Making Wine at Home: Punching & Fermenting

Step 1: The Equipment: Getting Started – Early October – A list of everything you need to make wine and where to find it.

Step 2: Grape Selection – A guide to choosing the right grape.

Step 3: Sanitizing – The importance of maintaining a clean work area and proper sanitizing procedures.

WINEMAKING (October/November)

Day 1: Sorting and Treading – The first day of the wine-making process, including stomping on the grapes.

Today we pick up where we left off…

It’s the day after we sorted and stomped our grapes.

Punching & Fermentation:
Every day, 12 hours apart, punch down the “cap” of grapes (shown above) with the steel puncher or dowel. You must also take a hydrometer reading daily. Punch down 2x day until the hydrometer reads 3% – 5%; that should take 3 – 6 days. The grapes will begin to look like this…Nice!

When the hydrometer reads between 3% and 5% it’s time to add the nutrients to the vat of fermenting grapes.

     

  1. DAP (Fermaid) – dissolve less than 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of potential wine in some warm water and add to the vat
  2. Microessentials – use at a rate of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon. Dissolve in warm water and mix with some of the wine then add to the vat.
  3. Viniflora – it is very important to keep this refrigerated until use. Add this directly to the vat with minimal air contact; open the package directly into the vat. Immediately punch down the grapes and briefly stir. Wait 2 minutes then punch and stir again. Wait 2 minutes, punch and stir. Repeat this process for 20 minutes.
  4. Cover the vat and continue punching down the cap 2x day. Take a hydrometer reading every day until it reads between 0 and -1.

When the hydrometer reads 0 or -1…It’s Time To Press the Grapes!!

That’s what we’ll do next…Press the Grapes Into Juice.

 ~

© Giovanni Cucullo 2011

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2 thoughts on “Making Wine at Home: Punching & Fermenting

    • Ohh Cindy!
      You put a smile on my face every time you visit.
      We tasted the wine a few days ago to see how it’s coming along and it’s excellent. It still has that efferevescent quality that fresh wine normally has but it has great fruit and will only get better. The wine has been in cold storage in the 5 gallon bottles since late October. We’ll bottle it in the spring and then open one bottle per month to see how it progresses. It really needs at least one year in the bottle. Ideally you should be drinking the wine 1 to 3 years after bottling.

      Be Well,
      Gio

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