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How To Make Wine From Grapes


This page describes easy to follow, step by step instructions on how to make Wine from Grapes at home. It is not as difficult as you might think so why not have a go - the results are very rewarding!

Making wine is simple! Basically all you need to do is extract the juice from fruit or vegetables, add sugar and yeast and then sit back and wait for the yeast to turn the sugar into alcohol.

Dont worry if you dont have any equipment you can get a Complete Starter Kit that contains all the equipment that you will need. Alternatively you can begin with a Basic Starter Kit  and build up from there as you gain more experience.

When you have read this page you may like to learn more about wine making. I recommend that you take a look at this book-

First Steps in Winemaking contains 150 detailed winemaking recipes, arranged in month-by-month order so you can make wine all the year round. As well as the recipes, the concepts and techniques of winemaking are explained in easy to understand terms. If you have to buy one book on homewinemaking this is the one!


You may prefer to watch my step by step video first but please come back here and read the following step by step notes for more details on quantities, tips and methods.


Step 1:

Remove the grapes from the stalks.

I got these grapes from a friend. You can grow your own or ask around to see if you can get some for free (or in exchange for a few bottles of the finished wine). Allotments and community gardens are good starting points.

remove stalks

Step 2:

Press the grapes to remove juice.


press grapes

Step 3:

Measure the Specific Gravity of the Juice.

This will tell you how much sugar is in the juice and how much you need to add to get the desired alcohol content.

Let's take an example to explain how this works:

In the photos I've poured the juice through a sieve and into a test jar. I have inserted my hydrometer.

You can see the reading is 1045 (see my how to use a hydrometer page for an explanation of the reading). There is also a table on this page. It shows two things:

1) One gallon of this juice will contain 1lb 3oz of sugar

2) If all of the sugar is converted to alcohol it will give an alcohol strength of 5.8%.

Now a good wine will have a strength of about 12% so we will need to add some extra sugar. Looking at the table 12% requires 2lb 8oz of sugar. So I will need to add 1lb 5oz for every gallon of the juice.


sieve juice

pour into test jar

measure SG

Step 4:

Sterilise your Brewing Bucketim4 and other equipment.

Put the crushed grapes into the sterilised brewing bucket.


put grapes in bucket

Step 5:

Campden Tabletsim3 are used to sterilise your equipment.

I cannot over emphasise that you must sterilise every item that you use.

Bacteria is the enemy of successful wine making - it can turn alcohol into vinegar so be thorough with your cleaning.

Crush one campden tablet for every gallon of wine and add to the brewing bucket. Cover the bucket and leave for 24 hours.

The Campden Tablet will kill any bacteria or natural yeast present on the grape skins. If you dont take this precaution then the wine can 'go bad' and result in a vingar flavour.

campden tablet


Step 6:

Make a yeast starter.

Boil some water and add to a jar. Leave until cool - ideally about 21 degees C. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.

Add a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of wine yeast and a pinch of Yeast Nutrientim6.

I used a Burgundy Yeast as I was making a red wine. For beginners I recommend a general purpose Super Wine Yeast Compoundim2 .

Cover with clingfilm to prevent bacteria getting in.

After about an hour the yeast will start tuning the sugar into alcohol. You will see bubbles rising from the bottom of the jar.



boil water



Step 7:

Add sugar to 1 litre of boiling water and disolve. Allow to cool then add to brewing bucket.

It is best to add the sugar to the brewing bucket in 3 stages.

Add a third of the amount calculated in Step 3 now. Then repeat this step twice - once after 2 days and again after another 2 days.

Some wine makers recommend that you use Brewing & Wine Making Sugar but I use white granulated cane sugar bought from a supermarket.

Do not use Brown or Demerara Sugar as this will give the wine a golden tinge and may give the wine a slight flavour.


boil sugar

Step 7:

Add the yeast starter and the disolved sugar as described in step 6.

Add one teaspoon of Yeast Nutrientim1 to every gallon. This is a food for the yeast - it helps the yeast grow and multiply.

Cover the bucket and stir daily. The grapes will rise to the top and must be pushed under the liquid so the yeast can act on the sugar inside them.

Add more sugar on days 2 and 4 as described in step 6.

This stage is called primary fermentation. There will be a lot of vigorous bubbling as the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol.


add yeast

stir daily

Step 8:

Sterilse a second brewing bucket, a piece of Muslin Cloth and a stainless steel sieveim5.

Place the muslin over the sieve and carefully strain the fermenting juice through it.

Gather the cloth into a bag and squeeze as much juice as you can from the grape skins.




squeeze out juice

Step 9:

Wash and sterilise a demijohnim8 and siphon tubeim7.

Syphon the fermenting juice from the brewing bucket into the demijohns.

Fit a Rubber Bungim10 and an Airlockim9. Add sterilised water to the airlock to stop air getting into the Demijohnim11.

Leave the demijohns at room temperature (21 degrees C) until all fermentation (bubbling) has ceased.

This could take upto 2 months.

wash bottles


fit airlock

Step 10:

Wash and sterilise your bottles using a Bottle Brushim15 . I have re-used old bottles but you can buy new Wine Bottlesim16 if you prefer.

Syphon off the wine into your bottles. Leave behind as much yeast deposit as possible.

A syphon tube fitted with a trapim13 is ideal for this.


clean bottles



Step 11:

Fit Corksim18 to the bottles using a Corkerim17 .


Step 12:

Allow to mature by storing on a wine rack in a cool room. This can be as little as a month or as much as years. Generally speaking the longer you leave the wine the better it is.


6 bottles of great tasting, low cost wine to be enjoyed at your leisure!

PS. To give your bottles a more professional look fit Wine Bottle Labelsim99  


Step by Step Video


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