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Old 08-14-2006, 12:04 AM   #1
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So i was at my buddies house the other day, and he showed my his home wine making set up, and i immediately began thinking about starting up myself. I've been doing some research on the web, and i'm definately going to do it. So here's my question:
my friend had a 5 gallon carboy of white wine going, and also had two 1 gallon jugs of "jug wine" as he called it. He and his roomate have bi-weekly jug wine competitions, where they make a batch and compare. He gave me a sample of one made with frozen cherry juice concentrate, sugar, water, and champaign yeast, which had been fermenting for a week and a half. While it wasn't fine wine, it was definately potable. This type of wine is what i plan on starting with. Has anyone here made "jug wine" in this way before, simply with juice, sugar, water, and yeast?
Also, i have most of the equipment i feel i'll need (a gallon carboy, airlock, funnel, yeast), but i don't have any tubing for siphoning the wine out of the original jug. Could a funnel with a tightly woven strainer on it do the trick, considering i could easily poor out of a 1 gallon jug?
Any other thoughts or advice on this simple wine would be great, as i'm planning to start next week!

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Old 08-14-2006, 12:21 AM   #2
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another question: i plan to get a hydrometer, what OG level would tell me that i'm it's done fermenting?

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Old 08-14-2006, 12:29 AM   #3
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Welche's grape juice makes an awesome jug wine! You can make it like your friend does, or you can make it even better than just drinkable. It's welche's, sugar, wine yeast, and to make it even better you can add acid blend and pectic enzyme:

2 cans (11.5 oz) Welch's 100% frozen grape concentrate
1-1/4 lbs granulated sugar
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
water to make 1 gallon
wine yeast
Bring 1 quart water to boil and dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat and add frozen concentrate. Add additional water to make one gallon and pour into secondary. Add remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover with napkin fastened with rubber band and set aside 12 hours. Add activated wine yeast and recover with napkin. When active fermentation slows down (about 5 days), fit airlock. When clear, rack, top up and refit airlock. After additional 30 days, stabilize, sweeten if desired and rack into bottles. Or, don't stabilize and drink it as is. To ferment it dry, your f.g. is usually around .990 to .996. Your o.g. should be in the neighborhood of 1.095 or so. But this is not at all crucial. Could be 1.080-1.100. Doesn't really matter.

this is really good stuff! The acid blend is not necessary, but makes it taste better. The pectic enzyme helps clear it and make it look good. I don't understand your question about the funnel- you don't need a funnel for this recipe. As far as siphon equipment to move the wine from the fermenting jug to the bottle or jug you'll be using- you just need some tubing 1/2 " in diameter. I got mine at the hardware store in the plumbing dept for 59 cents a foot. Buy three feet of that and you're all set. the only reason you siphon is to 1. prevent oxygen from reaching your wine, and 2. to get it off the lees (sediment that's in the bottom of the jug). If you drink it quickly, you don't have to worry about it oxidizing. You could probably just pour it into your bottles if you're careful about leaving the sediment undisturbed.

Lorena

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Old 08-15-2006, 02:14 AM   #4
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"After additional 30 days, stabilize, sweeten if desired and rack into bottles. Or, don't stabilize and drink it as is. To ferment it dry, your f.g. is usually around .990 to .996. Your o.g. should be in the neighborhood of 1.095 or so. But this is not at all crucial. Could be 1.080-1.100. Doesn't really matter."
Total beginner talking here...what does it mean to "stabilize" and how would i go about sweetening? Simply adding more sugar?
Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try something like this out very soon.

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Old 08-15-2006, 01:26 PM   #5
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When you add sugar to the wine, it'll restart fermention. I make my wines dry usually, but if you want to add sugar after it's done you need to stop fermentation. To do this, the wine is stabilized. This uses two chemicals, potassium sulfite and sorbate. Or you can buy "wine conditioner" or "wine stabilizer" at your LHBS. I add the sulfite in the amount of 1 tsp per gallon (or one tablet, if I'm using tablets) and 1/2 tsp sorbate per gallon. dissolve this in some warm water, put it in the new jug (or carboy) and rack your wine into it. Wait a couple of days with it under airlock to make sure it's stable by checking the s.g. daily. There should be no change in s.g. or airlock activity.

Then, you can sweeten if you want. If you want to sweeten, the best way is to make a sugar syrup by mixing 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup water and boiling till dissolved. Take some of the wine into a sample jar, and add a little sugar water to it until it tastes the way you want. If you're aging the wine, make it a little less sweet than you want because it'll taste sweeter after it ages for a while. When it tastes the way you like, take the s.g. Then, add sugar water to get the s.g. for the whole batch.

If you're not sweetening and not bottling (just drinking it from the jug), I wouldn't worry about stabilizing. The Welche's recipe without added sweetening is pretty darn good the way it is!

Lorena

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