Newbie wine making instructions

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Odsox
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281160 Odsox
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:16 pm

Thanks Mike. I will be getting some proper wine yeast, and I intend to get a 5 litre (or two) PET water bottle and buy an airlock to suit.
Raisins and sultanas yes, that's what the grapes are for after all, to make sultanas.
No vitamin B1, but I'm sure I can buy some.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281161 MKG
Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:30 pm

OK - recipe coming up when I've fed the gannets. I asked about pectic enzyme because apples are notoriously high in pectin, which may show up as a haze in the wine. However, I've made lots of this and it's always dropped clear as a bell with no treatment at all.
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281166 MKG
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:39 am

Here it is, Tony.

Skeptics Apple Wine

8 lbs apples (a mixture is best though not essential. If you happen to have a pound or so of sourish ones, include those).
1/2 to 1 lb of sultanas (to add wineyness and a bit of sugar).
2 lbs sugar (white for now - you can experiment with stuff like demerara later).
5 mg Vit B1 (estimate that after you've crushed the tablet).

(The recipe also calls for a level teaspoon of pectic enzyme - I've never had to use that and mine has ALWAYS fallen clear (that's what my insistence on COLD water is about) - and a level teaspoon of yeast nutrient. The latter is totally unecessary given the amount of apple bits and the B1).

Wash the apples well and smash them up in any way you fancy (mallet, chop, coarse mince) - you're aiming for small bits of apple, not apple slush. That's ALL the apples - skins, pips, the lot. Put them into a bucket (don't use your PET bottle yet) which you have previously cleaned scrupulously and pour 6 pints of COLD water over them. Wash and chop the sultanas (no need to be anal - as long as each sultana has been cut even once, you're fine) and add those to the bucket. Give it a good stir, cover the bucket, and go away for 24 hours, returning only to give it another stir every 6 or 8 hours and it doesn't matter if you forget. This is to give the water a chance to leach sugars from the ingredients.

After 24 hours, add the B1 and the sugar, stir until all of the sugar has dissolved and then sprinkle a level teasoon of yeast onto the surface. Re-cover the bucket (remembering this time that CO2 has to get out somehow) and ferment for 3 days, stirring gently each day to break up any cap which may have formed. After those three days, strain the liquid into your PET bottle. Try to do this gently so as not to introduce more oxygen. Fit the airlock and go away again. After a few days (when you know that any violent frothing has subsided) top up to a gallon with COLD water, refit the airlock and go away once more, allowing it to ferment to dryness. How long this takes depends upon the temperature and the wine fairies. When fermentation hss finished, you'll have no further bubbling in the airlock and a clear liquid sitting above a lot of deposit. Now you have to get rid of the deposit. A flexible plastic tube used as a syphon is the easiest way to do this. Make sure that the bottom end of the tube doesn't get too near the deposit (which means that you will have to leave behind some of the liquid, depending upon how nifty a syphoner you are). Top up to a gallon once more, if necessary, and stand your new wine (in the other PET bottle, also fitted with an airlock, in a cool and preferably darkish place.

You can taste it after a month and it may even be drinkable - but it will be EXTREMELY dry. The recipe recommends that you sweeten it at a rate of 4 ozs of sugar per gallon. That depends upon your own taste buds. If you do sweeten, I suggest you do it on a per bottle basis using sugar syrup. You can drink it at any stage you like, but it will, if you keep it in a cool, darkish place, improve for two years.

EDIT: Oh - it will be a minimum of 13% ABV and could get up to 16%, depending upon the sugar content of your apples and the tolerance of your yeast.
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281167 Odsox
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:19 am

Thanks for that Mike, I will give it a go in a few weeks time when the apples are ripe.
I assume when the wine has finished and needs sweetening I can sweeten it with xylitol or stevia ?

Oh, and probably be ready for panic questions when I actually start. :iconbiggrin:
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281168 MKG
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:33 am

Odsox wrote:Thanks for that Mike, I will give it a go in a few weeks time when the apples are ripe.
I assume when the wine has finished and needs sweetening I can sweeten it with xylitol or stevia ?

Oh, and probably be ready for panic questions when I actually start. :iconbiggrin:


Of course you can. I should have thought of that. In which case, ignore my advice on doing it per bottle - you can do the whole gallon and there's no danger of a fermentation restart.

Hitchhikers' Guide - DON'T PANIC.

EDIT: I forgot to say - that recipe has won prizes. Not for me, as I never waste wine on competitions. But prizes nonetheless.
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281169 Odsox
Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:42 am

I though the "non" sugar sweetener would be OK. I remember the last time I attempted to make wine it was so dry that it would have made effective paint stripper, or clean drains.

One thing springs to mind, as my sultanas are home produced can I skip the dehydrating process and put double quantity of ripe grapes instead. Sultanas are only going to be rehydrated in the added cold water after all.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281170 MKG
Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:50 am

You certainly can. Another of my not-thinking examples. Your grapes would be better than sultanas, and as I knew you have a shedful I should have woken up.

Just wash them (I know nothing of Irish yeast strains), crush them, and put them in right at the beginning.

Here's something ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvJFibGnkrI

That's made from supermarket juice, and he seems pleased. Yours will be complete with skins so you don't need any oak chips for tannin, and it's very noticeable that he appears much more relaxed even after only two sips :lol: .
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281203 Odsox
Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:50 pm

A thought, do I need to buy an hydrometer ?
I would want the wine to be about 11% or 12% ABV, or is the quantity of sugar in your recipe designed so that the yeast will have used all the sugar around that percentage ?
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281238 MKG
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:44 am

You don't NEED one - but it certainly helps, although it's sometimes difficult to get a really accurate reading from a wine must.

The recipe gives you something a bit stronger than what you're aiming for, so I'll readjust it for 12%. Watch this space. If you want something a bit more accurate, you WILL need the hydrometer, and I'll need the SG of your apple-grape juice mixture before any other additions. You'll need to finely strain a sample to get that figure anywhere near accurate.

Alternatively, you can work it out yourself from this ...

http://www.brsquared.org/wine/CalcInfo/HydSugAl.htm

... which is a very useful table. You'll note that there are five distinctly different Percentage Alcohol (PA) columns at the end as there are several distinctly different ways of calculating ABV. From there you'll see that you're going to need between 2lbs 5 ozs and 2lbs 7 ozs TOTAL sugar content to achieve around 12%, and then only if your wine ferments to absolute dryness (there's usually a one-for-the-pot element in home winemaking). If you don't have a hydrometer, you have to guess the sugar content of the fruit (again, you can get broad estimates from the net).
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281242 Odsox
Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:05 pm

There's me thinking I could test the wine progress with an hydrometer and kill the yeast when it reached 12% (say) or add some more sugar if it stopped working before that.
I probably will get one though out of interest, but I'm not too bothered by a few percentage either way, I just didn't want a white wine resembling Nitromors.
Thanks again Mike, it's appreciated.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281243 Zech
Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:02 pm

I have a hydrometer, but don't get much use out of it. I've found that if I have a bucket of must with fruit in it, the fruit knocks the hydrometer around so it doesn't float where it should. I thought that maybe getting a flask to go with it would be a good idea - a tall, narrow container that I could put some of the liquid in to take a reading.

Also, trying to take a reading after fermentation's started is a mistake - the bubbles stick to the hydrometer and make it float too high. But then, if there's sugar in the fruit that hasn't yet leached into the water, that's not going to be measured in a sample taken at the beginning (i.e. before adding the yeast).

Mike - is that why you said it's difficult to get an accurate reading from wine must?
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281248 MKG
Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:12 pm

That's precisely why. Hydrometers are great for pure juices with no solids (and no yeast) in them. I rarely see one of those unless it's my fruit teabag wine, and then I'm not too bothered if the end product is 11% or Whoosh.
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281473 Crastney
Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:15 pm

everything Mike said sounds great. for more advice I'd recommend a quick read* of the craft brewing forum - I won't link to it as a simple search of your favourite search engine should find it.

personally I'd use the grapes to make wine, and the apples to make cider but that's just me.

* there's a lot of info so if you do start reading you might find several hours go by before you get back to real life
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Current emissions in UK – 9 tons per person per year!

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281507 Brewtrog
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:04 am

This'll sound a little hostile, but for good reason - make sure you go on the brewing forum (same as crastney mentioned) not the homebrew forum - THBF got bought out and started to change, so all the old members (all the knowledge base) moved to the craft brew forum ( http://www.forum.craftbrewing.org.uk/index.php [had it open in another tab])

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281526 Odsox
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:45 pm

OK .... it's D day tomorrow, or even W day, as I have accumulated all the bits and have finished (nearly) building the barn, so I have earmarked tomorrow as the day I start off the apple wine.
I'll let you know how I get on under this expert supervision, as the last time I tried it from a kit, it tasted like crap. The time before that was just after I got married, and that was a bit better I seem to remember, but my memory is not what it was. :iconbiggrin:

Mike, I shall probably ask you to concoct an apple and raspberry wine recipe if I haven't trashed the equipment by next week
Tony

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