Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wine making 101...

I have had many comments on my adventures in wine making.  I cannot stress enough how easy it is.  All I use is a 1 gallon fruit wine kit from  The kit was $32.99 and another $23.99 if you get the add on.  The add on has a cork plunger, corks, wine bottles, and a hydrometer.  I am cheap and bought the cork plunger and corks separately.  I don't have a hydrometer and get along fine (at least in my mind I do).  Wine bottles are supplied by friends. 

The kit comes with the best little recipe handbook.  It tells you how to make wine from anything.  Combine water, sugar, and additives from the kit then submerge the straining bag of fruit.  If you don't have an additive the book asks for just move on without it.  Odds are unless it was an important one the wine will turn out fine.  Here is a batch of rhubarb I just concocted.   Let it sit for 24 hours then add the yeast.  It ferments for one week. 

This is a carboy.  After a week in the plastic fermentation pail, you siphon the liquid into the glass carboy.  I have made some interesting jams out of the leftover stuff in the straining bag.  I made a buffalo berry jam that is incredible.  Back to wine making, let the carboy sit for a month.  The sediment will settle at the bottom. You can see the light colored sediment in this carboy of Red Letter Raspberry.    
Let the wine sit for a month in the carboy and then siphon it into another carboy, leaving the sediment.  Do this every month for 3 months. At the end of the third month, let the wine sit for a week in the refrigerator.  Before bottling add sugar diluted in water after a taste test.  Some wines need only 1/4 cup of sugar per 1 cup of water, others need 1/2 half cup sugar per 1 cup of water.  Add some stabilizer to stop the wine's fermentation.  That is a very important step.  If you do not add enough stabilizer the corks will pop out like crazy.  Not a good situation (maybe that is why they wanted me to get a hydrometer).  I also recommend letting the corks sit submerged in water for a day before trying to get them in the bottle. 

If you have lots of fruits and berries, try wine making.  So far I've made wine from:  Buffalo berries, chokecherries,  crabapples, grapes, raspberries, service berries, rhubarb, and pears.  I am far from a perfectionist and I have found wine making is very forgiving.  When you do make a bad batch, (God Awful Grape and Choke it Down Chokecherry) dilute it in lemonade for a rich flavored drink.   For those, like me, that don't drink a lot of wine try the smaller bottles.  They hold two glasses of wine.  Which is just right.   A gallon makes about 3 big bottles and 5 little bottles.   I hope you give it a try.  I never drank much wine before, but every weekend I enjoy a little bottle and half the satisfaction comes from knowing I made it.  


  1. That is so interesting, going to have to try it, too.
    You'll have to make some mead from your honey sometime :)

  2. My only experience is helping my sister-in-law make "Dandelion Wine." We have such great wineries here in Washington and Oregon and have never thought of attempting it myself, but you sure do make it look easy and interesting.XOXO

  3. You make it sounds so easy. My husband got a recipe this spring from an elderly Amish neighbor to make dandelion wine. He gave him a sample, which hubby said was good! Ever tasted that?

  4. I agree making wine is fun and rewarding! I love a couple of the different types we've made. I'm hoping for a good apple and cherry and raspberry harvest this year!

  5. Belo trabalho...Espectacular....

  6. I have to show hubby this one! He's always saying he'd like to make wine out of some of our fruit. Maybe this year?

  7. so cool!! it must be very rewarding!!

  8. awesome!!!
    I love your header!

  9. Wow, this is awesome. Maybe one of these days I will try it. I didn't realize how easy it was. I do like the idea of the smaller bottles, that would work well for me.

  10. Hello, and thank you for posting this. I plan to make buffaloberry wine this year, and am wondering what recipe you used. If you would share it, I would be grateful

    Thank you

  11. This was extremely helpful. I siphoned my wine into my carboy and it has been sitting for 3 weeks. The sediment started to build at the bottom and I thought I had gone wrong somewhere in the process. So I googled and your site came up. The photo of the wine in the carboy resembles mine so now I can breathe. Thank you, from a First time Blackberry wine maker.


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