The home wine making process requires a lot of commitment; for those without enough passion and willingness to put in the effort, you will likely end up with a sub-par product that will disappoint you. However, for those with enough drive, the home wine making process is a very rewarding experience that will allow you to taste the result of months of hard work first-hand. Home wine kits are the best way for anybody starting out to ensure that they are using effective grape varieties and materials to make a tasty wine. This allows you to skip to process of determining these factors on your own, which is what many expert wine makers are required to do. After enough practice, you will be able to choose your own grape varieties and yeasts on and create a unique wine suited to your specific personal preferences. The following article will let you in on the secrets of home wine making in order to let your make your own home made wine, setting you off on the path towards being a homemade wine connoisseur.
Factors that Influence Your Wine
One of the most important things that will affect your wines flavor and unique textural characteristics is the type of grape or grapes that you use. There are over 5000 grape varieties around the world, and they can all be classified into two major groups: Vitis Vinifera and Vitis Labrusca. Vitis Vinifera grapes are more common in Europe, while Vitis Labrusca grapes are more common in Canada and Eastern United States. Within these two grape categories, these grapes can be further classified into either red or white varieties. Red grapes include grapes that are red, blue, black or purple, while white grapes range from yellow, gold or brown colors. The best way to create a unique wine is to experiment with various flavor combinations, although this practice is best reserved for advanced wine makers and those with adequate experience.
Another important part of the home wine making process is fermentation. Fermentation is the chemical reaction that converts grape juice into alcohol through yeasts. Yeasts are either cultured or ambient, each with their own unique contributions to the final wine. Cultured yeasts are those specifically created and added to the wine for fermentation, whereas ambient yeasts are naturally present in wine and vineyards. The unique combination of yeasts used in wine fermentation will determine the flavor and texture of your final product, making it a very important process to master for those that want a high level of control over their home made wine. Take a look at our Basics of Wine Fermentation and Advanced Wine Making Techniques articles for more information on wine fermentation and wine making techniques.
Another very important part of the wine making process is the aging process, which also greatly affects its unique flavor and textural characteristics. Most wines are aged and fermented in oak barrels, and the specific type of oak used for aging will influence the type of wine that you create. For example, French and American oak barrels are two of the most common types of oak barrels used in the home wine making process, and both add strong flavors to your wine. Using different types of oaks during your wine making process is a great way to create a wide variety of flavors in your wine to create a complex combination of flavors. Some of the flavors imparted by oak barrels include nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and vanilla. Additionally, the type of flavor imparted by oak barrels varies depending on the type of grape variety you use and the length of the aging process, which can range from the whole aging period to just half. At the end of the day, aging and fermentation by using oak barrels is a great way to increase the flavor possibilities of your final wine, especially when combined with the previously mentioned process of grape combination.
Usefulness of Wine Kits
Wine kits are products that provide the materials and ingredients required to make wine, making them ideal for beginners without the adequate knowledge to obtain these materials on their own. These kits provide specific grape concentrates and tools that are designed to produce a specific type of wine, from Chardonnay to Californian. For anyone looking to bypass the tedious process of researching the best yeast and grape combinations, these kits are the best choice. They are also a great way of becoming familiar with the home wine making process before attempting to do it on your own. Take a look at our The 5 Best Californian Wine Kits, The 5 Best Chianti Wine Kits, The 5 Best Riesling Wine Kits and The 7 Best Chardonnay Wine Kits articles for some great examples of quality wine kits for making specific types of wine. Alternatively, if you have a moderate level of experience with wine making and are looking to experiment, trying out your own types of grape and yeast combinations is the best way to fine the perfect wine recipe suited to your unique tastes.
There are many different grape varities available to use for your home made wine, each belonging to either the Vitis Vinifera or Vitis Labrusca family. However, these two grapes can create up to five different types of actual wines: red wine, white wine, Rosé wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine. The following list will describe the different characteristics of each of these wines to help you distinguish them.
1. Red Wine: Red wine is made from black grapes; they are usually either sweet or dry in taste and either light or dark in color, making red wines very broad in terms of their characteristics.
2. White Wine: White wines range from rich to light flavors and are known to use green grapes, although black grapes are sometimes used.
3. Rosé Wine: Rosé wines are typically made from black grapes with their skins removed, although sometimes they are made using a mixture of red and white wines. Their flavor can range from dry to sweet.
4. Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wines are casual wines with a bubbly, carbonated feel that results from the extra fermentation process that is utilized during their creation. Red, white and Rosé wines are all available as sparkling wines.
5. Fortified Wine: Fortified wines usually work best with desserts and are created through the combination of standard wines and spirits.
The Importance of Cleaning During the Wine Making Process
Although choosing the right grapes and yeasts is a very important determinant of the quality of your final product, an often overlooked factor is the rigorousness of the cleaning process. If you use wine making equipment that is not properly cleaning and sterilized, than your final product can be compromised. This will ruin all of the hard work that you have put into your wine, ultimately ruining a potentially good batch. Another problem is the fact that many people confuse the terms sanitization and sterilization, which are both different methods of cleaning. Sterilization is the optimal cleaning process during the home wine making procedure, making it very important to understand the difference between these two procedures. This process ensures that all microbial activity is eliminated, increasing the quality of your wine. Ignoring the importance of sterilization is one of the most common mistakes of beginner wine makers, which is a sure-fire way to increase the amount of time you take on your home made wine. Take a look at our Wine Makers Guide to Cleaning article for more information on this topic.
Home Wine Making Timeline
There are many different things that can influence the amount of time that you take to make your home made wine, including the previously mentioned cleaning process, the amount of bottles you are making and the time you plan on spending aging your wine. Despite the fact that cleaning and sterilization can be time consuming, this is something that will definitely become easier as your experience level increases. However, the aging process is something that will depend on the type of wine you want to make. Although 6 months is the standard amount of time needed to age your wine for, some wines taste better after as long as one or two years. Alternatively, some wine kits will only take two to three months to age properly; at the end of the day, it all depends on the grapes and yeasts you are using as well as the type of wine you desire. Most wine kits will provide suggestions for the amount of time you should be taking to age your wine, so if you are using a wine kit be sure to pay attention to these specifications. On the other hand, if you are an advanced wine maker with a strong taste for wine, the aging process is completely in your hands.
Wine making is a complex process that requires the mastery of various interrelated steps that all affect on another. Many expert home wine makers require years of experience and practice before they find the perfect combination of yeasts and grapes required to make their favorite wine. Ultimately, the best way to get started is by using home wine kits. Take a look at the various articles on our website you get your familiar with the best of these products in order to ensure that your first wine making experiences will set you off on the right path. These kits will ease you into the home wine making experience and help you learn how to make the best quality wines. With enough hard work and experience, you will end up with the perfect wine suited to your own personal taste preferences.