Wine Making Lessons

By: jimmycox
The pursuit of a good glass of wine goes back to the time of the Romans. Some people take it upon themselves to take this pursuit into their own hands. Following is a list of times you will need and steps to take to make your own perfect glass of wine.

Most items can be purchased at your local winemaking supply shop and some of the equipment can be rented to keep your investment to a minimum.

Before you can begin the fermentation process, you will need to have granulated sugar, which is called sucrose or corn sugar, also known as dextrose. Also, wine yeast, siphon hose, fermentation locks and a hydrometer, as well as acid testing kits, mixing bucket made from plastic and glass jugs or barrels, when letting the wine ferment, and sulfate crystals. But, of course, we are missing something, the grapes! You will need viniferous red grapes, a grape crusher and a grape press.

The first step is to crush the grapes into the primary fomenter until it is only 2/3 full. Then remove about eighty percent of the stems and add the sulfate crystals to the fomenter. Dissolve about .1 gram of crystals per liter to one cup of warm water, then stir into the fomenter with a wooden or plastic spoon. Now the grapes are called a must. Let the must rest for about 2 hours.

After it has rested, check the sugar content, called Brix, of the juice. You want it to be around 22 or 24 degrees, this depends on the varietals. Next, check that the acid is between 5.5 to 6.5g per liter. The temperature is very important and must be adjusted if necessary. You want the temperature to be between 70 and 75 degrees.

You can dissolve one gram of yeast pellets in a cup of warm water for every 3.8 liters of must, after the other items are in proper range. The yeast needs to sit for about 10 minutes before it can be added to the fomenter. After you have added the yeast, cover with cheesecloth.

Fermentation

If, after twenty four hours, there are bubbles and gurgling noises, be happy. This means that fermentation has been taking place. You will want to stir the mix twice a day to keep the top layer that consists of seeds and skins, called a must. Be sure to check the Brix every day. You want to see about a two degree drop.

When the Brix is at zero or when the cap stops pushing up, it is time to press the wine into jugs of about a gallon in size. Be sure to attach a fermentation lock. Save the cap, for after initial racking.

Rack the wine several times until sediment drops out.

Now, depending on the varietals, let the wine age for an appropriate time.

For more details, you can visit your local wine making shop or you can look online.
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