Congratulations on purchasing one of our frozen wine kits online! If you’re wondering how to make wine from grapes or how to make homemade wine with frozen grapes then follow these simple home wine-making instructions and you will be enjoying delicious wine in no time. How to make wine with frozen grapes in 12 easy steps.
Safety and sanitizing is key to success. Be sure that you have all of the tools, equipment, and that everything is clean and sanitized before starting. The last thing you want is contaminated or ruined wine.
Bucket and temperature check. Please inspect your bucket to make sure that it is not cracked or leaking in any way shape or form. Proceed with opening the bucket by removing the tab on the lid and pulling it off. You will see the grape must inside. The correct starting temperature is between 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Time to Thaw – It typically takes between 4-6 days to thaw the grapes once they have shipped. Sugar levels and ph testing should be performed only AFTER the grapes have been fully thawed.
*Optional* Cold-Soak – At a lower temperature you could let the grapes cold soak for 48 hours before starting fermentation.
*Optional* SO2 Additions – you could also add 40-50 ppm of SO2 (ex. potassium metabisulfite) to help reduce microbes, wild yeast from starting up fermentation before the yeast is introduced.
*Optional* Additives. We supply an additive kit (sold separately – not included in individual bucket orders) that is highly recommended for our red wine grapes and white wine grapes. These additives are vital for your yeast and wine success. All of the additives can be added at this stage and at least one hour before you introduce the yeast. This additive kit includes:
Carefully transfer your must into a larger container at least 2 gallons more than the amount of must that you are transferring. For five gallons of must, we recommend a 7-7.5 gallon container.
After measuring your starting brix levels you can make any adjustments at this phase. You can introduce distilled or acidulated (depending on your pH) water to increase volumes, lower the ABV%, tartaric acid, or even your additives from step 3 if you forgot to do it earlier.
Wine Yeast. Rehydrate your yeast next. Each yeast is different, so please be sure to follow the instructions written on your container. Generally, yeast is rehydrated using water at 105-115 degrees Farenheit. For every 5 gallons of must, you will need approximately 5 grams of wine yeast. A little more is okay, it will filter out later.
Stir the yeast into the hot water, and then let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, you can introduce a small amount of grape must/juice into the mixture and wait 3-5 minutes. Then mix the entire yeast solution into the must and mix.
Fermantion. Congratulations, your fermentation is now underway! There are some important things to consider during this phase:
As the wine ferments you the skins and seeds will rise to the top creating a “Cap” this cap will need to be punched down at least once daily for the next 10-14 days while your wine is fermenting.
Pressing juice. Once your wine is done fermenting and reaches a zero brix level indicating that the sugar level is zero, you can press the wine.
There are many methods of doing this. If you are serious about winemaking, you should look into purchasing a press. If you want to hold off, a simple cheesecloth or any permeable, clean, cloth will do. Simply put the wine/must combo into the bag and press it into a clean and sanitized container.
Racking. Racking is a method used to filter our small particles in your wine. Unfiltered wine has small particles that settle called lees. Wineries call the process of removing lees through settlement, “Racking”. The lees will settle in as little as 24 hours, but racking can be done monthly as you age your wine.
Malolactic Fermentation. One of the most important steps is the breakdown of malic acid by lactic bacteria. This process is secondary fermentation. The result of this process is to create a smooth, stable, and more robust wine. The MLF process can take up to 2 months at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you have created your batch of wine, keep in mind that oxygen is your wine’s enemy. Exposure to oxygen will cause your wine to spoil. You will need to make sure that your headspace aka the space above the wine level is minimal and you should add SO2 and argon gas (if you have access) to the wine being stored to age.
Age and bottle! Now the tough part.. waiting. There is no set time limit or minimum amount, this is completely up to you. Generally red wines are aged 12-18 months before bottling.