My First Venture into Home-Made Wine

Wine purists will probably stick their noses in the air and dismiss this post. I don’t care. It’s an experiment.

Making wine at home is not difficult. Once you have the right equipment (which is not expensive), and you make sure that it is kept spotlessly clean, you can make some reasonable wine. This is especially true of “country wines” which are made from fruit, vegetables or flowers, other than grapes.

Many years ago I saw a TV programme on which they made orange wine and cherry wine using commercially produced juice in cartons as sold in all supermarkets. Apparently, it made a drinkable wine.

I like country wines, so the idea really appealed to me and I always thought that I’d give it a try some time. Today I finally got around to buying the equipment, consisting of two 1 gallon demijohns (a wide glass bottle with a narrow neck), an airlock and bung, a siphon tube and some sodium metabisulphite which is used to sterilise the equipment.

The whole lot came to about £20, and most of it will last a very long time, so it’s not a huge outlay to get into wine production.

The only ingredients you need to make this sort of wine are fruit juice and yeast. Some people use baker’s yeast, but I would really recommend getting a proper wine yeast. Again, they are not expensive.

Commercial wine is made from the juice of grapes. I don’t own a fruit press, and I fail to see much of a difference between using prepared fruit juice and squeezing my own. Ok, pressed juice will contain some pulp from the fruit, and maybe some of the skins, which might make a difference.

The important thing about buying juice in cartons is that it must be 100% juice, with no added water, preservatives etc. A high sugar content is required for good fermentation, and grape juice has just that. I have chosen to use just grape juice for my first attempt. I have read recommendations that if any other juice is used, include some grape juice in it.

I needed 4 litres of juice, and I bought them for just £3.40. The yeast was £0.59. This will be topped up to 5 litres with water eventually, so I shall have the equivalent of about 6 bottles of wine for under £4. It’s difficult to buy just one bottle of wine for that price!

So I have everything I need to get started, which I will do this evening when the kids have gone to bed.

Stay tuned for my next post on getting the wine started.

March 20, 2012 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Drink, Home Brewing, Wine making

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