In our previous video, Preparing to Make Your Wine, we have sterilized our equipment and identified all ingredients. We are now ready to start the first step. First some warm water is added to our fermenting bucket and the first ingredient, bentonite, is slowly stirred into the water until it is completely dissolved. Be sure to add the Bentonite slowly to avoid clumping. The mixture will have a muddy type appearance, but do not worry this is totally normal. You can now add the juice bag that came with your kit. Pry of the cap and carefully pour the juice into your bucket. Kits that have less concentrated juice will have a larger size juice bag and it is sometimes easier to complete this step while the juice bag remains in the kit’s box. After you have poured in all of the juice, some residual sediment will remain in the bag. Add a little bit of water to the bag to rinse this sediment into your bucket and stir everything for a couple of minutes.
The next step is to add water to bring your mixture up to the 6 gallon mark. During this time it will be particularly important to pay close attention to the temperature of the mixture. When completely filled it should be between 68 and 75 degrees F. This is what is required in order for fermentation to successfully begin, and it is most desirable to have it closer to that 75 degree mark. If your water is cold, you made need to warm some up in order to get to the proper temperature point. You can use spring water or purified water, or basically any water that tastes good will be ok to use, just avoid chlorinated water. Fruit wine kits will have an F-Pack, which is a sweetener that is added later in the process. If this is the case with your kit, top of your water level slightly below the 6-gallon mark to make room for the f-pack later on. Once again make sure your mixture is stirred well.
Some wine kits may have oak chips with them. If your wine kit has oak chips with it add them at this time by sprinkling them on the top and then mixing them into the juice to make sure they are saturated. Most of the chips will remain on the top for now. The final step is to add your yeast pack. Slowly sprinkle the yeast evenly across the top of the juice.
Secure the lid and attach the air lock. After fermentation starts add some sterilizing solution to your air lock which will create a barrier letting gasses out, but no outside air in. Your next step, and our next video will be transferring your wine to a carboy for the secondary fermentation process after the primary fermentation is complete in approximately 7 days.