You’ve spent years building up a fine collection of Italian wine…
Well, let’s be honest. You don’t exactly have an active collection. It’s more like a list of great wines that you’ve bought and drank!
But the point is that you’ve always loved wine.
And that passion has gotten your gears turning.
You’ve heard about all of these people creating craft beers in their garages. They’re taking their love of a certain kind of alcohol and crafting something that’s unique to them.
Some have even managed to make small businesses out of their efforts.
And that leads you to a question of your own:
Can I make wine at home?
The short answer is yes, you can! But instead of leaving it there, we’re going to share the steps that you need to follow to make your own wines.
Step #1 – Check the Legality
It may seem like a strange point but there are certain countries that don’t allow people to brew their own alcohols. And if you live in a country like the United States, where each state has its own rules, you can’t always rely on a general country-wide ruling.
The simple point here is that you need to check before you get to work.
Step #2 – Buy Your Equipment
Making wine at home is a very involved process. You’re going to need plenty of space and you’ll have to invest in a lot of equipment to make it happen. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Something to serve as your primary fermentation vat. A 4-gallon plastic container should do the job. However, you may want to go for wood if you want a classier feeling.
- A trio of airlocks, which act as fermentation trapes.
- A trio of one-gallon glass jugs. You’ll use these in secondary fermentation.
- Three rubber corks for your glass jugs.
- About six feet of plastic tubing. It should be a half-inch and will ideally be clear so you can see your wine.
- A large straining bag.
- 20 wine bottles, as you’ll need about five for each gallon of wine that you produce.
- 20 corks to fit your wine bottles. You could go for screw tops here, if you’re able to source them.
- If you decide to go with corks, you’ll also need a hand corker.
- Finally, you’ll need a hydrometer. This allows you to keep track of the wine’s sugar levels.
Step #3 – Get Your Ingredients
Now that you’ve got what you need to make your wine, you need some ingredients. Grab the following:
- A whole lot of wine grapes. This may be the most difficult thing for you to source.
- Filtered water.
- Granulated sugar.
- Wine yeast.
There are some additional ingredients that you can buy to improve the process, such as enzymes. But let’s keep it simple for your first batch.
Step #4 – Primary Fermentation
There are a whole bunch of little steps that go into primary fermentation.
Before you do anything else, make sure that all of your equipment is clean. Of course, you’ll also have to put special effort into ensuring no soap sediment stays on the equipment. It’ll ruin the taste of the wine you make!
From here, filter through your wine grapes and get rid of any that aren’t in good condition. Wash the grapes thoroughly and then take some time to remove all of the stems.
Now that you have stemless grapes, it’s time to get crushing. You could get a fruit press for this task, but your hands work as well as anything else. Pour your grapes into your 4-gallon container and get crushing! You’ll release the must into the container, where it will need to sit for a while.
Add your wine yeast to the container and then use your hydrometer to check the sugar levels. If you get a measurement that’s below 1.010, you should add some sugar. When you get the measurement you’re looking for, stir the must really well.
Now, it’s a case of covering the container and allowing the wine to sit for about 10 days. You’ll see a froth develop on top while sediment drops to the bottom.
Step #5 – Secondary Fermentation
After waiting for the wine to ferment, you need to strain the wine to remove the sediment and froth.
Use a funnel to pour wine into the first of your secondary containers. Fill it all of the way to the top and then fit it with an airlock. Repeat this process for the rest of your secondary containers.
You now need to wait a few more weeks for the wine to continue fermentation.
Step #6 – Siphoning
What happens now is a period of siphoning the wine until it runs clear. Every couple of weeks, use a funnel and your plastic tubing to pour the wine into another secondary container.
The goal here is to siphon every couple of weeks until the wine runs clear. This could take several months.
Yeah…this isn’t a quick process.
Step #7 – Pour Your Wine
When the wine runs clear, all you need to do now is pour it into the bottles that you bought.
Cork/seal each bottle and allow it to sit vertically for three days. From there, transfer it to more regular storage based on the type of wine. Whites get chilled while reds need to get stored in a cool and dark environment.
The Final Word
As you can see, it is most definitely possible for you to make your own wine…
But it’s not exactly the most convenient of processes! In fact, you’ll have to wait for several months to create a wine that’s almost guaranteed not to be as good as even the most basics of Italian wines.
Of course, you’d get to enjoy the pride of making the wine yourself!
So now, you have a choice.
You could follow these instructions to make a wine of your own.
Or, you could just head to our catalogue to find thousands of wines made by the true experts. Find the Italian wine that’s right for you. And of course, these instructions will always be here if you want to experiment.
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