Introduction: Very Easy and Inexpensive Winemaking
Sometimes it is very easy and fun to start some hobbies and winemaking is one of them. There is no need to buy expensive equipment and the experience is rewarding and we also learn the processes involved.
- Juice of any kind but, make sure that the juice does not contain a preservative like potassium sorbate which kills yeast.
- Yeast but, preferably wine yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Wine yeast is better suited to preserve the flavor and the aroma of the fruits or berries.
Step 1: Making the Wine
It is essential in winemaking to sterilize the bottles before the wine is poured to avoid spoilage. Since we are going to use store-bought juice we are going to skip this step entirely. The plastic container should have been sterilized at the packing plant. Now, it is important to make an airlock to prevent insects to be attracted by the sweetness of the juice and to allow the resulting byproduct of fermentation, carbon dioxide (CO2) to escape the bottle. Make one or a few small holes on the cap. Open the juice bottle and pour the yeast inside. One gram of yeast is enough for five liters of juice. Place a square piece of cheesecloth to cover the mouth of the bottle and replace the lid. In less than an hour, you will start to see bubbles rise to the surface of the juice. That means that the yeast is converting the sugars in the juice into alcohol. Store your juice jug away from the sun in a cool dry place for 16 days. The result will be a dry wine. If you prefer a sweeter wine you could add sugar right before you enjoy your homemade wine.
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1 year ago on Introduction
I can't wait to try this.!!! I'll also save Toe- Jams comment. Thanks!
Tip 1 year ago on Step 1
I'd suggest using a doubled over piece of plastic wrap (clingfilm, saranwrap) over the top secured by an elastic band - no lid, a bubbler is not necessary. Cheese cloth is quite porous and could allow nasties through, or harber them. I've made several test batches in 5 litre bottles with the plastic wrap and not had a problem. Also, always make a yeast starter to ensure your yeast is viable - I had a bad batch of yeast and lost 20 litres of juice. Add yeast to 500ml (about a pint) of juice, cover and allow to stand for 30 - 60 minutes. If it doesn't start foaming it's no good. My go-to recipe is 20 litres apple juice, 2kg table sugar and Lalvin EC-1118 yeast - in 2 weeks it brews out to 10% cider. Enjoy!
Reply 1 year ago
Thank you for the advice! The “air lock” that I used has been suggested in a YouTube video (https://youtu.be/SICdCYqtLGw). Also I didn’t add sugar like it is done in some tutorials because the juice is already laden with sugar. The yeast I bought online ready for use at Amazon (Lalvin ICV-D47 Wine Yeast, 5g - 10-Pack). The idea is to make an easy introduction to winemaking.