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How To Make Homemade Wine
Making homemade wine is an incredibly popular and rewarding pass time. Once you gather your wine equipment you are well on your way to making your own homemade wine. Here I will outline the basic steps that go into making homemade wine although as your experience increases you will come up with your own style and techniques to make your homemade wine with your own flair.
That wine is made exclusively from grapes is a popular misconception. In fact many popular wines are made with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and even flowers. Common fruits used in making wine are strawberries, blackberries, elderberries, apples, and peaches. There are some great homemade wine recipes out there and you are only limited by your imagination.
Homemade Wine Basic Steps
There are three basic steps in making homemade wine. They are flavor extraction, fermentation, and bottling and aging. These steps will remain constant no matter what kind of homemade wine you are making. The changes to the different types of homemade wine will take place mostly during the flavor extraction stage.
Step One - Flavor Extraction
Flavor extraction varies depending on the type of homemade wine you are creating. Some fruits have a stronger flavor and require water to dilute them or sugar to be added. You may decide to use juice concentrate to cut down on squeezing. Yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.
Step Two - Fermentation
One of the most important thing you will learn in making homemade wine is the fermentation process. The fermentation of wine involved yeasts consuming sugars and producing alcohol. There are actually 2 stages to the fermentation process. The first is the yeast gathering into a colony and the second is the actual production of alcohol. Often the first stage occurs in your primary fermentation bucket, and the second after you transfer it to your carboy. Once transferred and a fermentation lock is in place to block the air out, the yeast will continue to work until it has consumed all the oxygen and a slower fermentation will occur. When the yeast has finished it will settle to the bottom of your carboy and it will be time for the final step in the process.
Step Three - Bottling And Aging
Although this is the easiest step, when it comes to storing wine it important that it be done correctly. After bottling your homemade wine should be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight to continue the aging process. Often times freshly bottled wine will not taste good. You should allow your homemade wine to age so it will mellow and the flavors have time to interact with each other. There are many schools of thought on how long to let your homemade wine age but the easiest way to know is sample your wine over the next several weeks to two months. When your homemade wine has achieved a flavor and refinement that you are happy with make a not on how long the aging took for the recipe you used and next time there will be no guess work.
Again these are just the basic steps to making homemade wine. As you expand your craft you will most likely want to experiment with different recipes, fermentation times, and aging techniques. Making homemade wine can be very a fulfilling hobby and is a great way to express your creativity and imagination.