Q: What is the main reason for homemade wine turning out bad?

Sanitization is typically the number one reason for wine turning out bad. It is of utmost importance to sanitize all buckets and equipment that comes in contact with the wine. Unsanitized equipment promotes the growth of foreign bacteria that can taint your finished product, often resulting in a vinegar like smell.

Q: How long of a process is it to make wine?

Wine kits sold at Heritage Home Brew range from 4-6 weeks for the fermentation process to complete. While these wines are ready to be bottled in 4-6 weeks, it is highly recommended you let your wine age, as it will greatly improve over time. Wine made from fresh fruit typically takes months to complete. Like wine made from kits, fresh fruit wines will only improve over time.

Q: What is included in a wine kit?

Wine kits include the juice, yeast and a few other ingredients used for clarifying and stabilizing the wine. The kits come with step by step instructions walking you through the wine making process.

Q: What equipment do I need to get started?

Primary Fermenter – Typically around a 6.5 gallon food-grade bucket with airtight lid with a small hole for an airlock

Secondary Fermenter – 5 or 6 gallon carboys work best.

Bung – Rubber topper that is inserted in the top of a carboy used to hold an airlock in place.

Airlock – Small device inserted in the hole in the lid of your fermenter or in the bung on a carboy. Filled halfway with water, it allows carbon dioxide to escape while keeping oxygen out.

Long-handled Spoon – Plastic, wood or metal as long as there is no rust.

Thermometer – To check temperature of wine.

Racking Cane w/tubing – This is used to transfer the wine from one bucket or carboy to another.

Bottling Bucket – A bucket with a hole in the bottom where a spigot can be placed for use when bottling.

Spigot – screwed into the hole in the bottom of your bottling bucket.

Bottle Filler – Spring-loaded, hard plastic tubing used for transferring wine into bottles.

Corker – Device used to place corks in wine bottles.

Sanitizer – A solution for sanitizing all of your home brew equipment.

Bottles – Can be bought or reused. It is not recommended to use screw top bottles. You’ll need about 25-28 bottles per 6-gallons of wine.

Bottle Cleaning Brush – Used to clean your bottles.

Hydrometer – Used for measuring specific gravity. Measuring before and after fermentation will allow you to monitor the progress of your beer and calculate alcohol content.

 

Heritage Home Brew offers a selection of starter kits that contain these pieces of equipment and more. Stop in today to see what we have to offer!

Q: Is it better to make wine from a kit or from fresh fruit?

Convenience is the biggest advantage of making wine from a kit. Kits come prepackaged with all ingredients needed to complete your wine. Making wine from fresh fruits requires the wine maker to pick and crush the fruit. They must also test sugar and acidity levels and adjust the wine accordingly making it a more complicated process.