This is a cheap and effective recipe for home brew wine that anyone can make at home and can be adapted to make pretty much any flavoured wine.
Equipment You will need (for 5 litres)
2 Glass demijhons or 2 one gallon water bottles
1 litre White Grape Juice
1 litre Orange Juice, no bits (budget brands are fine)
around 800g Sugar ( to total about 1.2kg plus suger in juice)
1 tsp Pectolase
Tannin or tea bags
1 tsp Glycerine (optional)
Yeast & Nutrient
Campden tablets and (unless you want a dry wine) Potassium Sorbate or “Wine Stabiliser”.
You don’t have to pre-dissolve your sugar but I find it helps to get everything mixed properly. Heat in a saucepan with about a pint / 500ml of
water. It doesn’t need to reach boiling point. If fermenting in plastic, allow to cool a bit. If fermenting in glass, DJs really don't like thermal
shock, allow the syrup to cool a lot.
If applicable, make a mug of tea and leave the bag in for 10-15 minutes, or see if there’s any already gone cold in the teapot. If using powdered
tannin I tend to mix mine with the dry sugar, otherwise it clumps and takes ages to dissolve.
Pour your juices into the DJ or PET.
Add your sugar syrup, glycerine and tea then add some cold water but DO NOT FILL. You want it topped up to about 4 to 4.5 litres.
Put your (well washed) hand over the neck of the jar and give it a damned good shake to mix everything up and to get some air into the must.
Check the temperature. If it’s around 25°C (give or take a bit), add your yeast, nutrient and pectolase. Cover and shake it again.
If you’ve got a hydrometer you may wish to take an OG or Original Gravity reading, although that’s not a lot of use unless you’ve calibrated
your jar beforehand and know what volume you’ve got.
For now, that’s all there is to it, pop on the bung/lid and airlock, let those yeasties get to work and have fun watching or timing the bubbles.
Your jar should be placed somewhere out of direct sunlight, ideally with a fairly stable room temperature in the region of 17-20°C. I still get the
occasional one where the yeasties try to escape out of the trap, so it’s always a good idea to stand it on a tray or large plant pot saucer,
especially if it’s on a carpeted floor.
Fermentation will usually take 2-4 weeks, mostly according to temperature.
For the first few days the fermentation can be quite vigorous. Initially, any fruit pulp will be carried to the top and form a layer like a primordial
ooze. After a couple of days that crust will settle back into the wine to be replaced by a head of white bubbles and pulp will probably start rising
and falling like a lava lamp
After a few days the lava lamp effect will gradually subside and by about day 5 it should be safe to top up the jar to the base of the neck using
cooled, boiled water. I generally do this in two stages over two days.
Eventually, the bubbling will slow right down and stop, and here’s where you have to start to learn one of the hardest, but one of the most
important lessons in winemaking - patience. Don’t try to rush it, leave it for another week. Here comes the science:
Yeast turns sugar into alcohol plus carbon dioxide, but in between it makes other chemicals called aldehydes. If you try to rush it you will get an
alcoholic drink which will get you plastered but might upset your guts and leave you with a headache. Give it a bit more time and the yeasties will
finish clearing away those aldehydes and you should end up with a wine which you can be proud to share with your family and friends.
Given that little bit more time a sediment will start to form and compact, and when it comes to the next stage (racking) you won’t lose so much
wine. If you are using a PET (plastic bottle) it will probably have grooves running around it, and sediment will settle on the ridges on the inside.
Once a day, give the bottle a quarter turn to dislodge that sediment.
(few weeks later)
So you think fermentation has finished, airlock activity has stopped (or you may be getting one bloop every couple of minutes), it has had an extra
few days and where you had an inch or more of fluffy sediment it has now settled down and formed a more solid deposit, in fact the wine seems to have
started to clear slightly.
If you have a hydrometer you should check the reading. I use a large syringe or a turkey baster to take a sample. Everything which comes into contact
with your wine should be sterilised / disinfected.
Your yeasties have finished their job and you have a sediment which is composed of spent fruit pulp and dead yeast, which is no good for your wine if
you leave it for any length of time. Some of your yeasties will just have switched off and, if you don’t want a dry wine and would like to sweeten
it up a little, they will wake up and show a renewed interest in that extra sugar, so I’m afraid it’s time to bump them off.
Campden tablets guard against infection and oxidation, and you should use one per gallon whenever you rack your wine. Crush it to a powder between two
teaspoons. This will now also stun any remaining yeasties. There will always be a few stubborn individuals who don’t know when they’ve had enough,
just lurking in the shadows in case anyone should throw a bit more sugar their way, one teaspoon of Potassium Sorbate will be enough to stop this
So rack your wine into your second bottle/demijohn trying your best to leave the sediment behind once this is done your wine is ready but could do
with storing for better flavours to mature.
Thats how easy it is and you will be suprised at the quality of the wine for the price and most of all now with the knowledge of how to do it you can
change the flavours like mango & peach for instance just replace the grape juice and orange juice though I tend to use grape juice as the base and
then use other additive flavours, I've even heard of people usung the same method to brew vimto wine with the cordial stuff (fizzy pop fails because
of the additives) one of my favourites has to be banana wine and maybe cranberry too
NOTE if you never had pectalose do not worry your wine will still produce but it may not clear properly.
I find you only need it with orange based wines
Try to use juices that are 100% juice and also not from concentrate same for vegetable juice if that's your choice
edit on 27-10-2012 by
RAY1990 because: (no reason given)