Wine yeasts come in all sorts of varieties & are essential for making good quality wine. Usually in packets with enough for 5 gallons, I would recommend getting a variety of Yeasts & experimenting year on year to see what suits you. All-Purpose Red or White, Sherry, Port, Dessert Wine, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne – the list goes on and on and provides a depth to wine making that should last a lifetime! I will try to list the wine I use in each recipe and if i forget, please let me know!
Essential for healthy yeast and the fermentation process. If you are adding yeast, you need to add some nutrient too!
White granulated unless otherwise stated (some recipes use Brown Sugar – how come it tastes so good?)
Used to break down Pectin in fruit. When making wine think the opposite for making Jam. With jam you add Pectin to get the jam to set. Add Pectolayse to wine to prevent your wine becoming syrupy.
Found naturally in the skins of Grapes, Apples, Damsons & even Tea, Tannin is what makes wine well, wine! Some talk about the ‘bite’ of a wine, you could also describe it as the dryness. Add too much Tannin and your wine will feel like it has stripped the enamel from your teeth, so always go sparingly. You can use one cup of strong black Tea to one teaspoon of Tannin.
Unless otherwise stated, always use Citric Acid. Used to help a rapid fermentation, a well-balanced wine should always contain acid. You can substitute 1 teaspoon of Citric Acid with the juice of a large Lemon.
Used to help store your wine if you plan on maturing it for any length of time. Some advocate adding to kill off the fermentation process, but this doesn’t always work as the yeast can grow again. And if you plan on giving away any wine you can’t rely on Campden Tablets to make sure the fermentation process is over (as various people’s kitchen’s & cupboards who have received one of my bottles will no doubt testify!). When a wine says ‘contains Sulphites, it means it contains Campden Tablets – so the choice is yours as to whether to use or not.