Wine Making 101

At Wine Kitz Brantford we make wine making easy, fun and affordable.

Getting Started

To get started, come on in to Wine Kitz Brantford! Here, there’s a whole new world of possibilities for your wines. We have a huge range of wine styles from all across the globes with different textures, so you can have your very own perfect wine!

Once you have chosen which wine you would like to make, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Start your wine. Your winemaker will bring you your desired kit’s contents and all you have to do is sprinkle the yeast onto the juice. This starts the process of fermenting the grape juice into wine.
2. Time & Patience. This process will take 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the quality of the wine you have chosen. We will inform you when your wine is ready for bottling, at which time we will schedule a bottling appointment for you to come in.
3. Bottle and label your wine. Your appointment provides you with 45 minutes to bottle your wine. Once you’ve completed bottling, you cork them, and can purchase shrinks and labels to ‘fancy-up’ your bottles. Although appointments are 45 minutes, with our experience, we can offer assistance to have you out the door in less than half an hour.

And of course you can trust us to make sure that your wine is made properly and that the fermentation goes smoothly during its production. With our knowledge and frequent involvement in the wine-making process, we ensure that by the time you’re scheduled to come in, the wine is completed and up to our – and your – standards!

Bringing Your Wine Home

Let your bottles stand upright for 7 to 10 days to allow the corks to expand to create a solid seal. Then store your bottles on their sides to keep the interior side of the corks wet so they won’t dry out.

Cellaring Your Wine

Basic Factors that Affect Aging
Cellaring time allows all the elements in a wine (fruit, acid, oak, and tannins) to integrate and develop a delicate balance, and optimize the wine’s aging potential. Follow these guidelines when aging your wines.

Constant exposure to light produces chemical reactions in wine that cause it to deteriorate. Ultraviolet light has the greatest effects, and white wines and champagnes are the most vulnerable. Try to keep the cellar dark when not in use.

Store your wines in an environment with a relative humidity of 50-70%. Insufficient humidity may cause corks to dry out, lose their elasticity and thereby allow air to get into the bottle. Too much humidity (over 70%) can cause mold to grow on corks. At its extreme, this can destroy the wine.

Temperatures between 12 and 18°C are ideal for allowing the wine to age steadily without risking premature ageing or oxidation. Keeping the temperature constant is the key to steady ageing. Temperature fluctuations of more than 6°C can spoil wine.

It is natural for wines (especially high-end heavy reds) to shed some tannins during aging. Vibrations can cause bottle sediments to stay suspended, creating either a haze or “floaties” in the wine. (Storing wine under the stairs is not a good idea.)

You should always keep it away from odors (paint cans or anything with a strong odor). The reason for this is because the taste of your wine can be affected.
You should keep your wine bottles on their side so that the cork stays moist; otherwise the corks will dry out and allow unwanted air in.
Wine asks for two things only, to be left lying quietly in a cool dark place, and to be served slowly, giving it plenty of time and room to breathe the air.
Shrink capsules are not only for decorative use but they are an important part of your winemaking as it protects the cork from unwanted pests such as spider mites and fruit flies and still allows your wine to breathe.
Sulphites help to preserve the wine from spoilage and oxidation. If aging beyond 6 months, add ¼ tsp of extra sulphites (sulphites dissipates with age and is important for the long-term health of the wine).

Peak Aging and Shelf Life After Bottling

In every bottle of wine exists an ongoing chemical reaction through which the wine develops its flavours, smooths out its acidic edges and tames its tannins. For this reason the wines you buy commercially are often stored in the winery for up to a year or more before they are sold to you.
Although most wines that you make from Wine Kitz Products may be consumed quite young (particularly if you decant the wine before serving), all will benefit from at least a little aging and many will improve considerably.
Rule #1: The longer you leave your wine, the better it will get.
Rule #2: When it tastes good to you, it’s ready to drink.
Rule #3: Even if it tastes good to you, remember Rule #1.
This chart assumes that you have a consistent, cool and dark environment to store your wine. These are guidelines only.

Type of Wine Kit Peak Aging Period Shelf Life
Dessert Wines 2-12 months 3-5 years
Passport Series, Signature Series & Private Reserve Red Wines 12-24 months 3-5 years
Passport Series, Signature Series & Private Reserve White Wines 6-18 months 2-3 years
Estate Series Red Wines 12-18 months 2-3 years
Estate Series White Wines 6-12 months 2-3 years
Original Series & On The House Red Wines 3-12 months 1.5-2 years
Original Series & On The House White Wines 1-9 months 1-1.5 years
Niagara Mist Fruit Wines 1-6 months 1 year

Cleaning & Storing Your Bottles

As soon as you empty a wine bottle, simply rinse the bottle thoroughly with hot water until it runs perfectly clear, remove the label and store the bottle upside down in your wine box.
Cleaned bottles stored upside down will ensure dust or insects cannot contaminate them. And they’ll be ready without any additional preparation to bring back to Wine Kitz Brantford to be sanitized for your next bottling.
If your bottles are very dirty, soak them overnight in a solution of hot water, bleach and dishwasher detergent. You may need a bottle brush to reach the stubborn spots. Never use dish or hand soap to wash your bottles. Rinse your cleaned bottles well and store them upside down in your wine box.
It’s important to know that it only takes 1 dirty bottle to contaminate your entire batch of wine at bottling and void our guarantee.

Removing Bottle Labels

Dry Peel Labels
To avoid tearing the label, fill the bottle with hot water until the glass heats up. Or pop the empty bottle into the microwave for 20 seconds (no more than that). This softens the glue and the label peels off in one piece and leaves no residue. Never soak dry peel labels.

Vinyl Labels
Because there is no paper in vinyl labels, they do not tear when you peel them off and they leave no residual glue. It is best to peel the labels off when you are cleaning your bottles for storage.
If you do leave vinyl labels on your empties, it is best not to store them in extreme hot or cold (garages or sheds in the summer or winter). These conditions deteriorate the glue, and will leave a glue film on the bottle when you peel them off.
If you have any bottles with a glue film, they can easily be cleaned with a paper towel and a product call Goo Gone, which can be found at most hardware stores. Customers tell us that peanut butter and cooking oil work just as well.

Other Labels
If you do come across any wet & sticky labels still in your cellar, the best way to remove them is to put them in a container with water. They will fall off by themselves in an hour or so.

Winemaking Instructions

Click Here for great winemaking resources.

Call or visit today to get started. We look forward to serving you.

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