Have you ever thought about how your beloved Cabernet, Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio is made? You got lucky! There are many winemaking kits available that can help you learn to make your own wine in the comfort of your own home. No need for vineyards.
These three sets from Craft a Brew, RJS Craft Winemaking and Global Vintners Inc. are ranked from the lowest to the highest intensity. And they have different prices. Each series offers a deeper insight into the winemaking process and a better understanding of what’s in your glass.
For beginners who want wine in 30 days: Preparation kit for brewing wine
What’s in it? Glass balloon, funnel, stick on a stand, rubber stopper, tube transfer, test tube clamp, lock, grape juice, yeast, all applicable additives, five corks, no rinsing agent and instructions for use.
Options : Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
It is: One litre of wine
As Craft a Brew writes: Think of it as a pool for a novice winemaker: It helps you jump without fear.
This is ideal for those who want to gain more practical experience in wine-growing at home without spending too much time on it.
Day one: Fermentation
I got a little scared when I started cooking my Pinot Grigio. But the attached instructions are so simple that you can immerse yourself in the winemaking process with peace of mind.
The complete fermentation process took about 30 minutes. The longest part of the process was to ensure that the necessary equipment was properly disinfected, which is essential to prevent unwanted microbes from damaging the wine.
When everything is disinfected, add hot water and bentonite, a clay that prevents the wine from fogging up.
Then just add juice, all the appropriate additives and a little water to reach the level of a gallon. Then you start the yeast and close the balloon with the lid and the cap.
It’s important to keep the wine in a dark place, so I kept mine in the kitchen cupboard.
14. Hi, there: Clarification and degassing
The cleaning and degassing of my wine took about 40 minutes and was the longest part of my process. But it’s an important step to keep your wine clean when it’s time to bottle it.
The instructions do not require you to disinfect your equipment, but I only did this for safety reasons. You must first pump the wine into a clean container. I used a warehouse I already had. Practise, if possible, pumping water from one container to another, as this can be difficult. However, the Craft a Brew manual contains a very useful illustrated manual.
Once the wine has been removed and the barrel rinsed with sparkling wine, you will be asked to pump the wine back into the jug to avoid any necessary additives. It was easier for me to keep the wine in the jar, add everything I needed and then pour the wine through the disinfected funnel into the basket.
It’s the 30th. Hi, there: Filling
The set comes with five corks that only fit standard cork-treated bottles. So make sure your wine stays empty during fermentation. The whole filling process took about 30 minutes.
As soon as you’re done, you can enjoy a glass of homemade party wine or leave the bottles in the fridge for up to six months.
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For domestic wine producers: RJS International artisanal viticulture
What’s in it? Juice concentrate, yeast, bentonite, sulphite, potassium sorbate, sorbate, diatomaceous earth, chitosan, directions for use and any other applicable additives
Options : Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and…
The brands : 30 bottles of 750 ml
This set is ideal for someone who wants more practical experience in making wine in the house, but with a moderate number of steps. I realised that the process was more complex, but the guidelines were structured in such a way that I could intervene with confidence.
The RJS also has a free telephone helpline and an email that you can contact if you are experiencing problems with the wine industry.
The company also offers possibilities from Merlot to white blends, so there’s something for everyone.
The kit does not contain any wine equipment, but RJS sells it separately. However, I used my brewing equipment, which worked perfectly.
Day one: Fermentation
It took me about an hour to prepare the wine for fermentation. The model does not come with a no-rinse disinfectant, so it must be ordered in advance.
After disinfecting all equipment, mix all ingredients and store the wine between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before storing the wine in a dark and warm place, take a weight measurement. RJS Craft Winemaking recommends a winemaker, a tool that extracts a small amount of wine from the fermentation tank. I spun my wine in a bucket with a centrifuge, so I just poured a little wine into the cylinder and used the hydrometer in the brewery cupboard to do my first reading.
Around the 14th. Hi, there: Stabilisation and cleaning
The fermentation process takes about two weeks. With this kit, however, you will have to wait until your specific gravity drops to 0.998 or less. Controlling the gravity of my wine was one of my favorite aspects of this process, because it allowed me to take more responsibility for my wine and to better understand its fermentation.
The wine is then simply pumped into a new container, powerfully blended to remove the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation and mixed with additives.
Around the 35th day: Filling
Your wine should be ready to be bottled in just over a month, but RJS recognizes the importance of making sure your wine is thoroughly cleaned first. If you haven’t saved your emptiness, you can bring some bottles here. When you’re done, check out the RJS website for suggestions on how to combine wine and food.
For the most loyal handymen: Global Wintners Inc.
What’s in all the ingredients: Wine base, reserve (if applicable), oak (if applicable), bentonite, potassium metabisulphite/potassium sorbate, yeast, instructions and colouring.
The brands : 30 bottles of 750 ml
Options : Australian Chardonnay, Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, Chilean Merlot, etc.
What’s in the winery: 8-gallon fermentation barrel, 6-gallon bottle, filling tube and pipes, lock and closure for fermentation, mixing spoon, fixed seal, hydrometer, corks, wine labels and bottle caps
The price of a batch of wine: $120
This package from Global Vintners Inc. is ideal for those who want to move directly to more intensive wine-growing at home. In addition to bottles and disinfectants that do not require rinsing, the kit contains everything you need to get started.
Day one: Primary fermentation
Before starting fermentation, make sure that all equipment is properly disinfected and mix the grape juice with the correct additives. The process took about an hour.
You should keep an eye on the specific weight of your wines in the coming weeks. The manual contains a handy logbook, in which you can record both the start date of each process step and the time at which the test weight was measured.
I found it useful to refer to their online resources that explain everything from the use of the material to general questions about viticulture.
14th and 15th. Hi, there: Stabilization, degassing and purification
Unlike other packages, these steps are divided into two days. Make sure you have enough disinfectant without rinsing to clean the equipment and lock the 14.
Days 26-56: Polishing, storage and aging.
The type of wine you produce will determine when you can bottle and drink it. When it’s time for the bottle, make sure you’ve disinfected 30 bottles and are ready to use.
Published on the 10th. December 2020
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