It is essential that you follow the instructions in the right order. Failure to do so can potentially result in unsuccessful wine.
For some wine styles, you may be supplied multiple packages of the same ingredient (e.g. yeast, bentonite, oak, fining agent).
Wine Kit Includes:
- Wine Base - unlabeled large bag consisting of grape juice concentrate
- May contain oak granulars, elderberries, elderflowers, bottle of Flavour Essence, Sweet Reserve Bag (use all items that are included)
- Yeast Pack
- Packet #2 Bentonite — helps yeast activity and clears wine by removing proteins
- Packet #3 Potassium Metabisulphite — used to prevent oxidation and improve shelf life
- Packet #4 Potassium Sorbate — used as an anti-microbial agent to prevent re-fermentation
- Fining Agents — Kieselsol and Chitosan (2 packages) — removes proteins, which results in a clear stable wine.
If you do not have any equipment to start making your own wine, you can buy all the needed equipment at once. If you want to save your time and money this Starter Kit will be ideal for you. You will need:
Carboy: A glass or plastic carboy to hold 23 L/6 US gal and will fit a fermentation lock and stopper(#6.5 for glass carboys and #10 for plastic).
Wine Corker to seal the bottles with the wine corks
Solid Bung: Fits into the carboy. Prevents oxygen and spoilage organisms from entering the wine. Use once wine is fully degassed.
STAGE 1 - Primary Fermentation - DAY 1:
Remember to sterilize your containers and equipment with a sterilizing solution before proceeding. See "Hints for Success" Item #1. Most municipal water supplies are chlorinated, which can interfere with yeast, leading to incomplete fermentation. It is strongly recommended that tap water be drawn off the day before use and allowed to sit overnight at room temperature to allow chlorine to dissipate. Alternatively, you may use still bottled water (reverse osmosis water is preferred). It is also strongly recommended that you let your wine kit sit at room temperature the day before use.
We strongly recommend not topping up at any stage or step to ensure a properly balanced wine.
- Remove cap from Wine Base (unlabeled large bag of grape juice concentrate) and pour contents into your sterilized primary fermentor.
- Using 2 L (8 cups) of warm water rinse bag and pour into fermentor.
- Sprinkle contents of Packet #2 (Bentonite) into the primary fermentor and mix thoroughly.
- If your kit contains any of the following — oak granulars, elderberries or elderflowers — add into the primary fermentor and mix thoroughly.
- Add sufficient water to bring contents of primary fermentor to 23 L/6 US gal. and stir well. The resultant temperature should be 20-25°C / 68-77°F. If the temperature is not in this range, cover primary fermentor and leave in suitable environment until it is achieved. See "Hints for Success" Item #2.
- Take the specific gravity before adding your yeast. For assistance reading the hydrometer See "Hints for Success" Item #3
- Sprinkle contents of Yeast Pack on to juice inside the primary fermentor (do not mix).
- Cover primary fermentor loosely with lid or use sealed lid with fermentation lock (1/2 filled with water or sterilizing solution) and stopper.
- Leave primary fermentor in a warm area (20-25°C / 68-77°F) to ferment for 7 days. If temperature is lower than recommended, allow 2 or 3 extra days. See "Hints for Success" Item #2
STAGE 2 - Secondary Fermentation - DAY 8:
- Place your sterilized 23 L/ 6 US gal. carboy below the primary fermentor to allow for siphoning.
- Siphon wine into sterilized carboy leaving sediment behind. See "Hints for Success" Item #4
- Seal carboy with stopper and fermentation lock h filled with water or sterilizing solution.
- Leave wine at room temperature (20-25°C / 68-77°F) for 12 days to complete the fermentation.
STAGE 3 - Degassing - DAY 20:
All fermentation should be complete. Do not execute the next steps until fermentation is completed (the specific gravity should be less than 0.995 and no bubbling is seen). Allow extra time if required. Residual carbon dioxide gas must be removed from the wine prior to final clarification for the fining agent to be effective. Stirring the wine within the carboy will de-gas the wine.
- Siphon wine into a sterilized carboy, leaving sediment behind.
- Sprinkle the contents of Packet #3 (Potassium Metabisulphite) into the wine and mix thoroughly with a sterilized spoon in order to remove the unwanted carbon dioxide gas.
- Pour contents of ONE package of Kieselsol into wine and stir. If your kit contains two packages, do not use the 2" at this time — reserve until Stage 4.
- Stir the wine several times (at least 6 to 8) over the next 2 days. Remember to refit the stopper and fermentation lock after each stirring.
STAGE 4 - Stabilizing & Clarification - DAY 22:
At this stage, the wine must be completely degassed or the fining agent will not be effective. If you are choosing to add sweetener or conditioner to your wine, See "Hints for Success" Item #5
- To 125 mL/3/2 cup of warm water add the contents of Packet #4 (Potassium Sorbate). Stir to dissolve. Add to wine and mix thoroughly.
- If your kit contains a Sweet Reserve Bag or if you want to sweeten your wine with conditioner, add contents to wine and mix gently.
- Shake the Chitosan(s), and add package(s) into the wine and stir thoroughly.
- If your kit contains two packages of Kieselsol, add the 2" package 1 hour after the Chitosan addition and gently stir.
- Position the carboy containing the wine on a table so that no further movement is required prior to bottling.
- Use a solid bung to seal your carboy after degassing to protect your wine from re-contamination. Leave the wine undisturbed to clear for up to 6 days.
STAGE 5 - Bottling - DAY 28:
Wine should be clear and ready to bottle. If the wine has not clarified yet, leave for a few more days. It is recommended that you filter the wine prior to bottling. If aging your wine for longer than 6 months, add 'A tsp. of Potassium Metabisulfite dissolved in wine
- Siphon wine into a clean sterilized carboy, leaving any remaining sediment behind.
- Filter the wine using a medium pore size filter that has been properly prepared. Follow your filter instructions.
- Siphon the clear wine to sterilized 750 mL/26 oz. cork finish wine bottles allowing 2.5 cm-3.5 cm/1"-11/2" head space between cork and wine.
- Insert sterilized wine corks using a hand corker. See "Hints for Success" Item #1
- Wait 24-48 hours before inverting the bottles once corked. This will allow expansion time for the corks and will decrease the chances of leaking bottles.
This wine is very acceptable to drink at bottling time or keep your wine in a temperature-controlled environment (less than 16°C /60°F) out of direct light
Hints For Success:
1. CLEAN & STERILIZE ALL EQUIPMENT AND BOTTLES:
Clean stained or dirty equipment using Chloroclean and rinse thoroughly prior to sterilizing. Failure to properly sterilize all equipment and bottles may result in an unsuccessful wine. To sterilize equipment dissolve 50 g /1.76 oz. of metabisulphite in 4 L/1 US gal. of water (retain for future use). Be certain to rinse all traces of sterilant from your equipment and bottles before proceeding. Corks may be sterilized by soaking 5-10 minutes in sterilizing solution.
2. FERMENTATION TEMPERATURES:
Your wine kit has been designed to ferment at 22°C/72°F. Temperatures above 30°C/86°F will inactivate the yeast, while temperatures below 18°C/64°F will prolong the time required to make the wine. NOTE: If the fermentation is taking place in a cool area, the correct fermentation temperature can be achieved with the help of a heating pad or brew belt. Be sure to carefully monitor your wine temperature.
3. USING THE HYDROMETER:
A wine hydrometer is a tool that reads relative specific gravity. As the fermentation progresses, the specific gravity decreases as the sugar is converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide. We have included target readings for you to follow the progress of your wine. To use, immerse the sterilized hydrometer into a cylinder of wine or juice so that it is free floating. To read the hydrometer, the level at which the liquid intersects the stem is your specific gravity.
4. CARBOY SEDIMENT:
When transferring, or racking, try not to splash the wine to minimize the incorporation of oxygen into your wine. Care must be taken not to mix the sediment with the clear wine atthe bottling stage (Stage #5). Should this inadvertently occur it will be necessary to let the sediment resettle for a few days before proceeding. Using a rigid plastic racking tube and clamp in conjunction with the flexible tubing is very helpful.
5. POTASSIUM SORBATE & SWEETENING YOUR WINE:
4 week kits have been developed to produce dry wines, with the exception of several white wine styles. If you want to create a sweeter wine, wine conditioner or sweetener may be added during Stage #4. If choosing to use a sweetener or conditioner it is imperative that you use Packet #4 (Potassium Sorbate) to ensure a successful wine. If you are creating a dry wine, you may choose to omit Packet #4 if you would like to limit the level of preservatives present in your wine.