Wine Yeast - Basic Techniques


(for 1 gallon of wine)

2 to 3 gallon plastic Primary Fermenter with cover (While stoneware crocks and barrels are romantic they frequently harbor wine spoilage bacteria and cannot be cleaned)
Hydrometer & Test Jar
Acid Test Kit
Racking Tube and Hose
Glass Secondary Fermenter
Fermentation locks and drilled stoppers to fit secondary fermenter
A good book on winemaking

(for 1 gallon of wine)

2 to 4 lbs of fruit
1 Campden Tablet
1 Gallon of Water
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1/4 tsp Grape Tannin (red & black fruits don't require additional tannin, nor does Pear)
1 pkg Wine Yeast
Citric Acid - Starting Acid Balance .50%-.60%
Sugar - Starting Specific Gravity 1.085
Stabilizer (if sweetening the wine at bottling)
All equipment must be cleaned and sanitized before using. Clean equipment with a good detergent (not soap). We carry many excellent cleansers. Sterilize with sulfite solution (3 TBS of Sodium Metabisulfite in a gallon of water) and rinse well with hop tap water.

Fruit should be cut up or crushed but not pureed. Remove the stones of large fruit such as peaches, apricots, or plums. Placing the fruit in a straining bag makes the later removal of the pulp much easier.

Place fruit in primary and sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar (this helps to extract juice). Add one crushed campden tablet per gallon, cover with a plastic sheet or bag, and leave 24 hours in a cool place.

After 24 hours, add the water to the fruit and sugar already in the primary fermenter. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Check the Specific Gravity and add enough sugar to the fruit to bring the Starting Specific Gravity up to the point indicated. As a rule of thumb, one cup of sugar will raise the SpG (specific Gravity) of one gallon by .020. Make sure the sugar is dissolved each time before re-checking the gravity.

Determine Total Acid using an Acid Test Kit and add Citric Acid ( if necessary) to bring the Total Acid to the suggested level. (1 teaspoon of citric acid added to one gallon will increase the acid level by .15%.) For grapes, use Tartaric Acid in place of the Citric Acid.

Add the Yeast Nutrient, Pectic Enzyme, and Grape Tannin (if needed) to the primary fermenter and mix.

Warm or cool the must (the fruit juice mixture) to 70 - 75 degrees F and add the wine yeast. Cover the fermenter and keep it at 70 -75 degrees F.

Stir the top half of the must twice daily. In four to five days, ( when the Specific Gravity is 1.020), strain out the pulp and siphon the young wine into a glass container and attach a fermentation lock filled half filled with water. At this point it is advisable to leave your secondary about 2/3 full. The wine will still be active could overflow if the secondary is full. Place the additional wine into an smaller glass container (a wine bottle) and attach a fermentation lock half filled with water. Use this wine at the next stage for topping-up.

When fermentation is complete (approximately 3 weeks) the Specific Gravity will be .990-.995. Rack the wine off the sediment and add one Campden Tablet per gallon. From here on make sure your secondary is completely full (topped-up) to prevent unwanted oxidation. Attach a half-filled fermentation lock. Rack again in three months. After 3 months (if the wine is clear) it may be bottled but most wines will benefit from longer aging.

This recipe is for one gallon of wine. It may be multiplied as many times as you wish. The only item you do not need to multiply is the YEAST. One package is sufficient for up to five gallons of wine.

This recipe will produce a dry wine. If you want a sweeter wine, the wine may be sweetened to taste when bottling. Use sugar syrup or sweetened fruit juice with 1/2 tsp of Stabilizer Crystals per gallon to prevent renewed fermentation. More fruit flavor may be developed by increasing the amount of fruit but the wine will take longer to mature.

Basic Wine Making Information supplied by the HWBTA