Wine making

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Even though mass production wines are almost exclusively made out of grapes, wine can be made out of almost any fruit or vegetable. Such wines are called fruit wines or in general country wines and are made in the same way as regular grape wine. In general it takes about two pounds of fruit or vegetables to make one gallon of wine. Yeast and other ingredients cost on the order of $1-2. It thus follows that once one has the equipment, a gallon of potato or carrot wine can be made for just a few dollars.

You need to acquire the following equipment.

  • Primary fermenter. This is usually a 1, 2, 5 gallon, or larger food grade plastic bucket with a lid or glass carboy. The inexpensive solution is a 2 gallon plastic water jug with a tap. The tap facilitates racking without a racking cane.
  • Secondary fermenter. This is usually a glass carboy. Plastic is not good since the wine may acquire a plastic taste. The inexpensive solution is reusing 1 gallon glass wine jugs.
  • Waterlock. These are $1-2. The inexpensive solution is to use a plastic tube and submerge the end in a cup of water.
  • Drilled bungs. To fit the water lock or the plastic tube. A 1 gallon glass jug uses a #6 bung.
  • Plastic tubing. For racking or a water lock. 3/8" is generally useful.

You need the following ingredients.

  • Yeast. While beer yeast or natural yeast (whatever floats in the air) works in theory, it is advisable to use wine yeast. For country wines this will be either Montrachet or Champagne. Cost about $0.50-1.00 for a packet that makes 5 gallons.