Wine Making Equipment
Thinking about making your own wine at home? Plenty of people do it and have been doing it since Roman times, but unless you have the right wine making equipment, it will be so much more difficult. Here are a few tips of what winemaking accessories and equipment you should look at investing in to make some great homemade wine for a surprisingly low cost!
First off, you need to look at how expensive the equipment is and see if it fits within your budget. There are many online vendors who specialise in winemaking equipment. Most of them will probably have a "Starter Kit" where all the basic equipment is included. If you are new to home winemaking, then this is something you should look at for starting off in a new hobby. Most of these kits will be no more than $100, which shouldn't break the budget. The best thing is that most of the equipment can be used over and over again without having to put out a lot of extra money. Over time, this kit will pay for itself with all the money you'll be saving!
What's in the Starter Kit?
The largest piece of equipment will be a large bucket of at least 25 litres which will act as your fermentation vessel. You will also need a secondary container, which is usually a clear glass container that will be about 20-30 litres. This is known as a carboy. You can get away with plastic, but glass is better.
Also included with this kit will be several rubber stoppers that are used on the fermentation containers. You'll also find an airlock, which will allow excess carbon dioxide to escape while your wine goes through the fermentation process, while preventing bacteria and outside air from getting into the container and potentially ruining your wine. Some of the better starter kits will also include a series of brushes to use to thoroughly clean your soon-to-be filled wine bottles, as well as the carboy. Corks may be included, but a corking device to put corks in the bottles should be something that you should expect, as you'll be getting a lot of use out if it soon!
When making homemade wine, cleanliness and sterility are extremely important and will be one large factor between a great wine and homemade vinegar. A good cleaning agent and sterilizing chemical should always be included with the kit. This is a step you want to get right the first time, as you can't get a second chance! There will also be a device called a "racking tube", which allows you to transfer wine from one container to another as part of the whole process.
One last accessory that will be included is a hydrometer. What this does is that it measures the amount of sugar in the mixture before you add the yeast. From here, you can calculate the potential alcohol that will result. It also can let you know when all the sugar has been used up by the yeast so you'll get an idea if fermentation has stopped because there is no sugar left, or for a more serious reason.
These are some of the more common but essential wine making equipment you'll find in most homemade wine "starter packs". You won't find an ingredient kit, but this is up to you to decide what sort of wine you wish to make. A lot of wine kit vendors may include an ingredient kit at a special price if you purchase the starter kit from them. Regardless of the type of wine you want to make, if you have the right wine making equipment, you'll spend many hours perfecting the art of homemade wine and producing your own great-tasting vintage!