The Home Winemaking Page

Photo album

This is the photo album section, in which I've presented some pictures I've taken of my home winemaking processes and equipment. Enjoy!

Starting from the totally ripe fruit (grapes).
Destemming the grapes
Destemming of the grapes by hand can be a laborous work. I first soak them, and then gather some people to help...

Before and after crushing of the grapes, using a stainless steel mixer on an electric drill. I always make sure I wear old or dark (preferably black) clothes so stains do not really matter.

The easiest way of destemming elderberries can be done using a fork.

Most unripe elderberries can be easily removed by adding water to a bucket with berries. The unripe ones can then be skimmed off, as they float.

The result of one afternoon of harvesting and destemming elderberries.

Boiling of elderberries, practically the only must requiring boiling, to get rid of the samburgrinic acid, which some people find repelling in a wine.

Crushing campden tablets can be easily done between two teaspoons, push into the upper one (right) using the thumb of the first hand. The spoon (left) in the other hand one can rest on the table.
A prepared must.
A prepared elderberry must for a pulp fermentation of a few days.
Three different brands of yeast.

Before and after rehydratation of the yeast. After rehydration, the solution gets a milky appearance, no granules any more.
A cap has formed
The fermenting pulp has formed a cap of solid materials that have risen to the surface.
Pressing down
Pressing down the cap when pulp fermenting, at least once a day, for extra colour and flavour extraction, and to prevent moulds to grow in the dry solids.
Pulp pressed down
The result of a pressed down and stirred must. The escaping carbon dioxide gives some bubbles on the surface.
Homemade press, low position
My self-made fruit press which is powered by a 2 ton hydraulic car jack. After the first tests, I attached some wheels to the press, since it was a back-breaker to move...

While filling the press basket with pulp, the free-run juice flows out richly.

Pressing with maximal 2 ton capacity!

The result of all the pressing efforts: a nice dry press-cake of a red grape must, together with some of the juice yield.
Airlock on carboy
Fermentation underway in the secondary fermentor. The bubbles in the carboy and airlock are clearly visible.

Racking a red grape wine to another carboy. I've got a stainless steel device at the end of the hose to avoid sucking up the lees, and to know how deep it is immersed in a dark must. Because the new carboy was not quite the same size as the first, I siphoned the wine back, after rinsing out the lees. Notice the sulphite (campden) solution standing beside the carboy.

The same trick of racking twice can also be done with a large bucket. This is a solution when you've run out of empty carboys. The main disadbantage of using a carboy is that the siphoning hose can slip out of the bucket, so keep holding it (this was a difficult and nerve-racking picture...).
Ageing in a carboy that is filled to the top. Note the level in the airlock, temperature fluctuations can cause the level in the airlock to reverse. This is an indication of a finished fermentation.
Potassium bitartrate crystals
Some potassium bitartrate crystals from a very acid grape wine, that formed in the carboy. They have been removed by racking.
Bottles of homemade wine
I use my siphon, together with a little plastic tap, for easy bottle exchange. The tap is visible just above the bottle being filled. It is connected to another (shorter) piece of hose reaching down into the bottle being filled, avoiding excessive splashing.
Bottles of homemade wine
I still use a "hammer" corking device, but table top or floor models are necessary when making larger quantities..
Bottles of homemade wine
Some bottles of finished wine, label and capsule attached.
I use a self-constructed bottle rack to store the finished product safely. But... It's getting too small already!
A bottle of wine
A homemade bottle of wine, nice to drink with friends, or to give as a present.

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