How do I make wine? I picked up 6gal of zinfandel juice pretty cheap.
How do I turn this into wine?
Never done it before.
The basic process is to pastuerize the fruit juice fo 20-30 minutes at 160-180 degrees. Cold break it down to about 80-85 degrees and then pitch your yeast and do an initial rack in a carboy with a bubbler. get in touch with a homebrewing supply and ask the brewmeister. I also would suggest a champagne yeast as they are usually specially sealed and easy to prepare. After the initial rack you will transfer to a second carboy and allow to ferment some more then bottle and age in a cool dark place.
While homebrewing is a fairly easy process, you should get the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Harperresource-Book/dp/0060531053
and read a bit.
the main reason for it is to make sure that the fluid is bacterially clean. This allows the yeast a chance to take hold and spread, converting sugars to alcohol. Not doing this can cause another bacterial agent to spread faster killing off your yeast and making a nasty vile liquid you wouldn't feed to a rabid dog. Again I suggest going to your local home brew supply store and talking to the brewmeister or even asking the question a brewing forum.
I went to the wine store in Elmhurst, he said it already has everything in it, including yeast, so just let it get to room temp, then add a yeast nutrient, stir a few times a day for 5 days. Then when it reaches the right SG, move to a carboy to slow fermentation, and keep it out of light. Then test it periodically in the carboy, and once it has the SG I want, then I can bottle it. And its a good idea to clean everything with k-meta. Some of the k-meta will get into the wine, which is fine.
Seems pretty easy.
There are other things you can do like add sugar, adjust the pH, use ising glass, etc, but for the most part, you just test the SG and move it to a carboy, test again and move to bottles.
could work out fine. My dad once took a bottle of cherry cider (non-alcoholic) and just left in the sun till the cap blew off, refitted the cap and then stuck it in the pantry. Where he forgot about it for a few days, then my grandma found it and drank two big glasses before Dad found out she had nosed around in the pantry. First and only time anyone had seen her drunk. While it was probably not the most alcoholic brew it apparently did the trick.
So dd you get your float to test for specific gravity? or are you using a different method?
The guy at the wine store seemed to suggest that the wineary adds additional yeast.
Yep, my SG is a 1.075 now, but it was colder than room temp, so I'm going to rest later. Should come up to 1.085-1.090 I'm guessing
As for the book linked in the first reply, it's mostly for brewing beer and, to a much lesser extent, mead. That said, the basics of what equipment, how to sterilize, and how to bottle are mostly the same. If you like beer and are thinking about brewing it yourself, this is the first book you should buy! There are also a ton of wine-specific brewing books available via Amazon or your local bookstores. The Local Homebrew Shop (LHS) probably has a few too.
Assuming the yeast is in the juice, just add some nutrient and/or energizer, transfer to a carboy with airlock/bubbler, and you're good to go. Depending on the age of the juice, the yeast may or may not be viable. If after a few days at room temp (under 70) your gravity doesn't change add some new. Be sure to ask your for assistance picking a yeast.
Did the juice come with any instructions? You may also need to aerate, just be careful not to introduce anything that hasn't been sanitized to the juice.