MAKING WINE FROM GRAPES
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To make wine from grapes please buy a copy of our guide and recipe leaflet "MAKING WINE FROM GRAPES" which will guide you through the entire process. You can find this item by using our "Search" button.
You will also need the following EQUIPMENT and INGREDIENTS:
- Food grade plastic bin of a size suitable for the volume, see below.
- VIGO PULPMASTER (to crush the grapes)
- VIGO PULPMASTER BUCKET (very important to have the correct bucket for the Pulpmaster)
- WINE PRESS & PRESS LINER
- WINE & BEER HYDROMETER
- TRIAL JAR FOR HYDROMETERS
- Sugar (white granulated)
- GERVIN YEAST, No.2 for Red wine, No.5 for White or CONNOISSEURS CHOICE RED or WHITE WINE YEAST
- Campden tablets (preservative)
- Potassium Sorbate (stabiliser)
- Wine finings (for clearing)
- To assist in maintaining a fermentation temperature of around 24°C you can use a Brew Belt or a Heating Tray.
VOLUME: Generally about 14lb (6.4Kg) of grapes are required to make one gallon of wine so order vessels of a suitable size dependent on the volume that you are likely to make.
Recommended fermentation vessels:
For single gallon production: PET PLASTIC DEMIJOHN (GALLON BOTTLE). No bung is required as the cap is fitted with a rubber grommet to take a PLASTIC BUBBLER AIRLOCK which you will need to order separately.
For 5 gallon production: WINE FERMENTING BIN (BUCKET) 33 litre + GROMMET. This fermenter is supplied complete with a grommet fitted to it's lid to take a PLASTIC BUBBLER AIRLOCK which you will need to order separately.
A syphon set should be used to transfer from the fermenting vessel into bottles or a barrel. To make a complete syphon set please order a RIGID SYPHON TUBE plus a SYPHON TAP and 2 metres of 5/16" TUBING.
PLEASE NOTE: White wine can be made from either white or black grapes. Red wine can only be made from black grapes. Red-skinned grapes are not normally suitable for producing red or rose wines, only use them to make white wine. Only the juice from the grapes should be used to make the wine - NEVER ADD WATER.
All of the above items (including the recipe leaflet), together with their prices, can be found by using the "Search" button on our web site.
If you have never made wine before you might find it difficult to start from scratch, so I'd suggest using a winepack for your first attempt to enable you to easily gain the necessary experience. I have detailed below what you would need:
If you have no equipment at the moment then the easiest option is to order our "WINE BEGINNERS 5g EQUIPMENT STARTER KIT" for 5 gallon production or the "SIX BOTTLE WINE OR LIQUEUR BEGINNERS PACK" for 1 gallon production. You'll find these in the "Beginners Equipment Packs" section, or you can use our "Search" button to find them.
To purchase one of these "special price" beginners packs you must order an appropriate sized wine kit at the same time.
Bear in mind that if you make wine in single gallons by the time you have drunk a few bottles you will need to start thinking about making another batch, with 5 gallon production you have a much greater buffer and the wine is considerably cheaper, nearly half price!
You will then need to choose a winepack to suit your taste, if you have a look through the "Wine Kits" section of our web site you'll find there is a very wide range of types available.
The starter kit contains the hardware you will need to make the wine but you might also want to consider how you would like to store the finished wine. It is not a good idea to leave the finished wine in the fermenting vessel as it will still be sitting on the yeast and will therefore start to pick-up unwanted flavours after a while, also if you draw off some of the wine air will have to enter the fermenter to replace the wine, this can introduce spoilage bacteria and will once again adversely affect the taste of the wine.
The easiest approach to storage is to use the "10 LITRE WINE BOX DISPENSER Bag-in-Box". Each dispenser takes up to 12 bottles of wine and they are totally re-usable.
The other way to store is of course by bottling. You can re-cycle commercial wine bottles by cleaning them thoroughly with the cleaner/steriliser (in the starter kit) and then cork the bottles to seal. For this I would recommend "FINE QUALITY CORKS, 50's", these are silicone treated and are therefore easy to insert with a corking machine. To insert the corks you can either use a simple device such as the "PLASTIC MINI HAND CORKING MACHINE" or if you wish to make life easier you can use the "TWO-LEVER HAND CORKING MACHINE".
If you want to dress the bottles we have a wide range of labels and shrink capsules which go over the cork and are heat shrunk (using a pan of boiling water) onto the bottle, just like the capsules you see on commercial bottles of wine.
Although not essential at this stage later on you might like to start measuring the specific gravity of you wine so that you can determine it's dryness and calculate how much sugar to add to sweeten it if necessary. If so you would need a "WINE & BEER HYDROMETER" and a "TRIAL JAR FOR HYDROMETERS". To directly measure the final alcohol in the wine you can use a "GLASS VINO-O-METER FOR ALCOHOL MEASUREMENT".
All of these items can be found by using the "Search" button on our web site.