How To Make Wine at Home
Making Your Own Wine At Home?
Adventures in Homebrewing has many options for the home winemaker. Even if you are new to winemaking, we can answer all of your questions.
How long does it take to make wine?
Depending on the wine you choose, it will take between 4 and 8 weeks to complete the winemaking process.
Can I make wine that is as good as store bought brands?
Yes! Adventures in Homebrewing offers many wine recipe kits to choose from. We feature Winexpert, and Winexpert sourced juices and concentrates from all over the world that follow the same process as a winery, but on a much smaller scale. For the best wine, allow your wine to age in a wine bottle – the longer you wait, the better it will become.
Is making wine at home expensive?
Not at all. Adventures in Homebrewing offers options to make wine for every budget. Because you are making the wine yourself, you save the high tax rates associated with beverage alcohol. In fact, our wines can be made for as little as $5 per bottle, making it very affordable compared to store-bought wine.
How do I make my own wine?
To get started, you will need some basic homebrewing equipment. If you don't have any brewing or wine making equipment, that is no problem. Adventures in Homebrewing carries Wine Making Equipment Kits for anyone ready to get started in winemaking.
With the right equipment, you just need to know the process. Making a wine kit from one of our Winexpert kits is simple and easy because the kit has all the ingredients, in pre-measured amounts, that one needs to make 6 gallons of wine or thirty 750 ml wine bottles.
Here is an example of some of the ingredients included in a Winexpert recipe Kit.
- Juice Bag: The grape juice has all the fermentable sugars that the wine yeast feed on to make alcohol. The vast majority of the wine’s flavor and complexity is also derived from the grape juice.
- Wine Yeast: 1-2 Yeast packets of dry wine yeast depending on the recipe kit. Yeast is what eats and converts the sugars to alcohol.
- Oak: In select kits, you will find packets of oak chips. Oak will impart beneficial flavors and colors into the wine. Oak also helps to balance some of the rich flavors found in wines like chardonnays.
- Bentonite: This is a fine clay in powder form that helps clarify the wine during fermentation
- Metabisulfite: Stops yeast action and is used in stabilizing the wine before clarifying. Metabisulfite can also be used as a sanitizer for winemaking equipment in higher concentrations. Your kit will not include enough for use as a sanitizer but can be purchased from AHS if desired.
- Potassium Sorbate: Stops all remaining fermentation action and fully stabilizes the wine. Sorbate is used in conjunction with metabisulfite for wine stabilization.
- Finishing Fining Agent: Depending on the kit this will be either an isinglass pack or chitosan pack. Like bentonite, these agents help clarify the wine into the sparkling beauty you sip from your glass.
Wine recipe kits do not take a long time to get into the bottle. It is possible to have a wine in bottle at 4-6 weeks from start. However, the catch that you’re looking for comes in the form of aging the wine. There are benefits to aging and following the recommended guidelines ensure your wine will always be delectable and desired by your friends. But, a remarkable amount of the improvement can be obtained within the first 1-2 months of bottling and as such it is possible for you to have a delicious wine within 3 months of starting. Packaged wine making juices tend to make wines faster than making wine using fresh fruit juices because there is generally no pulp or skins involved (with some very specific exceptions).
Winexpert has some very specific aging recommendations from which you can get the best possible flavor.
Island Mist: Island mist kits are fermented from a grape base and sweetened with a fruit juice. These wines are ready within just a few weeks of bottling.
Specialty Dessert Wine Kits: These kits can vary depending on the type of wine being made. A standard dessert wine could be ready with as little as 2-3 months age time, whereas a chocolate raspberry port may take 4-6 months.
Winexpert Classic: It is recommended that these wines age from 2-5 months after bottling. The aging process allows tannins and other flavors to mellow meld into one another so as to be pleasing to the pallet.
One Gallon Winexpert Classic kits: Have all the same requirements for fermentation and aging as a 6 gallon Winexpert Classic kit.
Winexpert Reserve: Winexpert strongly recommend that these wines be aged up to a year in order to enjoy the best possible flavors. While they will be ready to drink in as little as 3-4 months, they will be best at 12 months or more. This has to do with the quality of the juices in the juice bag. Reserve kits are a step above the rest in that they rely on purer grape juices that are sourced and/or blended from very specific locales within a given region. The quantity of juice is also more than what will be found in a Classic Kit, meaning less water will be used, which results in a longer age time.
Winexpert Private Reserve: These kits are the highest quality wine kits produced on the market, bar none. They will take 16-18 months age time to achieve the best results. Private Reserve kits include the most pure juice of any level kit and the highest quality ingredients. The grapes used in these kits are often sourced from specific vineyards.
It can be hard to age a wine for this long, especially when you’ve put the time and effort and money into making a Reserve or Private Reserve Kit. I’m not saying you can’t start to drink the fruits of your labor at 3-4 months, it will be a very good wine, but at 12-18 months it will be a phenomenal wine. Adventures in Homebrewing recommends saving 1/4 to 1/2 your batch bottles and then start a new batch. This way you can enjoy your wine at its best, but you can start to enjoy it as it's maturing.
In addition to a wine making recipe kit and being prepared to age it, you will need a wine making equipment kit and wine bottles in order to make your nectar of the gods. We offer several levels of kits to get you started. Or if you’re a brewer of beer already, all you need to do is get an additional 7.9 gallon fermenter, wine bottle corker, wine corks and a 6 gallon carboy.
Let's Go Through The Whole Wine Making Process
How To Make Wine At Home 1: Welcome to Winemaking
Tim Vandergrift walks you through some of the basics of making wine at home. Winemaking is a natural process, that you can do at home, and produce a good product. The process is completely safe, and with our equipment and wine kits, you can create store quality wine at home. All of our equipment and wine kits come with great instructions and are easy to follow. Watch this video, and you will learn about the basic equipment needed.
How To Make Wine At Home 2: Before You Begin
Now it is time to dive right in, right? Wrong. If you want a quality, good tasting wine, there is some prep work involved. But don't worry, it is easy to do. This next video will walk you through the cleaning process and as well as an in-depth look at the instructions.
How To Make Wine At Home 3: Primary Fermentation
With all your equipment clean and sanitized, it is time to make the wine. This next video will walk you through filling the fermenter and taking a Gravity Reading and all the way to pitching your yeast.
How To Make Wine At Home 4: Secondary Fermentation
Ferment again? You bet! After 5-7 days your Primary Fermentation should be complete. In this video, you will learn to how to take your Gravity to ensure fermentation has taken place. Typically, we will transfer into a Glass Carboy. Transferring your wine is made much easier with Auto-Siphon. They are available in a 1/2" and 3/8" diameter sizes.
How To Make Wine At Home 5: Stabilising and Clearing
At this point, the wine is just about finished with its fermentation. Now it is time to stabilize and clear the wine. Follow the instructions and to take a sample. A Wine Thief is a perfect tool for this. You will also learn how to calculate the Alcohol Content. There will be some additives that will need to be added at this point, refer to your instructions for your particular wine kit. Time to de-gas? Yes, a Wine Whip will make all the difference.
How To Make Wine At Home 6: Bottling
Finally, time to drink...I mean to bottle. The wine should now be clear. Use that Wine Thief again to get a close look, you want to bottle clear wine. You will need about 30 standard wine bottles. Adventures in Homebrewing has multiple sizes, colors, and styles of wine bottles to choose from. Check out our full selection here =>Wine Bottles.
That's it, you are a winemaker. Now it is time to pick out a wine. Choose your favorite wine kit from Winexpert.
“I Made This" used with permission of Winexpert