I’ve tried to break this down into what you need to start making wine as a hobby, and then what you need if you want to take winemaking seriously! Winemaking equipment can become a bit of an obsession once you start gathering it up. For example, quite simply you can never have enough glass demijohns. Other bits & pieces can be picked up in bargain shops or the supermarket. Here’s the list, and if I’ve missed anything you think essential, please let me know.
Demijohns (Glass & Plastic)
Glass – Smooth sided and so essential for aging a wine until it is clear. Older ones can be gleaned from car boot sales, small ads, neighbours sheds (ask first!). Plastic – handy for primary fermentation but don’t use for long term storage.
Length of silicon or PVC so you can move your wine from one demijohn to the next, or into bottles. Can be accompanied by a small tap to make the process easier.
Long handled brush for making sure both your demijohns & bottles are as clean as a whistle.
To let the carbon dioxide out, and keep pests & bacteria from getting in.
A fine nylon bag you can pour your fruit into and watch your fledgling wine come out of the other side.
Plastic, preferable to have different sizes.
Plastic or glass with clear measurements.
Preferably digital as it makes it easier to switch between Imperial & Metric measurements, and cuts down on the washing up!
Cheap, preferably white, plastic bucket, the kind they usually sell in pound shops for £1.50.
Something to write down what you did and when. Useful if you create a masterpiece and need to do it again.
Taking it further
Powdered or liquid substance used to clear a wine when it has stopped fermenting.
To make sure things aren’t too hot or cold of course!
Reads the sugar content of a ‘must’, allowing you to make calculations on how much extra sugar is needed to make that wine you want at a particular strength.
Used before bottling to make a crystal-clear ‘star-bright’ finish to your wine.