Since I get a lot of messages and e-mails expressing doubts and seeking clarifications on wine making, I thought of sharing these tips that should help while making wine at home. I am not a trained wine maker or chemist...... These are tips learned from books and several years of wine making......
|Wine fermenting in a bottle
- If you are a novice at wine making, its best to stick to a trust worthy recipe and follow it to the dot. Some have a habit of altering every recipe they try but I suggest following the recipe at least once before you start experimenting.
- Always use the best fruits for making wine.... Over ripe or under ripe fruits are a big no for making wine..... Fruits should be cleaned and drained well.... It’s advisable to wipe fruits with a clean kitchen towel or cloth. There should not be any water on it or the wine will become sour.
- Use a bottle with a wide mouth.... always use earthen or glass bottles.....Do not use plastic bottles.
- Don't fill the bottle to the brink. Always leave at least 4” of the bottle empty. While fermenting some fruits will plump and rise to top of the bottle, if there is no space in the bottle there are chances of overflowing.
- All the utensils & bottle should be clean & dry. If there is water the wine will become sour. Bottles that are used for making or storing wines should be sterilized (wash with hot water) and wipe them.
- Most of the recipes ask for daily stirring… this is to ensure all the ingredients are mixed. Stir at least 3-5 minutes every 24 hours.
- It is advisable to use a new wooden spoon for stirring the wine. But do not use the same spoons used for making curry.
- You should strain the wine on exact day mentioned in the recipe.
- For straining the wine, use a nice clean cloth. It is better to use this cloth only for this purpose.
- If the recipe says rack the wine for a couple of weeks, you should not stir, open or shake the bottle during this time. This is to clear up the wine so that it looks better and flows better when poured. Always remember to bottle or re- stain the same day mentioned in the recipe.
- On the day of making the wine, mark all the dates on the calendar so that it becomes easier to remember.
- Strain the wine very slowly without shaking the bottles, so that you can strain clear wine from the bottle. If you have a Siphon use it to transfer wine.
- If possible, use dark coloured bottles to store wine, so that it won’t change color. (I usually store in the big bottle itself inside the cupboard).
- Never close the bottle’s lid tightly.
- Use good quality yeast in the wine. If you are staying in the Middle East, I would suggest adding half the amount of yeast if you are making the wine during summer time. In the Middle East the outside temperature is really high and wine’s ferment easily.....so use of less yeast yields better results.
- No matter how careful you are in rare cases you might find a light greenish or white spots in the wine. This is fungus growth. Immediately remove it with a spoon and add 60ml of alcohol to get rid of it.
- Finally, wine making is easy but a time consuming process that needs a lot of patience…. be very careful if you want your wine to be edible or your kitchen sink is destined to have it :D...... If the wine becomes sour it will taste worse than vinegar......