Newbie wine making instructions

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MKG
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281528 MKG
Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:53 pm

:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Slight adjustment after your comment on final strength. Use a pound and a quarter of grapes and knock the added sugar down to 1.5 lbs. That will give you a base ABV of about 10%, any extra coming from the sugars in the apples (and there WILL be extra).

And don't taste it until I tell you!!! :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281530 Odsox
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:11 pm

Righto, I'll taste it every day then. :iconbiggrin:

How easy is it to make beer ?
I'm growing hops this year, not because I want to make beer, but because I was born and bred in Kent and have always been involved in the hop industry one way or another. The smell of fresh green hops is literally the only thing I miss living here ... so I'm growing my own, just to sniff.
But when I've finished sniffing, I can't really let them go to waste ........
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281531 MKG
Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:17 pm

Not my area at all, Tony - I've never made a single pint of the stuff.

Brewtrog may be your man ....
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281533 Green Aura
Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:05 pm

Tony, the recipe on the main site (I think it's called simple ale) is the nicest and easiest beer we've ever brewed. We've tried other recipes and keep coming back to this one.
Maggie

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281539 Odsox
Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:33 pm

Is that the "Simple (and cheap) beer made with real hops" GA ?
I'll give it a go if my hops ripen.

It's really weird this micro-climate of mine, I've get daffodils in bloom in December, may blossom out in March, but then it all slows down.
In Kent hops come into flower towards the end of July and are ready to pick on the 1st of September. Mine came into flower a couple of weeks ago and won't be ready until probably early October. Lot's of weather between now and then, so I'll wait and see if I need to get some malt.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281543 Green Aura
Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:26 pm

That's the one - delicious.

The first time we made it with some un-named(?) hops I'd bought to make hop pillows. It was the best! Subsequent brews have all been good but some of these posh hops are a bit too scenty for my taste, so we're back to the cheap ones from Ebay.
Maggie

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281593 Brewtrog
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:00 pm

The beers I brew (ignoring kits) are all based around Andy Hamilton's recipe from Booze for Free. For 5 gallons my general version is a tin of Coopers liquid malt extract (dark for preference), 50g bittering hops, 25g aroma hops (I've only ever done single hops beers, so for me bittering and aroma are just times), 500g-1kg sugar (more sugar = stronger abv). You'll also need a big pan (i.e. good size jam pan)
dilute the extact and sugar in around half the water, bring to the boil. Add bittering hops (if you put them in a "sock" it makes life easier) and boil for 90 mins. Put the aroma hops in in the last 10 mins of the boil. Remove the hops. Pour wort (the liquid) into a fermenting vessel and top up to 5 gallons with cold water. Check temp is below 30C and if so add a decent ale yeast.
Should take 1-2 weeks to ferment, temperature dependent. When you think it's ready check hydrometer readings over a few days to see if they stay stable. If they do then time to bottle.
Sterilise 40 500ml bottles and add 1/2 to 1 tsp sugar per bottle (depending on how fizzed you want the beer). Siphon the beer into the bottles and apply crown caps. Alternatively you could put it in a plastic keg, but I'd have to look up how much sugar to use (I've always had disasters with kegs, bu that's the joy of buying cheap).
Obviously tailor it to yourself - this should make a decent pint of a strong mild but if you like lighter beers use lighter ME, if you prefer hoppier beers add more hops.

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281595 Odsox
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:37 pm

Thanks for that Brewtrog, it all depends of course if my hops ripen.
I mentioned somewhere else on the forum that I used to live in Kent where hops were ready to pick the first week of September. Here it looks like they won't ripen until early October, and we usually get a lot of gales around the equinox, so maybe I'll wait an see if I actually have any left by then.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281683 Odsox
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:39 am

Right, I know that you were rather disparaging about my grapes, but I have dehydrated many kilos into sultanas and still have probably about 10 kilos left on the vine.
The flavour is sweetish but with a pleasant sharpness, not the cloying sweetness you get from supermarket grapes. I presume that's due to the fewer hours of sunshine I get here.
So my question is, would they make a passable wine or should I just forget it ?
Also, do you have an apple and raspberry wine recipe that you can recommend for idiots ?

The apple is working away nicely now and I will transfer it to the PET bottle this afternoon, so the 25 litre bucket will be empty again.
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281684 MKG
Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:20 am

Disparaging? Moi?

The basic difference between wine grapes and table grapes is the acid/sugar balance, Tony. Although your taste buds will tell you otherwise, wine grapes contain more sugar than table grapes, but a higher proportion of acid (tartaric, malic and a little bit of citric). It's those acids - the total amount and the relative proportions - which actually produce the resultant wine characteristics. Table grapes have less acid (the reason why they taste sweeter) and so wines you make with them do not develop in quite the same way.

That is NOT to say that you can't make decent wine from table grapes - you CAN, but you'll probably need to play about with those acid proportions. However, the first thing to do is to find out what your grapes will do by themselves - make up a gallon (or whatever amount of juice you can extract) and suck it and see. You can always blend it with something else later if you really don't like the results.

I'm going to guess that you could produce something of about 8 to 9% ABV from your table grapes. Adding a half-pound of sugar would be all you need to achieve 10.5 to 11.5 % ABV. First, though, get a specific gravity reading of the unfermented juice and one for the fully fermented juice with no additions and then you can calculate your natural sugar content (unless you have a more direct way of measuring sugar content in your lab :iconbiggrin: ).

So - press the grapes in a bucket as best you can, leaving everything in the mix, and sprinkle on a level teaspoon of the yeast you've chosen (yeast has an input on the wine characteristics too - general purpose wine yeast will do the job, though). Let it all ferment for a couple of days and then strain off the liquid into a container under an airlock. That's it until it stops bubbling and clears. Rack it off and let it age for a couple of months, then put on your wine-critic's head and see what you think. It will probably be ultra-dry and on the flat side tastewise, but keep going and note down absolutely everything which comes to mind when you're tasting it. Those are the things to address for the next time. If you find it a bit lifeless, you can work wonders with a splash of lemonade.

I'll look up the apple and raspberry recipe and post it later.

Mike
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281690 Odsox
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:20 pm

First problem ... and I've only just started :shock:

I strained off the pulpy stuff and put the liquid into the 5 litre PET bottle, so far so good. I filled the bottle only to the shoulders, as you mentioned "violent frothing" is the next stage, so about 4.5 litres. The only problem is I still have another 1.5 litres of juice.
I put that into another small fermentation bucket, sealed with airlock.

I'm pretty sure I followed your liquid amount to the letter, and the fruit amounts roughly, so maybe I should have reduced the added water as I used fresh grapes instead of dry sultanas. The apples were very juicy too.

Do I need to put it in the dark now, or is it OK in my nice warm conservatory (out of direct sunshine)
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281692 MKG
Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:54 pm

No, that's fine Tony - you've done exactly the right thing. You can use the "spare" to top up a) after any frothing has subsided and b) at your first racking, when you take it off the deposit. As the spare stuff is fermenting, it'll be perfectly OK.

Don't worry too much about light, at least not during the fermentation phase. When it's all done and settled is the time to get it out of direct light but, even then, it doesn't have to be in complete darkness.

Oh - don't worry if there isn't any violent frothing. That all depends upon whether there's an x in the month, and it ALWAYS happens if you haven't left any space.
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281766 Odsox
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:35 am

If I used the same recipe again, but included raspberries, or replaced some of the apples with raspberries, what ratios would be best ?
My nice flavoured apples are falling off the tree wholesale, and I need to do something with them ASAP.

I do have the now empty fermentation bucket and spare PET bottles (and lots of raspberries (and blackberries))
Tony

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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281768 MKG
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:11 am

I've seen recipes using all kinds of quantities for raspberries, so some people must like the flavour. Other people think that they're going to like the flavour but forget that the whole idea of the fermentation process is to remove as much sugar as possible. Bryan Acton's advice (and I always trust Acton recipes) was never to allow the raspberries to be more than a quarter of the total fruit weight, but he was assuming that the normal recipe would have 4 lbs total fruit weight. If you use the apple recipe over again (and there's no reason why not) then I'd reduce the apple weight to 7 lbs and add 1 (ONE) lb of raspberries. Or even just add the raspberries - 1 lb of apples isn't going to make a whole heap of difference.

Whatever you decide, you will definitely need to allow anything with raspberries in to mature for at least a year. I've never been sure what it is, but new raspberry wines have a backtaste which I find objectionable (a similar kind of thing to the after effect of saccharine). Acton described it as "cloying", which isn't how I'd describe it but there's obviously something there.

5-gallon fermenters are really handy if you grow your own fruit, by the way :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Newbie wine making instructions

Post: #281769 Odsox
Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:59 pm

Thanks again MKG, that's exactly what I needed.
All I need now is a medium bodied blackberry recipe, I would like to make some when the fermenting bucket is empty again.
Then I will have some white, rosé and red, and then I shall stop until one of them is mature enough to taste to see if I will make some more.

I was rather taken by the 3rd paragraph on your piece on the front page. Here I am, batting on about food miles, feeling rather smug that most of the food I eat travels mere yards from source to plate, when I have bottles of wine imported from New Zealand, Australia, Chile and everywhere inbetween.
If only I could make a wine that is fit to drink ..... :iconbiggrin:

EDIT: I already have a 5 gallon fermenter. I bought a 5 litre one to make the apple wine and when it arrived I thought "there is no way I can get 8lb of apple bits, a pound of squidged grapes and 6 pints of water in THAT", so I ordered the 25 litre version.
Tony

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