These are the instructions for making one of our Vintners Reserve wine kits. They really are incredibly easy to make. If you can stir and follow directions, you can make a fabulous wine at home.
STAGE #1 - PRIMARY FERMENTATION
1. Add two litres of warm water to the bottom of your sanitized primary fermenter. Stir the water vigorously and slowly add the contents of package #1 (bentonite) onto the surface. Stir for 30 seconds to ensure even dispersal.
2. Secure the neck of the bag into the collar on the top of the box and pour the contents into the primary fermenter with the bentonite solution. Add 4.5 litres of warm water to the bag to rinse out any remaining juice and add it to the fermenter.
3. If your kit contains oak or elderflowers, add them to the primary fermenter now.
4. Top up the fermenter to the 23 litre (6 gallon) mark with cool water. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds.
5. Check specific gravity (with hydrometer). It should read between 1.080 and 1.090.
6. Ensure that the temperature of the juice is between 65-75 degrees. Sprinkle the yeast gently onto the surface and gently stir in.
7. Cover the primary fermenter and place in an area with a temperature of 65-75 degrees. Fermentation should start within 24-48 hours.
STAGE #2 - SECONDARY FERMENTATION
After 5-7 days the specific gravity will be 1.010 or less. You must transfer the wine to a carboy at this time.
1. Carefully siphon wine into a clean, sanitized carboy. Leave the sediment behind. This may leave a space at the top of the carboy. Do not top up at this stage.
2. Attach air-lock and bung to carboy.
3. Leave carboy in fermentation area for a further 10 days.
STAGE #3 - STABILIZING
After 10 days, check your specific gravity. It should be 0.996 or less. Verify a stable gravity by checking again the next day.
1. Disolve the contents of package #2(metabisulphite) and package #3(sorbate) in 1/2 cup of cool water. Add to carboy and stir for 2 minutes to disperse the stabilizers and drive off CO2.
2. Shake contents of package #4(chitosan or isinglass). Carefully cut open the corner of the pouch and pour contents into carboy. Stir for 2 minutes to drive off CO2.
3. Top up carboy to within 2-5 inches of the neck. Allow your wine 8 days to clarify.
STAGE #4 - CLARIFICATION & BOTTLING
1. After 8 days, check your wine for clarity by drawing a small sample into a wine glass and examining it in good light. If it is not completely clear, leave the carboy for another 7 days. Do not bottle cloudy wine, it will not clear in the bottle.
2. Siphon your wine into clean, sanitized bottles and seal with a good quality cork. Leave bottles upright for three days before lying them on their sides.
YOUR WINE WILL BENEFIT GREATLY FROM 3 MONTHS BOTTLE AGE. ENJOY!