How To Get Started Wine Making, what supply’s do you really need.
You can get started with very little investment however I’m not a fan of what I have seen around Pinterest using a plastic juice container and a balloon, can you do it? yes you can, but think about it, if you take commercial cheap grape juice and turn it into wine….what is the quality of the end product. For only a few more minuets of work you can have a wonderful outcome you will be proud to share with friends.
If you want to try your hand and make one gallon you can do so with under $10.00 investment.
If you like it and want to make more you can slowly build or upgrade your supply’s.
Bucket or Crock
If you don’t own a crock a plastic bucket works just fine, My first bucket was a 5 gallon white bucket from the home store for just a few dollars I wanted to start with a new one. Last year I bought Five, 6 gallon food grade buckets that held grain from a local farm (they are not allowed to reuse there buckets) for 2 dollars a piece and they came with lids.
One Gallon Glass jug
Now you can go out and pay full retail in a Brew shop if you want (I won’t judge) or you can go to a thrift store and pay 2.99 or less. I have purchased many this way, my first one may of may not have been holding wine on the bottom shelve of Walmart before it came to live at my house. If you already have one then your on your way!
Fermentation airlock & rubber plug with hole to fit air lock in.
These are 99 cents each at my wine supply store, just buy them.
Clear Vinyl plastic tubing 1/2 inch
5 or 6 feet will cost you under $2.00
I save and reuse wine bottles or get empties from local restaurants, you will need 5 bottles per gallon if using 750 ml. You can get corks from your local wine supply shop or on line. Always use new corks! I inherited a large quantity of corks and have yet to buy any mine are size #8 and fit most bottles. You boil them and can tap in with a rubber mallet or invest in a corker you can get a hand held for under $20.00. To see how to easily de-label wine bottles Go here.
You can buy a solution from the brew store, or use 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water, all equipment that will be in contact with the process must be clean and sterilized, rinsed really well. The process might look something like: Fill you sink with water, add your bleach, wipe down your counters then add all your supply’s to the sink, in batches if need be. Rinse each well and put on counter. I keep my sink full of the bleach water until done just in case I drop or forgot something.
Do not use bread or baking yeast, Ever..just don’t, Wine yeast is not expensive .50 cents a packet at my wine store so no excuse, your end product will thank you. Also different wine yeasts will deliver different outcomes, when you get a bit of experience, experiment with your yeast.
Yep! that’s it! you can get it done with just that. As you get hooked and want to do more you can build your supply’s, I’m constantly on the lookout in thrift stores for 3 and 5 gallon carboys (glass jugs), in my wine supply store a 5 gallon is about $30.00 (and that’s the cheapest I have found for new) I was lucky enough to inherit some along with a huge crock.
As you progress with your volume and skill you will also want:
Hydrometer: with both specific gravity and potential alcohol scales.
Hydrometer Jar: a tall chimney jar (holds about 350 ml of liquid) in which the hydrometer is floated.
Lot’s more I could add here but I will save that for advanced Wine Making.
Now all you need is a great list of Wine Recipes
For now I will say use quality fruit and enjoy the process!
Want to learn more? check out Wine making 101