How can I make wine at home?

Have you ever thought about making your own wine at home? Here we take a look at what is involved.

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Berry simple

The process of turning fruit into wine is actually quite simple – if you have yeast and fermented juice, you have the base for a potentially great-tasting bottle of wine.

You will need to invest in the right equipment, which includes:

– A funnel.
– A four-gallon plastic bucket fermentation vat.
– Three one-gallon glass jugs for secondary fermentation.
– Three fermentation traps.
– A rubber bung.
– A straining bag.
– Clear plastic tubing.
– Wine bottles.
– Pre-sanitised corks, size 9.
– A hand corker.
– A hydrometer.

You could add to this basic list to help refine the wine-making process. Possible additions include Campden tablets, which help to prevent oxidation; enzymes; tannins; and yeast nutrients.

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You could get advice from a wine expert about what constitutes a good wine; for example, if you are looking for online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, speak to an expert such as http://thewinecompanyni.com/.

As ingredients, you need sugar, filtered water, wine yeast, and lots of grapes or other fruit; in fact, you can make wine from pretty much any kind of fruit, vegetable or flower. The Independent says you just need something that contains natural sugars to produce alcohol.

The process

– All equipment needs to be thoroughly sterilised and rinsed clean immediately before use. Select your fruit, wash it and remove any stems. Crush the fruit to release the juice into your bucket and add the wine yeast.

– Insert the hydrometer. If it reads less than 1.010, you might want to add sugar. When doing this, dissolve the granulated sugar in filtered water first.

– Cover the bucket with cloth and leave it to ferment for a week to 10 days. Strain the liquid to remove the sediment and run it through a funnel into the secondary fermentation containers. Add the airlocks and leave to ferment for a few weeks.

– Siphon the wine into clean secondary fermentation containers and continue this process for two or three months until the wine runs clear. You can then funnel it into bottles, pop in the corks, and it will be ready to drink after three days of being stored upright.

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