THE 1-GALLON WINEMAKER
Written by Steven Robinson
A very basic set of instructions for the beginning home
using 11.5 oz cans of liquid or frozen
juice concentrates. We're not looking at
wines as an end result, but will make nice, drinkable table wines.
You have the goods if you've been making mead
or beer. If not, very little
equipment is actually
Basic Equipment List: a 6-quart stainless or enameled pot, a plastic stirring spoon, 1 qt capacity measuring cup, set of kitchen measuring spoons, a 2 gal food grade plastic tub with snap lid drilled for a rubber stopper/airlock (primary fermenter), clear plastic sheet large enough to cover the primary, 2-1 gallon glass jugs (secondary fermenter) with 1 drilled rubber stopper to fit, airlock, 3" x 3/8" inside diameter clear aquarium water line, 2 cleaned/sanitized screw top plastic soda bottles with caps (2 L size work well). We will be using dried all-purpose wine yeast for all of the following. Unscented household bleach can be used as a sanitizer; be sure and rinse thoroughly.
Make sure that the juice you wish to use does not contain any preservative, such as sorbate or benzoate; the yeast won't work. Other additives, such as ascorbic or citric acid; will not adversely affect the fermentation.
Anything that contains sugars can be fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Some raw materials work better than others: grapes, apples, honey, malted barley, and the like. (The winemaker's motto: If it has sugar, it ferments!) We'll concentrate on grapes and other fruits herein.
Basic Process: Gather all equipment and ingredients per recipe. Sanitize the equipment and working area. Bring 1 qt of water to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Dissolve in the concentrate and any extra sugar source (be sure and rinse out the cans with hot water, sometimes the sugars will crystallize and settle out). Dissolve in any additives. Pour 1 qt very cold water into the primary fermenter and pour in the "juice." Top off to 1 gallon with more cold water. Sprinkle in the yeast, which has been rehydrated for 15 miutes in warm water. Cover with the plastic sheet, stir the foam cap down twice a day for three days , then snap on the cover and set the water-filled airlock. Siphon the working wine off the debris after 1 week to the glass secondary; top off to 1-gallon with cool boiled tap water. Let the wine ferment until all activity ceases. Siphon to the second glass jug and then top off with sufficient boiled water in which 1/4 packet plain gelatin has been dissolved. Airlock and let rest 3 weeks to clear. Siphon into the two soda bottles and cap. Let age 2 to 3 months.
Basic Red or White Grape: 3 cans, 1 cup cane sugar, 1/2 teaspoon each acid blend and pectic enzyme, 1/4 teaspoon grape tannin, 1/3 teaspoon nutrient, 1 packet wine yeast, 1/4 packet plain gelatin
Basic Apple: 2 cans, 2 c cane sugar, 1/2 t ea acid and pectic, 1/4 t tannin, 1/3 t nutrient, 1 pkt wine yeast, 1/4 packet plain gelatin
Basic Cherry: 4 cans, 1/4 t acid, 1/2 t pectic, 1/3 t nutrient, 1 pkt wine yeast, 1/4 pkt plain gelatin
Basic Berry: 3 cans, 1/4 t acid, 1/2 t pectic, 1/3 t nutrient, 1 pkt wine yeast, 1/4 pkt plain gelatin