winner, 2005 Wine Maker Magazine Amatuer Wine Making Contest!
Winner: Homebrew Heaven's Ralph Bacon!
We welcome you to the timeless art that is winemaking! With these
easy step-by-step instructions, you can produce top quality wines
in a reasonably short time – and at little cost. If this is your
first batch, rest assured that you will soon be serving wine as
delectable as the vintages you used to buy at the store. It’s as
simple as following the steps that are clearly laid out for you. If
you have made wine before, you will note that our process varies
little from standard winemaking procedures.
Please read the instructions carefully before you
Please Read All Instructions Carefully Before
Before you begin, the importance of sanitation in the winemaking
process can not be stressed enough. Everything that touches your
wine (all equipment) must be sanitized with a recognized sanitizing
solution. Just as important is thoroughly rinsing off all equipment
after the sanitation procedure. Please use the following
instructions as outlined taking care to measure the specific
gravity. This allows the wine to tell you when to proceed to the
next step. If you have any questions beyond these instructions
please contact your local winemaking supply store or call our help
Now, let’s begin!
Primary Fermenter: Food-grade plastic container ( 27-46 litre) with
cover. Fermenter should be well marked at the 23 litre (5 imp gal/6
US gal) level. To do this, fill Carboy with water, pour into
Fermenter, mark water level on outside of
Carboy – 23 litre (5 imp gal/6 US gal): Either glass (recommended)
or food-grade plastic.
Airlock & Rubber Bung: One-way valve to seal Carboy at neck.
Airlock must be half-filled with water and attached to Carboy when
it is filled with wine.
Siphon Assembly: 4 feet of food-grade plastic tubing attached to a
rigid acrylic rod.
Hydrometer & Test Cylinder: Measures specific gravity to
monitor fermentation & sugar levels.
Spoon: Food-grade plastic, approximately 28in./70cm.
Package of Cleaner
Package of Sulphite
Measuring Cup: 2 cup/500 ml.
Floating Thermometer: Tracks fermentation
Wine Thief: To remove wine samples from primary or
30 Wine Bottles: 750 ml.
30 Wine Bottle Closures: Synthetic or high grade corks are
recommended to maintain the integrity of the wine.
Corker: Used with corks only. This can be rented from a
Additives (included in kit)
Package 1: Bentonite Also in Kit:
Package 2A: Sulphite RJ Spagnols wine yeast
Package 2B: Potassium Sorbate (may contain 2 packages) Oak Chips
Package D1: Kieselsol
Package D2: Chitosan
NOTE: Your kit may include any of the following: oak infusion bag,
oak powder, sweetening blend, finishing blend, dehydrated fruit or
Süss Reserve. Do not use or substitute additive packages from other
Product Date Code: (on box label)____________
Primary Fermentation (Specific Gravity
DAY 1 Date_____________________
1. Clean and sanitize Primary Fermenter, Lid, Wine Thief, Test
Cylinder & Spoon. Make sure everything is well-rinsed before
2. Add 4 litres of warm water to the Primary Fermenter. Stirring
constantly, slowly add Pkg. #1 Bentonite to water until
3. Empty contents of juice/Concentrate Bag into mixture in Primary
4. Rinse Bag with hot water and add to Primary
5. Add coolwater to Primary Fermenter up to the 23 litre (5 imp
gal/6 US gal) mark. Check to make sure the water temperature in
Primary Fermenter is between 20-25°C/70-80°F. Stir
NOTE: Some wine kits may contain Oak powder/chips.
Oak powder/chips – If your wine kit does, open it and add it now.
Dehydrated fruit – If your wine kit does, rehydrate in hot water
and add mixture to primary fermenter.
Oak chip infusion bag (resembling a tea bag) – If your wine kit
does, soak it submersed in 1 cup of hot water for 10 min. Do not
open infusion bag. Add water and infusion bag to primary
6. Using the wine thief, fill the test cylinder. Record specific
gravity (S.G.). For a table wine it should be 1.074-1.110
(depending on the wine kit).
7. Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the juice. Do not
8. Place cover (or lid with Airlock and Rubber Bung) onto Primary
Fermenter. If Airlock and bung are used fill the Airlock half-full
of water or mild sulphite solution.
9. Place Primary Fermenter in a warm, raised area about 3- 4 feet
high, where it will be undisturbed.
NOTE: Within 2 days the wine will show signs of fermentation
(bubbling or foaming). If this does not happen, call your
NOTE: For makers of Cellar Classic Barolo, Shiraz and Bella Bianco
kits only – Your wine will have a final S.G.between 0.999 and
1.004. This is normal. If within this range proceed to STABILIZING
Stabilizing & Clearing (Specific Gravity 0.998 or
DAY 14 (approx.) Date_____________________
1. Clean and sanitize siphon hose, carboy and mixing
2. Siphon wine into a sanitised 23 litre 5 imp gal/6 US gal) carboy
or primary bucket (optional). Discard sediment in primary
3. Add Pkg. #2A Sulphite to the carboy and stir
4. Add Pkg. #2B Potassium Sorbate (if your kit contains 2 packages
add both) to the carboy and stir vigorously.
5. If your wine kit includes finishing blend or sweetening blend,
please refer to label instructions and add now.
6. Degas wine vigorously for 5 minutes by stirring with the handle
of a spoon or with a drill mounted stirring device. INSUFFICIENT
STIRRING WILL PREVENT THE WINE FROM CLEARING
7. Add Packet D1 (Kieselsol) to wine and stir for 1 minute. Then
add D2 (Chitosan) and stir well. Important: Do not reverse the
order of Kieselsol and Chitosan. Degass wine for 5 minutes by
8. If in primary bucket, rack back into carboy. Attach bung and
9. Top up to within two inches of the airlock. Attach bung and
10. Let wine stand until Day 42 in an elevated cool area
OPTIONAL: After approximately 10 days optional racking may be done.
Simply rack the wine into a fresh,clean sanitized carboy, top up if
necessary and discard the sediment.
Bottling & Corking
DAY 42 Date___________________
NOTE: Only crystal clear wine is suitable for bottling. If wine is
cloudy, wait an additional few days for wine to clear. At this
point you may wish to filter (polish) your wine prior to
1. Clean and sanitize the Primary Fermenter, Siphon Assembly and
Wine Bottles. Make sure everything is well-rinsed before you
2. Siphon the wine into Primary Fermenter. (Filtering
3. If ageing past 6 months we suggest adding an extra 1/4 teaspoon
of sulphite to the Primary Fermenter to prevent premature oxidation
of the wine.
4. Insert Corks using proper corking machine.
5. Keep Wine Bottles upright for 1 day. Then age Wine Bottles on
their sides to keep Corks moist.
6. Keep your wine in a temperature-controlled environment (less
than 16°C /60°F) out of direct light, for 2-3 months prior to
5/17/2010 -- what is your phone number?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: We can be reached at (425) 355-8865Our toll free order is (800) 850-2739
1/26/2008 -- I live about an hour (if traffic is good) from the address on your website. Do you have an actual store or is everything here based solely online?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we have an actual brick-and-mortar store in Everett, WA. People actually walk in and buy stuff!Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9109 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204Here is a video of our shop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1a5fKvv8XIHeck, you can actually call us on the phone, too! It's 425-355-8865. A person will . . .
5/22/2005 -- Great site thanks for all the good information. My question is i have finished my first batch of wine i did a reisling and it turned out great. Can you recommend a kit to try next? My wife and i both like a sweet wine, we dont like a real dry wine.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: So many wines, so little time!Here are a few good ones on the slghtly sweet side. It sounds like you enjoy whites, rather than reds, so I limited it to those. Links to the products are included.Cellar Classic Gewurtzraminerhttp://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Product=1191Vino del Vida Musettehttp://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Product=1071Heritage . . .
1/21/2005 -- First, you guys are great and your website is one of the most functional I've dealt with. This winemaking business is good for the soul but now, some of my finnicky friends want organic wine. Do you have access to organic kits or packs so I don't have to wait for the local fruit season to roll around? I can't tell from the info on your . . .
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Thanks for your kind words. We work hard on our website.To answer your question, much depends on what you call "organic". To some, it means the fruit grown was without chemical fertilizers (unlikely), or sprays (again, unlikely) in the commercial wine grape growing world. Most people are more concerned about the level of sulfites added . . .
12/20/2004 -- I was wondering if it is possible to read the kit directions online before purchasing the kit? The kit I have in mind is the "Vino del Vida Pinot Noir". It would be nice if you had the instructions linked to the kit page.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That IS a good idea.Here are the instructions for that kit, from the manufacturers website.http://www.rjspagnols.com/pdf/kit_instructions/generic%204%20week.pdfFor the Cellar Classic, Cru Select and En Primeur lines, there is a video available. The principles are the same for all our varietal wine kits. Here is a link to that site:http: . . .
11/4/2004 -- I'm going to purchase a wine starter kit and a Cellar Classics kit for my sister's wedding gift. She won't be starting it until the middle of January. Will the kit(Cellar Classics - Cabernet / Syrah / Zinfandel) last that long in the box, or should I wait until a couple weeks before to purchase it?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, it will last that long. It is considered shelf stable for at least 6 months.
8/5/2004 -- How much does the Cellar Classic Cabernet kit make?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: All of our varietal wine kits make 6 U.S. Gallons, or about 30 standard wine bottles.
6/21/2004 -- I am getting married in December and my fiance' and i thought homemade wine would make great favors. I have never made wine before but would like to crush my own grapes if at all possible. Is it advisable for a first time wine maker to use fresh juice instead of concentrate and if so is 6 months enough time to brew 12 gallons of wine?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Congratulations! I've heard of homemade wine used in this way, and it worked out well. Using your own grapes takes more equipment and more time to make, so for this batch I would recommend making it from a varietal kit. It assures that you have a great wine, and gets you started in the right way. Later on, if you like, you can step up . . .
1/6/2004 -- how much wine does the kit make?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It makes 6 U.S. gallons, or about 30 bottles of wine. It CAN be made into a 5 gallon (25 bottle) batch if your equipment is limited to 5 gallons. Going this way, your wine will have a higher alcohol content, and more body than if made as intended.
1/6/2004 -- I have the equipment, so does the kit do it, or do i need the kit and other ingredients? And do the kits come with directions?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: If you have the equipment, this is all you need (and a little water). This kit comes with the juice, concentrate, yeast, clarifiers, etc. Yes, all of our kits come with complete instructions.Enjoy!
1/4/2004 -- Can you suggest a high quality wine making kit that will produce a sweet white wine, i.e. something similar to a Niagra wine?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I'd suggest the Vino del Vida Musette(link below)http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=1071or perhaps the Cellar Classic Johanisburg Resiling:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=256Both are very nice, slightly sweet wines. If you like it a little sweeter, it is easy to add a little . . .
11/24/2003 -- I have never made wine, but would like to get started. The ice wine kit, is it everything needed to make at home, or is it materials only? Thanks.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: It is the materials (ingredients) only. You will need something like our Wine Making Equipment Kit to ferment, siphon, test, cork your wine. Here is a link: http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=289
9/24/2003 -- How will I know which equipment to purchase and can I do it now when ordering my wine kits?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: For these kits, like the Cellar Classic series, we recommend the 6 Gallon Complete Wine Equipment Kit. It is shown in the category above in the "Winemaking Equipment Kits" category. http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&CategoryID=50 Just add what you need to your "shopping cart" and proceed to checkout. Very easy.
9/24/2003 -- What is the lifespan of the wine made from these kits?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That depends on how fast you drink it! Just kidding...Using good technioques (clean, sanitized bottles, stabilizers that come in the kit, etc) and reasonable storage conditions, the wine can be expected to last for at least a year, and five years is not unreasonable. Probably much more, but we use it faster than that!
9/17/2003 -- How much wine do each of the wine kits make?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Each of the kits, regardless of brand name, are designed to make 6 gallons (30 botttles) of great wine. The only exceptions are the Ice Wine, and Port style kits, which make 3 gallons.
8/11/2003 -- Do these wine kits include all additives, bottle corks, etc or will these have to be bought seperately?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: The varietal wine kits, like the Cellar Classic, Ancient Vines, Vido del Vida lines etc contain all the ingredients i.e. juice yeast and additives (except water!) necessary to make wine. They do NOT include corks or any equipment.
6/5/2003 -- Just how dry is this wine... I really enjoy the german blends, but can't handle a medium to real dry wine. I went to a wine festival in Santa Fe New Mexico and really enjoyed a Muscat... Do you have anything like or close to this?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I would call this a medium sweet wine. Muscats and Ice Wines are definately sweeter, but Liebfaumilch is similar in sweetness to a reisling. If you liked it sweeter, dry adding a little wine conditioner (to taste) before bottling.
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