Saturday, April 1, 2017

How to Make Wine at Home

How to Make Wine at Home

First of all you need some grapes. About 15 years ago I planted four merlot vines given to me by a friend who worked erecting fences for vineyards. Three grew and now extend over about 25 metres on a wire trellis in a cage covered in chook wire to keep off the eager birds.
This year was the best crop ever - two trugs and three large boxes. After giving away a box this was my haul for wine making.

Then we loosely washed the grapes by filling the trugs with water. About a sixth of the washed grapes were lifted out and put into a trug cleaned with a small amount of bleach. Our feet were washed and then the fun part. Squishing the grapes beneath our feet until there was plenty of juice. The juice was poured through our yellow colander into the barrel. The residue was put into a spare trug and the process repeated.

Once the barrel was nearly full - 30 litres - we added some of the residue. This contains natural yeasts so that nothing else is needed. You can buy commercial yeasts to add at this point but it is not necessary.

While the pigs enjoyed the rest of the residue the barrel sat in the kitchen with an airlock in the top.Within hours it started to ferment. Three days later we removed the now alcoholic residue or musk (another post might tell the story of the musk, the drunk dog and the vet - but not now) and decanted the wine into two demijohns. We will leave the wine in these until the fermentation stops and the we will bottle the wine with a cork and put it down in the pantry to await drinking.

As we haven't made much headway into previous vintages this bumper crop might last us a while! Still - it is very easy and fun to make it.

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