7 Easily-Avoidable Mistakes Made by Beginner Winemakers
Whether you’re into homebrewing beer or winemaking, enthusiasts are full of energy and ambition when it comes to producing high-quality products that suit their taste. With winemakers, the pleasure of uncorking a bottle and savoring the results of your hard work is a satisfying achievement.
Understandably, beginner winemakers find perfecting the ratios and techniques of winemaking complex at the start. Making mistakes as a beginner is normal. However, it’s better to know what new winemakers often do wrong so you can avoid committing the same wine making mistakes.
1. Not having the right equipment
Winemaking requires you to use the right equipment that will allow you to produce good quality wine. Getting resourceful and grabbing just about anything available in your house as a substitute would not cut it; thus, using the wrong equipment could increase the chances of spoiling your wine.
This alcoholic beverage requires you to utilize proper equipment exclusively designed to make it, allowing you to create the best wine taste and quality possible. The right equipment is also made of quality, food-grade material meant to handle wine properly.
For instance, an extra bucket at home could be used for fermenting, but a BPA-free and food-grade pail made for wine making would be much more sanitary in comparison to cheap pails that could potentially not be food-grade. Remember that winemaking is an organic process, so contamination can hijack it and put all your efforts to waste.
2. Transferring the wine too early
Wine starter kits are usually ready for bottling in 28 or 45 days, though not necessarily ready for drinking. This timeframe is long enough for the alcohol to get over the bottling shock and release the right aromas and flavors.
Transferring your wine too early in the process will directly affect its taste. You have to let the yeast do its job during fermentation. Cliché as it sounds, but patience is key in making excellent homemade wine.
3. Tinkering with the instructions
Instructions are there to follow and guide you in creating excellent homemade wine. You may feel the need to change some measurements to suit your preferences, but you may want to think twice. It’s also better to use known recipes from trusted sources since these are tested and proven in the industry.
Professional Winemaker’s studied their wine kits thoroughly to help you make the best possible wine at home. If you want to achieve the right taste, flavor, and aroma for the wine you’re making, trust the process, for the steps and measurements of ingredients are engineered to give you the best results.
4. Taking off the airlock to test too often
In the latter part of the process, it’s crucial to be careful with oxygen exposure. Tinkering with your wine during fermentation can affect the wine’s fermentation, causing it to lose stability. Also, there’s the risk of spoilage and bacteria.
Remember that wine is not sterilized completely. Once you’re past the primary fermentation and enters the aging stage, the goal is to minimize oxygen contact for the microorganisms to remain dormant since a little sniff of oxygen can get them worked up. It’s best to leave your wine alone during fermentation.
5. Not sanitizing the equipment
Winemaking is a delicate task, and most winemakers know how vital it is to ensure that the equipment must be sparkling clean and sanitized before it touches the grape and wine. However, many make the mistake of thinking that cleaning and sanitizing are one and the same.
Cleaning using a wine cleaning detergent helps eliminate any visible residue to prevent buildup. Meanwhile, sanitizing takes the cleaning further by treating the equipment and tools with a particular substance, such as sodium metabisulfite, to get rid of all bacteria. You should never skimp on sanitizing your tools and equipment using cleaning and sanitizing products made for the task.
6. Pitching the yeast in too-hot water
The yeast is the magic ingredient that differentiates wine from grape juice, and it highlights the flavor compounds and aromas in your wine. That’s why it’s in the utmost importance that you handle and use yeast properly in the process of winemaking.
It is recommended to sprinkle the yeast over your mixture at the right temperature level, depending on the yeast it can be at 18 to 30 degrees Celsius (64.4 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). If you get the temperature too hot or too cold, you won’t get your desired results. If you sprinkle it in too-hot water, there is the risk of killing the yeast. It’s also advisable that you don’t stir when adding the yeast since it may shock the yeast.
7. Not using quality ingredients
Much like how excellent chefs only use the freshest ingredients to make an outstanding dish, the same goes for winemaking. There is no substitute for quality; the final product mostly depends on the ingredients you choose.
Make sure to select the best wine kit or freshest juice you can buy, and use them within the best-before date. If you have the budget and access to good quality ingredients and kits, opt for them.
It’s Wine Time
Good home winemaking is all about understanding the purpose of each step of the process and having the right environment and equipment for it. Knowing how to manage good and bad bacteria and the common mistakes beginners make will encourage you to make the best wine possible and help you feel more confident about serving your bottle.
Are you ready to make your own classy wine at home? Danny’s Wine and Beer is your one-stop-shop for wine making kits and your other wine making needs! Check out the shop to see all the products available.