The Home Winemaking Page

More info



A lot of equipment you need for winemaking you are likely to have at your disposal already. But there is some specific winemaking equipment you'll need to acquire before starting to make your own wine. That's why you should locate a supplier near you (if you don't already have one).
I don't think I should tell you which equipment to buy, it all depends how serious you are going to take winemaking, or how much money you are willing to invest. There is always room to improvize. Articles that are printed bold I do advise you to consider purchasing before starting, if you haven't got them at your disposal already. I'll give some reasons why you might want to get a piece of equipment, so that you can decide by yourself.
This list may not cover anything you'll ever want, but I'm trying to be complete about basic equipment.
Whatever you decide to do, don't let copper, galvanize, iron or steel (except stainless) come in contact with your wine. The acids in the wine will react with these metals and create off-flavours or even make your wine poisonous! Also, use food grade plastics.

Reusable winemaking equipment:

Consumable winemaking equipment:


Below I've made a list of some substances that could be added to the wine. Those that are usually added to each wine are printed bold.


In winemaking, sulphite (SO2) is widely being used as sterilisation agent in must, wine (almost in every commercial wine) and on equipment . It also prevents wine getting oxidized (especially when racking) because the oxygen reacts with the SO2 instead of the wine. Further, it prevents malo-lactic fermentation, especially when the wine has been bottled.
It doesn't cause harm, unless used in large quantities. Winemakers try to keep sulphite levels low. A few people are allergic to sulphite. If you are, don't use SO2 in your wine.
Sulphite is available in two types: powder and tablets (campden tablets). It usually comes as the salt (potassium metabisulphite, K2S2O4). I use campden tablets of 0.5 grams a piece because there is no hassle weighing the fine powder on a very accurate weighing scale, especially when making small batches of wine. I use them for sterilising my must. For amounts see the table below.
For sterilising my equipment I use sulphite powder together with citric acid, as the powder is less expensive than tablets and the amount to use needn't be that accurately determined.
Less sulphite is needed in a more acid environment (must or sterilising solution) to be equally effective. That's why you might consider adding some citric acid to you sterilising solution to increase effectiveness and using less sulphite in a more acid wine.
I use 1 crushed and dissolved campden tablet per 10 litres of must (0.5 g sulphite) while mixing the ingredients. When racking, I use the same amount. The second time again 1 tablet and just before bottling the last time.
Summarising this:

An example of SO2 use in wine
Step in winemaking Number of campden tablets per 10 litres Equivalent grams of sulphite per litre
Must preparation 1 0.05
First racking 1 0.05
Second racking 1 0.05
Bottling 1 0.05
TOTAL 4 0.20

I also sterilise my equipment by rinsing it in a sulphite solution just before use. In making 1 wine bottle full of sterilising solution I use about: There are other methods to fend off wine spoiling micro-organisms, like boiling (must and/or equipment)or rinsing with a chlorine solution (bleach). When using bleach, rinse equipment well after treatment with a lot of water. Use it only on equipment, NOT in must.

Winemaker's log

A winemaker's log is necessary for recalling events and evaluating the fermenting process. This way you can learn from your mistakes and successes, and eventually become a better winemaker.
Your winemaker's log could contain: It's better for it to contain excess information instead of too little so make a record of everything.
You can use a piece of paper, which you attach to the carboy. Also wordprocessors or spreadspeet programs can be used. Even specific winemaking record keeping programs have been developed for this purpose.
Below is a simple example of what a winemaker's record might look like.


Apple wine 1
Date Remarks
1 2 1998 Must prepared, 800 g sugar added to SG 1080, 1 campden tablet added, total 5.5 liters of must.
2 2 1998 Champagne yeast rehydrated and added
4 2 1998 Slow start of fermentation
5 2 1998 Vigourous fermentation now
1 3 1998 SG 1010, 100g sugar added, carboy topped off with the sugar/water mixture
13 3 1998 SG 1003, 100g sugar added
10 4 1998 No bubbles any more, SG=1000
13 4 1998 First racking, 1 campden tablet added
21 4 1998 Second racking, 1 campden tablet added
3 5 1998 SG 998, Bottled, 1 campden tablet added, SG=998, alcohol content=11%vol

Click on the button of your choice