aging to mature. [it took years before I could appreciate my wine due to lack of understanding how it should taste. I've had 800$ chardonnay that made me puke. just because it doesn't taste like a Boones farm or a maddog2020 doesn't mean it's wrong. it means it's right and it only needs YOU to accept it as it is. ps: Welch's 100% juice is a cheap way to experiment, especially using cherry or blueberry fruits as an additive]

BubbleMama (author)2015-11-17

At one point in the instructable, you mention adding yeast nutrient. Can you please elaborate on this? Is this different from the actual yeast itself? How much for a 4-5 gallon batch??

BubbleMama (author)BubbleMama2015-11-17

Never mind, I found it.
Thanks so much for making such a detailed and easy to follow instructable. I can't wait to try it!

BrittanyE2 (author)2015-08-19

I am looking forward to making my very first batch of wine soon, but I am confused about one step. Many tutorials that I have read attach the airlock immediately after mixing in their sugar and yeast, but other sites instruct you to only cover the bucket with a towel to allow airflow for a while first. Which is correct? Which is better? Won't leaving the wine open to oxygen potentially contaminate it? My goal is to make tasty wine for long term storage (future Christmas gifts). Thanks in advance!

BillD8 (author)BrittanyE22015-09-28

It might be interesting to read about my first attempt at wine making.
I had a load of fresh black currents I had no use for, so decided to fill some very large jam jars with water, some sugar, and the berries. I was just gonna leave them like that, but in the fridge till I could use them soon.
I took one jar out to use a few berries, and accidentally put it in a cupboard.
Around two days later, I opened the cupboard, noticed the misplaced jar and was about to bin it when I had a thought about the bubbles I could see. So, I opened and smelled it.
Yes. It was fermenting just as it was.
I moved the other jars into the same cupboard, and knowing that all the books "fermentation lock", I decided to try screwing the lids full on, then slowly loosen them so that the (natural) yeast when expelling oxygen would build up a tiny bit of pressure which should, I hoped, keep air from getting in, but would keep the oxygen flowing out.
After a few.days the fermenting in most of the jars.slowed, so I bought of bread yeast, dropped.a.little in each jar and forgot about them for over a week and a half.

So came the day to open one and try.
I put all the jars on the kitchen table. They all looked like giant jam jars full of quality red wine.
I chose one, opened it, smelled it. Nice.
I then tasted it.
And terribly strong.
I can with all honesty say that it is yet one of the loveliest wines I have enjoyed. What a party too (we were skint students, so whoopee!).

With regards towel/fermentation lock, it is really simple.having a barrier that helps prevent any aerial contamination.
Both a lock or towel, or even a slightly unscrewed jam jar can help.
The function appears to be in all of the above to allow gasses to escape, but not enter the container. Period.

So long as fermentation is happening, you have a slow continuous build up of pressure inside your container.
And as this, albiet slight, pressure is greater than the pressure in the surrounding room, gasses can escape, but also "push" out external gasses, making it difficult for external contaminants to enter.

It is worth, always, when researching new projects of any kind to read up on not only what the exact function of each piece of equipment is, but also why and how it achieves it.
And by thinking in such a way, you can now be aware of the main spite of what limitations you appear to have.

BrittanyE2 (author)BillD82015-09-28

Thanks for sharing your experience!

MartinW18 (author)BrittanyE22015-08-27

You'll be fine either way as long as it is only for a short amount of time in the very beginning! When a yeast has access to oxygen it will perform what is called aerobic respiration, which yields carbon dioxide and water as end products, but has higher energy output. (Left side of the table below).

When the yeast does not have access to oxygen, it performs an ANaerobic respiration, or fermentation, in which the end products are carbon dioxide and ethanol (which is what you want in wine). But this process yields lower amount of energy.

What I assume people want to do when they don't seal the solution from air directly, is to kickstart the reproduction of the yeast with the high energy output aerobic respiration.

What I've always done is to shake the fermentation/brewing vessel with the small amount of air in it from the start, to increase oxygen concentration in the solution, and then seal it directly. And that has worked fine for me.

OxygenNeededNot neededGlucose breakdownCompleteIncompleteEnd product(s)Carbon dioxide and waterAnimal cells: lactic acid. Plant cells and yeast: carbon dioxide and ethanolEnergy releasedRelatively large amountRelatively small amount
BrittanyE2 (author)MartinW182015-09-28

This makes perfect sense. Thank you!

MartinW18 (author)MartinW182015-08-27

That table came out badly, but here's a link to practically the same table.

DeboraM2 (author)2015-09-01

i just finished my wine and tàsted it and it is very bitter. What have I done wrong?

hoseinalizamanipor (author)2015-07-29

haha! great work :)

maxed07 (author)2015-06-15

im trying to make wine from apple juice i was wondering if the juice i have chosen would work... it has natural flavoring ...plz need help..

rachel.bah (author)2015-03-15

goog morning i was woundering if you could tell me if ive done some thing wrong or how long i have to wait to see activity i made my wine in a bucket last night for the first time when should we see the air lock bubble please

Brennenmcb (author)2015-03-14

I do work with high end winery's and resorts! or

roulopa (author)2011-09-27

I am very surprised you are calling wine an apple based beverage; over here (France), wine is only a grape fruit based beverage. Is this an American localisms?

Why would you use a pasteurized juice that is made out of concentrated juice and then add bacteria when you could just press you fruits with the bacteria already in them? There would then be no need for adding sugar for example.

Other than this, it is an interesting process but it does not sound natural to me at all and I can not see the point of all this if you have to use industrial ingredients...

Let me know if there is something I have not understood (I'm French after all lol).


Seakip18 (author)roulopa2011-09-27

Thanks for your comment!

Wine is best known for it's grape origins. However, any juice liberated from fruit and fermented can be called wine. Apples = apple wine, plums= plum wine, etc.

The bacteria in the fruit/juice is not yeast. Yeast is what is responsible for giving us the flavor, mouthfeel and alcohol. Almost all brewers, big and small, rely on prepackaged yeast if they do not have their own line.

While one could go ahead and press the fruit and liberate the juice themselves, I found it to be outside the scope of the instructable, I figured I'd go cheap, fast and easy.

The sugar and other stuff? I explain why those are needed respectively.

Again, thanks for your comment. I can definitely understand how some if seems pretty strange.

roulopa (author)Seakip182012-06-15

I doubled checked the yeast part as it troubled me for some time. There is no yeast used whatsoever in wine making. There is some in cider or beer making. When making red wine, the juice is pressed out of the grapes AFTER they have starting fermenting (bacterias eat the sugar to turn it into alcohol). The grape are then pressed and the juice is left to ferment. In the white wine making procedd, the grapes are collected very mature, pressed straight away and the juice is then left to ferment. There might be some sulfates used to control the fermenting process but the use of acids is illegal in France. When the fermentation process has eaten up most of the sugar content, it is stopped and the juices are transfered to wine barrels for a proper rest. Only after those few months of rest can it be called wine. Most of the good quality wines are transfered from one type of barrel to another in order to give it its distinctive taste and maturity. The bottling process happens after at least a year of rest. Only then can it be called wine. The whole wine making process only requires grapes and patience. If you do it overwise, it can not be called wine. At the best, it's a fruit juice based alcohol. Still you can enjoy this type of drink but calling it wine is a commun missuse of the word.

Totalcolour (author)roulopa2012-08-02

Umm, well according to my information, yeast IS USUALLY added to the must in French wines. In fact, some of the wine yeasts used around the world ORIGINATED in France. For example, Premier Cuvée, Pasteur Champagne, Côtes des Blancs, Epernay, Montrachet etc.

Natural yeasts (those on the skins)can be used, but are unpredictable at best and can ruin a good wine at the worst. Sulfite, if used is tipped into the must either beforeafter the grapes go through the crusher. The yeast is pitched a day later. The wine is pressed some days after skin contact (with reds) when enough colour has been obtained.

From Wikipedia: "The English word "wine" comes from the Proto-Germanic "*winam," an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or "(grape) vine", itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o- (cf. Hittite: wiyana, Lycian: oino, Ancient Greek οἶνος oinos, Aeolic Greek ϝοῖνος woinos)."

Since the ENGLISH word "WINE" does not come from the French language, the French cannot claim that it only applies to fermented beverages made from grapes. Until such time as another word is "invented" for fermented drinks made form other fruits, I think wine is a good word to describe them.

roulopa (author)Totalcolour2012-08-02

Well I am sorry if this is turning into a word fight lol I was only commenting on the knowledge I had of the wine making process I have witnessed.
Reading the well documented wiki, I seem to understand I am not to far from being on the right path. That is of course from the french legal point of view. If you make a beverage out of anything else but grapes, it is illegal, again in France, to call it wine. But it might be ok to sell it abroad.
I'll talk to a friend of mine who happens to be a wine maker and check all this for you.
The use of the word "Vin""over here is strictly controlled, hence my missunderstanding for its english equivalent "wine".
I'll keep you posted on what I find out if you are interested.

Seakip18 (author)roulopa2012-08-02

Thanks for looking into it more.

I'm curious about the control and regulation of terms.

It sounds very close to American Bourbon vs. American Whiskey. In the US, you can only legally call whiskey "Bourbon" if it fulfills certain requirements, including the mash being a certain amount corn and the barrels being new, etc.

Be sure to follow up!

BigMacoy (author)Seakip182015-02-18

Yep Seakip, there's some heavy duty laws concerning the production of Bourbon. The First & foremost is that it MUST be produced in the USA. The mash has Jo have at least 51% corn, sometimes more, but never, ever less. The rest of the mash usually contains barley & rye. When ready, the end product MUST be stored in brand new oak barrels that are completely & evenly burned out on the inside. After that, like many other spirits, it's a waiting game :-)

Lucas Eller (author)roulopa2012-07-15

And what do you call the beverages made of fermented apples and plums? Do they have specific names?

roulopa (author)Lucas Eller2012-07-15

the only "natural" drink I know of made out of apples is cider. I do not know anything else but plum alcohols. This could be a derived use of the original word that has taken a different path.

Seakip18 (author)roulopa2012-06-15

Thanks for looking into it more!

As for the definition of acids, wine and so forth, it differs region to region.

That said, grape wine, or as most know as just wine, is produced in the same manner as most other wines are. Take plum wine or apfelwein as an example.

As for wine varieties, such as Champagne, etc., these are tightly controlled names that have certain requirements in order to be labelled and called such.

As for the fresh grapes, the majority of the fermentation is likely due to wild yeast vs bacteria. While bacteria can produce ethanol, you would likely end up with vinegar if they were the principal.

As for acids, K2S2O5 would classify as a salt. Using it in conjunction with fermentation from wild yeast would yield a better product than none at all.

Thanks again for raising such good points!

BigMacoy (author)Seakip182015-02-18

Hi Seakip,
I'm pretty new to this so I wanted to thank you so very much for your instructions. They "took the mystery" out of what I thought was beyond my scope. I'm trying all kinds of stuff now, all kinds of different fruit. I dunno if it's possible, but I think I'm gonna try bananas next. Oh! And talk about great Xmas gifts. It's one thing to say, here's a wine I got at the liquor store, and quite another to present, (in a velvet lined wooden case I've handcrafted), a wine that I made myself. I even go the distance and come up with names and graphics on a nice bottle label as well. So, THANK-YOU THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!!!!!!!
PS: is it ok to give your homemade wine/cider/beer to family & friends as a gift? There's never money involved at all, it's always a gift.
Thank-you so much!!!!!!!

BigMacoy (author)roulopa2015-02-18

Well Mick, thanks for your insights, I'll use your information for sure. I think that you're correct in that wine is/should be made with grapes, and you'll get no argument from me regarding the fact that using fresh fruit is MUCH better. Some of the choices in the instructions are clearly designed with both price, and ease of use.
However, one of the things that make this country great, is freedom of expression. So, we're always tinkering, coming up with new ideas, and creating new things. So yes, in France it may be that true wine only comes from grapes, and I'm sure a ton of people here would agree with you, no doubt.
Over here in the US, as a people, we've never been satisfied with the "status quo". So we tinker. Sometimes we come up with a better mousetrap, sometimes we fail, get up, dust ourselves off, try to learn from our mistakes, and try again.
The absolute undisputed best wine I've ever tasted, was made from several varieties of natural berrys that grow in a rainforest in Washington state. And, you're right, these instructions aren't "natural". These instructions were created so that the average joe, or layman can make wine as easy as possible I was curios, how do you classify Sake? In America we call it rice wine but is it considered wine in France? Just a curiosity question.
Big Mack
P. S. Just wanted to mention my love for your country. I believe that America truly owes France a great debt of gratitude. My grandfathers were both a part of that great struggle against what I think was the most evil regime of all time, (not that Stalin's regime was any better, but that's another story). One grandfather lived a nice long life. The other literally got frozen to a Sherman Tank overnight somewhere in France. He was so cold and exhausted that he laid on the top rear because the engine was warm. However, as he slept, the engine became cold. He was fast asleep and didn't realize that he'd bec frozen to the tank. They were able to get him off and save him, but having been frozen lead to some serious health problems and he passed away shorty thereafter due to those complications.
I myself hate war, so I keep looking for the gospel, or good news that The Messiah will return, take David's throne and institute His kingdom and then the whole world will truly have peace on earth as it has been promised.
Viva La France!!!!!!!
Big Mack

robert.b.davis (author)roulopa2014-08-29

Apples...used to make AppleJack or Apple Hard Cider. It's great! FYI, Apples grow on trees in the USA.

BrunoW1 (author)robert.b.davis2015-02-10

I can make a breaburn apple wine in 6 months and it is delicious usually add a can of frozen white grape when backsweetening along w sulfites .then rack a week later and bottle

tedwards456 (author)roulopa2014-08-30

If you pressed apples fresh and fermented them without added sugar you would be making cider, not wine. Wine by definition is a fermented fruit beverage requiring certain alcohol content and to get that content you need more sugar that apples have naturally. If you tasted it, you would not mistake it for a cider at all, tastes more like a pinot gris with apple scent, but subtle.

BrunoW1 (author)2015-02-10

nice presentation .but some bad advice .

Somethingspec37 (author)2015-02-04

very informative and nicely referenced

lenni.may (author)2014-11-02

Thank you! Your information was Very helpful.

MariaJonas (author)2014-10-19

You can find some good information about wine making in this website

pgreenlaw (author)2014-10-15

I have started my first wine. We hand picked enough concord grapes for about 4 gallons. I did a quick sample during my first rack. It was a little sour, but not bad. I didn't taste much alcohol. The air lock bubbled for about a week But I don't know if the fermentation was interrupted or not. I also don't think I used enough corn sugar. Does anyone know if it would be ok to add more sugar water and yeast and try a second fermentation? I was looking for a sweet concord wine similar to a Niagara. Any help would be great



MonicaS4 (author)2014-09-14

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tedwards456 (author)2014-08-30

For those commenting, wine is any beverage made of fermented fruit. Any fruit. Just because the most popular wine (by far) is grape wine and grapes have enough sugar included in the fruit to finish the wine, doesn't mean it is the only wine, or the only way to make wine. Also wine is always made with yeast, though some folks prefer to use the naturally occurring yeast that exists on the skins of grapes already. Some of them may not even know that the yeast is there because they didn't add it, but it is nonetheless. Bacterial fermentations like MLF may be used secondarily, but it only converts the acids from malic acid to lactic acid, does not make any alcohol.

robert.b.davis (author)2014-08-29

You may not SELL, not Sale. Some states allow the distillation of beverages.

harikumar13 (author)2014-08-01

Thanks for the info , helpful for a beginner like me.

swtranslations (author)2012-11-04

Thanks for this instructional. Just one comment: the possessive pronoun ITS such as "pour the juice from its container" does NOT have an apostrophe. It is not a contraction. The contraction IT'S stands for the two words: it is. Correct grammar and punctuation lends itself to a more professional blog. Thanks!

axxed (author)swtranslations2014-05-31

Who cares? Its just an instructable. (Yeah, I did that on purpose ;)

MisterMissanthrope (author)2008-10-09

why cant the glass bottle be scratched?

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