Homemade wine recipes can be made by using grapes or other types of fruit.
You can even learn how to make a honey wine or mead which is considered by many to be the first wine produced by Ancient people.
Fruit wine recipes can be made with just about any type of fruit and
this is where you can create many brand new taste sensations.
learning how to make honey wine is probably the easiest of all the
homemade wine recipes with ingredients that could already be in your
The really nice thing about making your own homemade wine recipe is that you can choose to use wild fermentation.
Or you can buy packets of different types of yeast for added success with your homemade wine recipes.
However, wild fermentation may be more of interest to you, if you are interested in "sulfite free" wines.
Also, you can legally produce up to 100 gallons of homemade wine per year for your personal consumption - just in case you were wondering.
Homemade Wine Recipes - Grape Wine Recipe Basics
Making a truly great homemade wine is really a labor of love and will almost always be made with one of the classic wine grapes that are favored by many wine makers.
Making homemade wine recipes is a simple chemical process that uses the natural process of fermentation to turn the juice of grapes into wine.
In order for grapes to create the best homemade wine recipes, they will need to be completely ripe and organic.
Use grapes that you have grown yourself or buy them at a great farmer's market that sells ripe wine grapes.
Grapes for Homemade Wine Recipes
Classic red wine grapes are Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
Classic white wine grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay.
Classic wine grapes will supply the right amount of sugar and will be
low enough in acid to produce some really great homemade wine recipes.
Classic wine grapes have a good reputation and will help to ensure delightful homemade wine recipes that you will treasure for years.
However, because of the complexities of certain grapes, I would get a
good wine making book before starting any homemade wine recipes.
Homemade Red Wine with Wild Fermentation
Classic Wine Grapes (When buying grapes be sure they don't contain any chemicals or preservatives. And before crushing the grapes, remove the stems, bruised fruit, leaves, bugs, etc.)
Crush grapes with your hands, feet, or use a machine. Then put crushed grapes into a fermenting vessel.
Ferment for 5 to 8 days. Be sure to check the acidity level and quantity of sugar in
your "must". And adjust "must" if necessary.
Be sure to punch down grapes a few times a day to increase oxygen to help feed the yeast.
When the Gravity reading on your hydrometer has dropped below 1.030, the primary fermentation is said to be over.
"Rack" or siphon the fermented grape juice out of the first fermenting vessel.
And then press the remaining grapes to get the rest of the fermented grape juice.
Put fermented grape juice into the 2nd fermentation
vessel with an air-lock to complete secondary stage of ferment.
When complete, "rack" wine into another vessel to remove the sediment and let wine clear at a lower temperature in a dark room.
In a few months, "rack" again to remove sediment (if needed).
At about 8 months old, if the Gravity reading of wine is 0.995 or less - "rack" for last time and bottle wine for long term storage.
The Fermentation Process
One of the most important concepts you must learn to make homemade
wine recipes is the fermentation process.
Fermentation is when yeast
consume the available sugars in your "must" and turn that sugar into
alcohol and CO2 gas.
The Primary stage of the
fermentation process is called the aerobic stage. And there are many types of fermenting vessels to use for this process - it may just depend on how much you are fermenting.
Air is very important at this point to help yeast multiply (if your depending on wild yeast) which produces alcohol and CO2.
This part of the process typically takes 3 to 7 days. And about 70% of fermentation will take place during this stage.
The Secondary stage of the fermentation process is called the
Air exposure is limited at this point which forces
the yeast to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide or CO2 while dying off.
This part of the process typically takes 10 to 15 days and will produce about 30% of the alcohol in wine.
While the yeast are using up the remaining oxygen, it's best to put
an air-lock on your 2nd fermentation vessel to allow carbon dioxide to leave while preventing oxygen from entering your "must".
In a week or two a slower fermentation process will begin.
And given enough time, the fermentation process will simply end on its own as all yeast have a point at which they will die of alcohol toxicity and drop to the bottom of your 2nd fermentation vessel.
The right temperature is very important for the fermentation process.
In general, the best temperature for the fermentation process is approximately 72 degrees F, but anywhere between 70 and 75 degrees F. should be sufficient.
However, white wines are typically fermented at lower temperatures.
Homemade Wine Recipes - Fruit Wine Recipe Basics
Fruit wine recipes can be made with almost any type of fruit and even certain vegetables.
Strawberries, pineapples, bananas, blackberries, apples, pears, plums,
and cherries are all popular choices when making a fruit wine recipe.
Fruit wine recipes are no more difficult than making wine from grapes.
The basic process is the same although some adjustments are almost always necessary to create the right "must".
Adjustments to the sugar and acid content are almost always necessary to create successful fruit wine recipes.
Most fruit will not have enough sugar to create a 4 to 6% alcohol
content, so you will need to add more sugar to create a longer lasting
wine with a 9% or more alcohol content.
You can try adding different types of sugar to add different
characteristics to your wine.
You can even add in spices such cinnamon
to your fruit wine recipes.
If your fruit juice is very acidic, you may have to add
an equal amount of water to create a nice tasting wine.
Also, adding a few different types of fruit may help to balance out the
acidity of your fruit wine recipes.
Once you have the right amount of sugar and a good acidity level - your "must" is now ready to begin the fermentation process.
Be aware that fruit wine recipes sometimes do not improve in taste with long term storage or aging.
They are usually consumed within a year or two of
Adding tannins to your fruit wine recipes from grape skins or tea will help to preserve fruit wines for longer
periods of time.
Homemade Strawberry Wine with Cultured Yeast
2000 Grams or 4 pounds 4 ounces of Fresh or Frozen Organic Strawberries
Juice of 1 Organic Lemon
1 Bag of Organic Black Tea
4 Liters or 16 1/4 cups of Spring or Filtered Water
900 Grams or 4 1/2 cups of Organic White Cane Sugar
100 Grams or 1/2 cup of Organic Brown Cane Sugar
7 Grams or 1 packet of Beer or Wine Brewing Yeast
Put strawberries into a big stainless steel pot. Add the lemon juice and water. Bring contents up to a boil while stirring.
Then turn off heat and dissolve the sugar. Submerge tea bag and cover with a lid.
Steep tea for 10 minutes before removing. Place the pot in cold water in your sink.
When "must" is cool enough, put everything into the primary fermenting vessel.
Remove a little juice and add the yeast to create a starter and let sit for 1 to 2 hours to activate.
In about two hours, take a Specific Gravity reading (should be about 1064) and then add the starter to your "must".
Use a lid with an air-lock to release gas pressure and prevent other micro-organisms from entering the primary fermenting vessel.
Ferment for 7 days and be sure to shake it daily to make sure strawberries are always in contact with the yeast.
After 7 days, "rack" fermented strawberry juice to a 2nd fermenting vessel for the secondary fermentation process.
After 15 days, you can bottle your wine.
Optional: Add 10 g of sugar per liter of wine to make a sparkling wine.
Keep the yeast that settle on the bottom of the 2nd fermenter in a small glass jar in your refrigerator to make more wine.
Check the final alcohol content of your wine in 2 weeks by reserving some in a separate glass.
Alcohol content should be around 9.5%.
The Basics forHomemade Wine Recipes
Clean Equipment: Sterilize all equipment before using for your homemade wine recipes with non-toxic cleaners and very hot water.
Extraction Process: You can do this by pressing, crushing, chopping, soaking, or boiling your fruit.
Must: Is the liquid mixture created from ripe grapes, ripe fruit, or honey which goes into the primary fermentation
You may need to adjust the sugar content and acid level to create the perfect "must".
Hydrometer: Used to measure Specific Gravity before and after a liquid is fermented. Difference of the two readings will determine its alcohol content.
The final alcohol content should be
between 10 and 18%.
Basically this tool tests the sugar content of a "must" and
potential alcohol content. Can also be used to check if the
fermentation process has stopped.
Acid Testing Kit: Used to measure the amount of acidity in your "must". You can also use pH testing strips to test acidity levels.
Yeast prefer the "right" environment in order to thrive. Also, the "right" amount of acidity will help to balance out the flavor
of your homemade wine recipes.
Yeast: Wild fermentation is used or cultured yeast are added to the "must" to start the fermentation process. It is very important that enough nutrients are found in your "must" to feed the yeast.
Racking: Once vigorous fermentation slows, you can siphon your wine into another vessel leaving the sediment behind.
This process is usually done on a regular basis throughout the wine making process to end up with a better tasting wine.
Carboy: Typically a glass jug which can be used in the primary and secondary
fermentation process as well as for storing your wine throughout the
An air-lock type of device is typically used as well to
limit the amount of oxygen as well as debris from entering.
Bottling: This is done once the fermentation process has
completely ended and your wine is relatively clear.
This wine is usually
aged further to create better tasting homemade wine recipes.
Sulfites: Usually added to most commercial wines to help
extend the shelf life of the wine. Not used in the initial stages of
wild fermentation or in Organic wines from the USA.
Sulfite Free Wine
Technically, there is no such a thing as a sulfite free wine.
closest you can get to a sulfite free wine will be less than 1 ppm of
The term "sulfites" is another name for sulfur dioxide or SO2. And all wine will contain some sulfites or SO2 because it is a natural
by-product of the fermentation process.
Sulfites have been used as
a preservative in wine making for quite some time. Wine makers
typically add tiny amounts (parts per million) of additional sulfites -
to act as an anti-oxidant for their wine.
Sulfites will inhibit the growth of molds and bacteria as well as
to help preserve the wine's flavor by preventing oxidation or
Red wines typically contain less sulfites than white wine
because red wine has tannins which are stabilizing agents.
Some people think that wine labeled "Organic Wine" means that it is a
sulfite free wine.
What it actually means (in the USA) is that the
wine doesn't have any added sulfites - it only has naturally occurring
Organic wines from the USA generally contain less than 40 ppm
(parts per million) of sulfites.
BTW, wines that contain less than 10
ppm are not required to put "Contains Sulfites" on their labels.
Sulfite free wine or wine that does not have any added sulfites
will generally have a shorter shelf life and will need to be kept in
perfect storage conditions.
This however, is a topic of great debate
Homemade Wine Recipes - Honey Wine Recipe Basics
Honey wine also known as Mead was most likely the first fermented
Mead may be one of the easiest homemade wine recipes
Although, the primary fermentation stage for mead is longer than other types of wines.
Recipe to Make Honey Wine: It's basically just honey, water, and yeast.
There are several types of honey that can be used to make mead,
but an unpasteurized organic honey will be the best type of honey to use in your
honey wine recipes.
Also, a stronger flavored honey will give your mead more character and a lighter tasting honey may not shine through especially if combining with other flavors.
How to Make Honey Wine - Different Types
Many fruits and spices have become popular additives in the making of honey wine to create different types of mead.
Metheglin - Mead made with Spices and Extracts.
Pyment - Mead made with Honey and Grapes.
Melomel - Mead that is made with Fruit or Fruit Juices.
You can make honey wine or mead that focuses more on the taste of a
particular honey or try to spice it up with other fruit and additives.
When making mead for the first time, be careful
not to bottle it while it is still fermenting. Or you will end up with
a sparkling wine - or a slight explosion.
When the primary fermentation stage is complete, you can begin the process of racking your mead into a 2nd carboy leaving the sediment behind.
Use an airlock again and let sit for a month or so to finish off the fermentation process before bottling.
Most meads will generally take 9 to 12 months to age properly.
How to Make an Easy Honey "Viking" Wine aka Mead
Using Raw Honey to Make Mead
It use to be very common for mead makers to boil the honey/water mixture.
However, many have proclaimed that heat destroys the flavor and aromatic properties of a great tasting honey.
People argue that there is no need to kill the "spoilage" organisms because they can't survive in honey anyway.
Bottom line: The best mead will be made from honey that has undergone the least amount of processing and heat.
And as long as the fermentation process is strong and vigorous, you shouldn't have any problems with bad organisms.
How to Make Honey Wine - Wild Fermentation
Meads are sometimes harder to ferment than other types of wines.
Honey does not contain the proper nutrients needed for wild
fermentation, so adding in additional nutrients is usually required so
that the yeast can thrive.
Fruit particularly grapes will contribute the necessary nutrients
and these nutrients are normally added when the "must" is prepared.
Dried fruits such as raisins or dates will also help your yeast to
thrive as well as adding to the overall flavor of your honey wine.
You will need to make sure that your "must" is exposed to air for
a few days to attract some wild yeast floating around in the air.
Also, stirring a couple of times a day to incorporate more oxygen into your "must" will help the yeast to thrive.
Don't add any sulfites or you will kill the wild yeast.
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