After all, you don’t have a handy vineyard in your back yard do you?
The most obvious types of wines are made from grapes, but you don’t need to begin making your own homemade wine by pressing and juicing your own grapes.
In fact, would you even know what type of grapes to use and how many you’d need to press to make enough to get a decent amount of wine?
There Is A Way To Make Easy Homemade Wine
It’s possible to begin making homemade wine from juice as long as you know where to start.
Most juices used for wine making come in five gallon pails and have already been sulphanated for sterilization and have the yeast added. Simply open it and smell the juice, it should have a slightly wine like scent that tells you the fermentation process is already underway.
The good news is, you don’t even need to use grape juice. You can make some great wines from most types of fruit juice.
Once you’ve tried some basic grape-juice wine varieties, experiment with some other types of fruit juice and see what great flavors you can create.
Unfortunately, if you get the ingredients wrong when making homemade wine from juice, or the fermenting process goes wrong, the taste can be pretty awful.
So we’ll work on some ways you can get the taste right at the same time as making homemade wine from juice.
Removing Grape Juice Flavor
When you make homemade wine from frozen grape juice concentrate you buy at store you will have wine with some alcohol content, but it will still taste like sour-acid grape juice and nothing like wine.
This is usually because grape juice has almost double the amount of acidic content of freshly pressed vineyard grapes the wineries use.
The way to get the sour grape flavor out of your wine is to neutralize some of the acid. Your fruit juice still needs to have some acidic content for the fermentation process to work. Ideally you want to reduce the acid content by at least half.
- If you’re using frozen grape juice concentrate as your wine base, then you’ll need to dilute it first with water. This won’t reduce the acid content, but it will give you your base juice to begin the winemaking process.
- Next, you’ll need to find a regular, over-the-counter antacid. Preferably, find one where the label says the active ingredient is calcium carbonate. This with neutralize the acid in the grape juice nicely. If possible, look for one that has no flavor as well.
- Ideally, you should add around 1 gram of antacid per 2 1/2 liters of juice. (approx 0.03 oz per 2/3 gallon). Crush up the tablets and toss them into the juice. Stir a little to help them dissolve.
- Now your grape juice concentrate has a lower acid content and should taste much better in your finished product, let’s make some wine.
What You Will Need To Make Easy Homemade Wine
Most of the basic equipment you need to make home made wine can be found in wine kits at specialty winemaking stores and some of the larger online stores.
- Food-grade bucket or brewing vessel with a secure lid
- Fermenting container with bung and airlock
- Plastic tubing
- Sterilized empty bottles
Strain your diluted, reduced-acid fruit juice into your brewing vessel. Make sure you have no grape seeds or pith in your juice. Don’t fill the container all the way to the top. You’ll need some space for the fermentation process.
Add some cultured yeast to your juice. This will help the fermentation process. Your wine will need to sit for around 7 to 10 days.
After you’ve left your juice to sit for a week or so, use a length of plastic tubing to transfer your juice from the original container and into a clean fermenting vessel. Be sure you push the plastic tube to the bottom of the container so you’re moving juice from the bottom out first. This helps to stop over-oxidation.
This process agitates the yeast and adds a little bit of oxygen to the juice, which helps the yeast to ferment the sugars in the juice. Leave juice in the new container for 4 to 6 weeks.
You need to stabilize and de-carbonate your wine. While most homemade wine recipes don’t include this step in an effort to make it sound easier and quicker for you, it is important. If you decide to skip this step then you could find you have exploding corks and fizzy, bubbly wine.
Transfer your wine from the fermenting container back into another sanitized container and add 1 Campden tablet per 2 gallons. You’ll also need to add 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon to help stop the fermentation process.
If you want to make your wine a little sweeter, add a little sugar.
Mix the wine for a couple of minutes and then allow to settle for 2 to 4 weeks.
Check your wine occasionally. When it seems clear, it’s time to get your wine into bottles. Always sterilize your bottles before you begin. Then use a funnel and plastic tubing to transfer your wine into the bottles.
When making homemade wine from juice Never fill the bottles all the way to the top and make sure you secure your corks properly.