10-15-2009, 04:07 PM
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Advice on Pumpkin/apple/honey wine needed.
Hi all I am very new to making wine and have only made so far the famous Edwort's Apfelwein and one 1 gallon batch of cyser. I have a list of ingredients on hand right now and not much spare cash to go and buy anything extra and I want to get some advice on how much of what and in what combo things should go together. I do have a plan and hope that it will work as this will be the first try at a wine with solid ingredients and not just juice.
I have these ingredients in these amounts and I do not have a scale or hydrometer, so I will not be able to really know what the starting sugars will be.. Most of my measurements will probably be cups/oz. I don't think that I will have to use all of each ingredient or anything this is just what I have available at the moment, and what I would like to use.
So far in all my reading(and that is alot of reading here ! ) the main thoughts on wines are 2 to 3 pounds of fruit per gallon, about 1 pound of sugars per gallon and about 1 strong tablespoon of tea per gallon? But the other flavorings are a "personal choice" more than a strict guide.
5 pie pumpkins (I would guess each one is about 3lbs) I plan on roasting them for the wine to make them sweeter.
6 of the snack sized boxes of raisins (sulfur free 100% natural)
6oz of orange blossom honey
6oz of buckwheat honey
probably about 1 1/2 cups of wildflower local honey
2 lbs brown sugar
apples (I can get more apples)
apple juice (2 gallons at the moment)
good black tea
whole allspice berries
Orange Juice concentrate frozen (if needed, I was going to buy a couple oranges but at a Buck a piece! no way)
5 gram packet of Cote de Blanc yeast
Now the hard part- I only have a 3 1/2 gallon bucket for the first part of the fermentation and was planning on putting the cooked pumpkin, cut apples, 1/2 the raisins and the white/brown sugars in the primary bucket and let it ferment for at least a week, stirring every day and then racking into my 5 gallon carboy and topping it off with the honey, apple juice, orange juice concentrate, other 1/2 of the raisins, spices, tea and citric acids to finish fermenting out.
The questions are:
1. When would I need to use the campden tablets? after cooking the pumpkin and adding it to the bucket with the apple chunks and sugars, and I think that you pitch your yeast 24 hours after using the campden tablets right?
2. How much of the white/brown sugar should I use in the fermenting bucket or should I use only white or only brown?(I know that sugar is one of the things that most folks here really discuss, and I don't have access to corn sugar at the moment)
3. Should I stir the Must of pumpkin/apples once a day, or twice a day, and if it makes a cap does that need to punched down a couple of times a day, or does that happen when you stir?
4. I use buckwheat honey in making my whole wheat breads and it is quite strong flavored, should I use only a couple of ounces of that as an accent flavor?
5. With that much fruit/raisins/ orange juice pulp I will probably need to rack again to another carboy (I think I can get another glass 5 gallon locally before it is needed) after the lees get too thick, but how thick is too thick?
I am sure that it will have to age for a while and I want this to be ready for next Halloween, but do not want to screw it up with that much work into it.
So What do you all think? All advice is welcome. (I think)