Making your own wine – the hard, middle or easy way
Wine-making in the Mediterranean is thousands of year’s old. Here in Edmonton, the Italian Centre Shop’s founder, Frank Spinelli, was instrumental in allowing home-brewing by successfully lobbying to get rid of the prohibition-era ban on making alcohol at home.
You can do it the old way, by stomping, crushing, seeding, squeezing and bottling juice from this year’s harvest. Hundreds of our customers do this each year. A ritual performed with friends and
There’s also “Sterile Must” where the grape juice is sterilised and you add a strain of inoculated yeast, called Saccharomyces
The third, in-between way, to create alcoholic nectar at the fraction of the price of retail is by using 100% fresh, natural grape juice from this year’s harvest, (due in-store at the end of September), which contains a wild, naturally occurring yeast. Literally, all you have to do is place a pail of fresh harvest juice in a warm, dark spot and in a few weeks, the wine will spontaneously ferment. You’ll have to measure the acidity and sugar content levels, but that’s about it.
The downside of this type of fermentation is it’s unpredictable. The natural harvest juice may also contain other organisms that fight the good, ‘wild’ yeast with ‘spoilage’ yeast. So you have to watch out for them carefully.
The advantages of using the ‘wild’ process are: –
- Wild yeast takes longer to ferment, thus building greater body, depth of character and colour.
- Wild yeast also creates unusual flavours and aromas. No two batches will taste the same.
The disadvantage of using wild yeast is that it dies at around 4% alcohol content. But if you’re lucky, by that time, a different strain of yeast, Saccharomyces
For more on the art and science of using fresh harvest wine juice, compared to grapes or “Sterile Must”, read Jeff Chomiak’s excellent article Wild Yeast The Pros and Cons of Spontaneous Fermentation from Wine Maker Magazine. To order your harvest juice call Anthony De Santis on 780 424 4869 now while stocks last. The juice is due to arrive end of September so put your order in now or we may run out. Sterile “Must’ pails are available year round.