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Old 08-25-2010, 01:14 AM   #1
boucheman414
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Default couple of questions about wine brewing

Hey everybody! I am new to this site, just happened to stumble upon it while looking for a recipe to make some muscadine wine. Very nice site! I just have a couple of questions before i begin trying to make the wine.

First, i was thinking of using a recipe i saw in these forums...this one~~~>http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/muscadine-wine-106022/
But i will have to cut the recipe probably in half because i only have one muscadine vine to work with, and it wasn't taken very well care of before we moved here, it hasn't been trimmed properly in probably ages. Anyways, my first question is: Are all of these extra steps ABSOLUTELY necessary? meaning waiting for years to drink it, testing it with hydrometers and acidity kits and stuff.
Second, Do i HAVE to buy a carboy & airlock to hold it in during fermentation? Or can i use something else like a large jar with just a screw-on lid.

The reason i ask these questions is because i have never made wine before, so this will be my first time(like a trial batch). I just want to try it out and see how it goes before actually spending money and time to making it. I mean i know it takes time to ferment, but if i don't absolutely have to have all the other stuff, then i would like to try it like that first. I will go through all the steps of racking and such because from what i read that's a pretty important step. Any advise would be much appreciated! Thanks!!

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Old 08-25-2010, 02:28 AM   #2
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Look up Yooperbrew. She is a personal hero of mine and also makes wine. PM her and I am sure she can point you to all the information you could need.

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
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I too am completley new to this. I have several vines going wild on my grandfather's farm and decided this is the year to go for it and finally try my hand at wine making.

Ill be using a 5 gallon water jug for fermentation.
The yeast Ill use came from the grocery store, its called Fleishmann's.
I have no campden tablets or fancy cleaning stuff; Ill prob be using bleach.

Other than that, I have no freakin' clue what Im doing. If it wasnt for this site and others like it I wouldnt even be trying this!

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Old 08-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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I think the hydrometer is a must, especially trying for the first time. This will tell you how much sugar you need to add and how the fermentation is going, etc. You can easily make something that will get you drunk by adding yeast to sugary water or fruit juice but making something pleasurable to the taste requires a lot more attention to the details.

You can take short cuts on stuff or equipment but the chance of spoiling your batch of wine is much greater... although it will still get you drunk.

Don't use a jar with a screw on lid during fermentation because the yeast produces carbon dioxide that will need to escape. You can use a clean plastic bucket with a towel covering it if you are just experimenting.

A carboy with an airlock for racking is nice because you can virtually eliminate the wines exposure to oxygen while allowing gas to leave the the vessel when it is stored. Also the first racking there is a slow residual fermentation happening that will produce co2 that needs to escape. You can make serviceable homemade airlocks with some tubing and an empty 2 liter. Google around for that one.

The testing kits and additives will refine the wine and help get uniform results between batches.

You will be surprised how much a year of aging can do for the wine.

So I guess it really depends on the results yo are going for. Do you want a wine that you would want to impress others or are you going for some hooch?

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Old 08-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Do you want a wine that you would want to impress others or are you going for some hooch?
I want it to be enjoyable, thats for sure. The only ones who will be drinking this are several friends and the better half of myself.

I have the hydrometer! I called my dad last night because he bought a home beer brewing kit a few years back. Asked him about a hydrometer and he hooked me up. Its one of the simple glass ones, kind of like a thermometer. Its a relief finding one and not having to wait forever for it to come through the mail.

Still have no campden. Im going to try without it and hopefuly all turns out well
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
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Campden is cheap and I would recommend it if you want the wine to be enjoyable. Keeps things sanitary and will stop fermentation from restarting when you age the wine. Best of luck, once you start making one batch you will want to try to make all different kinds!

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Old 08-29-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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I just want to try it this first time to see what kind of results i can get without forking over money for stuff that i might not absolutely need.. You have made it pretty clear that i will need a hydrometer, which i will get. I will probably also get a carboy & airlock, i would do it with a bucket and a cover over it, but from what i read it seems that way could let in too many unwanted intruders(germs) and i will get some campden. lol i guess thats everything that i was talking about earlier that i didnt want to get, but if you say it will make that big of a difference, then ill get it. I do want it to taste good and i will probably be giving out a bottle here and there so that's another reason why i want it to be good.

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Old 12-27-2010, 06:46 AM   #8
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Well, I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've been dealing with school and what not. Anyways, I decided to freeze the muscadine grapes for now to get a little more experience before I tackle the grapes. The wine I decided to go with is an apple lemon mix recipe that I got out of a wine making book that I bought to help me out. I just racked it for the first time a week ago and all seems to be going good so far. I haven't gotten a hydrometer yet but I plan to be ordering one along with a couple of other things next week or so. I haven't noticed any funny smells or other major problems yet, the only thing I'm worrying over is the clarity of the wine. It is a bit clearer now than it was a couple of days after I started it, but I'm just unsure of how clear it's suppose to be. When I racked it into the seconds bottle I washed the bottle out with a campden solution but didn't rinse the solution out(I read not to rinse it out). Before I put it back to rest, I mixed another 1/2 tsp. of pectic enzyme in(also read about that but was kind of confused). Have I just destroyed my wine? Or was this the right thing to do?

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Old 12-27-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Extra campden won't hurt.

How long has it been sitting. "A couple of days" is only a blink in wine-time.

Six weeks or longer is a short time, six months is a normal time, a year is normal.

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Old 12-27-2010, 05:06 PM   #10
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I started the batch in early November and I just racked it for the first time a week or two ago. From what I understand, it should be racked at least monthly and over time it would settle out. I'm just worried that by adding the extra pectic enzymes I've doomed the whole batch.

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