Grape and Granary | Your Homebrew Shoppe Since 1992



(1) 5 or 6 gallon glass carboy
1 packet wine yeast
Potassium Sorbate (for sweet wine only)
Floating Thermometer
Racking Tube
Plastic Primary Fermenter (6.5 gal capacity)
                 (1) Wine Hydrometer
                  5' Siphon Hose
                  Campden Tablets
                  (1) Airlock
                  Campden Tablets

1) Always sanitize equipment prior to use using EZ clean sanitizer or sulfite solution.

2) Pour juice into plastic food grade primary fermenter (bucket). Leave room for foaming. If you like, you can do the primary fermentation right inside the pail the juice is shipped in.

3) Check and record specific gravity. Fresh California or Chilean juice is acid and sugar balanced prior to shipping so it is very unlikely any adjustment is necessary.

4) Sprinkle in 1 packet of wine yeast into 6 gallons of juice.

5) Cover primary fermenter with lid and airlock or clean towel or plastic. Hold temperature at about 65-75 deg F. Fermentation should be evident within 1-2 days.

6) Once fermentation commences, keep the wine at a steady temperature 65-75 deg F..

7) When the specific gravity reaches between 1.000 and 1.020 rack the wine into the 5 or 6  gallon glass carboy. Any additional wine can be put in a 1/2 or 1 gallon jug (attach an airlock and stopper). This extra amount will be used at the next racking. Fill the carboy close to the top- a little space at this point is ok. * If you are making a red wine and you want to bottle the wine within 6 months, we recommend adding a malo-lactic culture when racking to the secondary fermenter. A ml fermentation is not recommended for white wines.

8) Put the airlock on the carboy and fill airlock 1/2 with water. Keep wine at a constant temperature (about 70 deg F)  for about 2 weeks. A good amount of yeast sediment should be building up on the bottom of the carboy.

9) After 2 weeks, racking (siphon) the wine into a new clean carboy leaving the sediment behind. Do not splash when racking. Do not leave any airspace in the carboy. Fill it right to the top. Use some or all of the wine in the 1/2 or 1 gallon jug that was extra from the first racking for topping. It is very important to leave no airspace from this point on.

10) For white wines and red wines without added ml culture, add one (1) campden tablet (CRUSHED) per gallon at this second racking. Put the airlock back on and put the carboy in a cool dark place. Allow the wine to bulk age for 6-12 months. If you would like to add a clarifier (fining agent) do so at this second racking when adding the campden tablets. We suggest  Super-Kleer  for both reds and whites. For red wines in which the malo-lactic culture has been added, do not add campden tablets or sulfie until you are sure the malo-lactic fermentation is complete (usually 2 months after adding the culture).

11) If you are making a white wine you may want to place the carboy in a location that reaches 25-35 deg. F for 1-2 weeks. Tartrate crystals will form and sink to the bottom eliminating them from your wine. Siphon the wine off these crystals while the wine is still cold.

12) Once the wine is clear, stable and cold stabilized, especially for white wines (see step 11) you are ready to filter and bottle. Filtering is optional. Many wine makers do not filter their wine. If you do want to filter, rack wine from secondary fermenter - filter and collect in bottling container or back into carboy for further aging (optional). If not sweetening the wine go to step 14.

13) If you want to sweeten your wine, rack clear, stable wine from secondary fermenter into the primary or bottling container. Add one half teaspoon of stabilizer crystals (potassium sorbate) per gallon and then add a sugar syrup solution made by boiling water and sugar together. Stabilizer will prevent renewed fermentation in the bottle. Add enough sugar syrup solution to bring the wine up to the sweetness level you desire by adding it in small quantities and then tasting the result. 38 grams of table sugar per gallon will produce 1% residual sugar in the finished wine. * It is not recommended that red wines that have been through malo-lactic fermentation be sweetened as sorbate can react with the ml culture and an objectionable geranium odor can result.

14) At bottling time, siphon wine into primary or bottling container and add (1) campden tablet per gallon (crushed) to the wine. Siphon or use bottle filler to put wine into sanitized wine bottles.  After corking bottles, let them stand up right for about 2 days to allow the corks to create a seal and then lay them down to keep the cork moist and expanded. Keep bottles in a cool dark place. For wine to be stable in the bottle, we recommend that red wines which have not had a malo-lactic culture added be one year old prior to bottling. White wines and red wines in which a malo-lactic culture have been added should be approximately 6 months old prior to bottling.

15) Enjoy your wine. It will improve with age up to about 2 years.