1 Gallon Fermentation Jug
Screw Cap Stopper
- 5 Plastic Corks
- 5 Metal Cages
- Wine Grape Juice
- Yeast Nutrient
Equipment Not Included But Needed:
- Funnel (helpful)
Needed 10 Days After Brewday:
- 5 Sparkling Wine Bottles
Sanitization is important, but it's nothing scary. When brewing, keep everything clean so that you give what you're brewing its best chance to succeed. So when preparing for brew day, wipe any crumbs off the counters. Move any clutter that might be in your way. Read through the rest of the instructions (at least through fermentation) so that you know what to expect. And have fun!
- Dissolve half of your sanitizer packet with a gallon of water in a container. Save the second half for when you bottle.
- Soak everything you are going to use, rinse with water, and let air dry on some paper towels. If it isn’t totally dry when you are ready to start don’t worry.
- Keep the extra sanitizer in a container for now. Chances are you’ll want to re-sanitize something later.
Additional Ingredients Needed:
- 7 Tablespoons Sugar
- Remove bag of chardonnay grape juice and make sure it’s at room temperature. Open the bag by removing the orange cap.
- Place your sanitized funnel in the mouth of the fermentation jug and pour your room temperature chardonnay grape juice in the fermenter. Top up with water until the juice is at the one-gallon mark (regular tap water is great). Shake the fermenter gently to make sure the juice and water are mixed.
- You want to take a sample for your hydrometer to measure the gravity of your juice. Gravity is a measurement of how much sugar is in your wine. By taking a reading before and after your wine ferments you’ll be able to do a quick calculation to figure out the ABV of your finished wine based on how much sugar fermented.
- Start by emptying the tube your hydrometer came in. You’ll want to take the small sponge out of the bottom as well. Do this by flushing the tube with warm water and shaking it until the sponge comes out.
- Sanitize the tube, then gently pour your juice from the fermenter into the tube, filling it up about 2/3 of the way full.
- Sanitize your hydrometer and drop it into the liquid-filled tube, heavy side first. Give it a gentle spin and let it bob. When the hydrometer has stopped moving, check the number on the hydrometer at the level of the juice and write this down (it should be around 1.088). This number will be important in letting you know the alcohol of your wine on bottling day.
- Pour the juice back into the fermenter from the hydrometer tube.
- “Pitch” yeast. (Cut open packet and empty all the contents into the fermenter)
- Add in your yeast nutrient. It’s the small packet of white crystals in the clear bag.
- Cover the palm of your hand in your sanitizer water mixture and place it over the top of the jug. Shake the jug aggressively. You’re basically waking up the yeast and getting more air into the juice. The air will help your cells get a healthy start to fermentation.
- Attach sanitized screw-top stopper to fermenter. Slide rubber tubing no more than 1” (2.5 cm) into the stopper and place the other end in small bowl of sanitizer. Make sure the tube is not submerged in your wine. You’ve just made a “blow-off tube”. It allows CO2 to escape.
- Fermentation is going to be the most active over the next two or three days. You may notice bubbles and foam at the top of the wine. After bubbling calms down, remove tubing and ready your airlock.
- Sanitize, then re-assemble airlock. Fill the airlock 2/3 of the way full with sanitizer.
- Insert airlock into hole in stopper.
- Keep at room temperature for 10 days without disturbing other than to show off to friends. (If wine is still bubbling, leave sitting until it stops.)
- In the meantime, drink sparkling wine with cork tops, or ask for empty bottles at a bar that has some. Be sure to collect thick walled bottles. Regular wine bottles won’t be able to withstand carbonation.
2: 10 Days Later: Bottle
- Thoroughly rinse bottles with water, removing any sediment.
- Mix remaining sanitizer with water. Sanitize hydrometer and hydrometer tube.
- Fill each bottle about a third of the way with sanitizer and shake. Pour out sanitizer and leave to dry.
- Dissolve 7 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 cup water. Pour into a sanitized pot. You will be siphoning your wine into the same pot in the next steps.
- Siphoning (It all happens pretty fast. You may want to practice on a pot of water a few times.) To see it in action first, watch the How to Bottle video at brooklynbrewshop.com/instructions.
- A. Attach open tubing clamp to tubing.
- B. Fill tubing with sanitizer.
- C. Attach sanitized tubing to the short curved end of your sanitized racking cane. Attach the black tip to the other end - it will help prevent sediment from getting sucked up. It will probably be a snug fit, but you can get it on there.
- D. Pinch tubing clamp closed.
- E. Remove screw-cap stopper and place racking cane into jug, just above the sediment at the bottom (“trub”).
- F. Lower end of tubing not connected to racking cane into sink. Suction will force wine up and through the racking cane and tubing. Open tubing clamp, let sanitizer flow into sink until wine just starts to flow out of the tubing, then clamp shut. Open clamp on tubing, allowing wine to flow into pot with sugar solution. Tilt jug when wine level is getting low, but be careful in not sucking up the trub.
- First siphon a small amount of wine into your sanitized hydrometer tube. Gently drop sanitized hydrometer into the tube and take a gravity reading. You can now find out the abv of your wine by going to brooklynbrewshop.com/abv.
- Siphon wine from pot into bottles, pinching tube clamp to stop flow after each bottle.
- Sanitize corks and press them into the top of each bottle until they fit tightly. The corks fit pretty snug to keep your wine sealed. If you are having trouble getting them in the bottle try wiggling them side to side while pressing down.
- Wrap wire cages around the top of each cork and tighten with metal twist.
- Store undisturbed at room temperature for 4-10 weeks.
- Sparkling Wine can be enjoyed in as little as one month but will improve over time. It’s fun to stagger opening your bottles so you can compare!
- Put bottles of Sparkling Wine in the fridge the night before you drink them.
- Drink. Share with friends if you’re the sharing type.