Wine Making Supplies
So, you want to learn how to make homemade wine! One thing that you would need to do before getting started making homemade wine is to thing about the wine making supplies that you will need to acquire. It is similar to anything you want to create… Let’s say you wanted to bake a cake, what would you need? For one, you would need an oven, a pan, a bowl, spoon, etc. Well, it is the same thing with making wine at home.
The good news is that the wine making supplies that you purchase are a onetime investment. You will be able to use the wine making supplies over and over again, provided you take good care of your wine making supplies by keeping them clean and handling them with care.
Don’t worry, I will go over exactly what equipment you will need. In fact, I will discuss what wine making supplies you need, what is really nice to have and what wine making supplies not to waste your money on. So, let me start with what the basics are.
The minimum equipment you will need for your wine making supplies:
- A Primary Fermentor, which is typically a plastic bucket that holds around 8 gallons
- A Secondary Fermentor, also called a 6 Gallon Carboy
- A Bung and Airlock that fits the Carboy
- Brushes for Cleaning your Carboy, Bucket and Bottles
- A Triple Scale Hydrometer
- Plastic Tubing for transferring wine from one vessel to another.
- A Racking Cane with an Anti-Sediment tip
- A Bottling Wand
- A Long Plastic Spoon
- Cleanser for Cleaning and Sanitizing everything.
- Some K-Meta AKA known as potassium metabisulfite
- If you plan on making a sweet wine, you will also need Potassium Sorbate.
- And Finally, A Corker.
Now for the Nice To Haves:
- Replace the Racking Cane with an Auto Siphon with Anti-Sediment tip
- A Carboy Handle or Strap Thingy to easily lift the Carboy
- Extra Tubing
- An Extra Carboy
- Some 1 Gallon Jugs
- A Smaller Plastic Bucket or two.
- Plastic Screw top Lids for the 1 Gallon Jugs
- Some extra Bungs and Air Locks.
- A Bottle Tree for drying bottles upside down.
- A Bottle Rinser that hooks up to the sink
- A Mix-Stir Degassing Device
- A Wine Filter
- A Thermomitor
Here is a quick video showing some of this equipment:
I know that sounds like a lot of things you need to purchase, but the good news is that you can get most or all of these wine making supplies bundled in what is called Wine Making Equipment Kits. These wine making equipment kits come in basic kits and more deluxe kits. Here is some advice, get the deluxe or premium Wine Making Equipment Kits. Here is why:
If you get the basic kit, it will have some things in it that you will replace with better things, like replacing the Racking Cane with an Auto Siphon. I absolutely love the auto siphon and I can easily say it is one of my favorite wine making supplies! My racking cane, I never use anymore. So, if one kit comes with a Racking Cane and the other an Auto-Siphon, I would get the Auto Siphon.
An important thing to consider when you are going to purchase your wine making supplies is what kind of carboy you want. They are made of Glass or Plastic. I always use the Glass. I don’t even own a plastic carboy in my arsenal of wine making equipment. I have close to 10 Carboys, 6 Gallon, 5 Gallon, Three Gallon and all of them are Glass.
The Plastic Carboys do have many advantages:
- They are lighter in weight
- They cost less
- They are cheaper to ship
- They don’t shatter into a million sharp pieces of glass that can cut you.
I am old school. I don’t like the idea of plastics touching my wine for extended periods of time. The companies that make the plastic carboys say that the chemicals don’t leech into the wine, but I personally don’t want to take that chance, so I deal with the Glass Carboys.
*Note: When buying wine making supplies, do realize that the bungs that fit Plastic Carboys are different in size than for glass. Make sure you get the bung that fits your carboy!
Once you get the wine making supplies, you will need to clean them well. There are a few choices for cleaning wine making equipment, and anything touching the wine needs to be pristinely clean. There are One Step Cleaners, Chlorine Based Cleaners (called C-Brite) and Oxygen Based Cleaners (One called B-Brite) . I prefer the B-Brite to all of the others. The B-Brite is basically the same thing as Oxyclean. The C-Brite can ruin your clothes. So my choice wine making supply for cleansing is B-Brite. Don’t waste your money on small containers, as you will be doing a lot of cleaning. Get the bigger sizes.
*Very Important Note: B-Brite is slippery. Very Slippery. This makes you carboys very slippery and you need to take extra care not to smash you carboy. Rinse it very well and make sure you have a secure hold on it at all times.
Fortunately, you can get most of these wine making supplies bundled in a kit, and buying the kit will save you money.
The reason I recommend this kit is that it comes with just about everything in one package, including the Auto Siphon and Mix Stir. If you watch my videos, you will see just how much I use the Mix Stir and Auto Siphon. A Orange Carboy Handle is also included, along with the glass carboy. If you get a more basic bundle of wine making supplies, you will pay less up front, but end up eventually getting the additional items in this equipment kit anyway.
If you did want to get a more basic kit, with the understanding that you will probably want the other add-ons in the future, than this is the one for you. It is a great equipment kit of wine making supplies. It also features a glass carboy.
Now, here is something interesting, if you don’t care about getting a plastic carboy. For a very inexpensive price, you get a basic equipment kit AND two ingredient kits. The ingredient kits the Vintagemaster complete includes are for Chardonnay (white wine) and Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine). They say 30 bottles each, but I would make them to 25 bottles each for a better quality wine.
This would make someone an excellent gift, if you believe that they wouldn’t mind about getting a plastic carboy!
Note that this is a basic equipment kit and you will most likely eventually want to order additional wine making supplies, like the Autosiphon and Mix-stir.
Note: There are equipment kits that are designed for lesser amounts of wine. One gallon wine making equipment kits or three gallon kits, etc. I would not recommend wasting your time buying these equipment kits for your wine making supplies. It is a great idea to get a few one gallon glass jugs or a three gallon carboy, however. If you wanted to make a single gallon of a specific fruit wine, you can use any food grade plastic bucket as a primary fermenter, and a one gallon glass jug for a secondary. You would still need to use an air lock and bung in the same way you would for a 6 gallon carboy.
Most of the time, I find it takes just as much effort to make one gallon of wine as it takes to make six. I would suggest that it makes sense to make five or six, instead of one, unless you happen to have some great organic fruit that you don’t know what to do with, and it is only enough to make one gallon.
Thanks for reading my article on the wine making supplies that you will need to get in order to get started making homemade wine. I am sure you will love your new hobby of winemaking.