The homemade production of wine is a fun and challenging hobby that many people can enjoy. In this paper the reader will be taken through several different steps and processes that must be accomplished for your wine to be of satisfactory flavor and clarity.
Crushing and stemming
This first step may be performed by hand or by machine. For handling a ton or more of grapes, use a mechanical crusher-stemmer. Using a small crusher-stemmer, two persons can crush and stem a ton of grapes in about one hour. To collect the crushed grapes, which are also called the must, the machine is placed and supported above a container. A large polyethylene plastic tub or garbage can is sufficient. The important objective is to minimize bitterness by thoroughly crushing the berries without macerating the seeds, and while recovering all of the skins and juice in the must. After stemming and crushing, the fermentors are filled with the must to about two-thirds capacity, to avoid foaming-over during fermentation. After all of the must has been poured into the fermentors and the sulfur dioxide has been added, the fermentors should be covered with cheesecloth or plastic to keep out insects. Temperature, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, and the free and total SO2 of the must in each fermentor should be determined and the results recorded.
Adding sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a chemical compound that has been used in winemaking for more than a century. Because it is known that wine yeast produce small amounts of SO2 during fermentation, SO2 can be considered a natural constituent of wine.
Judicious and moderate use of SO2 has long been recommended. Recent research shows that the best quality wines are made when SO2 has been used both before and after fermentation.
For grapes free of mildew, rot, or mold, usually from 50 to 100 parts per million (ppm) is used or about 75 ppm is adequate. This mild antiseptic is commonly used in the...