Winemaking is as old as civilization but it still holds the same fascination for us today as it did for our ancestors over 1000 years ago. There is something intriguing about taking juice from grapes and transforming it by fermentation into a magical elixir.
Winemaking is an entirely natural process that can and will happen without human intervention. However over the years we've harnessed this natural phenomenon to produce outstanding wines. Wine and Winemaking can be enjoyed and perfected by anyone. Maybe that's why it fascinates us so much. Home-crafted wines can and have bested commercial wines in professional wine-tastings. Everyone has the potential to craft remarkable wines. Almost every great or famous winemaker started out in the kitchen just like you!
People have been making wine forever so it's naturally a part of our folklore. There are many myths and anecdotes about homemade alcohol. Most of these are totally untrue and some are downright silly.
First you need to get a good quality winemaking ingredient kit. Beginners have a tendency to start with the least expensive wine kit with the rational being that if they spoil it they've wasted less money. This is a big mistake. If you start with a cheap or bargain basement wine kit your chances of failure increase ten-fold. Bargain wine kits are typically made from cheap materials or are from old stock that is past its shelf life. Don't go this route or you may be turned off from winemaking forever. Choose wine kits made by the big-name manufacturers like RJS Craft Winemaking and Winexpert. Check the manufactured dates and buy from a reputable dealer. This is the best advice we can give you if you want your first wine to be a success.
Make sure you use new food-quality equipment. Don't try to save money by using old plastic buckets, siphons, etc. We recommend new equipment because old plastic containers, spoons and hoses can have scratches or may have odours and stains from previous use. Scratches can contain spoilage bacteria while odours can be transferred to your wine leaving it undrinkable. It's false economy and a waste of your time if you have to pour a batch of wine down the drain. Stainless steel or glass containers and utensils are an exception and can be safely used if properly cleaned and sanitized.
In most cases it's best to purchase an equipment starter kit. These kits contain all the equipment recommended for making high-quality wine and are usually sold at a discounted package price as compared to buying the individual pieces.
it's important that you work in a clean and sanitary environment. If you want to avoid accidents and mistakes make sure your work area is tidy and uncluttered.
Winemaking is essentially food preparation so use commonsense. Prepare the area as if you were getting ready to cook.
You don't need a large area to work in however access to hot and cold water is essential. Most people use their kitchen or laundry room. You will also need a warm area with a fairly constant temperature of 20 - 25 Celsius for the fermentation to take place. If this is not possible in the room you wish to use then you can purchase heating belts and wraps for your fermenting vessel that will keep the temperature constant.
All the ingredients and equipment shown in this video will be included in a typical starter kit package.