DIY Wine-making without a costly kit

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Making your own wine at home isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In fact, you don’t even need to go out and buy an expensive starter kit. With a few essentials, some yummy fruit and patience, you can have yourself some great tasting wine that was made by your own hands, or feet! (if you’re going old school ;))

Here’s what you need: (makes 4 bottles)

  • 1.5 – 2 gallon glass jar or crock (you might already have one of these at home, or you could check out your local thrift store too!)
  • 1 gallon carboy (a small-necked glass container)
  • An airlock, or a balloon can work too!
  • Fruit
  • Honey (a few cups)
  • Spring water (spring tastes best)
  • Long, thin plastic tube for siphoning the wine from carboy to bottle
  • Clean wine bottles with corks or caps (re-use some old bottles!)

Ready to get started? Here we go!

Step 1.

Gather your berries or other fruit. Make sure they are pesticide free and try to avoid washing them – this actually works best for the yeast to do its thing. Good quality fruit will make the best wine. So if you can’t pick your own, go to a farmer’s market or buy in season organic fruit.

Step 2.

Fill your glass crock or jar with the fruit leaving at least 1.5 inches at the top. Next, massage the juice out of it.  Squeeze until you get most of the juice out. This could take 5 minutes or so. If you don’t have enough fruit to reach the top of the crock/jar, you can add water (this will just make your wine a little lighter).

Step 3.

Stir in 2 to 3 cups of honey. The amount of honey you add depends on your fruit. Grapes have a lot of natural sugar present already so you may only need to add 2 cups. Other fruits that aren’t as sweet may need more honey. This is your time to experiment! When in doubt though, more honey is often best.

Step 4.

Cover your jar/crock with a cloth and tie a string around it to keep bugs out. One teeny tiny little fly in your batch will ruin your wine! So keep it sealed 🙂 Stir your batch every few hours and keep it in a warm place, around 70 degrees – the top of your fridge is a great place!

Step 5.

Keep on stirring! Every 4 hours or so is ideal to keep mold spores from making their way to the surface.

Step 6.

In 2-3 days your batch should start to bubble on its own. You don’t even need to add yeast as they should already be present on the fruits and in the air. Just keep stirring, stirring, stirring, a few times a day and remember to keep it covered!

Step 7.

After about 3 days of bubbling you can strain the liquid into the carboy. Put an airlock on or balloon and store in a cool, dark place. If you use a balloon you’ll have to replace it often and let the gas out occassionally.

Step 8.

Patience my friend, patience. Let your wine sit for at least a month, the longer the better.

Step 9.

Now you’re ready to bottle! Just pour the contents into well-cleaned wine bottles (make sure you wash them out really well but NOT in the dishwasher).

Step 10.

Cheers! Invite your friends over for a tasting and enjoy the fruits of your labors 😉

About The Author

demilford@gmail.com

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