Last week, I made the most delicious muscadine jelly using the grapes on my family’s farm, but we still have an abundance of those tasty southern grapes. So this week I began another homesteading experiment with making homemade wine, and it’s a bit more complicated than I expected. Wine making is an extensive process but I thought I’d share with you guys what I’ve done so far and then post an update in a few weeks when I get to taste test the finished product!
I purchased a 1 Gallon Wine Making Kit on Amazon.com for about $40, because I am a total newbie at this homemade wine deal so I thought it might be helpful. I also bought a hydrometer that was recommended to purchase with the kit, but I can’t figure out how to work it properly… I’m crossing my fingers this batch of wine will turn out just fine without following the exact science too it, here’s to winging it 😉
My wine kit came with these parts (minus the grapes):
2 Gallon Plastic Bucket w/ Lid
1 Gallon Glass Jug
12 Cups of Muscadines
3/4 Gallon Distilled Water
4 cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1 tsp Nutrient
1 Campden tablet, crushed
Wine Yeast, 1 pkg
15″ Racking Cane
Plastic Tubing, Siphon
*Separate from the winemaking kit, I bought wine bottles, corks, and a Portuguese corker.
First up: Washing the muscadines! I dumped the muscadines into the sink and washed and destemmed them. Then I put them in a pot on the stove and used a potato masher to encourage the juice extraction. I heated the grapes just a bit so they would become softer and easier to juice.
Then place the mushy grapes in a straining bag and squeeze the juice into the 2 gallon plastic. It makes a gorgeous colored juice!!
Put the tied straining bag filled with the mushy grape pulp back into the plastic container and close the lid. After 24 hours, you need to add the package of wine yeast. I dissolved the yeast in a small amount of hot water before tossing it into the plastic container. Your wine needs to sit in the plastic container for about five days, stirring daily. Eventually you will move it to the glass jug for secondary fermentation. I’m still on day two of fermentation but will post in a few weeks with an update of my wine experiment!
Have you guys ever home brewed wine?! Also, do you have any tips or words of encouragement for the newbie??