Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wine Making

Since wine making involves a great deal of waiting, I am still in the process of researching this topic.  So far, I've followed a homemade wine recipe which turned out great for the most part.  I've made two more of the same recipe using different flavors which I am still waiting to mature.

Homemade Wine Recipe Link:
This recipe works out great. If you've ever tried box wine, don't worry, this wine is nothing like it.  It isn't the same smoothness and strength as store bought table wine, but its actually quite good for a wine made from a concentrate.

Equipment Note: If starting with a ballon, a step up from that can be using an air lock with a rubber stopper.  If you buy an air locks and stopers, the investment will be minimal, around $8-$10.  However, the large jug that the stoppers fit in run about $40+.  If you want to ease your way into wine making and not spend $60-$100 on a kit, buy the air locks, rubber stoppers, and a gallon or 4 liter size glass bottle of wine or juice.  It is hard to find juice in glass jugs these days but there are always glass wine jugs available.  Though I cannot speak for the quality of wine sold in large jugs, it will be worth purchasing for the glass jug.  The rubber stoppers generally fit in these large jugs and you will only pay around $10 for the jug of wine/juice.
Once you are comfortable with using airlocks, you may feel ready to make wine using the whole wine making cycle of fermentation and syphoning.  However, be aware that the longer the wine ages, the more you have to worry about spoilage as well as other issues.  From what I've read so far, four - six week wine should have no such issues so adding preservatives does not need to be considered.

Sulfates as Preservatives in Wine
Making wine that ages longer than 6 weeks generally has a list of other ingredients that are added including sulfates.  Though many people have some form of intolerance to sulfates whether it is simply getting headaches, wine makers continue to insist that wine cannot be made without sulfates.  The number one reason for this is because sulfates are produced naturally when grapes ferment.  However, many wine makers add additional sulfates in order to keep the wine from spoiling.  So, if you are making your own wine and wish to avoid adding sulfates, you can keep it simple by sticking with the 4-6 week wines or you can gamble with your batch of wine and hope it does not spoil.  I have heard that some organic wineries are using a new method to make wine that keeps the grapes from producing natural sulfates as well as methods for avoiding having to add sulfates.  Since this is a new technology, it is probably not done everywhere.  I have not researched this extensively, but since I heard about this new wine making method from a relative who works at a winery, I can always add that information if anyone is interested.

Additional Topics to research: 1. Wine making basics  2. The best place to get brewing equipment.

Homemade wine - trial #1 19 Jul 2011
Homemade wine #2 10 Oct 2011

Homemade wine basics
Homemade wine making instructions

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