Nothing is quite as satisfying as when it is made in the home, by you. As a result, making your own wine, from your own grapes, is a very gratifying experience. While you can’t become an expert in wine making overnight, it doesn’t take too much to get started with this very basic wine recipe.
You will need grapes, sugar, one yeast tablet, a glass gallon jar, cheese cloth, and a glass wine bottle. The specific quantities of each ingredient will vary quite a bit depending on how you want the wine to end up when you are finished. The more grapes you use, the fuller the body of the wine. You will use somewhere between two and six pounds of grapes, and somewhere around two cups of sugar. The sugar won’t be there when the wine is finished, it’s there for the yeast to consume. Make sure you inspect the grapes before you buy them. They should be clean and ripe. Also, make sure that everything you use during the process is kept very clean and sanitized.
Start by mashing the grapes. You can do this by hand or using a potato masher. You don’t need to remove the grape skins before doing this. It is a great deal easier to mash the grapes if you mash them in a large mixing bowl. Don’t be concerned about getting your hands dirty. The grapes may stain your hands, but even if they do the stains will last at most a couple days. When you have finished mashing the grapes, you will empty them into a large gallon jar. Again, it’s best if the jar is glass. Using a spatula, scrape every last drop of grape juice from the mixing bowl into the jar.
Add sugar to the jar and stir it until it is fully dissolved. Dissolve yeast in warm water, and add it to the jar as well, mixing it in until everything is fully dissolved. Fill the rest of the jar with warm water, stopping about three quarters of an inch away from the top of the jar. Cover the jar with cheese cloth so that nothing can get into it but it can breathe.
You will place the jar in a warm place for roughly three weeks. Once it has fermented, you will remove the cheese cloth from the jar and strain the wine to remove the grape pulp. The fermentation process will have made the wine look like it has been boiled and settled on the top. You will strain this off of the top and pour what is left into the wine bottle.
Your wine is now ready to drink, or to go into storage. Wine should be stored at a temperature of about 50 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 14 degrees Celsius).