If you’re only beginning to make your own wine at home, you’re probably wondering how long it’s going to be before you can finally put the cork on a bottle of your first batch of homemade wine and pour a glass of toast to your achievement. Well, answer the question here and give you a little more insight into the method of making your own wine at home. In the spirit of full disclosure, it’ll be a while before your first batch is ready to drink, but as you know, good things come to those who are waiting, and homemade wine is indeed one of those good things. So, when is homemade wine ready to drink?
Getting Started With Making Wine
If you’ve got everything you need in front of you, there’s one step you’ve got to take care of before you do anything else. Namely, washing and sanitizing your equipment for making wine. It’s a regular job that’s an inevitable part of the winemaking process. But it’s worth taking the small amount of time you need since any stains or dust on your winemaking equipment could easily be host to bacteria or other microorganisms that could ruin your wine.
It’s hard to imagine too many things that are more dismaying at the beginning of the vintner than getting your first batch of wine turned out to be ruined because you didn’t take a few minutes to take care of this all-important first step, so be sure to wash, scrub, sanitize and rinse thoroughly before you get started.
Now, as for how long the whole thing is going to take, there are no hard and fast responses. However, you can normally expect about six months to pass between adding your ingredients to your winemaking kit and uncorking a bottle for your first taste of homemade wine. It’s a long time to wait, to be sure, but the end result is going to be worth the time it takes. When you’ve had your first taste of something you’ve made with your own two hands, it’ll all become obvious, and because you can start your second batch right away, you’ll never be without excellent, ready-to-drink homemade wine again.
It’s OK to uncork a bottle after about a month if you can’t wait, but you’ll usually get better results with a longer fermentation period (one to three months) and a longer bottle aging period (2 or 3 months before opening the first bottle). If you’re going to make many bottles at once, you can always save some for later and see if it progresses as it ages over the next year.
When is homemade wine ready to drink?
The biggest difference between home-brewing wine and beer is the time it takes to produce a simple batch of wine compared to beer. The fermentation of the wine normally takes at least 2 weeks, and then 2-3 weeks of aging until it is ready to be bottled.
The longer your wine is bottled, the better the results. As you might know, wine is aged to give it more taste and general aroma, as well as color and other properties. Rushing the winemaking process is commonly considered to be a waste of good wine by home-grown wine-growers, and is strongly frowned upon.
If you want to make and taste your own wine quickly, you can, but the aging process, particularly in the bottle, will increase the taste.
How long do you have to age your wine?
We’ve spoken about the minimum period of wine to mature in general, and we’re ready to drink, but what defines how long you can mature various types of wine?
Wines that you’ve made at home all need to mature for a bit, but almost any store-bought wine is ready to drink immediately. In reality, many of the store-bought wines don’t get any better with age.
I’m going to explain some properties to wines that can alter their ageing and the various criteria that you may need to look for when you want to age your wine.
It’s red or white wine. Generally speaking, red wines are the wines that often benefit from aging. White wines and rosé wines have a more ‘set-in-stone’ aging process and do not benefit much from any further aging than is required.
Your ageing ability varies depending on whether you use corks or screw caps to seal your bottles of wine. Wines closed with a cork are never fully sealed and allow some oxygen in your bottle of wine. This will allow your wine to grow new tastes and mature better over time.
If you use a screw cap, your wine is probably not intended for ageing for a number of years, as seen earlier. Screwcap wines are typically your “everyday” wine, which can be opened and enjoyed and then placed back into storage, whereas a longer-lasting wine with a liquor is mostly enjoyed throughout the full day you open it for the best experience.
If you make a more expensive wine or purchase an expensive bottle of wine, the ageing potential is always higher compared to cheaper wines. Cheap wines taste fantastic, but are always, as already described, to be consumed within a short time of purchase. The capacity of ageing for a better wine drinking experience also goes hand-in – hand with what you spend in making it.
When is homemade wine ready to drink? In conclusion, the minimum time it takes to be able to drink your own wine is 2 months. This involves the entire process of processing, the fermentation process and the minimal ageing process of the bottle.
It’s very ill-advised to hurry into the opening of wine. Follow the directions on the wine you’re making, and let it mature a little bit more than opening it too fast.
Simple Way To Make Wine
You can make homemade wine quite easily like a pro. Everything you need is a very basic collection of equipment and ingredients to make your own delicious wine.
Make a choice of fruit, the usual choice here is grapes, as they are the type of fruit that usually performs best when making wine. Make sure the fruit you use is ripe, but not over-ripened for the best tasting results.
The use of organic fruit is known to be the safest option because it does not contain any additives that might have a chance of destroying your wine.
Clean your fruit and make sure that no dirt or tiny insects / bacteria are present. Make sure you don’t break the surface of your fruit because it would waste the good sugary quality of the fruit that your wine needs for fermentation.
Seasoned winemakers do not wash their fruit because they use the natural yeast found on the surface of the fruit, which is often washed away when doing this step. This is not applicable to this recipe, but keep this in mind if you ever turn to naturally fermented wine recipes.
It’s time for you to get hands-on. Take your crock and crush your fruit as you see fit, and make sure you crack it enough to get all the sweet juice out of it. The amount of fruit you need to split should be enough to fill up the crock.
Connect your choice of sugar or honey to your fruit juice. Depending on the type of fruit you select, you can need to raise the amount of sugar or honey you add. Don’t worry about adding too little, as you can gradually add more sugar during the fermentation process.
Just make sure you’re not overdoing it, and stick to the 2 cups for now.
Open the yeast and apply it to the mixture, stir and dissolve it uniformly in the mixture.
You’ve added your yeast, and now it’s time for the fermentation process to kick off. Cover your crock with a seal that allows some air to get in, but no bugs or dust, etc. Place your covered crock in a room with a temperature of about 70F and leave it overnight.
It is necessary to store the mixture in a position that is not too cold and not too warm. Too warm will destroy the yeast, and too cold can make the yeast go dormant, and the fermentation process won’t begin.
You should stir your mixture a few times a day for the next 3-5 days. You should start seeing the bubbles, which mean that the fermentation is taking root. Moreover, you can monitor your process with a hydrometer, which can help you decide whether or not your fermentation process is working and whether or not it is approaching an end.
After 3-5 days, the bubbling of your mixture should start to slow down, which means that it is time to move your wine mixture to your carboy. After you’ve siphoned your wine over to your carboy using your tube for this reason, it’s time to put it on the airlock. Adjust your airlock to the opening and allow it to release gas, but prevent oxygen from coming inside and ruin your wine.
Now comes the boring part of it. Let your wine age for at least a month, but if you have patience, let it age for even longer, it’s a good year. If you add some extra sugar, be sure to age your wine for more than 1 month, as it requires time to absorb it.
It’s finally time to bottle your wine, Siphon your wine in your bottles, and make sure it’s safe. Cork them up and put them in a cool dark spot. We would recommend that your wine be aged for at least another week before sampling, but once again ageing for longer will give you a better taste.
How To Store Your Wine
If you want to age your wine, you need the right atmosphere to have the most efficient aging process. Here are some general tips on how to store your wine properly:
Keep your aged wine bottles away from sunlight, as it can affect the quality of your wine.
Wine must be kept cold, which is why the basements are mostly used because they have a very steady temperature and humidity, which can be well suited to the aging of the wine.
The wine refrigerator
When is homemade wine ready to drink? If you don’t have a basement, using a temperature-set refrigerator is a reasonable option. The downside to this is that if you use cork bottles, you won’t get as much fresh oxygen in your bottle as if you already had your bottles aged in the cellar.’
Homemade Wine Is Healthy!
Homemade wine (and beer, mead, and cider) should be as safe as their commercial counterparts. Nobody ever asks if homemade cakes are safe to eat, but the issue of homemade wine keeps coming up. Why is it meant to be?
The biggest reason homemade wine gets such a bad press is that a lot of it is terrible. The Internet is full of recipes and methods that are totally non-scientific and betray a complete lack of knowledge of the basic principles of winemaking. You don’t have to be a scientist to be a winemaker. There are a lot of nice, sound recipes and methods out there, fighting their corners against the mumbo-jumbo.
But it can be difficult for a novice to differentiate between accurate, repeatable approaches and an all-too-common hit-or-miss approach. In this hub, I’m going to mention some of the indicators that the writer doesn’t know what he/she’s talking about and is best avoided in the interests of health, protection, and general well-being.
Wine contains ethyl (ethanol) alcohol. This is caused by an enzyme reaction that metabolizes the juice’s sugars to form ethanol and carbon dioxide. Enzymes are formed and released by live yeast.
No yeast = no enzymes = no ethanol = no wine. The so-called ‘no yeast’ recipes rely on a fortunate infection with natural yeasts that may be airborne or present on the fruit’s skins. It’s a very high-risk strategy. There is no question that something can colonize the juice, but it could well be something rather undesirable. Always place your choice of yeast in a regulated manner and stop ‘no yeast’ recipes like the plague.
No Acid Recipes
The enzyme reaction mentioned above can go horribly wrong if the juice does not contain enough fruit acid. In particular, acetaldehyde may become dominant in the finished product, adversely affecting the smell and dramatically raising the likelihood of hangovers.
The main fruit acids are tartaric, malic, and citric acids. Different fruit juices contain different quantities and ratios of these acids, and this is a big quality factor, but most fruit juices may produce an appropriate wine, properly processed, often with the addition of a little lemon juice.
But beware of vegetable or grain ‘wines’ that do not contain additional fruit acids. They are almost sure to turn out to be foul and slightly poisonous. The old folk tales of Grandpa’s parsnip wine, which was as good as whisky, are not real. The fact is, the stuff was poisonous, not solid, and the next day gave you a raging headache.
The best thing to do when you hit the section that says ‘stretch a balloon over the neck of the fermenting jar’ is to find another website. The theory is that the fermentation gasses partly inflate the balloon and escape by a few judicious pinpricks. The problem is that fermentation gas is not just dry CO2. It is CO2, water vapor, trace gasses that are safer off than in, such as SO2 and H2S, and a general spray from bursting bubbles.
This acidic cocktail condenses on the inside of the balloon and drips back into the wine, sometimes leaching the rubber, the color, and the ghastly aromas along the way. Not wise. But if you completely have to use the balloon process, replace the condom instead. It’s not going to improve the wine, but it’s going to inflate to an enormous talking point!
When is homemade wine ready to drink? Without additional steps, your homemade wine will stay healthy for at least a year. If you store it out of light, in a temperature-free environment, and add extra sulfites before bottling, the longevity can increase to a few years. Some wines age better than others, and after the five-year mark, they will start to become a little less desirable. It’s best to drink these wines in the first three years after making them.