Apple-Cherry wine questions
Hi all, new to the site and to the exciting world of wine making. My neighbor and I recently started our first batch, a 6 gallon batch of Old Orchard apple cherry wine. I followed the recipe on jack keller's website. Tonight we did our first racking from the primary fermenter to the secondary glass carboy. i took a sample, being eager to see how the wine tasted and was surprised by how tart the sample was.
I have a few questions.
1. Is it normal to be a bit tart at this stage?
2. when is the proper time to sweeten the wine? is it just before bottling?
3. I'd like to experiment more with different varieties, does anyone have a good cinnamon raisin wine recipe. and would empty gallon water jugs work well in the experimental phase?
1. Sort of, yes. The acids wouldn't have had a chance to mellow and smooth out.
2. That probably the best time. Make sure it is stable so that the yeast don't eat the new sugar added, releasing more CO2 and causing your bottles to explode. Terry Garey's book does suggest that you can also sweeten it when serving as another time.
3. Garey's book suggests...
1 gallon of water
6-8 lbs of raisins (depending on how much alcohol you want at the end)
3 tsp acid blend
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Flor sherry or Montrachet yeast
I would then probably add 3 cinnamon sticks, but others should weigh in on that.
I wouldn't use water jugs. Plastics give off flavors, and they are hard to keep clean, especially along the seams. However, a good plastic primary fermentation bucket is good to have around, and then transfer to a glass secondary.
Great thanks i wasn't even thinking about the acids that i'd added not having a chance to mellow, all i could think was "crap did i ruin my first batch?"
Fort Dodge huh?? I have tons of family in Algona (and lived there for a few years when I was in middle school). Haven't made it out there in 2 or 3 years .
Tasting before it's done will give you some idea of what it could become but it will be very different in 3 months....and much better and more mellow in a year. Wine from concentrate can be especially harsh when young.
Most fruit wines are better with at least some sweetening. It takes a little time for sugars to integrate so be careful and do it gradually. It's easy to add but you can't take it out. Sometimes I'll sorbate and sweeten, then let it sit for a few days and taste it again. You can also split the batch, bottling part of it dry or slightly sweet, then the rest a little sweeter.
Wine from juice concentrate is usually light on body. You can add body and flavor by sweetening with straight juice concentrate instead of sugar. You can also change the flavor profile by using a different juice for sweetening.
Last fall I started eight different batches of wine from fresh squeezed apple cider. Some included cranberries, some raisin and banana, some used 2nd run grape skins from cab sauv, syrah, and tempranillo wines I'd made. At last racking I had some wine left from each of the batches that I combined to almost fill a 3 gal. carboy. A little wierd by itself but I topped it up with straight Old Orchard Apple-Cherry concentrate which sweetened it and added a great cherry flavor. It's going to be gooood! :)
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