Making Your Own Wine and Beer

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Most celebrities have capitalized on their brand name by creating a designer product, from the newest form-fitting blue jeans to the most enticing perfume. You can join this select club by making your own beverages and applying your own specially designed brand label to the bottles. Finding the right beer and wine making supplies is easy, too.

Wine and Beer

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Why Make Your Own

Owning bragging rights to a product of your own creation has a certain appeal, but there are other reasons why you should begin making your own wine and beer:

• Home brewing kits available today make it easy to create outstanding alcoholic beverages equal to or better than what you can buy.
• Home brewing allows you to experiment with ingredients to make your own masterpieces.
• After a modest investment for equipment, the cost per bottle is less than commercial products; for example, the average cost to make a six-pack of beer is about $2.00.
• Recipes, technique information, and beer and wine making supplies are readily available from local stores or online sites.
• Making your own beer and wine is safe; pathogenic organisms cannot survive in alcohol, and the alcohol produced in the fermentation process is not harmful.

Getting Started

There is an initial investment needed for equipment. To make it easy, suppliers offer equipment kits that include everything needed to get started. Here is what is usually included in a basic starter kit to make beer and wine:

• A 5.5 to 6.5 gallon (25-30 liter) bucket for fermenting, with a lid that both can be sealed and has a hole for an air lock
• A rubber stopper and air lock; this allows carbon dioxide to escape and prevents oxygen from entering the bucket.
• A plastic stirring spoon with a long handle
• A thermometer
• A five gallon glass or plastic carboy
• A tube and attachments to siphon beer or wine from the bucket to the carboy
• Sanitizing materials and instructions
• A hydrometer

The starter kit is the easiest and cheapest way to begin making your own beer and wine. However, remember that quality equipment will help ensure quality products. A little more invested at the start will give years of good service.

With equipment in hand, your next step is purchasing the ingredients necessary to make the first batch. Again, suppliers provide wine and beer ingredient kits that contain everything needed to make your first batch. Basically, all that has to be done is add water and wait for the fermentation process to begin.

Remember that the quality of the beer and wine making supplies is what determines the quality of the end product. Buying cheap malt or grape concentrate for a first attempt would be a mistake because lower quality products increase chances of failure. Excellent beer and wine comes from good, quality ingredients.

Before you know it, your friends will be extolling the subtleties of your designer label wines and special blend beers. You will find yourself experimenting with the wide variety of wine starter kits available, and soon after you’ll be making your own recipe adjustments for your own special blend. The beer enthusiast may even venture into kegging his product for the next backyard barbecue.