Making wine

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Making wine

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Has anyone tried making so-called country wine or other cheap alcohol in Ireland or other lower temperature countries?
As far as I can tell my location is colder than Ireland and it has worked fine. Wine is forgiving.
What is your favourite recipe for something reliably drinkable?
I've made one batch of http://fivegallonideas.com/1-minute-wine-recipe/. The site is run by another ERE, though I can't remember his name.

It was very easy. The results are drinkable though it had more alcohol and sugar than I would prefer. It was drinkable but bad at two weeks, ok at 1 month and at two months it seemed good (or I got used to it). For the next batch I'm going to add less sugar and rack into a new bottle around 2 weeks.

I've also made a few batches of hard cider with the recipe from http://www.howtomakehardcider.com/. The batch from apple cider had little flavor but was drinkable. The batches from homemade cider were better but I'm not an expert on what good hard cider should taste like.
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Making wine

Post by jacob »

@Did - Okay, here's a trick from the ghetto. To combat the cold, put the primary fermenter on top of the stove (presuming you have a gas stove). The pilot lights will keep it warm enough to ferment. If you're brave, you can put it in the oven. Just make sure that nobody turns it on!
If that's not an option, you can buy a solution http://www.midwestsupplies.com/the-brew-belt.html or DIY something similar ... like an insulated box with a 60W light bulb in there.

I don't think my stuff has gotten any better or worse over the years. After trying out a bunch of different recipes the first year, I now only make the same two or three recipes over and over. Wine brewing is pretty reliable. The only variable here is how warm it was during primary fermentation and how much I stirred the must (to oxygenate it). I've had 3 failures total out of dozens. My very first brew where I transferred it constantly and ended up diluting it with vodka. Otherwise because the temperature was low and I failed to stir. Generally when I fail, I just mix the must in gradually with a new batch in the primary and it gets going again.

My favourite recipe is orange wine (make out of orange concentrate). It follows GdP's drinkability time frame. Patience really is a virtue when it comes to wine. The hard thing is not to drink it. I also like potato wine. You use the water and you can eat the potatoes. The time frame here is about 4 times longer!

enigmaT120
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Re: Making wine

Post by enigmaT120 »

I think a better way to deal with a sour wine is to just add a little more sugar and let it ferment out. Keep doing that until the yeast die from alcohol poisoning. Proceed to not learn anything from that, and enjoy slightly sweet wine. Just don't swim in it.

I found all my glass carboys (for secondary fermentation, when making fruit wine) at garage sales and stuff. Cheap. For primary fermenters that would be full of fruit I used 6 gallon food grade plastic buckets from work, but I'm sure restaurants have them too. The lids are pretty much air tight so you just have to punch a hole (my local homebrew supply guy had the right sized punch) in the lid for the air lock. Or blow-off tube, for some of them!

Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »

Thank you all. I will have a go at this and return with results. My favourite term for this sort of alcohol, seen on a YouTube video, is jail hooch.

Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »


Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »

I have made some alcohol.

First, I boiled up some frozen berries, and mixed in a kilo of sugar, 2 liters of juice and the juice of 2 lemons and fermented with a teaspoon of yeast. It bubbled away for a week or so, the sweetness diminishing and the alcohol increasing all the while.

Result: drinkable, strongly alcoholic punch like juice. Quite tasty and demonstrates how easy it is to create alcohol at home. I will be making all sorts of country wine to recipe as the season progresses: elderberry flower, sloe etc, for enjoyment.

Second, I bought a wine kit for 36 euro and made 30 bottles of dry white wine.

Result: Better quality than the wine we were buying, and only 1.10 a bottle. We will keep doing this, as well as throw on a red. Normally we buy the cheapest wine we can, which is 4 euro, of which 3 euro twenty is tax.

Third, I am brewing a beer from extract, and have joined the local all grain brewing club to learn and be part of something.

The verdict is not in yet as it isn't ready, but I'm motivated to learn how to make good beer, so that's a goal.

I spotted someone's sig in a beer forum: Give a man a beer and he wastes an hour, teach a man to brew and he wastes a lifetime....

FBeyer
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Re: Making wine

Post by FBeyer »

Did: That sounds like absolute bliss.

enigmaT120
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Re: Making wine

Post by enigmaT120 »

I never boiled the fruit for my wines, nor did I sulfite it. I just pitched enough yeast to dominate the fermentation and never had any off flavors.

I quit making it because I was drinking too much.

Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »

Boiling was recommended at the store due to some health scare. I didn't use any sulfites for that stuff.

The wine is actually improving over time.

We have been drinking less so far but that may be due to the mother in law visiting (paradoxically).

Forskaren
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Re: Making wine

Post by Forskaren »

Saving money on alcohol

My new goal is to legally avoid paying a single dollar in Swedish alcohol tax. Basically that means I need to either make my own alcohol, buy it in another country or not be drinking alcohol at all.
I am right new making a tea wine on an improvised recipe. I heated water and added 400 g of sugar. I put two tea-bags into the solution for about 5 minutes. I let the solution cool and filled a 2 liter bottle. I added some baking yeast into the bottle. I sealed the bottle using a plastic bag and some rubber bands. It is fermenting right now at around 25C. At some point I plan to remove the plastic bag, seal the bottle with a screw cap and put it in the fridge. Hopefully it will be a bit carbonated and that the wine clear.

ether
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Re: Making wine

Post by ether »

Last edited by ether on Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

ether
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Re: Making wine

Post by ether »


Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »

I'm with you ether. Let us know how it turns out.

Our latest experiment is elderberry flower and rose petal champagne. Just that, some lemons and sugar. That's it. Not even any yeast as I'm using the natural yeast attached the flowers.

It was great fun foraging in the back yard and putting it together. It should be ready in two weeks. We have made 11 bottles with 1kg of sugar and four lemons.

I think Jacob would approve !

(Whether or not I do will depend on the tasting)

Did
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Re: Making wine

Post by Did »

On a side note, I volunteered at a local beer festival and spent four nights having a ball with local brewers and punters, pulling pints and having a great old laugh. Got to see places I have avoided due to the cost, and drank myself silly. All for free !

Will definitely be volunteering for other festivals.

bryan
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Re: Making wine

Post by bryan »

I finally started my first fermentation.. about 6 years after thinking "hey, I should make beer at home!"

Ultimately it was because I had a surplus of honey that wouldn't be used by the proposed ~August move-in date for the van. I've also been inspired by https://www.youtube.com/user/sarcasmo57/videos as far as ultra-cheap, lazy fermenting is concerned.

What I did last week: add previously boiled (cooled to about ~100F?) water to ~2.5lbs of raw honey, stir until dissolved. Pour into well rinsed out (and sitting around for weeks.. then rinsed again) milk (HDPE) jug, saving about a cup to the side. Slice up two tangerines, de-seed, put into jug. Add some yeast (D47) to the cup of honey water, let it come alive a little bit. Pour (pitch) the cup into the jug and give it four quarter tilts to do a little mixing. Ever so slightly open the cap to let gas escape. Wrap jug in a white blanket to help prevent thermal shocks and let sit in a cool part of my house (figured I don't have time to let it ferment in fridge, if it even would). After a couple days I figured setting outside in a persistently shadey spot would actually be better as the temp is a bit cooler (outside temp range of 50F-66F, for now).

And it's been fermenting away for about a week! After a couple days I saw that the perforation in the milk jug (I assume for structural integrity) had popped out so I opened the cap, popped the perforation back in, stirred some, and closed the cap just a bit less tight this time. Nice feature compared to glass bottles or 2L soda bottles!

Not looking forward to having to let it age ;_;

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Alphaville
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Château de Pruno

Post by Alphaville »

I wanted to make a new thread with the subject name I wrote here, but found there was a thread already.

My governor decided to close liquor stores, and since the lady and I enjoy our daily ritual at the end of the workday I decided to take matters into my own hands.

As it happens I had just ordered a mead-making kit a few days ago, and that's plus sugar + honey are already on the way, but now I'm looking to seriously expand the operation here: I will ferment whatever I can get my hands on. No previous experience except for a general knowledge of biology and much drinking of chicha in the Andes.

Image

Tea wine looks like a great hack!

bryan
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Re: Making wine

Post by bryan »

bryan wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 7:07 pm
Not looking forward to having to let it age ;_;
Guess I never updated :P

Can't find any pictures.. but after the fermentation slowed down to a crawl, I bottled the gallon of mead into a few bottles (already opened bottles w/ screw caps) of various sizes as well as 3 or 4 little 2oz bottles and put into the refrigerator. The 2oz bottles served to allow me to taste the aging, bottle-conditioning without opening the bigger bottles. I can't remember exactly how long until I opened the first bottle.. about 4 months?

Wow! It was incredibly, incredibly good. I was seriously shocked at how good it was. Not too sweet, not dry, just enough carbonation, and quite high gravity but you couldn't tell from the taste. I'd had about five different meads before, and mine definitely came out on top of those!

I rationed the bottles surprisingly well, but I was definitely wishing I had made another gallon or two. As far as the change in taste over time.. I didn't notice much; maybe the very first bottle was a bit different than the later ones (I think I drank the second bottle after another two months?). I was able to hold onto my last bottle until about May 2019 (so about a year from brewing) before drinking it.

Haven't brewed much since.. Last week (cabin fever) I did collect a bunch of chinese privet berries, washed them, mashed them, boiled in some water for a bit, drained/filtered/squeezed the juice out, added some sugar and water, and pitched with bread yeast on hand. Fermented in a plastic bottle (screw cap not all the way tight) on the counter for a few days then refrigerated (after slowing to a crawl). If I were being serious I would have filtered through a coffee filter or something before that, since the mixture was very dark and surely had a lot of fine bits suspended. Popped it open after a few days and had a spit taste (yes, I knew going in that it would be poisonous, so I was never really planning on drinking it). The taste and carbonation up-front was very nice but pretty quickly the taste went quite bitter. After spitting, rinsing/spitting some water, the bitter taste still lingered for a minute. Soo.. meh. Something to do during stay-in-place. Maybe next time it will be something that won't result in cyanide poisoning.

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Alphaville
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Re: Making wine

Post by Alphaville »

Townsend makes ginger beer in... 12 hours??

https://youtu.be/mfnHCdc3BgA

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Alphaville
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Re: Making wine

Post by Alphaville »

finished fermenting a gallon of apple cider from costco bottled juice. took several weeks for everything to settle; the campagne yeast (lalvin ec-1118) is perfect for it. result is dry and mildly bubbly and a littly funky (i like a bit of funk). unlike past iterations i didn't add sugar to the bottles for carbonation. i want this batch simple/low control.

the lees were tasty.

--

i think i posted of my previous experiments elsewhere, but the search function found me this thread first to annotate.

yes you can make this stuff and it gets easier and simpler with repetition. i didnt even bother with star-san and all that noise. i'm trying to run a homestead not a cell biology lab. specific gravity? who cares! :lol: (was potent though...)

CITY PEASANTS FTW

next time i want to try with the murky ciders that come in a big glass jar. but also wanna do a mead and also wanna do a sour whey fermentation (from yogurt)

Papers of Indenture
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Re: Making wine

Post by Papers of Indenture »

I'm going to have a decent sized berry harvest this year. Muscadine grapes, honeyberries, goumi, aronia, currants, elderberry flowers. Will be consulting this thread.

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