Making Wine – A Quick Reference
1. Prepare the fruit wash, pit, freeze, etc. For more extensive information on ingredients and preparation of fruit see Chapter One of Natural Winemaking at Home. (Click link here to go to book information.)
2. Sanitize the primary fermentation vessel.
3. Place fruit into the primary fermentation vessel.
4. Add sugar and stir into the fruit. Macerate (set link to glossary) for at least an hour or until room temperature.
5. Boil the recommended amount of water. After the fruit is macerated and the sugar has drawn out the juice, pour the boiling water over the fruit and stir the mixture well.
6. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, i.e. 60°F to 70°F.
7. Proof the Yeast, if necessary.
8. Add the yeast to the must. Add yeast nutrient, peptic enzyme, acid blend, etc. at this time, if you choose to use them. Stir it all in.
9. Cover the bucket with a square of pure muslin, and secure with a large rubber band or string. Set the bucket’s lid loosely over the container.
10. Store the primary fermentation vessel in a draft free area. Keep temperature constant between 60°F. and 70°F. or a temperature range appropriate to your yeast.
11. Stir the wine each day for at least the first three or four days. Make sure to wet and submerge the cap into the must each time. It is a good idea to sanitize the utensil used to stir the wine. Rinse Clean and rinse wooden utensils with very hot water water. (you do not need to use bleach or sanitizer – as natural wood has antiseptic qualities within the wood. If you do use a sanitizer other than hot water for the wood, be sure to rinse thoroughly.)
12. Sanitize the carboy (secondary fermentation vessel), funnel, strainer, 2-4 cup measuring cup(preferably glass), and a large spoon. You’ll also need a container for the fruit pulp, such as a bucket or bowl. (There is no need to sanitize the latter container.)
13. Place the funnel securely in the mouth of the carboy. Set the strainer into the funnel.
14. Using the measuring cup, carefully transfer the must into the strainer. Use the back of the spoon and/or bottom of the cup to lightly press the juice out of the fruit pulp. Use the spoon to scrape the pressed fruit pulp out of the strainer and into the bucket or bowl.
15. Install the airlock.
16. Continue secondary fermentation of the wine in the carboy for a minimum of 3 months. It may take as long as 6 months to be complete. The airlock should be free of pressurization when the wine is ready to bottle.
For additional information and even more specific step by step instructions, see the directions in Chapter Two, of “Making the Wine, Natural Winemaking at Home,” starting on page 25.