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Old 10-16-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
Khirsah17
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Default First Time Winemaker Questions

Hello all,

After years of brewing I decided to finally try my hand at wine. I must say, the resources on learning how to make wine are sub par in comparison to what's out there for beer. I was hoping to run through my procedure here quick and see if anyone has any suggestions on what I might be missing.

So I bought 110 pounds of wine grapes from California through a local distributor. Three different grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon. I'm going by the rule of thumb that it takes 12-15 pounds of grapes to make one gallon of wine.

I don't have any sort of device to extract the juice, so I'm removing the grapes from the stems by hand, putting them in a bucket and smashing by foot. The old fashioned (and cheapskates) way. Once that's said and done, strain some juice from the pulp and measure the gravity. Add sugar, if needed, to bring it up to 12-14% alcohol range.

Once the juice is in the glass jug, add a campden tablet and let it sit for 24 hours. Then rehydrate some dry yeast, add it in, and let it ferment out for a week before racking. Probably will ferment somewhere in the 75F range, as I have an adjustable fermentation fridge. In the succeeding stages, slowly bring it down in temperature.

In a nutshell, that's where I'm at. Someone told me that if I use grapes, I don't really have to worry about anything else. Like adding pectin enzymes, nutrients or anything to adjust the acids or enzymes. Is this true? He said I didn't even need to add yeast, but I'm going to anyways just because I'd rather be confident I have yeast at work rather than wild bacteria.

Does anyone have anything else I should consider or glaring flaws in my approach?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 10-16-2009, 08:39 PM   #2
outdoorsmadness
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sounds like you got it down pat to me.

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
kanielb1
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You could also get the juice concentrate from Williams

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
Khirsah17
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I probably will get a juice next time. Turns out it's CHEAPER to get the juice than buy the grapes... which makes no sense to me. But figured I'd try grapes the first time.

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