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 - DAY 1:
Remember to sterilize your containers and equipment with a sterilizing solution before proceeding. 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.
- Clean and sterilize equipment to be used and rinse well
- Empty oak chips into boil proof measuring cup If your kit contains additive Package #5, add this along with oak chips. Pour boiling water to measure 2 cups and let stand.
- Mix Packet #2 (Bentonite, Fernald K) in 250 mL (1 cup) of warm water. Stir well and let stand.
- Place primary fermentor in front of a chair. Remove bag of juice and place on chair with cap on top facing edge of chair. Direct spout to fermentor and slowly remove cap and empty bag.
- Empty cup of oak chips, contents of package #5 and water into fermentor.
- Stir Packet #2 (Bentonite and Fermaid K) again to break up most of the lumps and add to primary fermentor. Stir well. Sprinkle yeast on top and cover primary fermentor. Do not add yeast above 30°C (86'F).
- Leave in a warm place 22° - 25°C (72° - 77°F). A heating pad set on low. or a heating belt, available at your local Wine Supply Store, can be used, If using either, monitor well.
STAGE 2 - DAY 7:
- Most of the fermentation will be completed. Clean and sterilize equipment to be used and rinse well. Syphon wine into carboy leaving sediment behind. Top up carboy with warm water. Attach fermentation lock (half filled with water). Leave carboy in a warm place 22° - 25°C (72° - 77°F) for 10 days to continue to ferment. It is important that your wine is kept warm.
STAGE 3 - DAY 17:
- Taste your wine. If your wine is dry (S.G. 0.990 to 0.995) proceed to step 10. If your wine is still sweet, wait a few days keeping carboy warm. Taste again, when wine is dry proceed to the next step.
- Dissolve contents of Package marked #3 and 4 (Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Metabisulphite) in 125 mL (4 oz.) warm water. Stir and add to wine, With carboy on the floor, insert bung or cork and shake vigorously by holding carboy neck with one hand and slightly tilting carboy by holding bottom with the other hard. Remove cork often to release escaping gas. Insert cork again and repeat this procedure 5 or 6 times. Re-fit fermentation lock. Repeat this procedure for the next 5 days or until all the gas is gone. Fermentation is complete when all the gas is gone. A good indication of this is when the inner piece of your fermentation lock is no longer suspended and is resting on the stem. Do not proceed to step 11 until all the gas is gone
STAGE 4 - DAY 22:
Place carboy in a cool place on a chair or table. Slowly pour in Super Kieer stirring gently only on top with a racking tube or the handle of a plastic spoon. Re-fit fermentation lock. Let stand without disturbing for 6 days. If your wine has not cleared to your liking, you may add a second Super Kleer or you can filter with a wine filter.
STAGE 5 - DAY 28:
Your wine should be clear and ready for bottling. Clean and sterilize all equipment to be used and rinse well. Without disturbing the sediment, carefully syphon wine into primary fermentor. Taste your wine. II you wish to sweeten your wine you may sweeten it to your own taste by adding Wine-Time Sweetener and Conditioner. Stir in and taste frequently until sweetness is achieved.
Clean and sterilize bottles and rinse well with warm water.
Syphon wine into bottles allowing 2.5cm (1'') head space between cork/cap and wine, After corking, leave upright for a couple of days and observe that they stay in place. This also allows the cork to dry some. Store bottles on their sides to keep cork moist.
AGING: Your wine is very acceptable for drinking at this time, but will continue to improve if allowed to age in a cool dark place. We do suggest that you bottle and age a portion of each batch.