I discovered homemade wine a few years ago. Like all kitchen activities there are some failures, but when things go right, you end up grinning for days.
Here are my suggestions and recipes for making your own wine at home.
Wine making is not an expensive hobby. My setup cost less than £10 ($15) and has now lasted about five years with no apparent wear and tear.
The essential tools are
- A food grade lidded bucket
- A couple of demijohns
- a siphon tube
- An airlock
- A box of sterilising tablets
- a muslin straining bag or large muslin cloth
This is enough to make one gallon of wine. To make more you will need more demijohns and airlocks.
Now the easiest recipe for homemade wine is probably blackberry wine.
Blackberry Wine Instructions
Go out in late summer and pick about three pounds of tasty ripe fruit from the hedgerows. Remember to always pick from higher than waist height (some horrible people go for a pee in bushes) and taste regularly for quality control to make the picking a fun experience.
Now take the fruit home, wash it and bash it in a bowl to a pulp. Pour through the muslin into the bucket.
The skins that remain in the muslin should not be thrown away. Tie up the muslin to make a large teabag filled with the remaining pulp and throw it into the bucket too.
Add the juice of an orange and lemon
Add 3 lbs of caster sugar and just under a gallon of boiled water. Stir together until the sugar has disolved and leave to cool.
Once the temperature is down to below body heat, add a packet of wine yeast and stir again.
Now put the lid on the bucket. In 24 hrs time there will be a frothy head on the liquid and bubbles fizzing away. (Look, but dont stir or play with it)
From now on you need to be really careful about hygene!
After 4 days use the (sterilised) siphon to move the juice into a (sterilised) demijohn. Cover with a (sterilised) airlock. You can now throw the contents of the muslin bag into your bin as we dont need it anymore.
Allow your wine to ferment for about 1 month before transfering it to a new demijohn. Doing this leaves the dregs from the bottom of the first demijohn behind. If we left the wine with them they would eventually spoil the flavour.
After another couple of months the airlock will stop ‘blipping’ which means that fermentation is complete and you now have a dry wine. (IMPORTANT- make sure all activity has stopped before proceeding to next step)
Transfer to 6 cleaned and sterilised old wine bottles. Most are screwcap these days and these can be reused.
Now leave the wine for at least a year before cracking open a bottle to see if your hard work has been worth the effort.