Does anyone have experience or recommendations on DIY small batch wine making that they would be willing to share? I am not a frequent visitor to the local wine and spirits shop and it has been about 20 years since I stopped into a bar for a drink. However I would like to try my hand at cranking out a small quantity of wine for personal use. I have seen some kits available on line but not having any experience with them I am looking for advise.
Long time ago my dad had a virtual distillery in the basement from which he produced about 80 bottles of beer per week and there was always some sort of wine making going on: Blueberry, Elderberry which were much in demand by the extended family. He also made Dandelion wine which was so bad (strong too) that only my uncle would drink it. I spent a tremendous amount of time at a local cemetery picking ripe Dandelions and stripping off the green before they went into the mix.
I just got done bottling a batch of hard cider, I have a small batch of beer going and another batch of hard cider fermenting. You can brew small batches (1 gal) with out a lot of investment. Check YouTube.
My hard cider recipe is - 5 gal apple cider Pasteurized but can not have any preservatives (you can use apple juices 100% no preservatives). 2 1/2 pounds of clover honey and a handful of raisins. 1 pack of yeast. I like English cider yeast sold in brew supply stores. t. About 21 days later, kill the yeast, back sweeten and you have a nice crisp clear hard cider. Once you start doing this stuff its addicting. Not the booze the process to get better and better lol. Biggest thing is to keep everything clean in the process.
Check out homebrewtalk.com. for recipes. I make wine from grape juice, white peach grape juice turns out real nice. All you need is the juice, sugar, yeast, some airlocks, a clean bucket with a lid, and something to let it ferment in. I use Grosch style beer bottles. Takes about a month to make and another to mellow into something nice.