Here are some basic supplies that a beginner winemaker will need:
- Grapes or juice: This is the main ingredient in wine. You can either grow your own grapes or purchase them from a supplier.
- A primary fermenter: This is a large container (usually plastic or stainless steel) where the initial fermentation of the grapes or juice takes place.
- An airlock and bung: These items are used to seal the primary fermenter during fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to escape while preventing oxygen from entering.
- A hydrometer: This is a tool used to measure the specific gravity of the liquid in the primary fermenter, which is an indicator of the wine’s alcohol content.
- A secondary fermenter: This is a container (usually a carboy) where the wine is transferred after primary fermentation is complete, to continue fermenting and clearing.
- A siphon and tubing: These items are used to transfer the wine from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter.
- A wine thief: This is a tube with a valve at the bottom, used to draw a small sample of wine from the fermenter, to check gravity.
- A wine bottle filler: This is a device used to transfer the wine from the secondary fermenter into bottles.
- Bottles and corks: You’ll need bottles and corks to store your wine in after it has fermented and cleared.
- Sanitizing solution or powder: Sanitation is very important for wine-making, to make sure all equipment is clean and free of bacteria.
- Clearing agents: These are used to clarify the wine and remove any remaining solids or haze. Common clearing agents include bentonite, kieselsol, and chitosan.
- A wine thief: This is a tool used to draw a small sample of wine from the carboy or fermenter to check its specific gravity and taste.
- A corker: This is a tool used to insert corks into bottles of wine
- Label paper and printer: If you want to label your bottles of wine, you’ll need label paper and a printer to create and print them.
- A wine fridge: It is optional, but good idea to keep the wine bottles in a cool and constant temperature between 12-14°C (54-57°F)
This is just a basic list of the most important supplies for making wine at home. As you gain experience and become more serious about winemaking, you may want to invest in more advanced equipment, such as a wine press or a filtration system.