Preserving what we grow is so rewarding, and there are so many ways to do it! Home canning, dehydrating, freezing, and even storing are a few ways to “put up” the foods you grow, but there are definitely more! One of my favorite ways to preserve fruit is to make wine. This post will kick off a series that will take you through the fruit wine making process, step-by-step from start to finish!
Making fruit wine has a learning curve, but once you know how, it’s a pretty simple process. Some fruit wines are great after a 30 day brew, and some take longer. Each one is a treasure in itself because it’s made by your hands and with the fruit of your land!
In this article, I will be sharing all of the items you need to collect to get started making fruit wines. The links below are affiliate links, so if you click on and buy through them, Stone Family Farmstead will make a little income. You totally don’t have to, but we are grateful for those who do! Thank you!
Step 1 of the Wine Making Process: Gather Your Equipment
These are all of the items that you will need at some point during the wine making process. You may have some of these items in your kitchen already, but I’ve added links to most of them anyway.
- 8 quart stock pot – This is for boiling the water in the beginning of the process. Since you will be starting with 12-16 cups of water, you will want your stock pot to be deep enough to handle all of the water, plus 3-4 lbs of sugar without overflowing. You could get by with a 6 quart stock/soup pot if that’s what you have with no problem.
- long handled spoon – the spoon will be used for stirring your wine mash at various stages
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 gallon fermenting bucket with lid – this will be used for the first ferment which includes all of the ingredients and 4 lbs of fruit. It’s a great size to work with when making 1 gallon batches of wine because it gives you extra room to work with.
- airlock – this device is used with the fermenting bucket and the 1 gallon jug to allow gases to expel from the wine, while not allowing extra oxygen into the vessel.
- mesh bag – this is optional, but I highly recommend it. I use it to secure the fruit that I need to mash up for the first ferment, and it makes it so much easier to strain fruit from the mash, and squeeze the juice from the fruit. It’s a huge life saver for me!
- hydrometer and test jar – these items are to test the start and finish gravity of your wine.
- 1 gallon jug (includes stopper and airlock) – this vessel will be used for the second ferment, and if needed, a third ferment.
- stopper (this one fits into the Sprouts apple juice jug) – this a plug with a hole in it for an airlock. There are various sizes so make sure to get a stopper that fits the jug you are using.
- fine metal strainer – this is used a various times in the wine making process to strain out any small debris that may have made its way into your wine. This one is different than my strainer, but has mesh that is finer which makes it a better choice for wine making.
- reusable cheesecloth – used with the fine metal strainer
- racking cane with siphon hose – this is used to siphon the wine from the jug either to bottle or ferment another time. This should come with a tip that will allow siphoning liquid while leaving the sediment behind. Doing so will produce a clearer wine with each ferment.
- Star San – used for sanitizing your wine making tools. Can be made in a large sink to immerse tools into, or in a spray bottle.
Ingredients to Gather that Are Used in Every Wine Making Process
- campden tabs – used for sanitizing the fruit and liquid at the beginning of your first ferment.
- dry wine yeast – needed for the actual brewing process. Many types of yeast are available online.
- yeast nutrient – an ingredient that is used to feed the yeast throughout the brewing process
- acid blend – makes it easier for the yeast to ferment properly
- pectic enzyme – breaks down fruit pectin which can create a hazy wine
- tannin – increases the tannins in fruit wines. Optional, but may affect end flavor if you choose not to use it.
Want to See all of these Tools?
I have a video that covers all we’ve talked about here, and maybe more! Click on the graphic to watch it: