If you’re interested in learning about making wine, don’t be daunted by complicated lists of equipment – Wares of Knutsford can supply complete starter kits for Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Grigio, containing everything you need to make a high quality brew within a couple of weeks. The kits include equipment, ingredients and instructions on how to make wine – simply add water.
Making wine: step one
Before you begin, sterilise and rinse all equipment. Start by emptying the grape juice contents into the demijohn. Use a little warm water to rinse out any dregs into the bag into the demijohn. Fill the demijohn up to 4.5 litres with warm water – between 20-30C – and mix well.
With a maximum temperature of 30C, add the yeast mix (sachet 1) and mix well again.
Make a note of the starting gravity of your brew with the help of the trial jar and hydrometer. Install the airlock and fill to halfway with water. Allow the brew to ferment for at least 10 days between 10-20C. You will notice when the fermentation process has begun because bubbles will appear in the airlock. Try not to open the demijohn unless you have to during this process to avoid contamination.
After the 10 day period, take a small amount of liquid with the trial jar and check that your hydrometer reads below 1,000. Make a note of the reading and repeat the process for two consecutive days. If your reading is high (above 1,000), allow the fermentation to continue for a few days more and then try a retest. If the readings remain stable (even if a little high) for a couple of days, pour the mixture into another clean, sterilised demijohn and add the stabiliser (sachet 2) and the finings A (sachet 3). Make sure there are no bubbles in the mixture by stirring with the spoon provided – you may have to do this a couple of times. Put the airlock back on and leave the wine overnight.
The final stage of making wine
The next day add the finings B (sachet 4) and stir for 15 seconds exactly, then replace the airlock and allow to brew for another two days to complete the fermentation process. You can work out the alcohol content from your brew by subtracting the finishing gravity figure from the starting figure, then dividing the result by 7.46 and adding 0.5.
Use the siphon to decant your wine into clean, sterilised bottles and seal. These should be left to mature in a cool place for at least three weeks.