Wine making has long been considered a complex art. It is not easy but it is certainly not something which is outside one's reach. An aspect which one needs to be careful while setting out on the adventure of making wine at home is to avoid fermentation issues.
Fermentation issues one needs to watch out for are:
– Temperature of the Fermentation can turn out to be extremely sluggish if temperatures are too cool and will not ferment quite often. Hence, ideally temperatures should vary between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Re hydration of yeast before using must be done exactly as per the instructions on the packaging.
– Yeast nutrient or Di ammonium phosphate (DAP) is indispensable in order to make the wine yeast perform to its optimum capacity.
– Excess Sugar addition.
– Fermentation container getting sealed without allowing the sulphides to escape.
– Use of an air lock during the main fermentation period.
– Distilled water use may not prove ideal always due to its contents as not all water that is bottled is the same.
– It should be checked if the yeast is too old or if its limits have been reached.
A hydrometer is considered key in wine making. It aids the wine maker to determine the level of alcohol in the wine, gauges the fruit juice specific gravity. Hence there are a few don'ts in wine making:
– Wine should not be allowed to come in contact with vinegar flies
– Metal vessels should be avoided.
– Resinous wood tools and utensils should not be used.
– Avoid using lots of sugar.
– The temperature should not be increased to speed up fermentation.
– At least twice a day, the must should be stirred.
– Wine should be kept away from dead yeast or sediments.
– Wine should not be bottled before fermenting.
– Screw stopper bottles should not be employed.
An easy way of making wine at home is:
1. The wine making produce should be prepared by cleaning – De-stemming and or De-stoning all fruit. Larger fruit (apple) should be chopped up. Skin busting should be done for smaller fruit.
2. A primary fermentation container with 20 to 25% more space for the fruit pulp should be used. All ingredients for wine making should be stirred well other than the yeast. A fermentation bag should be used any pulp and the same should be submerged in the mixture. Water should be added to make the mixture to 5 gallons. 5 campden tablets should then be added.
3. The fermentation container should then be covered with a clean and thin piece of cloth after which there is a 24 hour wait.
4. The mixture should be allowed to ferment for 5 to 7 days after sprinkling the surface of the juice with wine yeast and covering it with a clean and thin towel.
5. The pulp is to be removed from the fermentation container after 5 to 7 days and the wine in a careful manner should be shifted into a carboy so as to leave the sediment behind.
6. A wine air lock should be attached which should be filled with water till about half way. The juice should then be allowed to ferment for a further 4 to 6 weeks or until the solution becomes clear.
The wine has to be siphoned off once it has cleared and 5 crushed campden tablets should be stirred in before bottling. Potassium Sorbet should be added to the bottles to prevent re-fermentation in bottles.