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Wine is fermented fruit juice. The fruit that we recognize as the basis of wine making is the grape and the variety of wines that can be made from grapes if truly amazing.
However, grapes are just one of hundreds of fruits that can be made into wine. Apple, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries and berries can all be used to make wine. In fact, if you can extract juice from a fruit, you can use it to make wine.
In the area of preventing degradation of the quality of the juice between the time you start handling the fruit until the time you eventually get the fermentation going. It is during this period that fungi and bacteria can attack the fruit and juice and spoil it. It is also the time when oxygen in the air will cause changes in the juice that will reduce the quality of the finished wine.
This is a particularly important factor because it occurs very quickly and almost without you noticing it. A good way of illustrating this point is to remind you what happens when you cut a pear in half or peal a banana. They go brown very quickly. This is caused by oxygen in the air and it spoils the fruit. The same thing occurs in grape juice or any other juice for that matter. You may not be able to see it happening but you can be sure that it does, and the end result will be wine with unpleasant colour and taste.
To get it right, juice extraction needs to be made very quickly with special equipment. The best thing to do is get an expert to do it for you and this is where wine kits come into the picture.
The better quality wine its most basic form, wine making consists of extracting juice from a suitable fruit, adding yeast to it to make it ferment, clearing it when the fermentation is finished and then bottling it to let it mature and improve.
Extracting juice can be difficult and requires a lot of work. It can also involve lots of problems particularly kits that are available these days are made from real vintage quality grape juice that has been clarified, stabilized, Concentrated by removing water from the juice and thematically sealed.
This makes the juice easier to transport and free of spoilage caused by air, fungal and bacterial contaminants. All the problems described above are eliminated.
The grape varieties that you can get are from all over the world and the wines you make from these kits are well balanced and true to type.
Because of the wide variety of wine kits on the market we only stock the most popular varieties although we can order in as required.
What is needed to make Wine.
Wine kits are made with ease of use in mind. The equipment required is quite simple and most beer or spirit makers will already have the majority of the equipment required.
A 30 litre plastic fermenter for the initial fermentation stage.
A digital thermometer to stick to the outside of the fermenter
A 25 litre plastic fermenter for the secondary fermentation stage.
A long plastic spoon
A hydrometer to test the wine.
A siphone hose to transfer wine into second fermenter.
A bottle of sterilizer
30 corks although you could possibly use screw top wine bottles.
A corking tool to compress the corks and insert them into the bottle.
Basic steps to making wine and using wine kits.
The steps listed are very basic. The actual process is a little more detailed but no harder than making beer or spirits. If you want to know more call into the shop and we will give you a full set of instructions.
Add wine kit to fermenter and top up to 23 litres with water.
Check the specific gravity with your hydrometer.
Ensure temperature is between 18 to 24 oC
After 5-7 days check specific gravity and if reading is less than 1.010 transfer wine to second fermenter.
After 10 days check specific gravity, it should be 0.996
Dissolve metabisulphite and sorbate into wine and stir vigorously for 2 minutes.
Clarification and bottling.
After 8 days check wine for clarity, if not completely clear, leave the fermenter for another 7 days. Do not bottle cloudy wine!
Syphon wine into clean, sterilized bottles. Leave bottles upright for 3 days.
Mature your wine
Try to let your wine mature for a reasonable period. Three months would be good and it would be great if you could leave a few bottles for up to 12 months!