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Winemaking Tutorial - Lesson Two

Prepare Your Equipment

Now it's time to get your equipment ready. We suggest you read through these instructions first, before you actually perform the steps below.

If you bought your winemaking equipment from us, great news... the food-grade plastic fermenter bucket is already marked at the 23-liter level, so you can SKIP steps 1-4 below and go straight to step #5.

Otherwise, if you bought your equipment elsewhere and this is your FIRST TIME making wine from a kit, you'll need to mark the level of liquid in the plastic bucket using the following steps:

  1. Fill up your carboy (the big glass bottle) with tap water until it reaches up in the neck. Leave just enough air space at the top so that the water comes within approximately 2 inches of the bottom of a drilled rubber stopper that has been inserted.
  2. Pour the water from the carboy into the big white food-grade plastic bucket (also called the fermenter). Be careful not to splash!
  3. Mark the top of the water level with a permanent marker on the outside of the fermenter. Later, you will use this mark as a gauge to fill the bucket to the proper level when mixing your wine.
  4. Empty the fermenter of the tap water.


Now.... let's continue!

  1. Wash the fermenter and rinse it well with clear water.
  2. Place some of the sterilizing solution (B-Brite® - item 2721 - mixed according to the instructions on label) into the fermenter and swish it around. Be sure to sanitize the entire interior of the plastic bucket.
  3. While you're at it, now is a good time to sterilize your plastic mixing spoon, paddle, or Fizz-X Mixer (as the case may be), the lid of the bucket, hydrometer, test cylinder, bung, and airlock as well.
  4. Discard the sterilizing solution.
    Hint: Sanitize your sink with the B-Brite® solution as you empty the bucket. Later, if you find you need a "safe place" to lay your spoon or paddle down, you can use the sink as a sterile landing place.
  5. Rinse the bucket and all the other equipment with clear water.
  6. We suggest you also take a look at our special article on winemaking sanitation.


Now that our equipment is prepped and cleaned, let's do the FUN stuff and make some wine!

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