1. Purchase the ingredients and equipment needed from the ingredients list and equipment list.
2. Clean the area that you will be working with.
3. Rinse your primary fermenter with the no rinse cleaner, and I like to fill a small bucket with water and a tablespoon of no rinse cleaner, for a place to put the spoon and other equipment in so it does not get contaminated. You can also dip your hands in here, and shake dry during the procedure.
4. If you are making live fruit wine, put the measured amount into the sanitized strainer bag, and insert into the fermenter. With a potato masher, make sure all the fruit is gently crushed releasing its juices.
5. On stove in a stainless steel soup pot, that you have rinsed with no rinse cleaner, heat up ½ the juice, or purified water for live fruit and dissolve the sugar completely. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring continuously, until all sugar is completely dissolved. No need to boil the water, just heat it up.
6. Pour the mix directly into the fermenter and directly over the strainer bag of fruit if making live fruit wine. Top up with cold purified water or juice to the proper level. This level will be about the same for 5L or 6L recipes, about 1 inch below the rim of a 2 gallon fermenter. This is because of the displacement of the fruit in the 5 liter batch. You want 5 L of liquid when you lift the bag out for the live fruit wine, and 6L of liquid for the juice wine.
7. Tip to speed things up. You need to let the mix cool down to below 80 F, before continuing, so I usually when making juice wine, put ½ the juice in the fridge the day before, and when making fruit wine, I add semi-frozen fruit into the strainer bag.
8. Add the required about of yeast nutrient, crushed campdon tablet, acid blend, and tannin into the mix and stir well, then cover loosely with the lid with the airlock in place (fill the airlock with a mix of water mixed with the no rinse cleaner to the line (1 gallon water – 1 tbs no rinse cleaner). It is always a good idea, to mix any added ingredients in a sample of your liquid, that you can take out of the fermenter with a sanitized measuring cup, mix, then add back to your fermenter.
9. Wait 12 hours then add the required amount of peptic enzyme, stir then recover loosely.
10. If you are wanting to become a professional, it is time to measure your Specific Gravity and PH level. To reach an alcohol content of 12.5% , you want your specific gravity to be 1.085, and you want your PH to be 3.6 for a nice dry wine. To increase your specific gravity, you need to remove a few cups of the liquid, make sure you sanitize everything, put on stove heat up and add some sugar, then put back in the fermenter, stir and measure again. If you PH reading is too high, add a bit more acid blend, and test again.
11. Wait 12 – 24 hours then stir one more time, then sprinkle an entire packet of yeast over the surface of your liquid, and cover loosely with the lid. Watch over the next 12 – 24 hours, looking under the lid and when you see a lot of foaming, snap down the lid. This procedure of loosely fitting the lid for the first 12 – 24 hours, gives the yeast lots of oxygen to start and gets you a great fermentation. From this moment on, you do not want to expose the wine to the air for any length of time, except during racking.
12. You will notice the airlock starting to bubble probably within 24 – 36 hours. Once per day, lift the fermenter and slightly swirl the ingredients each way. Be very careful not to be too aggressive or you will have liquid spitting out of the airlock. If this happens, remove the airlock, without removing the lid, clean it out, and add back in the mix of water/no rinse cleaner.
13. The bubbles in the airlock will slow does after a few days, and probably totally stop by the 5th day. Between the 5th and 7th day it is time to rack the wine from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter (the water bottle).
14. First racking. Prepare your equipment and sanitize everything. Take a specific gravity reading, which at this point should be between 0.990 and 1.01. If it is higher, leave it sit for a couple more days, then test again. When ready, rack the wine from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter, making sure you leave most of the sediment behind. The black piece at the bottom of the siphon stick will make sure this happens. Make sure the secondary fermenter is almost full, right up to the start of the neck of the bottle. If not, add water, or red wine if making from grape juice. Insert stopper with airlock securely.
15. It is at this point that you could add oak to a grape juice wine. Leave this sit is an undisturbed place, away from sunlight in a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees for 10 – 14 days.
16. After the 14 days, use a wine thief to fill the testing jar, and test the specific gravity again, it should be between 0.990 and 0.992. If it is your wine has reached it full alcohol potential, and the yeast has done its job and eaten all the sugar. If it is above 0.992, leave it for a few more days, then check again to see if it drops.
17. Rack your wine one more time, making sure you do not get any of the sediment. You can use another water bottle the same size, or rack back into the primary fermenter, clean the secondary fermenter, and rack back again. Do not fill all the way to the top, as we will be adding ¼ cup of water in the clarifying stage. All these steps require sanitizing everything that comes in contact with your wine.
18. At this time, feel free to sample your wine. It will still be cloudy, but you will get a taste of what is to come. You can also test the PH again, and maybe add a little more tannin if you fell it needs more body.
19. Degas your wine. You can do this two ways. The hard way, by using the other end of the spoon, and vigorously stirring one way, then the other way for at least 2 minutes, and do this every 4 – 6 hours for 24 hours. It is important to remove all the CO2 from the wine, and this will do it. Or the easy way, is with the degassing tool, on the optional equipment list, that attaches to a drill, and use it for like 30 seconds 2 to 3 times in the 24 hours period and you will be done.
20. Clarify the wine. Boil some water, add to a measuring cup. ¼ cup, and add the required amount of sparkiloid clarifier, slowly stirring as you add. Add this to your secondary fermenter, stir gently but thoroughly, and put back in it place to sit for another week.
21. 7 days later, and it is time to bottle your wine and enjoy. Of course, the longer you age the wine even a few weeks will make a big difference, so there is no rush to bottle.