Making wine

What skills to learn, what tools to get
jacob
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Post by jacob » Sun May 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Okay, scratch the wine comments in my last journal entry. Yesterday we walked over to the local brewery store (Brew Camp) and they turned out to be cheaper than the cheapest online store (airlocks at $1.00 !!). So it may be possible to get started for ~$10 (which should be enough for several gallons of wine) and not the $32 price of a kit. [I was comparing online prices to the last real store I looked at which was in CA wine country ... where prices are comparably INSANE as in 4x as much).
In any case, I racked the first attempt yesterday because it had developed some flakey stuff on top which I suspected could be vinegar. If it was, it didn't affect the taste. After only 1 week (didn't expect it to be THAT fast) I have a gallon of semi-cloudy but definitely drinkable hard cider. I'll just wait a few more weeks and see if it clears some more.
BTW, here's the minimum resource approach:

http://www.joyofwine.net/wine101.htm
Note that I'm making country wine, i.e. wine based on practically any combination of fruit or vegetables or sugar and honey. Grapes are not the only thing wine can be made off.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Sun May 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Decided not to use 1/2 pound of good coffee on something that might not work (we'll use some bad coffee instead), so we made a batch of tea wine instead.


Dragline
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Post by Dragline » Mon May 07, 2012 1:55 am

I'll be curious to see if this works. In my experience, most people that make wine lose money because it ends up being more of an artistic endeavor than a profitable one. But I hope its fun nevertheless. Sipping here on my 3 -buck Chuck . . .


palmera
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Post by palmera » Mon May 07, 2012 4:11 am

I bought a group deal thingie for 30 bottles of wine for $70. It'll be an additional $30 b/c I plan on buying wine bottles from them.
I plan on "making" my own wine at a local brew place from here on in. One day, I'll make my own wine in my basement (when I have the time)!
My high school friend's Irish former-priest dad used to make wine and beer in their basement. It was a teenage wonderland.


riparian
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Post by riparian » Mon May 07, 2012 8:40 am

You can use a balloon for an airlock too.
The yummiest for me happens with fruit or fruit juice and honey and then after its wine you let it freeze and take out the ice. What's left is smooth and strong.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:11 pm

Currently I have four 1 gal jugs (the kind you get if you buy a gallon at Walmart) going: Apple (1.5 can of frozen juice concentrate), Tea (0.5 can of white grapes+10 tea bags+some spices), Potato (ditto+potato water, we ate the potatoes), and Orange wine (like apple). Each batch takes about 1/5 of a bag of yeast of $0.10. You can calculate the cost (I don't use fancy concentrates).
It also takes some chemicals, but the cost of those is virtually nil.
I think my biggest challenge will be in being patient enough to age the wine before drinking it.
Of the few sips I've had (siphoning, yeah!) the apple wine was slightly sour (I added some calcium ions). The tea wine was great (maybe because I had low expectations). The last two haven't yet been racked to tertiary. Siphoning from the primary, the must is still full of immersed yeast and tastes horribly---probably the reason why people buy autosiphons.


Dezdura
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Post by Dezdura » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:24 pm

I make wine all the time. I have found a good source for brewing jugs is the local grocery store deli, where they will give you free a food grade plastic gallon jug with cap. This is wide mouth, and I like that for cleaning purposes. I drill a hole that will receive the cork and the airlock, and throw in the ingredients (everything is sanitized of course).
A good source for free bottles is the local recycling bins.
I've tried making it with bread yeast, but it doesn't taste as good as with real wine yeast.
I've made some odd types of wine, including banana, fig, blueberry.


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Post by jennypenny » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:58 pm

Is there a certain time of year that's better for making wine or beer? (I mean like there is with food--right now I'm gearing up to put up my berries and start freezing pesto)
So Jacob, how come most of the sites you've tipped since you went back to work involve making alcohol?


jacob
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Post by jacob » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:08 pm

LOL ... New hobby/production...
Wine making was something I didn't think I had the space to do in the RV. In retrospect I could probably have found the room for a 1 gallon jug or two.
So far: apple, tea, potato, orange, and pyment (honey+grapes).
We have also started making soda using yeast for the carbonation: ginger, lemon. (This is the easiest thing in the world!)
To answer your question: I'm currently cheating using frozen concentrates but country wines are traditionally made with excess production from the garden (e.g. lots of apples in the fall). So whatever is in season.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:23 am

"We have also started making soda using yeast for the carbonation: ginger, lemon. (This is the easiest thing in the

world!)"
Alright, I'm interested in your recipie... when ya gonna write it up or point us to the source?


DW
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Post by DW » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:46 pm

Hi George (TOO), since Jacob sent me a recipe for the ginger ale, I have just googled recipes as I've been making it. I like this guys recipes, but I tend to double the amount of ginger or lemon/limes in the recipes and I don't think you actually need as much yeast as he calls for, less yeast may just take a bit longer to get carbonated enough. I haven't tried any of the other recipes on this page (below) other then the top two sodas. We are thinking of getting more adventurous lately, but first I want to get the root beer kit, from what I saw that uses yeast also. Once I get to brewcamp to get some, I'll post how it comes out and what I used.
http://notdabblinginnormal.wordpress.co ... /soda-pop/
I also tried this recipe, which Jacob like because it has less sugar, I had no orange juice, so just did it all with lemon
http://www.learningherbs.com/ginger_ale_recipe.html


brian
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Post by brian » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:18 pm

Thanks for the ginger ale thoughts. My "wort" is cooling as I write!


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Post by jennypenny » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:36 am

Tonight a prepper friend made me "sangria" that he made from dirt cheap red wine and homemade apple wine. He added chopped apples to it and let it sit a couple of hours before we drank it. It was very good, and looked really festive.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:46 am

Another thing you can make is rum pot. And there's always artisan vinegar (made out of good wines).
Sangria can also be mixed with soda instead of apple wine.
I'm currently making pyment (=mead+grapes), peach, tea with ginger, and carrot.


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:55 am

What is rum pot?


jacob
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Post by jacob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 am


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Post by Canadian Dream » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:01 pm

I've made a sour cherry wine from the tree in my backyard now for the third year...I think I finally got all the minor issues worked out (make a sparkling batch last year by mistake).
Re: aging wine. If you can wait a month or two it really helps out the wine taste. General rule of thumb, the higher the pure juice content, the better wine you get BUT you need to let it age longer. I tried out a $140 kit that added all but 4L of water, at four months its the best red I've ever made...can't wait to see where it ends up in a year (not sure if I have the self control to wait that long). Yes I know $140 for a kit is not cheap, but when its replacing $20 to $25/bottle store quality for like $5/bottle.
@Jacob - Thanks for this thread...I've got a little 1.5 Gal batch brewing upstair of white grape juice and strawberry. It's a great way to use up some leftover yeast from the kits.


jacob
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Post by jacob » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:39 pm

Just bottled the pyment/mead. This is the most awesome thing I've made so far. I'm beginning to suspect that aging plays a bigger role than I thought. I've noticed how the last bottle I drink out of a 1 gallon batch (some weeks later) always seems to be better than the first. The mead has been fermenting for about 6 months.
So from best to worst
Pyment

Potato

Tea (I don't like this but everybody else does)

Orange

Beet

Apple (first one)
All of the top three had longer than average fermentation times.


tzxn3
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Post by tzxn3 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:57 pm

I'm planning to make mead. I've read that aging it is pretty crucial; it's not really mead until it's been properly aged. This probably applies to other wines as well.


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Post by conpewter » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:48 pm

The mead I made was best after about 2 years of aging, but it was a high alcohol mead (14% I think?)
Also homebrewtalk.com is a great place for mead/wine making, its main focus is on homebrewing beer, but the wine and mead subforums are very active.


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