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How to Make Wine (Simple with Pictures and Videos)

After original article in Turkish gets more than 150.000 hits, I have decided to translate it to English.


A gourmet friend of mine, made his wine since 6 -7 years. His first try was hard to accept but in recent years he has got success in tasty wine production. I had ask him how to do it? He tells his story, than I create mine. Now I can make homemade wine myself. My first try was quite fine (!). Gourmet friend of mine sad "even I don't use this crap in cooking but it's ok" after taste my first product. After 3 years hardwork my wine taste like wine and looks like wine too. Here is the story of how to do homemade wine on your own.

Before start I'd like to point it out that, this is not a rocket science! It is a process called fermentation. Tiny microbes consume sugar in grape juice and deliver alcohol as a output. You may find so many sources about it in Internet. But many of them were confusing. According them, you need lots of gadgets, chemical ingredients and knowledge for instance:

1- Special measuring devices,
2- Special devices for the removal of carbon dioxide,
3- Special storage solutions
4- Fermentation initiators,
5- Fermentation stoppers,
6- Alcohol meters,
7- Methods of protection with sulfur of other chemicals,
8- Special storage methods,
9- Special clamping presses and methods,

this list goes on and on. But it shouldn't be that much hard. Okay, making wine needs some knowledge of science. But it should be a humble way to do your homemade wine, am I wrong?

I guess, wine is very old beverage. Our predecessors found a good way to storage of grapes as grape juice. Possibly process has been done by itself with a little luck.

Brief info about wine process

Grape Juice transform to wine as a bacterial digestion of sugar in juice. Production of ethyl alcohol is an odd truth of bacterial digestion. :) By the way, even the taste and smell of grape is bruised with alcohol, the liquid is pleasant and even if the amount is not exaggerated, a liquid that produced is even useful.

Wine Making

Our accumulation of thousands of years of wine production has shown that wine grapes make for better quality results in periods of low rainfall. keep this in your mind.

In my early practices I bought grapes from green grocery, bazaar, supermarket briefly everywhere. I was not so selective. But in that case I found some grapes in market which produce for home consumption doesn't have enough sugar for good wine.

Essence of work: You have to find good grapes for good wine. After some years of experience now I am buying kinds of grapes which is known as good for wine production like Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or local grape named Kalecik Karasi.

Let's Start

1- If you want to make 5 litters of wine you need to buy 8-10 kilos of grape.

I use red grapes. Red grape crust is the reason of wines color. Generally inside of grapes are not red but greenish.

2- Do not wash grapes! Just remove rotten ones. We are going to use bacteria on surface for fermentation. If you wash grapes it could removes bacteria. In our way to do wine. No need extra yeast. With stalks you need to pop grapes. Latex gloves may helpful for cleaner process. If you trying it with market grapes you need to pour some extra sugar. But it is not advisable! I you need a good wine you have to find good an tasty grapes first.

Optional Part:

You will need a hydrometer and a gauge to make measurements in order to do this job properly. You can find places where medical equipment is sold. 

Density value 1,095 = Liters / Sugar ratio 248 = Percentage of alcohol 12.3 (all values ​​are equivalent).

3- When I make small amount of wine (20-40 liters) I pop grapes with my hands. It is not easy and takes time. But come on, this is a hobby production isn't it? If you find a tool for pop up grapes be careful to not crack grape seeds. Cracked seeds will change taste of wine but not in good way! Not cracked seeds are not a problem.

Poping up grapes by hand can be difficult. In this case, you can crush the grapes in a plastic basin with a medium sized steel pot with a cast iron underneath..

2016 Addition:

Wine poping is easier with the machine! Here, you can watch a video below,

4- Fill the poped grapes and stalks, the seeds, the juice (juice), into a bottle or pet bottle. I use 10 liters of water pet bottles, or 20 liters of pickled pet bottles (I bought it from the local store selling this kind of thing).

5- Do not fill your bottle completely. During the fermentation, the pulp and the trash come out upwards. You'd better leave a gap of 7 to 15 cm. If you are going to make a lot of wine you can use 20 liters of thick water pans but it is difficult to control the gas output as your mouths are screwless.

6- You may place your bottle in a warm place (22-24 celcius is fine). If you have a storage room it is ok. Just place it there. Water Closet is ok too :)

Hava kilidi ile çıkan gazı sorunsuzca dışarı atabilirsiniz. 

7- Fermentation usually starts in 1 or 2 days. You can realize that from the expansion and tension of the bottle. This is normal because of the outward pressure due to the carbon dioxide in the bottle. The gas must go out, whereas the inside air must not enter the bottle (otherwise the wine may deteriorated). If you leave the pet bottle, half release on its mouth carefully, do not fully open it (do not fully open) and allow the gas to leak slowly. When you sniff it you will get a sour smell (Sour bread yeast is obtained in a similar way). In a while (a day ore more), bacteria in your juice will add to the smell of alcohol. As an alternative to lid, you may put an latex glove to the mouth of the bottle. Don't forget to puncture a tiny hole with a needle. The inflated glove throws out pressured gas from its hole (if you can not set it well, the glove may explode or fly away). The image also changes;) Even more smoothly, if you better buy an airlock (2-3 dollars) you put it in the mouth of the bottle and poor some water in it, because of the positive pressure in the bottle, carbon dioxide comes out but air does not get in.

8- Waiting with the fruit barks for four days is enough to get the color and the scent, and if you wait too long, the taste may deteriorate. A white-pink sediment must have formed at the bottom. This sediment result of sugar eater and alcohol-maker bacteria to migrate slightly to their sleep.

9- After 4 days we have to remove and throw out the pieces, stems and poses in the semi-finished product. If you use 10 liters of pet water bottles, it is difficult to fill these materials first, but if you take the liquid part into another pet bottle by means of a funnel, then place the bottle on top of it and wait for a few hours to filter out almost all of the fiber from the liquid part because of the narrowness of the mouth. 22 kilos of grapes are squeezed into 3 kilos of pulp (grapes, stalks and seeds).

How to make an airlock?

10- The smell of filtered semi-products is now more like a wine. Have a taste of it. Since the fermentation is not over, it should be a bit sour and slightly sweet (depending on the kind of grape). You'll have to recap it again, keep the fermentation running and let the gas out.

11- When the gas is completely exhausted (it may last for 1 month) Transfer to another bottle from the upper part by means of a hose to get rid of the white part that accumulates at the bottom. You need to carefully remove this sediment part from the wine without stirring the wine. (You may realize that the gas discharge is not over until gas discharge stops) After remove sediment from wine, a while, white residue may accumulate again and you can get rid of it by transferring the liquid to another bottle. This will make your wine clear. Here you have to be careful not to leave too much air on the bottle to prevent the wine from deteriorating by transferring it from the bottle to the bottle. When you are done, you can transfer the wine to separate bottles and close their caps tide to keep your wine fresh. For this you can use a liter of washed, cleaned bottle of wine with a screw cap.

Ageing of Wine:

The wine gets better as it gets older. In a cool environment you can rest your wine in the pet water bottles. The better is glass, metal, or even oak barrels. Old wine, definitely not see the light.
If the wine is stored outside the oak barrel, you may want to add the oak tree's taste to your wine. This may be a way to use raw oak splinters after you have dried them in the oven. Pre-cut oak barrels or splinters are also sold but you need to use it too much to imitate the barrel taste!

How long do you need to keep the oak splinters in the hot oven?

Oak Flecks ready to be baked.

You can keep raw oak splinters at 230 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. Anyway, you know that the kitchen starts to smell like oak. I put the oak splinters in bottles without waiting for them to cool. If you ask how much we can put it, I can answer that the better you can put it, the better. The better it can simulate the surface of the barrel, the better. If you do not throw spikes after using them, you can use them again next year.

In my experiment, the wine had a very good oak taste. So I think this step will be very enjoyable.

The oak splinters, fresh from the oven, smell like oak.

Bottled Wine
In the market, you may found bottles, corks, wine bottle re-corking machine, heat shrink caps. It is also possible to obtain wine bottles from the products you have consumed before.

You may remove old wine bottle tags by keeping the bottles in water for a few hours.

You can supply the above-mentioned materials and bottle your wine. Unfortunately, it is not possible to cork the bottle if you haven't got a corking machine. That is the most expensive investment you have to do.

The wine label can also be prepared on the computer in the word possessing program. A bottle of wine that looks quite nice can come out. I love to see my friends tell the unbelievable expression on their faces. :)

Bon Appetit. Do not drink too much. A glass of wine a day is fine.

The label on the above may means: If you drink more than 18 glasses, you may lose your car and you may have an unexpected baby!


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