Brandon business offers kits, classes to make wine and brew beer at home

Home brewing is becoming a popular way to make your own wine and beer.

Local business Bootleggers offers classes and sells equipment and ingredients to design, prepare, ferment, bottle, and enjoy handcrafted wine and beer.

Owners Carol and Darcy offered up some advice for the novice in order to get started.

To make home brewed wine or beer, you need both equipment and ingredients. Equipment can be purchased individually or packaged in a kit.  Bootleggers wine-making kits are $145.99 and include everything you need to get started.  Beer making equipment kits start at $69.99.   

A basic wine-making setup consists of the following:

  • 7.9 gallon primary fermenting bucket and lid
  • 6 gallon carboy
  • Siphon and tubing
  • Degassing rod
  • Corker
  • Bottle filler and brush
  • Mixing spoon
  • Hydrometer
  • Airlock
  • Corks
  • Cleanser

After you have chosen your ingredient kit and have sanitized your brewing equipment, you are ready to make your wine.   Open the wine box and look for the easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions.  Read through to be sure you understand the process and can identify each ingredient.  Add about a gallon of water to your clean and sanitized fermenting bucket.  Pour in your grape juice and fill the bucket with additional water to the 6 gallon mark.  Mix and stir, and take a reading with your hydrometer to find the starting gravity of your juice.  Add oak or any additional ingredients that your kit may contain.  Add the wine yeast to the top of the juice, tap on the bucket lid and insert the airlock.  After about 7-10 days, use your hydrometer to determine if all the juice has converted to wine.  If so, siphon to your carboy, add the additional ingredients to stop fermentation and clear your wine and degas.  Allow your wine to sit for an additional week or so, and siphon once again to a clean carboy.  After 2 weeks your wine is ready to bottle.  Depending on the type, you may enjoy immediately, or wait additional time to age and mellow your wine.  That's it, you have just made your first batch of wine!

Bootleggers Beer and Wine Home Brewing Supplies is located at 650 Oakfield Drive in Brandon.  Call 813-643-WINE (9463) or visit www.abootleggingcompany.com .

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