If you are a wine lover, perhaps you have considered making your own wine. Making your own wine can be an interesting challenge with an end result that you can enjoy. In order to create your own wine, you will need some basic winemaking equipment to help you through the process.
The Legalities of Homemade Wine
Making wine at home is perfectly legal in the United States, with certain restrictions. A single person can make up to 100 gallons of wine or beer every year. If you live in a household of two or more adults, you can make up to 200 gallons. You may not sell your homemade wine, but you can share it with family and friends.
Starting the Process
First, you will have to decide if you want to press grapes or use juice concentrate. If you choose to press grapes, you might want to invest in wine press equipment for your home.
You will need several pieces of equipment for the fermentation process. First, you will need a primary container that will hold four to ten gallons. This should be a food grade container or bucket with a lid. For the secondary fermentation, you can purchase carboys or glass jugs with airlocks to allow the gas to escape from the mix while keeping dust and other contaminants out.
In addition, you will need a hose for siphoning the wine and a straining bag, particularly if you pressed your grapes. A straining bag will allow you to easily remove the pulp and skins of the grapes at the appropriate time.
Another essential piece of winemaking equipment is a hydrometer, which measures the sugar content of your wine. Don”t forget to buy a stirrer such as a wine paddle or spoon to mix your wine during the first fermentation.
Wine Bottling Equipment
You will need bottles and a corking machine to complete your winemaking process.
Additional Wine Equipment
You might also want to invest in the following pieces of wine preparation equipment:
- storage rack for your wine bottles during the racking and aging process
- wine testing kit to test acids.
Basic Wine Making Equipment Costs
Rather than buying your equipment piecemeal, you should consider purchasing a kit. A basic kit with almost everything that you need to get started will cost about $100. For this $100, you will end up with about 5 gallons of wine.
You can purchase winemaking equipment at a brick-and-mortar wine making supply store or from online stores.
As you upgrade over time, you may be able to save some money by buying used winemaking equipment.
Professional Winemaking Equipment at Home
You can also buy some of the same types of equipment that professionals use in their operations. For example, you can buy small oak barrels to age your wine, which will help to add those additional subtle flavors.
Making wine at home will further enhance your knowledge and appreciation of wines. Who knows? After several years of making wine at home, you may want to take the next step and invest in a vineyard. Many successful vintners begin their careers with a simple love for good homemade wine.