Making your own wine

Do you want to make your own wine? Making your own wine is easier than you think! You can decide on the taste and create a good stock. Ideal for special occasions or a spontaneous visit from friends or relatives!

Ingredients for wine making

The most important ingredients for making wine are (grape) juice, (wine) yeast, sugar, acids, and yeast nutrient salt. Ultimately, you can add ingredients yourself and determine your own taste. By experimenting with the amount of sugar, for example, you can create the most delicious flavours!

Equipment for wine making

Equipment for fermenting wine includes:

  • White bucket
  • Tea towels
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fermentation bottle
  • Airlock and siphon rod
  • Clean wine bottles

Basic instructions

1) Squash the grapes and add water

Do you have home grown grapes? Squash the grapes with your hands or a masher and add filtered water or spring water. Do not use tap water! Substances are added to tap water that have a direct influence on the taste of the wine.

2) Add the sugar (or honey)

The amount of sugar has a direct influence on the taste of your wine. If you like sweet wine, you can add extra sugar.

3) Add the yeast and stir it

By adding and stirring the yeast, a must is created. In the winery this is the name for the freshly squeezed, but not yet fermented juice from grapes or other fruits.

4) Cover it and let it sit overnight

Cover the bottle or bucket with a tea towel. This allows sufficient oxygen to get to the must and prevents fruit flies, which carry vinegar bacteria, or dust from ending up in your wine.

5) Stir the must a few times a day

When you start to stir the must, the mixture should bubble. This activates the fermentation process.

6) Sieving and siphoning

After a few days, the liquid will stop bubbling as much. The solids can be strained out and the mixture transferred to a fermentation bottle. Apply an airlock so that the gases created during the fermentation process can escape.

7) Maturation

The longer the wine is matured, the better the taste. If you have added extra honey or sugar, a longer maturation is best to prevent the wine from turning out too sweet.

8) Bottle your wine and serve!

Transfer your wine to clean bottles and enjoy your home-made wine! Serve or store the wine in style. Use our sprit keg to rest and preserve your drink. You won’t have to transfer the wine again.

Making genever (Dutch gin)

Are you planning to make your own spirit and specifically genever or gin? This alcoholic drink is very popular in the Netherlands. It is a pure distillate made from grain or molasses, juniper berries and herbs. The Dutch are convinced that gin was invented in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Our Belgian neighbours are convinced that they discovered young genever. Fun fact: genever was given a protected geographical indication in 2008. This means that this drink may only be distilled in the Netherlands, Belgium and some German and French provinces.

Making genever (Dutch gin)

When distilling genever, you start by selecting suitable grain. In principle, any type of grain can be used, but the most popular grains are barley, rye, wheat and corn.

Basic recipe for 1 litre of genever:

  • 1 litre of vodka, brandy or alcohol +/- 40 vol%
  • 20 grams of juniper berries
  • 0,5 – 1 gram coriander (+/- 0.25 / 0.5 teaspoon)
  • 0,5 cloves
  • ½ stick of liquorice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (or sugar)

Method for distilling genever (dutch gin)

  1. Pour the vodka, alcohol, or brandy into a kilner jar or suitable bottle and mix the spices with the drink (without the honey).
  2. Close the bottle or jar and leave it to macerate for two weeks at room temperature. Shake the bottle or jar from time to time, taste, and with a weak juniper taste increase the number of juniper berries to 15 grams or allow it to macerate for longer.
  3. If the herbal taste is too weak, increase the amount of coriander. When making adjustments, leave the genever to macerate for a few more days.
  4. Allow the drink to settle and carefully siphon off the clear portion.
  5. Filter the drink, for example through a coffee filter.
  6. After filtering, add a teaspoon of honey (or some sugar). You do this to remove the bitter taste of the genever.
  7. Pour the drink into a clean bottle or pitcher.
  8. Allow the drink to mature a little longer (this will give the drink a slightly fuller taste).

The fun thing about distilling genever is that you can play around with the herbs. In addition to the basic herb (juniper berries), the following is also added to genever: St. John’s wort, angelica, cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, 1 clove, some crushed aniseed, coriander, citrus peel and dried bitter orange peel. We do not recommend using all herbs, but a little creativity won’t hurt. So, experiment when distilling your own genever!