Of all the articles that I have written, I consider this article of Oregon Wine to be my best article. Hope you feel the same too.
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The Best Articles on Wine
How to make your own homemade wine - Fun, Simple and Easy!
Copyright 2006 Mirko Davidovic
In today's world each region is influenced with vast multi-ethnic diversity. The food that we consume is just as complex producing a definite acquired taste.
Wine is no exception.
Making wine is truly an art. "Scientific" approach and procedures will get you so far, but to make a perfect batch of wine it will take your personal touch.
To start off, the best fruit for making wine is grape. This is truly the fruit of the "gods" as it is the only fruit balanced in every respect. It has the right equilibrium of sugar , acids (tartaric, Malic, Ascorbic etc.), yeast nutrients, tannins, water content, etc. Most other fruits, although will produce good wines, are usually lacking either one or more compounds to attain perfection.
Wine is produced by anaerobic fermentation. The alcohol content is directly proportional to the sugar present in the juice. All of the other ingredients, whether natural or supplemented, are to enhance the taste, ability of yeast to convert sugar to alcohol, catalyze the conversion process, and to add the bouquet to the finished product.
If this is your first time attempting the art, the following fool proof, easy method should be your first try. Purchase five gallons of good quality grape juice from local wine supplier or a grocery store.
If white wine is preferred, some of the better juices are: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc.
For red Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc.
Most of the juice producers have already sulphanated the juice (for sterilization) and added the yeast.
Open the pail, smell, and taste the juice. There should be slight wine-like odor and the juice should taste like premature sweet champagne. This indicates that the primary fermentation is on its way.
Transfer the juice to a clean five gallons sterilized carboy leaving approximately three inches from the top. Place the air trap and leave it for approximately one month.
If the juice is not fermenting and it has not been sulphanated, add two campden (sodium/potassium-metabisulphate) tablets for each one gallon of juice (10 tablets for 5 gallons). Make sure that it has dissolved completely. Crushing the tablets speeds up the process. Cover and leave for 24 hours.
The sulphur from sodium/potassium-metabisulphate, once released throughout the juice, will destroy any yeast within twenty-four hours. There are millions of wild spores present in the fruit, so do not play the hit and miss method with your wine. Purchase good quality wine yeast and add it to the juice following the manufacturer's instructions. It usually comes pre-packaged for five gallon batches.
The juice is usually packed in a five-gallon polyethylene/polypropylene pail. This container is perfect for primary fermentation. Make sure there is room for expansion as it will overflow. Once a day for the following week, open the pail and stir the juice with a clean ladle, plastic paddle, etc.... Place the lid on top of the pail and make sure the seal is not airtight.
The gas produced is carbon dioxide, which exerts a lot of pressure. It will split the container if not allowed to escape. Once the rapid fermentation has slowed down (approximately 1 week), transfer the juice to the five gallon sterilized carboy, place the air-trap and leave it for about one month.
For both methods, the carbon dioxide emission will be rapid at first and as the time passes it will slow down significantly. The rate of the bubbles being released through the air-trap will be a good indicator. The ambient temperature at this stage should be around 70 degrees F. A cool basement is ideal . The carboy should be placed away from any source of heat or direct sunlight. The sunlight rays contain enough energy to oxidize the young wine.
One month later, there should be enough sediment, lees, on the bottom of the carboy. Rack the wine to the second clean, sterilized carboy and replace the air lock. Care should be taken as not to disturb the sediment. If left behind, the yeast will start feeding off the lees, and produce undesired off-flavors.
Rack it again in three months followed by three-month intervals until finished. Each time you siphon it do not be afraid to taste it. The longer the wine stands the clearer it will become.
Once the fermentation has ceased, the wine is ready. Filtering the wine is recommended if you plan to bottle it, otherwise drink it.
About the Author
Mirko Davidovic is CEO of http://www.4income.net and http://www.winemakingplus.com . V.P. of a successful manufacturing corp. with formal education in Chemical Eng. , Biochemistry and Psychology.
Mirko's main objective is to empower individuals to achieve their financial dreams, celebrating with their own exquisite, mouthwatering wine.
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