Hints & Tips


To do this you need to measure and record the S.G before fermentation starts (the initial gravity).

Once you have these two readings subtract the final gravity from the initial gravity and divide the result by a number, which is based on the initial gravity (see below for table) to obtain the alcohol strength of the wine.




1.005 7.73
1.010 7.71
1.015 7.69
1.020 7.67
1.025 7.66
1.030 7.64
1.035 7.62
1.040 7.60
1.045 7.58
1.050 7.56
1.055 7.54
1.060 7.52
1.065 7.50
1.070 7.49
1.075 7.47
1.080 7.45
1.085 7.43
1.090 7.41
1.095 7.39
1.100 7.37
1.105 7.35
1.110 7.34
1.115 7.32
1.120 7.30




Guide for Beginners


    • Chardonnay – is a white wine. It’s a heterogeneous nature , from flavors of apple and citrus to pear, mango and tropical fruits. It depends on the region of wine. Best served with :
        • Fish, seafood , shellfish, scallops , white meat, chicken, turkey.


    • Pinot Grigio – is a white wine. Flavors of apples and spices.  Best served with :
        • Fish and salads.


    • Sauvignon Blanc – is a white wine. It’s crisp, elegant, and fresh flavor.  Best served with :
        • Fish dishes, cheeses( especially goat), sushi.


    • Cabernet Sauvignon – is a red wine.  Elegant bouquet of flavor with spices and vanilla aroma.


    • Merlot – is a red wine. Flavor of cherry, strawberry and plum.  Best served with :
        • Red meat, fried food.


    • Zinfandel – is a red wine. Flavor of red fruits. Best served with :
        • Chicken liver, salted food , braised meat.

To make your first wine you need:

  • 25L Fermentation Bucket
  • Bubble Airlock
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Hydrometer
  • No Rinse Steriliser
  • Syphon Tube 1.8m
  • Wine Kit
  • Bottles

You should always read instruction from the wine kit and follow the steps. Sometimes in wine kits can be different instruction than this. We just show a general recipe for wine.

The first and most important step is sterilise your fermentation bucket, spoon and hydrometer. Mix your sterilising solution according to the instructions on the pack. Cleanliness is possible the most important aspect of winemaking and yet one which can so easily be overlooked.

Next empty bag of wine concentrate into your sterilised fermenting bucket, rinsing out the residue into the fermenter, with a little warm water.

In some kits brewing sugar is needed, add this at this step, the quantity varying according to the particular kit. Add 3 litres of hot water and stir the mix using the sterilised spoon to ensure the concentrate is completely dissolved.

Top up the fermenter with cold water to make 23 litres (5 gallons) and stir to ensure an even mix. Check the temperature to ensure it is between 18°C and 25°C. Then use sterilised hydrometer and note the Specific Gravity (SG).

Next step is open the yeast sachet and sprinkle the yeast directly across the top of the wine, without stirring it in. You can also put some other additives into the wine, depending upon the requirements of the particular kit.

Now you should put the lid on the fermenter with the bung and airlock, filling the airlock half way with clean water. Then place it in a room with a temperature between 20°C and 25°C. If you want to have a better quality wine you should keep the temperature nearer the 20°C level. It’s better to leave the wine to ferment for between 10 and 15 days. You can use any flavouring at the end of initial fermentation. Then you should stir and leave for an hour. Add any stabilising sachet to the wine and stir well for 30 seconds. In order to reduce the amount of sediment, you should rack the wine by transferring to a second sterilised fermenter, using the syphon tube and avoiding as much sediment as possible. If you agitate the wine several times you will release carbon dioxide gas to help improve the clarity of the wine.

After wine has cleared, siphon into clean and sterilised wine bottles. Remember leave a gap of about 4 cm at the top. Cork the bottle and apply shrink caps before placing in a cool dry store for at least 2 to 3 few weeks ,but you should know that longer the wine is kept, the better it will taste. To bottle your wine you need wine corker and bottle corks. You can also decorate your bottle with label and shrink caps.

Guide for beginners country winemaking:

To make your first country wine you need:

  • Fermentation bucket container of at least 23 litre (5 gallon)
  • At least 2 Demijohns
  • Bung and Airlock
  • Sterilising Powder
  • Hydrometer
  • 2m Syphon tube, or bottling tube
  • Paddle
  • Straining Bags (large, fine) or Muslin Cloth
  • Country wine kit
  • bottles

You can also use other additional ingredients like yeast nutrient, pectolase, citric and others acids.

First thing you have to do is to extract the flavour from the fruit. Any one recipe will tell you best way to do this. Everything depends on the fruit.

Typically, after straining off the bulk of the broken fruit, sugar is added to the fruit and water, to bring the SG up to the desired starting point. Your recipe will give you an SG to aim for, or a set weight of sugar to add.

Initial fermentation might take place in the fermentation bucket, but in some recipes, it takes place in Demijohns. In demijohns, under bung and airlock, the yeast will get down to the serious business of converting sugars to alcohol. After a period of up to 12 weeks in demijohn the fermentation will cease and the wine will begin to clear and drop sediment.

Very important thing is racking your wine off the sediment into fresh, sterilised, rinsed demijohns. This prevents long-term sitting on sediment from tainting your wine. After racking the wine will continue to clear, or ferment very slowly, to maturation. Once the wine is perfectly clear (this will happen naturally over time, but can be aided by fining or filtering), it can be stored away in sealed demijohns, stabilised or bottled. This prevents long-term sitting on sediment from tainting your wine. After racking the wine will continue to clear, or ferment very slowly, to maturation. When the wine is perfectly clear it should be place in sealed demijohns, stabilised or bottled.

To bottle your wine you need wine corker and bottle corks. You can also decorate your bottle with label and shrink caps.

Why doesn't the wine ferment ?

The wine doesn't ferment because of many different reasons. If you are sure that the fermentation isn’t right. Is it possible that you added too much hot water and then added the yeast before it cooled down. It could destroy your yeast.

Other problem could be a dirty wine making equipment. Maybe you didn’t sterilized them proprietary brand of cleanser. It is often the reason of why the wine isn’t fermenting.

You also should check your yeast. They can’t be too old. Wine yeast is a living organism that has a limited life-span just as any other living thing would.

Next problem it could be the temperature where you place your wine. Wine should be placed in room with constantly temperature between 20°C and 25°C.

If you added additional sugar initially you should ensure that this sugar was fully dissolved. Sugar can clog the yeast cells and inhibit fermentation.

Next problem can be distilled water. Using distilled water can cause big problems for the unsuspecting winemaker. There are two reasons for this. The first being distilled water has had all of the excess or "free" oxygen removed from it. The second reason is that distilled water has no minerals either. Both of these conditions are direct results of the distilling process and both conditions have inhibiting effects on a fermentation.

After all when you are sure that your wine isn’t fermenting, you need to get it going as soon as possible. The unprotected sweet grape juice is an ideal medium for the growth of all sorts of bacteria. However, if you can identify the cause within the first four days you can probably get it going without repercussion.


Corking wine

When filling the bottles, should be taken to ensure that the wine is as little aerated as possible. You should also remember to leave about 4-5 cm of empty space below the edge of the neck of the bottle. There are two types of corks, natural (solid, agglomerated, layered) and synthetic corks. They come in various shapes and forms. Synthetic corks are ready for use, while natural corks should be properly prepared before corking. Natural tapered cork are used for corking wine for quick consumption, not specific for long-term aging. The use of a corker is not required. The cork should press in by hand. Natural straight cork should immerse for about 5 minutes in hot water. Thanks to this, they will be sterilized and more plastic, which will facilitate corking of the bottles. Remember not to "moisten" the plugs for too long, as this may damage them. The use of corker is required in his type of corks . With a larger number of bottles, double or  triple lever corkers will be the most useful. When filling the bottles, should be taken to ensure that the wine is as little aerated as possible. You should also remember to leave about 4-5 cm of empty space below the edge of the neck of the bottle.


Restarting wine

Remember that a combination of grape juice, sugar and water will produce fermentation, provided that the yeast used is viable. When you are sure that the fermentation stop permanently, you can try restart your wine.

You may use restart yeast or champagne yeast for that. First sterilise a fermentation bucket. Then fill a fermentation bucket up to no more than half way with wine from the bulk. Add a tea spoon of yeast nutrient. After that add good yeast for restarting. Leave your bucket in warm place. When fermentation is well underway top up gradually to the gallon with wine from bulk and continue it until all of the wine will be ferment.

Storage the wine

Wine should be left in a cool dark place. The temperature should be constant. For bottles with corks, be sure to store your wine horizontally in wine rack. It’s important, because it keeps the cork moist which allows long- term storage. It’s not necessary to keep screw top wine bottles on their sides. Good option to storage your wine is wine fridge, but remember not regular fridge.

An opened bottle of wine can last 3-5 days. The key to extending the shelf life of an open wine and retain its original qualities is to recork it promptly and tightly. To recork wine, place some wax paper around the cork and slide it back into its original position. The wax will ease the cork into the top and also ensure that no stray parts of the cork drop into the bottle. If recorking isn’t an option - for instance, if the cork is splintered or has been discarded - a rubber wine stopper can create a tight seal. Finally, an upgrade option for recorking is a wine vacuum pump, which enables you to suck the air out of an open bottle, creating a nearly airtight seal.



Guide for beginners beer making

Lager – classic light barley beer. A real classic of taste.

European Lager – clear hop notes.

Pale Ale -  light full beer, perfectly balanced bitterness, full of flavour.

American Pale Ale - is a medium-bodied beer with low to medium caramel, and carries with it a toasted maltiness.

India Pale Ale - great balance between malt and hops, very fruity with slight herbal character with a full and lingering dry bitter flavour.

Double IPA – strong, very hoppy.

Best bitter – light amber, strongly hopped.

Real Ale – Classic barley beer, light bitterness, delicate flavour with a fruity with a fruity note and a slight bitterness.

Stout – wonderful bitterness, palpable flavour of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt.

Pilsner - more hops than a lager, but lighter than a pale ale, with a crisp, refreshing flavour.


To make your first beer you need :

  • 1 x 25 L Bucket With Lid
  • 1 x Airlock
  • 1 x 2m Siphon tube
  • 1 x Sterilising Powder
  • 1 x Paddle
  • 1 x Hydrometer
  • 1x Thermometer
  • 1 x Good Quality Beer Kits
  • bottles


It’s best to follow the makers instructions until you have completed a few kits and are confident to experiment by varying the process or ingredients yourself. It is a generic guide to make beer at home from our 40 pint beer kits.

First you need to clean and sterilise your fermenting container, your paddle and your Hydrometer. Everything that comes into contact with your beer must be clean and properly sterilised. This means your fermenting vessel, but also syphon’s, airlocks, bungs, thermometers and hydrometers. Mix your sterilising solution according to the instructions on the pack. It is usual to place all your equipment in the fermenter with the solution and sterilise it all at the same time. After 10 to 15 minutes in the solution, empty the solution and thoroughly rinse the equipment to remove all traces of sterilising solution.

Then place the can from the kit in warm water for 10 minutes to thin the contents and make it easy to pour. Open the can and then empty the contents of it into your clean fermenting vessel and add between 1 and 3 litres of boiling water. Remember to rinse out the can and add this to the fermenter as well.

Next add the sugar which will vary according to the kit. It’s several options for sugar, so for a drier tasting beer use glucose powder or to improve the 'body' of the beer add spray malt or one of our specialist beer enhancers. Stir it using the paddle, to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved.

Next step is top up the fermenter with cold water and stir to ensure an even mix. If you have a thermometer you can check the temperature to ensure it is between 18°c and 25°c and using the sterilised hydrometer, take a reading and note the Specific Gravity (SG).

Now open the yeast sachet and sprinkle the yeast directly across the top of the beer. Then put the lid on the fermenter and place it in a room with a reasonably constant temperature, ideally between 20°c and 25°c. You can use brewing heater to maintain temperature. Fermentation will get under way within 24 hours ,but for better effects, you should leave the beer to ferment for between 5 and 7 days.

When the beer starts to ferment a thick foam will normally form on the top. This is normal and will protect the beer during fermentation. This should form within 24 hours of the yeast being added. If nothing has happened you may need to check the temperature of the room maybe it’s too cold.

After all this steps when a further hydrometer reading shows less than 1008 or see no rising bubbles, you can put your beer into its dispenser for its secondary fermentation.

Before you start bottle your beer you have to clean and sterilise your syphon tube and beer bottles. It’s very important. Ensure you use bottles which will take the pressure of secondary fermentation. Prime each bottle with half a teaspoon of sugar or beer enhancer, you can use a funnel.

Then lift the fermenter above the level of the bottling area. To be sure you do not draw any sediment through the syphon tube, fill each bottle to leave a space of approx. 25mm (1 inch) at the top. Next cap each bottle firmly and shake to dissolve the sugar. Later place back in the warm room for two days before storing in a cool dark place until the beer has cleared which should take between 7 and 10 days.

Later, you can keep beer for several months but it is not unknown for a beer kept in ideal conditions.


Beer flat with no ‘fizz’

The explanation can be that the bottle cap does not hold pressure.

When you finished your beer you have just 24 hours to transfer it to the bottle. The beer shouldn’t left too long in the primary fermenting vessels. It can be also the reason on no ‘fizz’

Make sure that good strilised your brewing equipment.

It’s possible that sugar didn’t dissolved when added to the barrel or bottles or not enough was used.


Beer Storage

As a general rule, beers should keep for several months but it is not unknown for a beer kept in ideal conditions to last a lot longer. It’s also best to avoid any colours except brown. Whether you choose glass or plastic, make sure that they are suitable. Exploding glass bottles can be very dangerous so it is very important that you ensure you use the correct quantity of priming sugar and also that the beer has completely finished fermenting before you bottle.



Cider is an alcoholic drink made of fermented apple juice with no added sugar. Some people confuse cider with apple beer, apple wine, or beer with apple juice. You can't define cider as being half beer, half wine. Cider is a cider.

Depending on the type of kit you buy, each one will have slightly different instructions. The cider kits are based on the concentrated fruit juice, so depending on the flavour you select, you’ll have the right ingredients for that particular cider. Some cider brewing kits contain sugar, whereas in others the sugar is not required. You’ll have everything you need in our homebrew cider kits to create the perfect recipe, so there’s no need to purchase extra ingredients. The first and most important step is sterilise your equipment. Make sure that all of it will be good sterilise. Follow the kit instruction very carefully. Brew the ingredients correctly in your cider making kit. For the ideal fruity cider, your home brew cider kit should allow fermentation at around 15 degrees. Try to achieve a constant fermentation temperature.


Spirits and Liqueurs

In the UK it is not legal to distil alcohol without a licence from Revenue and Customs and this includes alcohol for your own consumption. You are free to make naturally fermented alcohol for your own use and the development of special alcohol tolerant yeasts has made the production of 'spirit and liqueur' drinks from high alcohol washes (typically 20% abv), a practical proposition.



Traditional pure spirits are made from grains or other plants with the main six pure spirits being gin, vodka, brandy, tequila, rum and whisky, all of which have a high alcohol content of usually over 38% ABV.  Spirits are made through distillation by using an alcoholic liquid made using a fermentation process, this liquid is then placed in a still where the alcohol is extracted in a relatively high concentrate, resulting in a pure distilled spirit.



Today with many of the traditional spirits being flavoured, it has become difficult for many of us to distinguish between liquors and liqueurs. Liquors are used to create liqueurs by adding different flavours to them. The base spirit is blended with sweet based fruit syrups, herbs and spices, coffee, chocolate, cream and even nuts.  Sweetness and flavour are key, as these ingredients give the spirit a softer, sweeter flavour and dilute the spirit, therefore, lowering the alcohol content too, generally, between 15 – 30% ABV.

Liqueurs are great served on the rocks or with mixers but are extremely versatile and are very popular these days in cocktails.


Spirit and Liqueurs making

We can’t give you full recipes of making spirits and liqueurs, but we can describe you process of making it. There are 4 stapes in the production of spirits and liqueurs – fermentation, destillation , carbon treatment and flavouring.

For fermentation you can use similar equipment as in making wine. You just need hydrometer, specialised yeast, nutrient mix to convert glucose/ sugar to a high strength alcohol and water.

All fermentations produce unwanted by-products known as congeners. Congeners are responsible for most of the taste and aroma of distilled alcoholic beverages. Sometimes they may be exacerbated by using the wrong, old mix of nutrients or yeast. It’s important to use good quality yeast and nutrient which minimizes production of congeners. You shouldn’t use of high temperatures to speed the fermentation.

Next step is destillation. It’s a process of separating water and other by products from the fermentation mixture so leaving the ethanol in higher concentrations. In some countries you can produce a 60%abv alcohol. After that you reduce the quantity of liquid available, but it leave a high quality spirit for further falvouring. Using a two stage ceramic or carbon filter and then adding flavouring you can strip out the colours and flavours from commercially available spirits, particularly the cheaper brands.

Then you have to use activated carbon to remove the impurities in liquid. Activated carbon is intended for improve alcohol quality which is developed. They are made with different sized pores for different applications so it is therefore very important to use activated carbon specifically designed for treating alcohol. They should be good quality. Spirit wash kits require the addition of carbon which can be either during fermentation or after stabilising the brew but before fining as a way to remove these impurities. Where distillation is legal the passing of untreated washes through a still, will result in the concentration of the impurities to leave unpleasant tastes. That why we should use carbon in the mixture this step.

The last step is choose flavour. Nowadays we have a wide range of flavour available, some of which are intended to mimic popular drinks and do so quite successfully. It is perfect when to distilled spirit or liqueur has added flavour, then it should be left to stand for a week as this allows the flavour to infuse with the alcohol and produces a much better result.