how to make homemade wine

 Fermentation Process - How to Make Homemade Wine

Fermentation Process - How to Make Wine From Home

How to Make Homemade Wine Picture6> Many people who are learning how to make homemade wine are learning that the most important concept of making wine is the fermentation process. When making wine you need to know what fermentation is. Fermentation is the process in which yeast converts the sugar in fruit into carbon dioxide and alcohol, the CO2 then escapes into the air creating the finished product, the wine.

Getting Started with the Fermentation Process

The first step in how to make homemade wine from home is to choose a particular recipe that you are interested in, for new winemakers it is important to choose a recipe with the least amount of ingredients and one that involves very easy processes. When you are comfortable with all of the fermenting steps you can then experiment with more involved recipes and a larger variety of fruits.

The ingredients may vary in the different recipes, for new wine makers the best ingredients are juice (fruit or fruit juice concentrate), yeast, Campden Tablets, yeast nutrient, pectin enzyme, acid blend, and wine tannin. You will be able to use more ingredients as you get more familiar with how they react to each other and your wine during fermentation.

Basic Equipment for Fermentation

Before you begin making your recipe, you need to have readily available all of the ingredients and equipment. You should have at least the basic equipment available such as a bucket (for primary fermentation) for the fermenting, a carboy, an airlock for sealing the fermentation, a hose or tub to siphon the juice, a hydrometer to check out the sugar content, clean and sterilized utensils for stirring, a straining bag or women’s nylons for racking and bottles for the end product.

The Fermentation Process: How to make Homemade Wine

Wine fermentation has two major stages, the primary stage which is know as the aerobic, and the secondary stage which is the anaerobic stage of fermentation.

Primary Fermentation

Primary fermentation can last anywhere between 4 and 7 days, with at least 70% of all of the activity of fermentation performed during this period. You will notice a great deal of foaming during this period of rapid fermentation. During this time the fermentation vessel is usually opened to the air, because yeast cells need air to grow and multiply. Without air this process will be hindered and your wine will be ruined, that is why during the first few days you will begin fermentation without the use of an airlock. Some alcohol is produced during this time but it is mostly dedicated to the allowing the yeast to reproduce.

Secondary Fermentation

When learning how to make homemade wine from home secondary fermentation is the anaerobic stage of fermentation, because you will use an airlock to keep the air out. This process is much slower than primary fermentation, only 30 % of all of the fermentation activity occurs during this stage. This stage can take anywhere between 2 or 3 weeks depending on how much of how much sugar is still available. The activities of the fermentation will diminish on a daily basis. This is due to the reduction in air during the process that causes the yeast to stop multiplying and using its energies to make the alcohol.

Important Consideration for fermentation

Temperature is very important in the fermentation process, because if the temperature is too cool the yeast may not multiply enough to ferment, it will just stay in the juice doing nothing.  If the temperature is too warm, the yeast may replicate but the taste of the wine may suffer due to increased production of some unwanted forms of enzymes and growth of micro organisms, too much warmth may also kill the yeast further hindering alcohol production. The perfect temperature for fermentation is 72 degrees F, but a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees will do just fine.

During the fermentation process you will need to transfer the wine to a clean container leaving behind the sediment that has fallen to the bottom of the container, this process is known as racking. Racking needs to be done when primary fermentation ends or when the specific gravity is about 1.030 on your hydrometer. You will need to rack again after the second fermentation, and once more just before bottling.

Yeast needs sugar to produce the alcohol needed to make the alcohol your wine needs. If your concentration of sugar is to high it will stop being a food source for yeast, and it inhibits its ability to produce alcohol. In some cases you do not need to add sugar, but if the sugar level is too low, you may need to add sugar. The ultimate alcohol level is 10% to 13%. Many fruits such as berries need considerable amounts of sugar to reach the same amount of alcohol.

You may wish to add yeast nutrients to your mix, these nutrients will help the yeast reproduce more and produce more alcohol, it comes in a powdered forma and you can just mix some in a small portion of your must and return it to the fermenting must.

After fermentation activity has ended you will need to give the wine time to clear before bottling so you will need to leave it in to sit for at least 2 to 4 more weeks till the wine is clear.

It is important to remember that fermentation is the most important process of all of the activities that must occur when learning how to make homemade wine. It is the process that turns your fruit into the tasty wines. It is important to take your time and do everything correctly so that you get the best results imaginable for your wine. Also remember that during the fermentation process to maintain sanitary conditions because bacteria will harm the quality of your wines. If you follow all of these directions you will have great wines that your family and friends will rave about. More free information on fermentation is available at this site under Fermentation & Process Tips and our FAQ.

We recommend you read the next article on wine clarification next.

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