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Wine Making


Basic Steps

Getting started







This is a list of the minimum equipment required to make wine.  If you are not sure what an item is or is used for, look for it in the  Glossary of Winemaking Terms.

  • Primary: 6- or 7-gallon white plastic paint bucket is the best all-purpose primary;

  • Secondary: 1-gal apple juice jugs, 3-gallon carboys and 5-gallon carboys are best sizes (demijohns in the British Commonwealth);

  • Bung: rubber corks with hole drilled for the airlock to fit in; buy when you buy a secondary so you know the fit is correct;

  • Airlock: "S"-type is best (also called "bubbler");

  • Hydrometer: with both specific gravity and potential alcohol scales;

  • Hydrometer Jar: a tall chimney jar (holds about 350 ml of liquid) in which the hydrometer is floated;

  • Siphon Hose: about 6 feet of 1/2 inch clear plastic tubing;

  • Acid Blend: crystaline, 4 to 6 oz;

  • Pectic Enzyme: dry, powdered, 2 to 4 oz;

  • Grape Tannin: dry, powdered, 2 oz;

  • Campden Tablets: for 1-gallon batches, bag of 25;

  • Potassium Metabisulfite: crystaline, for cleaning equipment and sulfiting 5-gallon batches (in place of Campden), 4 oz;

  • Potassium Sorbate: for stabilizing wines (see Finishing Your Wine);

  • Yeast Nutrient: crystaline, 4 to 6 oz;

  • Wine Yeast: see Yeast Strains for guidance; do not use bread or baking yeast;

  • Nylon Straining Bag: also called a grain bag;

  • Corks: size #9 fits most wine bottles; buy quality corks;

  • Corker: buy a cheap hand corker to start with;

  • Bottles: you will need five 750-ml bottles per US gallon of wine, six per Imperial gallon.


Advanced Equipment

The following list contains equipment you will want if you become a more serious winemaker. None of it is required, but all of it is nice to have if you develop a need for it.

  • Gram Scale: digital ones are expensive, but worth the money for making small, precise adjustments ;

  • Acid Test Kit: replace the standards (solutions) as required and it will serve you well;

  • pH Meter: accurate, reliable, and worth the investment;

  • SO2 Test Kit: essential for making serious white wines and reds intended for aging;

  • Grape or Fruit Press: consider this "essential" if you make wine from fresh grapes;

  • Crusher: If you do a lot of grapes, you'll need this; deluxe models come with a destemmer;

  • Floor Corker: for 5-gallon batches, you really do need one of these.



























Designed by Danna Carballo for the Internet Research class at Suffolk University

Fall 2003