Grapes and more grapes101WINEMAKING.COM      
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An airlock is a fermentation trap that allows the escape of carbon dioxide gas and prevents the entrance of air.

Additives:  stuff you put in the wine, here are our 3 most used items.
     Potassium Metabisulfite or campden tablets: anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial additive.

     Sugar, corn sugar, which is Dextrose, is used to adjust the "Brix" or sugar percentage. Dextrose is a simple sugar in powdered form.  

     Sugar (sucrose, table sugar) is recommended to sweeten to taste if needed at finishing time.

     Yeast: Your pick, our recommendation. 1 pack of yeast will inoculate 5-7 gallons.   Most amateur and commercial winemakers select cultured yeast for consistent results and full fermentation. 

Books for sale at the shop, ask! information here at,  our free winemaking information for amateurs.


Bottling needs:

Closures: Corks: Agglomerated, First, Premium, Thermoplastic! What to use??   This depends on the life of your wine, long or short, the corker you have, and the budget you have  

Corkers: hand or floor corker? The smaller Portuguese floor corker is the cat’s meow.  Yes, corking is a challenge and you do need a corker.   

Screw caps twist on by hand; crown caps require a capper and a crown cap neck bottle. Champagne closures can be pushed on by hand with appropriate bottles and wire hoods are always a consideration.

Bottle Brushes for wine, beer bottles and carboys.  A baby brush is too short!  Do not use a carboy brush on the PET carboys.

Bottles 2-dozen (750 ml) bottles per 5 gallons of wine. 

Bottle fillers fill from the bottom of the bottle.    Start your siphon, attach the filler to the tubing, place in the bottle, push down and fill to the brim of the wine bottle, let up and remove. The filler will leave just the right space for the cork if using 3/8 filler in a 750 ml bottle.          A ½ bottle filler will leave too much of a headspace in a 750 ml bottle. The filler on the right is a Ferrari automatic bottle.  

Bungs or rubber stoppers come as solid or bored to fit the airlock.   PET plastic carboys (3,5,6) all take a #10 bung. Number 6.5 and 7’s are the most popular size for a 5-gallon glass jug.   Gallon jugs can take a #6 or #6 ½. We also have small bungs (#2,3) to fit wine bottles for topping fermentations, plus many other sizes..

Buon Vino (Intermediate)  bungs have a longer taper and will fit more sizes.They may also be called universal bungs.

Brushes for wine bottles or carboys are a must have, not recommended to clean a PET carboy with a brush.  Shake them!

Carboys A carboy is a glass or PET plastic container (jug). Popular sizes are 3,5,6 gallons. You'll always need an empty one for racking.

GLASS carboys crack if clicked together so always pad between carboys. Use the cardboard box, buy or make a carrying crate or use a plastic crate to protect your jug. Sometimes we have wooden carrying crates at the shop for sale. The brew hauler is a great carrying aid and padding could be worked in on the sides under the straps.

When cleaning your jug in a porcelain bathtub or a stainless steel sink, place a towel on the bottom of the tub or sink so the jug will not click against the hard surface and crack.   Glass carboys that are not PYREX may crack with the use of hot water. Use warm or cool water to clean.

Do NOT use HOT water on your PET plastic better bottle. They can warp.
PET (Better Bottle) is rated for safe use with wine. Your blue plastic water bottle is not.  Containers made of PET (polyethylene tere-phthalate, a polyester) have been widely used and rigorously tested for use with foods and beverages and found to be extremely safe.1BetterBottle PET plastics are not made with BPA or plasticizers.

Fining agents help to clear the wine or brew if it it does not fall bright naturally.

Fermenters - Pails, Buckets White or food grade plastic or Stainless Steel: Our 7.9-gallon pail will hold about 70 crushed grapes. They come with a lid that has a very tight fit. If transporting whole grapes in bushel baskets or cardboard boxes, plastic liners are a must. Plastic liners (clear garbage bags or our fermenting bags) tied off at the top are advisable to aid in the transportation of crushed must (crushed grapes).   Even if your crushed grapes are in a container with a top, unless it is a tupper-ware tight seal, a tied bag will prevent sloshing.

Fermenter: Primary is the first one used. This container will be part full (2/3) of must (crushed grapes) or juice to allow room for fermentation.

Fermenter: Secondary is the second container the wine is racked into and filled more full.  

Hydrometer is an inexpensive tool to test brix or sugar percentage.  The triple scale hydrometer scales are:  potential alcohol, brix, and specific gravity.  Hydrometers are under testing and explained in full.

Hydrometer: +5-5
is a narrow range hydrometer used at the end of the fermentation to more accurately determine the brix.

Hydrometer jar holds the juice or wine sample for the hydrometer test.

Fining agents help to clear the wine or brew if it it does not fall bright naturally.

Labels and Capsules are optional. You can be creative or use masking tape! Actually there are 'easy remove' self-adhesive labels available at office supply shops. We carry a self-adhesive parchment color blank label sheet.

Racking is the transfer of wine via siphon to a clean container.

Racking set up may consist of a racking wand, tubing and at bottling time, a bottle filler. 

Racking wand is a rigid length of clear hard plastic in different diameters to attach tubing to.

Siphoning is the best means to transfer wine. Attach the tubing to a racking wand and “suck” from the tubing end, pulling the wine UPHILL until it reaches a point in the tubing that you can cap of the end of the tubing with your thumb and lower the tubing down into the new container. Auto siphon units that double as a racking wand are available.


Testing needs.

 The hydrometer is a testing device, but it is so necessary that it is listed above with the initial winemaking equipment.

Acid Testing Kit contains sodium hydroxide .1N, a syringe to draw a sample, and a test tube to run the test. Knowing the initial TA (total acid) allows the winemaker to adjust the acid up if needed or down. Most eastern cool climate grapes are too high in acid. 

Residual sugar test kit (Accuvin) or Clinitest test kit
is for testing RS (residual sugar) in your finished wine.

pH meters:  pH is important in wine.

Vinometers test the alcohol IF the wine sample is dry. Sugar in the sample will distort the reading.


Thermometers are needed to check temperatures of samples for hydrometer readings, water used in re-hydrating yeast, must or juice temps when adding yeast, checking fermentation temperatures.  

Tubing for siphoning, is used in transferring your wine to a clean container. This transfer is called racking. Your racking set up will consist of siphon hose (tubing) and a racking tube (rigid) and holder for racking. The image on the left (below) shows a spring clip that holds the tube in place.   Siphon can be started by mouth or by automatic siphon. The auto-siphon (on the right) will replace the racking wand in your racking set up and start the siphoning.


May Your Wines Fall Bright!