Wine #3 - Camp Fire Wine
While most everyone else was giving this guy a hard time, I was intrigued. I enjoy wine, but am by no means a wine connoisseur. Making a liqueur from distiller's yeast only, using a fruit base rather than a sugar base seems promising... I have neighbors that are wine connoisseurs, so I will definitely have them try some and give me a more "refined" review.
I picked up 5 gallons of Wal-mart "Great Value" apple juice and ordered the liquor quik super yeast.
Camp Fire Wine Recipe, 5 gallons
Modified from recipe on back of Liquor Quik Super Yeast X-Press to add apple juice
OK - started today, Tuesday, January 25, 2011. OG: 1.13
If we estimate an FG around 1.00, then we're looking at about 17% ABV. I'm excited to see how this turns out! I also decided to add some bentonite, to aid in the clearing.
Also, with this much sugar, it actually comes to about 5.25-5.5 gallons in the primary. We'll see what happens when I rack it off. Might be just right.
Although this was a dry yeast, the packet was nearly 1/2 pound and it is extremely active this morning. I noticed last night it was bubbling every few seconds literally minutes after affixing the airlock. This morning it is a steady breather with almost no break between bubbles.
When my wife came downstairs this morning, she said "It smells like apple bread." Guess that beats sulfur any day
Also, I was out of ever clear, so used what I had; some dark meyers rum (left over from Christmas rum cakes) for the air lock.
I plugged the sugar into this calculator and got a potential of 21.2%. Since this yeast only goes to 20%, and I don't expect the FG to much below 0.99, this will likely finish around 19% and have just a touch of sweetness. We'll see
Saturday, 1/29/11 I tested this and it was 1.014. It tasted awful - not even sure how to describe it... I actually dumped the remainder of the sample (something I have NEVER done.) It was also kind of milk colored (eww). I went ahead and racked it - I needed my primary. I'm going to the lhbs for some Isinglass this weekend - this is really cloudy stuff. (The instructions also indicate it WILL NOT clear without a fining agent.)
I checked on this last night and noticed considerable movement in the airlock (~10seconds). The color is also much darker - more apple cider/wine looking.
This weekend I'll rack again with some Isinglass. After it clears, I'll bottle it through the carbon filter.
I racked onto the Isinglass today. There are 3 distinct color layers, the usual lees, about 1/4 up is milky, then above that is just cloudy.
Camp Fire Wine
Original Gravity (65⁰) 1.13
Final Gravity (65⁰) 0.998
We'll see what one week on the Isinglass does for it.
All right. After a week I decided to try out the new carbon filter.
I racked the wine to a bottling bucket and tested the gravity.
Original Gravity (65⁰) 1.13
Final Gravity (65⁰) 0.995
A little movement there, but I think we're pretty safe to bottle at this point. I wanted to do a taste test between the filtered and unfiltered, so I bottled one bottle prior to attaching the carbon filter. The filter will take a couple of days, so I wanted to be able do the taste test side by side.
Here's what was left from the gravity check - I decided to drink rather than toss back for safety (yeah, right).
This is actually not too bad. I am thinking before I may have just been a bit put off by the high ABV. Think about it, this is twice a typical tripel or barley wine and at least 50% stronger than a strong wine. I added a touch of apple juice to my drink and it was pretty nice.
So, the wine finished through the filter, and I poured two glasses, one with the filter and one without (filtered is the one on the left). The filtered wine was clearer and tasted drier. There is a banana taste to the unfiltered wine that is far less pronounced in the filtered wine. Otherwise, I can't really say they are much different. Did the filter remove "off flavors"? Not really. In fact, it's likely the banana flavor came from the yeast, which was filtered out by the filter.
So, would I recommend the filter? Not really. Would I recommend this recipe? Well, it is strong enough that I need to either add a mixer or perhaps the original recipe's high sugar content makes it more drinkable. Will I do this one again? Maybe, but not soon. In fact, I'd like to try an ale yeast with the apple juice without any added sugar, for a cider.
I should add, I have several bottles remaining in my basement. I think I'll break one out every few months or so and see how it tastes. I imagine they will mellow over time.
Preparing the must
- 5 gallons of Wal-mart "Great Value" apple juice ($2.38/gallon, $11.90 total)
- 10 lb. cane sugar (CH from Costo, $6.19)
- One packet Liquor Quik Super Yeast X-Press ($5.50)
- Bentonite Fining Agent
- Isinglass Fining Agent *
- 5 Campden tablets *
- Sterilize all equipment with a sterilizing solution.
- Heat 3 gallons of juice to ~150° and remove from heat. Mix sugar until it dissolves. Gradually add remaining juice.
- Add 2 tsp bentonite to 1/2 cup warm water and whisk into homogenious solution. Set aside
- When the apple juice and sugar temperature cools to 80-90°F, pour everything into the primary fermenter and add the contents of the SuperYeast pouch into the solution and stir for 1 minute.
- Afix airlock and ferment between 70-80° for 8-10 days or until the Specific Gravity drops to below 0.990. For best results keep the temperature constant.
Charcoal Filter - it is recommended to rack to the bottles through a charcoal filter (or activated carbon) to remove any remaining unwanted volatiles, purifying the taste of the finished wine.
- Clearing - Due to the special yeast strain used, the must will not clear naturally. To clear the must, add Isinglass Fining Agent and stir and add 5 crushed campden tablets to your sanitized secondary and rack to it.
- Close the carboy with stopper and air lock. Allow it to ferment in a dark place until clear (up to 2 weeks).