Homemade Balloon style Airlock:
Poke the straw into the mouth of the pricked balloon (tape it around the straw if it’s loose) – when gases rise from the wine they will fill the balloon until the hole is opened by the expansion of the balloon. The balloon then continues to “stand up” until fermentation ends and the balloon “flops over” again signalling that it has done.
These are chemicals used to kill bacteria in wine, and so act as a preservative. Metabisulphite powder can be used to sterilise bottles and brewing equipment; and Campden tablets (sodium or potassium metabisulphite) are used to stop fermentation before bottling – The sulphites given off when a crushed tablet is added to the wine will kill the yeast.
It is important to note that some people should avoid drinks containing any sulphites as they aggravate respiratory membranes, and no one should consume them alone.
In general, it is best to use sulphites sparingly. If you do use them for sterilisation, be sure to rinse everything thoroughly before using.
One day in the early eighties I made a batch of Rice and Potato wine. I forget the recipe – It was cheap and I had rice and potatoes in the house… so rice and potatoes were in it . . . also I believe there may have been some raisins. After all the bubbling and such subsided, this wine was bottled and put in the small cupboard under the sink, to be forgotten.
A few years later, I got married and sold my house to move to the US. In preparation for moving, all the cupboards were emptied and I found these 3 bottles of wine, covered in dust. I was on a tight schedule, and they couldn’t be shipped, so I emptied them into the sink… I don’t know why, but I tried a small glass from the last bottle – It was the best wine I had ever made – clear, light, fresh and not too sweet!
What can you learn from this?
- Keep a record of ALL the recipes you use to make EVERY batch of wine that you make.
- Even homemade wine keeps a lot longer than you can imagine ~ If it is bottled and stored properly.
- Never throw wine down the sink until you are sure you won’t want to drink it.
I am making a couple different types of fruit wine- the old fashioned way- (the way my grandfather made wine)- and it says for when you are filling the wine- and are going to put the cork in you are to cork loosely- (by tying a string around the cork, and allowing for fermentation to continue until it is complete) —-does anyone know anyother way to cork loosely without using a string tied around the cork?
Instead of the string, use plastic wrap for a couple of days, then remove the wrapped cork, resoak the cork and insert fully. However, it is safer to wait until fermentation has stopped completely if you don’t want to risk corks exploding!
Question from Charles Brown:
“does watermelons have there own yeast and grapes/fruits trying to make wine for the first time and my friends say i do not have to get yeast because watermelons/ grape already have yeast, is this true.”
While it is true that there are airborne yeasts everywhere that will cause fermentation to occur naturally, the yeasts in the air vary a lot in quantity and type. You can’t be sure they will make wine from your fruit. Many naturally occurring yeasts will not tolerate a high level of alcohol for instance.
By providing a closed environment for the yeast of your choice to work in, random yeasts are eliminated, and other contaminants are kept to a minimum.
This is a very old recipe that makes a nice clear wine.
- 5lbs Parsnips
- 3lbs granulated sugar
- 1 gallon of water
- An orange
- A Lemon
- Slice of lightly-toasted bread
- 1/2 oz of yeast
- Slice and boil the parsnips until soft (about 25 minutes)
- Add sugar and juice of the fruits
- Boil liquid for 45 minutes
- Pour into a wide mouthed container or bucket, cover with a cloth and leave to cool to lukewarm.
- Spread the yeast on the toast and float on top of the parsnip liquid.
- Stir every day for 14 days.
- Skim off all the scum.
- Cover with cloth and leave for 6 months to ferment in a stable temperature (out of draughts).
- Siphon off the wine into clean bottles and store.
I had a problem first starting the wine off as the temp dropped and the fermentation did not start, so after 3 days I started some more yeast in 500 ml of the juice (once warmed). After an hour and the yeast was activated I add it to the rest in the primary. Temp has been good for two days now but still no fermentation…?
I have several carboy’s of wine working and add sugar syrup frequently. Should I continue adding sugar syrup, as necessary, when the bubbling slows down? … When do I stop adding sugar syrup? Do I continue this process of adding syrup for a year?