Making Wine at Home; It's Easier than You Thought!

When most people think of wine, they think of expansive vineyards and distilleries. Few realize they could be thinking of their own yard or neighborhood. Making wine from the comfort and convenience of one’s own home is not as difficult as it may sound. In fact, anyone who has fruit growing either in a backyard or wild in the area has the potential to make great wine.

The tools are quite simple and easily acquired. First a large, food grade plastic tub is necessary for fruit juice to be squeezed into. This can easily be replaced with a large stainless steel pot, so long as it has a lid and can be sealed. A plastic tube is then required for siphoning this juice into a fermentation vessel. Fermentation vessels are commonly found in brewing shops in glass jug-like forms such as carboys or demijohns. The important aspect of these fermentation vessels is the presence of an airlock. Yeast and sugar are other necessary ingredients for the wine making. One may wish to have and electric juicer and some type of sterilization solution, though juice can be squeezed by hand and tools can just as easily be sterilized in boiling water.
Once these tools and ingredients are gathered, the process can begin. First step is, of course, the fruit. Wine can be made from a variety of fruits including grapes, apples, pears, apricots, plums, and virtually any other type of fruit at hand. The amount of fruit used should be enough, once juiced, to fill the fermenting vessel. Once the juice is in the large tub or pot, sugar is added. The amount of sugar is really up to personal taste. Drier wine is produced from less sugar, however more sugar reacts more with the yeast and creates a more alcoholic wine. It should also be noted that sweet fruit juice such as grape juice may require no sugar at all.

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Now for the exciting part: the actual fermentation. This involves dissolving powdered yeast in a small amount of warm water and allowing it time to activate, transferring the sugared fruit juice to the carboys or demijohns and adding the yeast. Once this is done, the vessel can be sealed and fermentation should begin quite quickly. Ideally, wine ferments for nine months to a year in the warmest possible environment. Then it may be bottled and consumed by a happy winemaker!

Finally; you can (at least if you live in the UK) sit at home in your favorite armchair with a glass of your own home made wine in your hand whilst you save even more money by buying  some lovely cheap direct line insurance. Now that really IS bliss!

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