A growing hobby in Northeast Ohio: Home wine making

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We are getting answers on how we can make wine in our home without having to go through the hassle of a crusher or a press.

Cleveland 19's very own Paul Orlousky, who has been making wine for the past 18 months, says to start with a pre-made grape juice. He gets his juice from Collinwood Grape Company in Cleveland. Collinwood sells premium juice that's got the right pH and yeast levels.

The start of the wine making process is fermentation. After about three to four days, the liquid starts to bubble and during this time the sugar changes to alcohol.

During the fermentation process, it's important that you test the liquid for specific gravity. A hydrometer is a simple instrument that measures the weight, or gravity, of a liquid in relation to the weight of water. A hydrometer test will tell you when the liquid has turned to alcohol. The more alcohol there is in the liquid, the lower the reading. It's also necessary to let the wine separate.

During the wine making process, it is necessary to transfer your wine between containers in a practice known as racking. To prevent unnecessary agitation and aeration, wine should be siphoned, not poured.

After about two weeks you can take the liquid from the fermentation bucket to a "carboy." The carboy allows the wine to settle out, drawing the actual wine to the top and the leftovers, like dead yeast cells, to fall to the bottom.

The next step is the bottling and corking process. It's up to the winemaker on how long they want their wine to age before pouring.

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