Tips on Equipment

It’s important in the beginning to sterilize all the equipment and supplies you’ll be using. Very hot water will do, or if you’d rather not run the risk of burning yourself, sanitizer will do the job. Begin the process by pouring the juice in your (newly sterilized!) 5-gallon container. Next we’re going to sterilize that juice by adding 4 Campden Tablets, which will rid the juice of any possible bacteria present. For best results, crush the tablets and dissolve them in some warm water. Pour this into your juice and let it sit overnight so the sulfites do their work.
Give the juice 24-hours to marinate before you add the yeast. There are literally hundreds of types of yeast strains utilized for reasons which reach beyond the scope of our intentions, so my suggestion is to begin with bakers’ yeast, which is available at every major grocer. A little more in-depth research may reveal another yeast strain that may fit more specialized projects in the future. But for now, bakers’ will do just fine!
The next part is easy and difficult at the same time- wait 7 days and watch. Cover your container with a lid. During this waiting process your concoction will give off a decent amount of Carbon Dioxide, which will protect your fermenting wine-to-be from exposure to too much oxygen.
After the seven days has passed use a siphon to transfer the wine to a new container (the carbuoy). You can find a carbouy at a local store. When you siphon, it’s important to try and avoid the residue in the bottom of your container, which is basically dead yeast. Once you have the wine in the carbuoy, seal it air tight so it can ferment for another month. This will require patience, but don’t give up!

Once you’ve waited one month, you’re basically going to repeat the process. Again, siphon the wine to a third vessel, avoiding the dead yeast left behind. You’re almost there. At this point you’re going to want to add the stabilizer, which will inhibit yeast reproduction. After you’ve added the stabilizer, return the wine mixture to the carbuoy (make sure you’ve removed the dead yeast and cleaned it before you do).
All you have to do now is wait for the wine to clear! Then it’s time to bottle! Finally!  Siphon the wine into the bottles in the same fashion that you did before. I suggest getting a “corker”, as corking can be a little tricky. This should be available at your local wine shop, as well.
As a final exercise in patience, let your bottle sit for 6-9 months. The longer the better! Cheers!!

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