Making wine for the first time can often make you feel like a mad scientist. Even when following a recipe step-by-step, uncertainty about the finished product remains. Will it taste good? Did I add enough yeast? How long is too long for fermentation? These are all questions you may ask yourself the first time you make wine.
Perfecting the art of making wine takes practice and several batches. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your first batch doesn’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Clean and Sanitize Your Equipment
Not cleaning and sanitizing your equipment could be the difference between an undrinkable batch of wine and wine you can confidently serve to family and friends. If dust and residue remain on equipment, hidden bacteria will spoil your wine and makes it undrinkable.
To clean your equipment, we recommend soaking each item in a cleaning agent such as bleach and then using some elbow grease to scrub away dirt and grim. After cleaning, you will need to sanitize your equipment using a mixture of water combined with a sanitizing agent. We recommend using a cleaning and sanitizing kit that provides all the supplies you need to successfully clean and sanitize your winemaking equipment.
Find the Right Spot in Your House
The right environment is critical when fermenting your first batch of wine. There are several things to consider when choosing where your wine will ferment.
We recommend a room that is between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit and a space that is not overwhelmed by direct sunlight. Additionally, since making wine can be a messy process, make sure the space you choose can easily be cleaned and does not feature materials that easily stain. Popular rooms for wine fermentation include the kitchen or basement.
Use a Kit
There are a lot of unknowns your first time making wine and it can be overwhelming gathering all the equipment, ingredients, and supplies. We recommend using a winemaking kit that consolidates almost everything you need to get started. Kits also include step-by-step instructions, featured recipes, and juice concentrate (if you don’t want to make wine from fresh fruit).
Are you ready to get started? Follow our tips and set the table for your first batch of wine. Looking for step-by-step wine making instructions? Find our step-by-step wine making guide here.