Step 3: Ingredients
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.
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.