If you love all things wine, like we do, you might be wondering how you can learn more about the process. Thankfully it’s now possible to do some wine making at home. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best wine making kits. There’s no need for vast acres of vines or a wine cellar. Just a wine making starter kit and patience.
The argument over who first started making wine has been around as long as wine has been made. Wine, or some variation of a fermented drink made from grapes, has been around since 7000 BC.
The question of who invented wine stirs up great national pride with countries like Georgia and Armenia laying claim to being the first. Regardless of who gets credit for making wine first, let’s just be happy somebody did.
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The Best Home Wine Making Kits
We include detailed home wine making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
How Is Wine Made
For as long as wine has been made, the process for making wine has changed much. That said, modern technology has made its way into this ancient process.
Improved growing techniques produce more grapes in the vineyard. Advanced wine presses squeeze more juice from each grape and improved cooling systems protect grapes from spoiling. These are just a few examples of how winemakers are incorporating technology in making wine.
But how do grapes go from the vine to the bottle? Here’s an abbreviated look at how wine is made.
After basking in the sun for months, it’s time to pick (harvest) the grapes. When to harvest might be the most stressful decision a winemaker has to make. Harvest too soon and maybe the grapes don’t have enough sugar to help with fermentation. Harvest too late and perhaps the grapes lose some of their flavor. Environmental factors like heat and rain only add to the stress level of winemakers on when to harvest.
Immediately after the grapes have been harvested, they are pressed. This is to ensure the grapes are at their freshest and yield the best juice. Pressing grapes in wine making has evolved over the centuries. Today, some winemakers use advanced wine presses that calculate the exact amount of pressure and time needed to press the grapes.
Fermentation is the process that turns ordinary grape juice into wine. Yeast is added to the grape juice to begin the fermentation process. Feeding off the natural sugar in grape juice, yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol. Depending on the amount of sugar in the juice, the fermentation process can take upwards of 30 days to complete. To produce sweet wine, the fermentation process is stopped before all the sugar is converted to alcohol.
This is the process of filtering out any impurities in the newly produced wine. Impurities include any remaining dead yeast cells, stems, or seeds that might have slipped past any filtering. Winemakers use either a course filter, egg whites, clay, or other compounds to catch these impurities.
Bottle and Age
After clarifying the wine, the last step is bottle and age. Today, bottles are not the only opinion for wine. Boxes and aluminum cans are other options winemakers have to package your wines. Aging wine allows it to rest and for its natural flavors to develop. Aging is done in a cool, dark place to ensure sunlight and warm temperatures do not damage the wine.
What Are At Home Wine Making Kits
Unless you have access to a vineyard equipped with all the necessary wine making equipment it’s going to be difficult to make wine. However, with the increased popularity of at home brewing (making) kits, making wine at home is easier than ever.
There are a number of at-home wine making kits on the market. Kits for beginners and for experienced at home winemakers. Want to try making sparkling wine? There are sparkling wine as well as white and red wine making kits. If you are looking for something different, fruit wine making kits are another option.
With so many kits available, it’s important to look for what’s included. Here are some of the pieces of wine making equipment to look for.
The fermentation process is the most important stage when making wine. Look for a wine making kit that comes with a large capacity, at least three gallons, fermentor with lid. Fermentors made from glass are the best choice as they are easily sterilized.
Sterilizers and Cleaners
Getting things right for the beginning is one of the keys to making wine at home. If you don’t properly sterilize and clean all your equipment at the beginning, you risk contamination and really bad wine.
Easy Start Siphon
During the wine making process, you’ll be transferring liquids between containers a couple times. Using a built piston to move liquids, an Easy Start Siphon saves time and energy while reducing spills.
We talked about how important yeast is in making wine. Having the right yeast is equally important. Not all yeasts are appropriate to use when making wine. Specific strains of yeast are best used in making beer, not wine. The yeast found in wine making kits have been carefully selected for making wine and only wine.
Why Buy A Homemade Wine Making Kit
There’s something special about calling yourself a winemaker. Perhaps it’s the grand notion of a vineyard in the south of France or in Tuscany. Surrounded by rolling hills covered with vines and basking in the warm sun. That’s the life, right? Well, it’s also a very, very expensive life.
Making wine at home might not be Tuscany, but it’s the opportunity to explore your creative side. Much like cooking, winemaking is an art form and with any art form, you’re going to need the right tools to get started. The right at home winemaking kit will provide all the tools and instructions you need to make wine.
Not everyone can go out and buy a vineyard. But thankfully purchasing an at home winemaking kit is affordable. It also alleviates all the guesswork on how to make wine.
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