How To Make Wine From A Wine Kit
You’ll require either a Wine Starter Kit or Individual Equipment, see following…
- Primary Fermenter – A food grade graduated plastic container up to 30 L/8 US gal.
- Carboy – A glass or plastic carboy to hold 23 L /6 US gal. and will fit a fermentation lock and stopper.
- Racking Tube & Tubing – Approximately 6 ft. long flexible food grade tubing with a rigid plastic siphon rod and anti-sediment tip.
- Mixing Spoon – Food grade plastic stirring utensil 70 cm (28”) in length.
- Hydrometer – Used to check specific gravity of your wine at different stages of the fermentation process.
- Wine Thief – Used to take out samples from the primary and carboy.
- Bottle Filler – Automatically dispenses liquid when inserted into a bottle and stops liquid flow upon removal.
- Bottles – 28-30 x 750ml wine bottles and corks, or flip top bottles.
4-8 Week Wine Kits Instructions (Most Kits)
Step 1 – Day 1 – Primary Fermentation
Clean and sanitize equipment to be used. Bring all kit components up to room temperature.
Pour 2L (8 cups) of hot tap water into bottom of the primary fermenter and stir in Bentonite. Mix well. It is normal for Bentonite to not fully dissolve in water.
Pour contents of the juice base bag into the primary fermenter. Rinse bag with water and add to primary fermenter. If there are two bags, use the larger one now. The reserve (small bag) is not added at this step.
Top primary fermenter up to 23L (6 gallon) mark with good quality, cool drinking water.
If your kit contains Oak Chips or Granular Oak, stir in now. If your kit contains oak cubes, they will be added at a
Stir well. Use a hydrometer to measure and record the Day 1 Specific Gravity (S.G.) in the chart provided in these
Sprinkle Dry Yeast on top of juice base (if your kit contains two packages of yeast, add both now).
Place loose fitting lid, or primary lid with airlock filled halfway with sulphite solution on primary fermenter. The included sulphite/sorbate packet is not used for this purpose.
Keep fermentation area warm (20°C to 25°C or 68°F to 77°F) for the entire winemaking process.
Step 2 – Day 14 – Stabilising/Degassing
Check chart for required S.G. reading. Measure the S.G. If wine is not in range, check again in 48 hours. If in range, record the number.
Using sanitised equipment carefully syphon (rack) wine into a clean/sanitised carboy leaving sediment behind. Add contents of Sulphite/Sorbate package directly into the carboy of
Agitate wine using a sterilized stirring spoon. Vigorously stir wine, changing direction intermittently for 10 minutes. Alternately, wine can be degassed using a drill with degassing attachment for 2-4 minutes at medium speed reversing direction every 30 seconds. See General Information for more detail on degassing.
Stir in Kieselsol. If your kit contains two, add one package now. The other will be added at a later stage.
Fit airlock filled halfway with sulphite solution into the neck of the carboy and leave for 24 hours.
Step 3 – Day 15 – Clearing
Stir the contents of the Reserve(s) into the carboy, if included
Stir in Chitosan(s).
If your kit contains a second Kieselsol, stir in one hour after Chitosan addition.
If your kit contains Oak Cubes, stir them in now.
Replace airlock and leave wine to sit in a warm (20°C to 25°C or 68°F to 77°F), undisturbed area away from direct
heat and light.
After 5 days, give the carboy a twist (without lifting) to allow any sediment stuck to the walls of the carboy to drop.
Continue clearing process according to the chart supplied with your kit. Topping up the carboy during the clearing process is not required. If choosing to top-up use a similar style of wine. Water is not recommended.
Step 4 – Day 26-54 – Polishing Rack/Aging
Wine should be perfectly clear. If not, leave wine another 7-14 days to finish clearing.
Carefully rack wine off of sediment (and oak cubes if present) into a clean and sanitized carboy fitted with a
Leave wine to sit undisturbed a minimum of 2 days to allow settling.
- If aging your wine longer than 3 months, add 1.5g (1/4 tsp) of potassium metabisulphite to the wine at this time to help preserve flavour and colour.
- If filtering wine, do so at this stage. NEVER FILTER CLOUDY WINE.
Step 5 – Bottling
Carefully syphon your wine into clean and sanitized bottles.
Cork bottles and leave upright for 3-5 days allowing cork to expand. Invert or store on side to keep cork moist.
Store wine at 11°C to 18°C or 52°F to 65°F. If choosing to carboy age wine, top-up with a similar style wine and fit with a solid stopper. Bottle aging is the preferred method.