STEP 1: Sanitizing
Mix 1/4 cup Sodium Bisulfite sanitizer in a one gallon jug of water.
Sanitize all equipment and utensils that will come into contact with
the wine by coating all surfaces with sanitizer and waiting 10
minutes. Rinse residual sanitizing solution from all equipment and
utensils with clean cool tap water. (Remainder of sanitizer solution
can be kept in a sealed container for future use.)
STEP 2: Must Preparation
Crush fruit in primary fermentor using a crusher or wooden paddle.
Dissolve 8 lbs. corn sugar in 2 gallons of hot water and add to
primary fermentor. Add cool water (unheated) to the 5 1/2 gallon
mark on the primary fermentor.
STEP 3: Hydrometer Testing and Adjustment
Remove enough must (unfermented juice) to fill the hydrometer test
jar. Float the hydrometer in the jar. Spin or tap the hydrometer to
dislodge air bubbles and let the hydrometer come to rest. (It should
float freely, not touching the sides or bottom.) At eye level, read
the figure on the Balling scale of the hydrometer where the liquid
surface cuts across the stem. This figure is a measure of how much
sugar is dissolved in the must. If it is less than 20o,
add 1/3 cup corn sugar per gallon for each degree under 20o.
Dissolve the required amount of sugar in warm must or water and add
it to the primary fermentor. Continue taking hydrometer readings and
adjusting sugar and liquid amounts until you have 6 1/2 gallons of
must with a reading of 20o balling.
NOTE: The final alcohol content may be determined by using the
Potential Alcohol scale readings corresponding to the original and
terminal Balling readings. Subtract the terminal P.A. reading (Step
9) from the original P.A. reading (Step 3) to get an estimate of
alcohol by volume.
STEP 4: Additives
Add yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, acid blend and crushed Campden
tablets as called for in the recipe. If an acid test kit is
available, use it to more accurately adjust total acidity. Cover the
primary fermentor with a towel, loose-fitting lid, or plastic sheet
and wait 8 hours.
STEP 5: Yeast Pitching
Boil 1 cup water and cool to 85o F. Add entire contents
of yeast packet, do not stir. Set aside for 15 minutes or until
yeast "puffs up," or water becomes cloudy. Add yeast starter to
primary fermentor, stir in well and cover.
STEP 6: Primary Fermentation
Fermentation should start within two days, evidenced by CO2
bubbles and/or a "cap" of pulp pushed to the top of the fermentor by
the fermentation. Maintain temperatures of 65o to 75o
F, keeping the fermentor off the cold floor. Stir twice daily for 6
days or until the hydrometer reading reaches 1o to 4o
STEP 7: Preparation for Secondary Fermentation
Scoop the pulp floating at the top of the fermentor into the nylon
bag using a sanitized strainer or plastic colander. Squeeze the bag
by hand to release juice. Repeat until all pulp is removed. Syphon
or pour through a funnel into a carboy (secondary fermentor) and
attach airlock (filled with required amount of water). Make sure
airlock adapter and carboy neck are dry before applying airlock.
(Save any extra wine in a gallon jug fitted with an airlock or
covered with plastic wrap fastened with rubber band. This wine may
be used in Step 8.) Secondary fermentation temperature should be
between 55o and 70o F.
STEP 8: Secondary Fermentation
In 3-4 weeks, rack (syphon) the wine into a clean secondary
fermentor, leaving the sediment behind. Racking is done by placing
the full container on a table and the empty container on the floor.
(A) Place the sanitized racking tube (with syhon hose attached) into
the full container. Apply suction to the hose while holding it
horizontally. Completely fill the hose with wine (no bubbles, if
possible). Close the hose clamp at the end closest to the suction.
(B) Lower the end into the empty container, and open the clamp.
Rack again in 4-6 weeks and once more in 4-6 weeks time. (If you
have only one carboy you must first rack the wine into the sanitized
primary fermentor, clean and sanitize the carboy, then re-rack the
wine back into the carboy.)
STEP 9: Preparation for Bottling
Keep wine as cool as possible before bottling (40o - 50oF
is ideal). When the wine appears clear and stable (hydrometer
reading should be at or below 0o), the wine is ready for
bottling. If you wish to sweeten the wine at bottling time, add
Sorbistat-K to prevent renewed fermentation in the bottle, and use a
syrup made of 2 cups table sugar per 1 cup water. Boil the syrup for
5 minutes. Sweeten the wine to your taste and wait 1 week before