22 April 2008

Grape Wine Making - a self challenge

Ever since I started fermenting my white rice wine, the idea of making my own fruit wine has never left me. Although I'm not really considered a frequent drinker, I do drink wine, especially red wine. And I love fruit wine, especially sweet ones. :) So I decided to try my hands on fruit wine after the good start in my white rice wine. After all, it doesn't seem that difficult, does it? ;)

There is no one around me who has tried brewing fruit wine at home. So I can only turn to the Internet for help. Thanks to technology, I was able to locate a few good sites as references (sorry, these are all Chinese sites as I couldn't find any simple enough English site).
- 周老師的美食教室
- 甜番茄的廚房遊樂園
- 天使之翼

Most of the sites use similar method. I find 周老師 gave very clear explanation of all the hows and whys. So I decided to follow her way. I brought all the necessary equipment and ingredients and couldn't wait (as usual) to set my hands on it. The first fruit wine I chose to start with is Grape Wine, since that is a common choice. Grapes have natural yeast on their skin which aids the fermentation, so no additional yeast is required.

These are what you'll need.
- A large glass container (as I'm only testing the process this round, I only use a 1000ml container)
- Grapes enough to fill up to 80% of the container (I use a total of 672g of red grapes)
- Sugar (not more than 25%, I use 50g which is about 7%, 周老師 used 100-200g of sugar for 3kg of grapes)

1. Wash and air dry the grapes and container. Make sure all are dry before start.
2. With a clean and dry hand, crush each grape into the container. Fill up 80% of the container with grapes.
3. Add the sugar in and stir to mix with the crushed grapes.
4. Cover the container and leave it in a place away from direct sunlight or heat to ferment. Fermentation is best at 25-30℃. Too high a temperature will affect the quality of the wine.
5. Starting from the 2nd day, you'll notice bubbles starting to appear due to the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. From this stage onwards, you can loosen (not open fully) the cover once or twice a day to let out some of the carbon dioxide. I did not lift up the cover at all. I just loosen the cover for 2-3 secs then tighten it again.
6. When the bubbling has stopped, or has very little bubbling (about 7-8 days), the fermentation has completed and the wine is ready to harvest.
7. Open the cover to remove the grapes and seeds from the container. What is left is a cloudy reddish-pink wine. Leave it to rest for a day. The residue will settle at the bottom and the wine will separate into 2 layers.
8. Slowly and carefully pour out the top clear layer. Store into bottle (till almost full) and sealed. Do not shake the wine. Store in the fridge if to be consumed later. The bottom residue wine can be consumed or used in cooking.

- It is important to fill up the container only to 80% to prevent it from exploding due to the production of carbon dioxide during the fermentation process.
- Do not shake the content too much during fermentation and after harvesting. Otherwise it will turn to vinegar.

Do give this a try and join me for the fun. :)

See next progress here.

Mood: excited


opportunityknits said...

Hi :)
It looks like you've been busy cooking up a delicious storm! Good luck with the wine. I love confinement food cooked with rice wine, so yummy, I ate so much during both my confinements :)

KWF said...

You're right, Erin. I've been neglecting much of my knitting *guilty guilty*. Too many things to distract me. :P

Rei said...

WF, you very fast.. ahah.. You got me intrigued when you gave me the links. I want to try soon too when things are slightly slower. Look forward to your success.

KWF said...

rei, you know I cannot wait. Once I'm infected, I must quickly do it, else will need a strong antibiotics to curb it! hahaha.... and I look forward to seeing you join in the fun!

quizzine said...


You have a very interesting blog on grape wine making and really got me very excited to try it out very soon! Going to put this in my MUST TRY*** recipes. I love wine....

quizzine said...

I've tried this on tues nite, but when i checked the grapes today, there was mould formed. Why did this happen? How do it prevent it?

KWF said...

Hi quizzine, sorry for the late reply. Mould could have formed because of various reasons, e.g. container not clean/dry, grapes are wet, hands not cleaned, etc. Bacteria are everywhere in the air, so getting mould is not that difficult. Everything to do with wine making is about cleanliness. Try to leave the container in shade, out of sun, out of heat. Do not open the lid during the fermentation (as it gives chance for bacteria to enter), just turn it a little to release the air, count 3 sec and close again. Don't give up yet, do try again. You'll succeed one day. :)

michelle said...

Thank you for the wine making recipe. I will try it one day. Will tell you the result. Wonder you have the ginger wine recipe?

KWF said...

michelle, sorry, don't have ginger wine recipe, coz I seldom take ginger.

Anonymous said...

WF, I made grape wine. After a couple of days, fungus. Eeeuuw! Anyway I think I know why. Firstly, the cover didn't fit totally good. Secondly, I think DH didn't wash his hands real good.
I am going to try again when I get myself a good glass bottle.
Take care,

KWF said...

Sandra, how's your wine getting on? Manage to harvest any?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I try to make some grape wine just started 2 days ago. It is alright that some of the grape on the top have some white mould on it. I remove them just in case.

John Socrates Loyola said...

Its pretty ideal. A very bright concept you've got! For more about grapes and grape growing, consider this: http://goinggrapes.com/