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How to Make Wine from Grape Juice

Updated on June 29, 2017
my house red, reflecting
my house red, reflecting | Source

Welcome to the home winery!

In this hub, I'm going to walk you through a safe, reliable method of making fresh wholesome wine from supermarket grape juice, using no special equipment and strictly no chemicals or artificial additives.

Why bother?

Now that wine is a supermarket commodity, what's the point in making your own? You will have your own reasons, but here are a few of mine:

  • It's good fun, feels creative and fills the kitchen with summery smells.
  • It's very cheap, wholesome, and surprisingly good.
  • I live in an Islamic country where wine is not a supermarket commodity!

Will it be any good?

I'll be honest - it will taste like a decent vin ordinaire, and be none the worse for that. It will be on a par with the staple drink of millions of everyday folk throughout Europe. Because that's what we're making - everyday wine.

It is, of course, possible to make truly fine wine, but to do this you will need to follow a slightly more involved procedure:

  • Buy a hillside with ideal aspect, soil and climate
  • Terrace it and plant your vines
  • Protect them from frosts, hailstorms, insects, neighbours
  • Oh, and start about thirty years ago . . .

So, being realistic, our goal is a steady supply of wholesome and pleasant red, white and (if you really must) rose table wine.

Wholesome?

Guaranteed! This wine will contain no chemical additives or artficial preservatives. That is a promise you will not find many commercial winemakers making. Your wine is made from pure fruit juice and, drunk in moderation, will do you nothing but good.

What do I need to get started?

The good news is, you hardly need any equipment at all. You will need:

  • One 5 litre (or 1 gallon) plastic drinking water container. (Not 5 separate bottles)
  • One plastic pouring funnel
  • Four 1 litre (2 pint) cartons of red or white grape juice with no preservatives
  • 500 grams (18 ounces) of ordinary granulated white sugar
  • One sachet of general purpose wine yeast

Wine Yeast?

This is important. Please do not try using baking yeast. It will ferment, but it is likely to stop too soon, leaving you with an oversweet, understrength concoction, often with a bready smell. Much the same is true of brewer's yeast, except it will smell beery. What a surprise!

If you are lucky enough to have a winemaker's supplier nearby, that's where to get your wine yeast. Don't be intimidated by the expert salesman - one sachet of general purpose wine yeast is all you need. If he offers you Campden tablets, vitamin B6, a hydrometer, a thermometer, a fermentation trap and a snake of plastic tubing, just smile sweetly and say no.

If you have no local supplier, there are plenty of on-line sources available, listed under "winemaking supplies". Or you get it direct from Amazon:

Lalvin Dried Wine Yeast EC #1118 (Pack of 10)
Lalvin Dried Wine Yeast EC #1118 (Pack of 10)

Paraglider's recommendation: this is all the wine yeast you'll ever need. It is a quick starter and a good fermenter with a wide temperature tolerance. Originally a Champagne yeast, it clears and settles well. Best of all - it's very cheap!

 

Paraglider's Promise

If you do try making wine by this method and run into any problem, describe it in a comment and I'll do my best to help, or at least explain what's gone wrong.

If you have a go and it works out well (which is most likely) share your success to encourage others to join the winemaking community.

I'm also happy to answer queries about home winemaking. Although my starter method is simple, it is based on sound principles. Advanced winemaking involves more equipment and processes. If the interest is there, I'll base a few more hubs around the finer points.

Why not ask!

coming along nicely
coming along nicely | Source

Let's get started

Your grape juice should be kept at room temperature, not in the fridge. If it's in the fridge, take it out now and do something else till tomorrow.

Drink the 5 litres of water. Most people prefer to do this over a few days. When the bottle is empty, don't rinse it out. It's clean. It was full of drinking water, remember?

Day One:

Pour about half of one of your cartons of juice into the big bottle.

Add one teaspoonful of wine yeast, put the top on the bottle and shake it to buggery. (This is the correct technical term for this process as used by winemakers the world over, though a small handful still refer to aeration).

Leave it in a warmish place and take the rest of the day off. (Yeast is a living organism. Its comfort zone is much like ours. Think shirt-sleeves temperatures. You don't need to keep it in the dark, but direct sunlight will spoil it.

Day Two:

You'll notice it will have started bubbling. Add the other half carton of juice and one full carton, so the bottle is now a little under half full. Tighten the bottle cap then back it off half a turn. This is very important. Fermentation produces a lot of carbon dioxide gas which must be allowed to escape.

Take a 2 litre coke bottle and do whatever you want with the contents. I'm told it goes well with a Big Mac, whatever that is. We need it empty, that's all.

Pour 500 grams (18 ounces) of sugar into the coke bottle. A plastic funnel makes this a lot easier. Pour boiled tap water or drinking water onto the sugar until the bottle is about half full (1 litre or 2 pints). Shake it until all the sugar is dissolved. Don't add it to the wine yet.

Day Four or Five:

By now, the wine should be fermenting well. Add one more carton of grape juice and all of the sugar syrup. The level should still be below the shoulder of the bottle. Swirl the bottle to mix in the sugar syrup. Tighten the bottle cap then back it off half a turn, as before. That's it for today. You should still have one unopened carton of grape juice.

Day Ten or so:

The liveliest fermentation should have eased off by now, so it's safe to add the last carton of juice. The bottle should be filled to the bottom of the neck. Usual drill with the bottle cap. Now you just have to wait. Check the bottle cap every day, and watch for the bubbling showing signs of stopping, typically after another two or three weeks.

Finally:

When the bubbling has stopped, or at least slowed right down to the occasional bubble, place the bottle in the fridge (not the freezer!) and leave it for about three days. The cold will halt the fermentation and will also help the yeast to settle to the bottom of the bottle.

Line up enough empty coke or water bottles to hold the wine. Very, very carefully, so as not to disturb the sediment, pour the wine into the bottles using the funnel. Get a friend to help by holding the bottles and moving the funnel from bottle to bottle. Fill all the bottles in a single pass, without untipping the fermenting bottle. This way, you won't disturb the sediment.

The wine can be drunk straight away, but it will improve in the bottle for several months. But don't even consider 'laying it down' or any such nonsense. It's not that sort of wine.

Cheers! You're now a winemaker.

Comments are welcome...

but before asking a question, why not read through the comments below as I have already answered most possible questions. You may find the answer is already there!

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    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 3 days ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Ahmad - yes, stick to the time plan. The bubbling always slows right down but if you stop too soon it will restart in the bottle later. KDD is a dark juice but looks OK in a glass. You'll see ;)

    • profile image

      Ahmad 3 days ago

      As for the Rauch white grape batch, there is still little bubbling, but the smell actually reminds of white wine. So I guess I'm on the right track.

    • profile image

      Ahmad 3 days ago

      Hello again Dave,

      My KDD red grape juice batch is in its 13th day. About 2 days after adding the last carton of juice, the bubbles have almost vanished. Now in day 13, there's only a very thin white line at the top in the form of a ring. I am wondering if I should stick to your instructions and give it a couple of weeks more, or take it to the firdge already.

      Another thing is the color. It's too dark, I'm not sure if this is normal.

      Please advise.

      I'm sorry for asking too many questions, but this is my first time making wine.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 8 days ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Give it a few more days to pick up. If there are no off smells, it could still be OK. The only sure way to check if it is fermenting is with a hydrometer, but I guess you don't have one of these.

    • profile image

      Ahmad 9 days ago

      The temperature was the same as the red grape juice which is working fine. And the yeast brand is the same as well.

      Maybe i should wait and see?

    • profile image

      Ahmad 9 days ago

      I wish I could post a picture to show you. There's a little bit of bubbling going on, but I'm wondering if I should keep it or dispose of it. And if i keep it, how can i make sure that it's actually fermenting well.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 10 days ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Ahmad - Rauch white grape juice should ferment well. It's possible your yeast was old or you added it when the juice temperature was too high? The red sounds fine though!

    • profile image

      Ahmad 10 days ago

      The Rauch white grape juice is showing a little bit of bad bubbling. But nothing compared to the red grape juice.

      I hope it's normal, or maybe the fermentation takes more time with the white grapes in this case.

    • profile image

      Ahmad 11 days ago

      And i am also using Rauche red grape juice, and i believe its fermenting very well i can see the bubbles.

    • profile image

      Ahmad 11 days ago

      I'm following your instructions using Rauche white grape juice. But I don't see any bubbles on the top. And this is the 5th day. Is it normal. I'm in Kuwait so I don't have wine making tools.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 weeks ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Thanks yazzzz, for the appreciative comments and the Ceres white juice tip. That's a brand I haven't used, so I'll give it a go.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 2 weeks ago

      Has - i have experimented with every white grapes juices available in the GCC market, CERES white grapes would give you a Crystal Clear white wine literally crystal clear no joke.

      Dave - i would like to share my Pear juice and yeast harvesting experiments with you ,

      Pear Juice thanks to your tips it was saved despite the ugly looking pulps that was at the top through the whole fermentation period but it was falling down towards the last week and it rested at the bottom once entered the fridge , the wine turned up good in terms of taste but too foggy.

      Yeast Harvesting is the best thing i learned through wine making, i tried it with rauch red grapes, i harvested the yeast twice , the third generation resulted a crystal clear red wine with a lovely colour and the taste was amazingly fruity , its the best batch i have ever made , its so good that id rather keep it for my personal use and share it only with people who r essential to us :-) so harvesting does improve your wine and makes u save on yeast unless ur trying different juices.

      thank you again mate you have taught me a new hobby , the knowledge shall be passed and credits shall be preserved Mr. Dave the Wine Guru

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 5 weeks ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Has - I used to make beer at home, from first principles, using malted barley and hops, but you won't be able to source these in the Gulf. Some people buy alcohol free beer, add sugar and yeast and re-ferment it, bottling it towards the end of fermentation before it is completely flat. You can try this, but I've never been impressed with the results. I prefer to stick to wine and cider.

    • profile image

      Has 5 weeks ago

      Dear Dave,

      I've been using your instructions exclusively for over a year (was my first attempt at winemaking) and guess what? My neighbours reckon I've been doing this for years. Almost everyone who had my wine stopped liking their own. I've made red, white and rose. Ok I am not too impressed with the whites mainly because of the color, I like my whites crisp and clear, but the juice doesn't help..for rose, I mix 5pct of red with the white, it's not bad.

      I've had the wine anywhere between immediately to 4 months later, and discovered that between 3 to 4 months, its amazing, smooth, fruity, dry. Also helps if I pour it out into a jug before serving.

      For the batches where quality wasn't facsinating (can't say why really it is what it is) I make it into sangria's! No one complains and the ladies love it.

      Just wanted to say SHUKRAN, thank you. So many fun evenings in the driest country in GCC! and encourage everyone to keep at it, don't give up!

      Now I'd like to give beer a try..all the recipes I found online are nowhere as simple or require kits etc. do you have any instructions for beer? (Hint hint...driest country in GCC..no kits etc)

      Ps: I can manage yeast..by post

      Thanks again

    • profile image

      Crouchy 6 weeks ago

      Hi again.

      Thanks for the quick advice. It was wine yeast. I'll let it rest for a good while then.

      Brgds

      CC

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 6 weeks ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Crouchy - if it was baking yeast, it would give a yeasty taste that you'll just have to live with. If it was a wine yeast, probably there is still some in suspension in the young wine. Time is the best remedy for this. Give it a few weeks rest.

    • profile image

      Crouchy 6 weeks ago

      Hi there.

      Thanks for easy guide. I've just bottled four ltrs of red after pretty much following your instructions. Only difference being i used glass bottle with air lock and as it was only four ltr i gently warmed the third ltr of grape juice with the sugar and some honey instead of water, allowed it cool and added. It has turned out by no means horrible but has a yeasty taste. The only thing i can think of is my yeast was a couple of months out if date. Would some dead yeast cause the taste and is there any way to get rid of it.

      Many thanks.

      CC

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      yazzzz 8 weeks ago

      Thanks a million ,

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 8 weeks ago from Kyle, Scotland

      I would probably go with white grape juice, but technically either will do. The puree might sink in the fridge but if it doesn't, you may have to siphon the wine instead of pouring it.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 8 weeks ago

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for ur advise , I've added the squeezed lemon on day 2 with 1.5 L of the same juice Pear.

      Then added 1 L white grapes juice along with the 1L sugar dissolved in water mix on day 4

      It's fermenting well except that the purée is on the top layer , do u think it will settle with the sediment at the final stage in the fridge? I still have to add juice on day 10 , shall I add another white grapes or stick to pear ?

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Just add the juice of one large lemon as early as you like. I would also use at least some grape juice, not pear on its own. But it's your experiment!

    • profile image

      yazzzz 2 months ago

      Thanks for your reply , when would you recommend adding it and in substitute of what and in what amount ? Sorry for the too many questions

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Probably not, but if you want it to be at all wine-like, add some acidic juice - squeezed lemons or oranges.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 2 months ago

      Dear Dave

      I've decided to experiment on CERES pear juice and after I started day 1 I realized that the juice is 100% but with pear purée. Would the purée be a problem !!????

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Kmtt - a water bubble airlock could dry out in a month and expose the wine to the air. By day 20 there is not much fermentation left, so I would close the screw cap almost fully but not quite. when the fermentation stops, that is a better protection than a dried out airlock.

    • profile image

      Kmtt 2 months ago

      I miscalculated. On day 20 I am leaving on repat for a month. Would it be ok to set it up with airlock and leave it in the plastic jugs until I get back?

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Screw the cap down and leave it for a day. If the fermentation has not fully stopped, next day when you reopen the cap you will see and hear a small pressure release. If you do, repeat for another day or two. If not, refrigerate it.

    • profile image

      Steve K. 2 months ago

      Hi Dave, it's about 10 days since the last carton went in, but the fermentation has stopped. It's a bit earlier than I expected, and I read your comment about refrigerating too early...wondering if I should put it into the fridge or wait another few days to be sure fermentation has ended.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Both have disappeared from the shelves in Qatar, thanks to the blockade!

    • profile image

      yazzzz 2 months ago

      U mean white grapes KDD and almarai? Cuz I can't find any !!!

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi yazzzz - There's no strict limit, but there's no advantage in going beyond a week. Best to get it off its sediment when it has fallen clear. For white wine, Almarai and KDD are both good.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 2 months ago

      Dear Dave ,

      Thank u again and again , started leaving my batches 1 day longer in the fridge so total 4 days in the fridge , it becomes more clear with a lovely color. What's the maximum days I can leave a batch in the fridge before bottling?

      What's ur favorite juice to use for white wine?

      Regards,

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Khan - better to order it, as Yalm just said. If you don't want to risk it, you can try growing a culture from fresh grapes. If you read earlier comments, I explain how to do that.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yalm - yes, put it in the fridge if it has completely stopped. Should be fine.

    • profile image

      YALM 2 months ago

      Khan u can order it on amazon or eBay , it's safe , they write nutrient supplements on the package

    • profile image

      khan 2 months ago

      i also live in a muslim country where no access of wine yeast , can i use bread yeast or let it ferment at its own

    • profile image

      YALM 2 months ago

      Hey Dave,

      I got a problem with my batch , I ran out of grapes juice at the last step day 10 , so I filled it up with a 100 ml of wine from previous batch , the bubbling totally stopped 11 days after that which 3 days remaining for two weeks , what shall I do put it in the fridge ????

      Regards

    • profile image

      Garrett 2 months ago

      Dave,

      Thanks again for the quick reply. It looks like it died back down and is out of the airlock. There's still a slight bubble film on top, but not too bad.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      You are sure it wasn't just too full? If it was full in the fridge then it will expand into the airlock as it warms up. Secondary fermentation shouldn't occur unless you refrigerated it too soon.

    • profile image

      Garrett 2 months ago

      Hey Dave!

      Thanks for your last speedy reply. I just moved my wine from the fridge into another gallon jar for the oaking process. I boiled the oak spiral in some water and added both to the container, filling to the top, with an airlock.

      After the first day of sitting at room temperature, it looks like I have some secondary fermentation going on, and some wine has flowed up into the air lock. Is this normal? Or should I be oaking in the fridge?

      Thanks again!

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 3 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi yazzzz - Go forth and spread the word. . . Seriously though, wine-making has to be one of the very few pursuits that actually saves you money! That's right about the yeast adapting to the environment. And by starting a new one from the lees of the last one, you tend to get a faster start with less risk of contamination. Keep experimenting, and if you haven't already found it, I suggest reading my page on controlling alcoholic strength: https://delishably.com/beverages/How-Strong-is-my-... Onwards & upwards...

    • profile image

      yazzzz 3 months ago

      dear dave , thank you very very much , u made our survival in here more entertaining,

      a feed back on the re-using of the left over yeast.

      it worked perfectly and i dont need yeast no more, i did a research on it and apparently the more you keep re-using ur yeast the better the results. as it adapts to ur environment. and makes the best out of it.even the fermentation looks more active and bubbly. good luck to all its worth the try and its fun.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 3 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Garrett - I wouldn't worry about it. Fermenting wine is full of carbon dioxide and suspended yeast which mask the emerging wine flavours. Just keep following the steps to the end. The very lively fermentation rarely lasts more than a week.

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 3 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi yazzzz - from now on, keep the cap tight but occasionally open it briefly in case there is a pressure build up from final fermantation.

    • profile image

      Garrett 3 months ago

      Hey Dave! Awesome article, and I'm glad I stumbled across it.

      However, I'm a little discouraged. My fermentation really started slowin down at around day 7 or 8, so I figured the "day 10 or so" step was just happening a little early. Out of curiosity, before I topped it off with the last bottle of grape juice, I took a sterile eye dropper and sampled some of the must from the topmost layer. It didn't taste much like wine! More like a hard liquor! Not much grape flavor and a high-alcohol taste. The wine's color and everything looks ok.

      Where did I go wrong? I was very excited about this batch. Can it be saved? Is the must even supposed to taste good? I have campden tabs and an oak spiral that may correct it a little, but wanted your input.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      yazzzz 3 months ago

      Final stage , 3rd week is due today, shall I put them in the fridge with the cap tightened up or loose??? The smell is very promising , kdd looks richer and darker than Rauch.

      Regards,

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yazzz - If you pour carefully getting a friend to move the funnel from bottle to bottle, you should get 4 full clear litres. The 5th one, keep pouring until the sediment starts to come across, then stop. This last bottle will be about half full. It is your immediate reward for early sampling. The 4 full ones, try to keep them a bit longer to improve. Pour away the muddy wine that's left behind, then use about a teaspoonful of the thickest mud to start another batch. If you don't want to start one immediately, keep it in a small capped bottle in the fridge.

    • profile image

      YALM 4 months ago

      hi dave

      you said below if we want to use 1 sachet of yeast for 2 batches we shall allow a day at the start, when exactly? shall i leave it with the cap tightened for 2 days as day 1 the cap has to be tightened. or?

      thanks for the great article.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 4 months ago

      1- how much shall i leave in the original 5 l bottle when bottling my wine?

      id like more details on how can i re-use the sediment after the batch is done? u said a tea spoon would do but wouldn it be a liquid mix of sediment and wine? do i empty it into another small container or bowl before taking a teaspoon out?

      regards

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Completely normal. It is just yeast.

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      yazzzz 4 months ago

      Day 9

      Residues started to form on the top part of the bottles , is it normal?

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      yazzzz, it sounds as though both are doing fine. The cap just needs to be loose enough to let the gas escape without a pressure building up in the vessel.

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      yazzzz 4 months ago

      Dear Dave

      Guess I freaked out for no reason , the minute I added the juice for day 3 in KDD batch the yeast became very active and expanded like how the rauch was doing. Now another question after tighten the cap and loosen it half turn , it feels very loose like the cap can be moved around freely with a little touch. Is it ok ?

      P.S. sorry for asking too many questions , it's my 1st experiment ever. Thank you for your patience

    • profile image

      yazzzz 4 months ago

      I used one sachet of yeast for 2 batches , one with Rauch and one with KDD , I split the sachet by sight, on day 2 the rauch batch was ready with a nice foam on top so I added the remaining juice, for the KDD it was not ready as the foam formed is very light as u can still see the juice through some parts, but there was a dioxide gas releasing so I decided to leave for another day, today day 3 and the KDD is improving veeeeery slow and still not as good as rauch, is it because of the juice is different or the yeast was less in the KDD. Please advise ?

      regards

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      The fermentation has started. The cap now has to be always slightly loose to let the CO2 escape.

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      yazzzz 4 months ago

      Is it normal to hear the air coming of the cap on day 2 . Even though I locked it tight

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yazzzz. No problem at all

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      yazzzz 4 months ago

      Day 1

      After shaking to buggery some bits of the yeast sticked to the water bottle upper part

      Is that ok !?

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 4 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      yazzz - Wine yeast comes in sachets or in small drums. In either case, one teaspoonful is all you need. Exact quantities of yeast don't matter as it grows to equilibrium anyway. You'll be making the sugar syrup the day before you use it. Just keep it in the coke bottle with the cap closed, at room temperature.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 4 months ago

      Hey Dave,

      Starting soon but I have a couple of questions

      U mentioned that we need 1 sachet of wine yeast but in the recipe u said to use a tea spoon !?

      After dissolving the sugar , where shall I keep it ? and under what condition -tighten cap ?

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
      Author

      Dave McClure 5 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Allan - another variant is to replace some or all of the sugar with honey. That usually gives a more complex flavour and extra body. Good luck.

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      Allan Jennings 5 months ago

      Thanks will certainly try that - and of course let you know the result.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 5 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Allan - it will improve in bottle for up to 3 months. Next batch, instead of dissolving the sugar in water, you can dissolve it in cranberry juice. That will slightly increase the acidity and add to the 'profile'.

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      Allan Jennings 5 months ago

      Using Al Marai red grape jucice - nice texture, nice colour and nice strength but no taste - what can I add to give a distinctive flavour

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 5 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      yazzzz - KDD is my favourite juice to use. Rauch is also very good but more expensive. Having said that, the Rauch bottles are useful. You won't find wine yeast in Saudi (unless from another enthusiast). I think hand carrying it is a safer bet than mail order. Smell - pleasant but not strong and only noticeable close to the fermenting vessel. Brewing beer is a much smellier process than wine-making. Total time, about 4 weeks but it is better to leave it a bit longer if you can.

    • profile image

      yazzzz 5 months ago

      1st id like to thank you for your effort , noting that you were in saudi,

      what is your recommended grape juice brand ?

      did you manage to find the yeast in here or shall i roder it online or bring it along when im back from the holidays?

      what is the average total days of this whole procedure? will there be any noticeable smell in the house when making it?

      thanks and regards

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      Dave McClure 6 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Travis - after the three days refrigeration, transfer the wine to a new 5 litre container and add your oak spiral, but only half of one. Top up with cooled boiled water and let it rest for 3 months, at cool room temperature.

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      Travis 6 months ago

      Love this page and have gotten some good miles out of it. Thanks! I recently bought a couple oak spirals to try and add some extra flavor to my "juice". When would you recommend adding the spiral, and for how long? I can't tell whether I should add it up front, put it in after primary fermentation is complete and delay putting in the fridge for a few weeks, or transfer to a new bulk container after knocking out the yeast in the fridge. Leaning towards the last option. The spiral says it's best to soak for up to 6 weeks, but I think I'll probably sample some in between and see what I like best. Anyway, your advice/thoughts are appreciated!

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 7 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      FLYSCO is also me, Paraglider. I just answered from the wrong account!

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      FLYSCO 7 months ago from Kings Cross, London

      kmtt - yes, no problem at all. Allow an extra day at the start for the yeast to grow, then follow the procedure.

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      Kmtt 7 months ago

      I have one yeast sachet and wondered if I can make two separate batches with it?

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      Dave McClure 7 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hobel - well asked, and maybe I wasn't concentrating! Anyway, my method is for 5 litres total, even though only 4 litres of juice are used. Remember the litre of sugar syrup. But yes, with KDD juice, 500 g is too much.

      4 x 181 = 724 + 376 = 1,100 / 5 = 220 g/l i.e. for KDD juice (which is unusually sweet) total sugar addition should be 376 grams.

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      Hobel 7 months ago

      Thank u for sharing ur information all this years.

      I noticed someone asked you about KDD juice in same recipe, and u told him u need 500 g of sugar.( sugar content in 1 L of KDD grape juice = 181 g ) , and u said before sugar should not exceed 220 g in 1 L .

      So I get confused now , should I put sugar (500 g) in 4 L KDD which already has 181 g per L .

      Thank u again

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      Dave McClure 8 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Brad - check again, under Day four or five. I wrote "Add one more carton of grape juice and all of the sugar syrup."

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      Bradd 8 months ago

      Hey

      On your steps you didn't mention clearly when to add the sugar syrup?

      Thanks

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      Dave McClure 9 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Kay - not really enough information to be able to say. If it is still fermenting it will probably be OK, but if it has stuck there could be more of a problem.

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      Kay 9 months ago

      Hi Dave,

      I have made red and white wine using your recipe and both have turned out really well. Thank you for sharing your recipe and method.

      Recently I started making another batch. This time I put 2 cartons of grape juice and 200g sugar into the container and almost 3 weeks later the wine is still murky. My question is, will it clear, can it be saved ?

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      Dave McClure 10 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Phil - yes, but dissolve it some juice rather than just adding it as crystals.

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      Phil c 10 months ago

      Hi Paraglider, as I already have some Brewing sugar which dissolves easily, would I still need the water in the mix or could I just put it in the grape juice with the correct sugar adjustment?

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      Dave McClure 11 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Jamie - yes, it works well. Best is to start a new batch immediately after pouring off the finished wine from the sediment. Use about a teaspoonful of the sediment to start the next batch. Procedure is exactly the same. If you want to store some sediment to use later, transfer it to a small bottle and keep it in the fridge.

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      Jamie 11 months ago

      I have been making your wine for months! It is so good and easy. I have recently read something that eluded to the fact that I could reuse my yeasty sediment in the bottom of my container to start a new batch without using more yeast. This would certainly be more cost effective. If this is true... how would I go about doing it.

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      Dave McClure 11 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Frank - if it is not sweet but also not strong in alcohol, most likely the grape juice you are using is low in fermentable sugar. If the flavour is OK, on your next batch increase the sugar addition from 500g to 650g.

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      Frank 11 months ago

      Hi,

      I followed the same process and proportion as stated with the only difference of 10 Lt jar. The taste is good however it lack the power. What could have gone wrong.

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      Dave McClure 11 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Glad I could help and it worked out in the end.

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      Jam31279 11 months ago

      Hi Dave, thanks for your tip , the wine turned out fine.As predicted, the wine is a bit sweet, so might be a 12% strong sweet wine as you said,since i added way too much sugar.Anyways next batch gonna be careful with the sugar, and will possible try some white grape juice. Even also the KDD brand.

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      Dave McClure 12 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Deana, thanks for that, and the vote of confidence :) I do have a sparkling with method, but I have reservations about putting it on the Web. If misapplied, it can be quite dangerous or at least very messy!

      Karl - that shows that the earlier slow down was the original sugar being exhausted. Back on track again!

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      Karl p 12 months ago

      Hi again, update, as soon as I added the Sugar syrup and more juice it was hopping mad within two hours, it's slowing down now, great idea adding in stages in such a small container, will the wine clear itself? I plan on racking at least once to get rid of most of the sediment, great thread very informative for a novice like me.

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      Deana 12 months ago

      If I may, I'd like to tell Elite77 that I too live in Saudi and routinely bring over in my luggage or ship yeast via USPS priority mail. Order it on eBay and have a friend send it over. Have them throw in some other things to add weight. I wish there was a way to give you my email without broadcasting it to the authorities. Btw Mr. Paraglider your process is wonderful. Any for sparkling wine?

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      Dave McClure 12 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Karl - it can slow down for many reasons, drop in temperature, most of the sugar used up, etc. Also after adding more juice and sugar, it can take a little while for the signs of fermentation to pick up. Stick with it and it will probably be fine.

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      Karl p 12 months ago

      Hi I started a batch on 21 September 4 days ago and Last night was fermenting really well, got up this morning and it's nearly stopped so I added 3rd carton and sugar syrup, followed your recipe to the letter, does it normally slow down on the 4th day? I'm using Youngs super wine yeast.

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      Dave McClure 12 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Elite77 - My hub method calls for 500g/5l additional sugar, i.e. additional to what is already provided by the grape juice. In my corresponence I was saying 250g/l total sugar is a maximum, total being the sum of the grape juice sugar and the added sugar. You see the difference?

      Method and quantities don't change for bread yeast. The final result will be lower in quality, but still perfectly wholesome.

      If you are in Saudi, you should be able to find KDD grape juice. It is the best I've found. Just follow the method in the hub and make sure it has stopped fermenting before refrigerating it, for max strength and dryness.

      You'll appreciate that I'm not about to advise on how to circumvent Saudi import laws. That's up to you. But if you search the comments you'll find a third alternative, developing a culture from fresh Muscat grapes.

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      Elite77 12 months ago

      Hello Paraglider

      Curious, in one of your recent responses you mentioned 250g/l of sugar but your receipe calls for 500g/5l..

      Two, I can't get my hands on Wine Yeast, are there any adjustments to the original recepie if I am using bread yeast?

      3rd, I like a full flavored red wine, dry..any specific grape juice or sugar volumes or fermentation time factor I should consider?

      Do you think it's wise to order wine yeast via courier into Saudi? Knowing they won't deliver directly, I can use a shop and ship account..

      Cheers

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      Dave McClure 12 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Since the yeast seems to have a good hold, I'd suggest 1 litre grape and 1 litre water. Let it ferment as long as it wants, and you might end up with a strong dry 14% or a sweetish 12%, or something in between. And tell your friends how I saved your brew ;)

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      Jam31279 12 months ago

      Dear Paraglider,

      I got only 2 litres of cranberry juice(ocean spray) at a store near me,so i added 2 litres of water as well , do you suggest i should add 2 more liters of grape juice or i will look out for cranberry, or water in the worst case? today is day 6,it is still bubbling.

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      Jam31279 12 months ago

      Thanks Paraglider, will do, and thanks for sharing the link

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      Dave McClure 12 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Jasper - you have already added far too much sugar. Assuming you haven't also added water, your sugar content is now approx 350 g/l. 250 g/l is a maximum, even for a wine yeast to cope with. It will probably stop soon and be far too sweet. To salvage it, add about 5 litres of a low sugar juice like cranberry or just dilute it with about 4 litres of water. You need to read this: https://delishably.com/beverages/How-Strong-is-my-...

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      Jam31279 12 months ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      I started a batch with 12 liters of Al Rabie 100% grape juice, 3 kgs white sugar and bread yeast(couldnt get wine yeast), the fermentation has started day2, should i be adding more sugar, or this is enough. The juice has around 14gm sugar per 100 ml as per label.

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      Dave McClure 13 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Sherry - It is certainly possible to mix it all together, add the yeast and wait. But the reasons for my method are:

      Adding all the yeast to a half carton of juice almost guarantees a good strong start. Then adding juice gradually ensures that the good start continues, so that when the sugar syrup goes in, there is a huge active yeast population waiting for it, so very little risk of it sticking. Holding back the final carton is to reduce the risk of bubbling over the top of the jar. I don't want to be accused of ruining someone's expensive carpet!

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      Sherry 13 months ago

      Hello Paraglider, I'm interested in how your wine making method runs. For example, which is the reason for adding the juice and the sugar in a step-by-step way. Why don't mix everything in the beginning and just leave it working after fermentation is completed?

      Regards

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      Dave McClure 16 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Megabert - you can't go wrong if you increase all quantities in proportion but don't change the durations.

      Jamie - the exact quantity of yeast doesn't matter. Half a teaspoonful is a guide, or half a 5g sachet.

      Ade - that will certainly work ok, but it will be lighter in flavour, colour, alcohol and body with only 40% of the total volume coming from the grape juice. The important thing is to make what you enjoy drinking!