If you want to know the secret of how to make white wine, learn to pick the right grapes. The grapes must be picked at their peak of flavor and ripeness. Any variance to this will create a change in the taste of the wine. These next few steps will show how to test the grapes.
Recipe for white wine:
- 1 gallon crushed grapes. (Greenish grapes. The color of white whine comes from the fermentation process.)
- 5 pounds sugar
- 1 gallon of water
- 1/8 teaspoon of wine yeast.
- Campden tablets
- Tartaric acid.
- Mash up a handful of the selected grapes. Take a handful of the grapes you intend to use and mash them up.
- Strain the juice from the grapes. Strain the juice from the mashed up handful and test with a hydrometer. This device can be found at almost any wine making supply store. The target is a sugar density of 22 brix. This equivocates to about an eleven percent alcohol level and optimum flavor.
- Taste the grapes. The grapes chosen should have a ripe, sweetly flavor with a slight tartness to them.
Once you have found the grapes you want to use it is time to start making wine.
- Cleaning the grapes. Make sure all debris, bugs and stems have been removed from the grapes and rinse thoroughly with water. Remove any over-ripe or damaged grapes.
- Press the grapes. Once the grapes have been cleaned the juice will need to be pressed out of them. This can be done with a wine press, clean mesh bags, or even clean Wellington boots. If you intend to make your own wine for a while it may be worth the money to purchase a press. Otherwise clean mesh bags will work. Place the grapes in the bag and squeeze and press the juices out of the grapes.
- Dissolve the yeast. Allow the yeast to dissolve in a cup of warm water.
- Add additional ingredients. Using a fermentation tank or oak barrel, add the sugar, Tartaric Acid, and yeast to the mixture. You can use the recipe above or create your own to taste.
- Add the crushed Campden tablets. Add one crushed Campden tablet to the mixture. This slows the growth of the yeast for a better tasting wine.
- Allow the mixture to cool and ferment. The mixture should remain at a temperature of 70 degrees or below for seven to ten days. Drain the juice into a jug with an airlock cap. This will allow gases from fermentation to escape while not allowing oxygen into the wine.
- Continue fermenting for another six weeks. Allow the wine to continue fermenting for another six weeks or so. When the bubbles cease the sugar is all gone and the yeast has expired. It is not drinkable yet but you can bottle and cork the wine at this point.
- Store for about six months. Store the wine for about six months to complete fermentation and age properly. Storing the wine on its side keeps the corks from drying out.
The longer the aging process, the better the wine will taste. Patience truly is a virtue at this point. Once the aging process is complete you may uncork a bottle and test.