Thursday, October 1, 2009
The grape harvest this year was not huge, but large enough to make some sauce and, more importantly, wine. Making a basic wine from grapes is quite easy, with very little equipment needed.
We usually make one gallon batches for a few reasons: you don't need as many grapes; if it doesn't come out quite right you haven't wasted a lot of ingredients and the equipment needed is minimal.
We de-stem the grapes and put in a kettle. Cook like you would if you were making grape juice; simply add a little water to the grapes and cook over low heat until the grapes burst. We use a potato masher to help things along.
Strain the grape mixture over another kettle to save the juice. Add the pulp to the compost pile.
Add honey to taste to the juice (over low heat) and get it to where it tastes good to you.
Sterilize a one gallon wine jug and fill 3/4 full of the grape juice, adding some water if necessary.
Let cool to 100oF and add about 2 grams of wine yeast. Cork, and add your air lock. (Corks and air locks are available at home brewing shops).
We let the jug sit in the kitchen sink over night since it is possible that it could bubble over (the honey really makes the yeast work)
Let sit until the wine (air lock) stops “chugging.” Watch for bubbles in the wine. When the fermentation process has finished, bottle the wine.
This is the way we make our raspberry and blueberry wine, as well.
Grape Wine, Fermenting