Homemade wine making is fast becoming very popular across the world. There are several reasons for this.
The biggest one is that the cost to transport that yummy nectar from where they grow, harvest, and ferment it is going up right along with the cost of fuel. There's no two ways around it - we are about to see bottles of wine at the grocery store and wine shops double.
In the last year, there has been a flurry of “How To" guides crop up around the internet. All of the guides are helpful and at least can get a beginner started.
The truth is, you can make high quality wine, award winning wine, at home, in a 5 gallon food bucket.
Some preparation and materials are required. You have to at least have a hydrometer. You need at least the 5 gallon bucket. AND - you need some kind of near air tight secondary fermentation vessel. In the industry we call this a “carbouy".
There are very inexpensive airlocks and some plastic tubing to round out the equipment.
Some chemicals may be required as well. Yeast is an obvious first one (not really a chemical but a dormant microbe). Citric acid, potassium sorbate, metabisulfate, campden tablets, pectin enzyme and a few others are pretty common.
The biggest secret in home wine making is: get the good stuff to start with.
There are actually vineyards that will sell small quantities of grapes or even crushed grapes and juices, fresh from the vineyard. Although these are hard to locate, they do exist. I have found at least one wine making guide that lists these sources.
Aside from the money savings (you can make wine for about 25 cents a bottle), there is the actual enjoyment of making something that you can drink! If your batch comes out really good, you will be calling all your neighbors and friends to come and give it a try.
Cheers and happy wine making!
Mike Carraway is has been making wine for the last 20 years. He has written hundreds of articles and several books on the growing home wine making hobby. You can get a free copy of his latest book by hopping on over to How-To-Make-Wine.net