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Old 01-06-2010, 02:51 AM   #1
spider87
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Default First Wine

I had read about it for a while before hand and I'm using, after looking around on here, what seems like a very primitive method. I have a gallon of grape juice and some wine yeast. I put a cup of regular white sugar in the grape juice, put the wine yeast (activated) in to the mixture and put a balloon on top with a hole in it and let it go. It's been going strong for 12 days now (since 12/23/2009). Now I tried once before, with apple juice, and it stopped doing anything before it cleared up (which is what I read you are supposed to wait for). I had used the same mixture (1 cup of sugar and 1 packet of yeast to .5 gals of apple juice). But anyway I pulled it out and tried filtering it and stuff and failed and it ended up tasting as if I was drinking bread (I DID use bread yeast in this one).


SO, aside from using bread yeast, what did I do wrong in the first one? I am concerned because this batch seems to be losing activity without clearing up as well. Am I destined to fail with my grape juice batch as well?

Also, what's a good way to filter out yeast(for future reference?) I tried a double metal mesh which I had doubted would work. I also tried a coffee filter which, aside from being disgustingly slow, did nothing at all. So any tip there would be great as well.

Thanks for the help.



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Old 01-06-2010, 03:02 AM   #2
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It only clears up once fermentation stops and you let it sit for several weeks to months.



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Old 01-06-2010, 03:05 AM   #3
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Well I read that small amounts like this are fairly quick. Maybe 15-25 days? The thing is, the balloon has deflated almost completely and there are very few bubbles (I know I wait til it stops bubbling completely but I'm asking questions not acting), wouldn't this mean that fermentation has stopped? Or is it ready for drinking as quickly as fermentation has stopped but it doesn't become quality until it's aged for a bit? I don't want to make it and then spend months waiting for it to be ready only to find out I screwed it up at the start.

Edit:
Forgive me, I'm still a newb, but I read this:

As an alternate buy a gallon jug of apple juice (no preservatives), pour yourself a glass (for head space) pour in 1 cup of regular cane sugar, and 1 pack of wine or ale yeast, replace the cap just loose enough to allow the CO2 to escape. In 3-5 days you have hard cider. Let it settle, pour off into an empty leaving the trub. Foolproof.

Along with many many other pages and am just trying to get some kind of proof of concept out of this before I go to the extents of 5 gallon carboys and months of aging.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:10 AM   #4
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Welcome to HBT!

Not leaving it long enough was probably your one of your problems with the first batch. With wine and cider timing should be in months not days. The other problem is aerating the heck out of a fermented product by trying to filter it.

Time will always clear your beverages but fining agents can hurry it a bit. You might want to read up on wine fining agents like Sparkolloid.

Also, buying a 79 cent airlock wouldn't hurt either.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:12 AM   #5
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Where did you read that bit of crap? Really, you are probably better off reading the stickies and threads on here where folks are into making fine beverages instead of cheap swill.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:19 AM   #6
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Haha, I googled 'Brewing your own wine at home'. Or something along those lines. As I said before, my first attempt I want to make a drinkable cheap wine just as a proof of concept. I know that sounds stupid because I know it works and everything but I mean proof that I can do it and that I'm doing it correctly. Once I make a drinkable wine that I made from grape juice or something, I plan on making this a hobby. Just for now, I'd like to have a starting point. Kind of like you wouldn't try to build a racecar without having build a few sedans before. I just want some simple concept that I can build off of.

I don't mean to sound naive or lazy I just am a noob and want to make sure that what I'm trying to accomplish at this point is clear before I lay out for the tigers haha.

Thanks guys.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:34 AM   #7
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I was just giving you a tiny bit of crap about the airlock.
Really, cider is about the easiest thing to make and there are only a few things you can mess up. Sanitation, oxidation, and using bad yeast are some things that can go wrong. Your first batch probably would have been okay if it had been left for a while longer.

This is a good thread to read although with its gazillion posts it takes a while.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-i-love-apfelwein-14860/

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:44 AM   #8
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I figured the cider would be a good thing to revisit. Now I have Red Start 'Pasteur Champagne' Wine Yeast. I wonder how this grape juice wine will turn out....

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:50 AM   #9
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Grape juice and bread yeast are a time-honored, if not extremely tasty, way to start out. That was my first wine as well. I'd bet that probably a third of the people on HBT wine forums either started with a batch or made one eventually. It's the first wine Terry Garey starts beginners with in her "Joy of Home Winemaking," a very popular wine book.

Here's what you can expect:

It will take a while to clear--bread yeast doesn't settle well.
It will be sweet. Bread yeast has a low alcohol tolerance. The yeast will die before the sugar is gone. But if you're partial to Manichiewitz, you'll probably like it.
It will taste yeasty unless you age it several months. If you like eating raw pizza dough while drinking a grape Nehi, this is the wine for you.
It won't taste like regular wine. Concord grapes have a different flavor than wine grapes. See the Manichiewitz comment above.

That all being said, it's not the end of the world to make a batch of Welch's & Fleischmann's every so often. But there's better stuff out there waiting for you.

I'd recommend reading up on apfelwein and trying your hand at it or cider. And get a copy of Garey's book. And let your Welch's wine age and clear while you're doing that. Try it in a couple of months and I think it will probably taste decent.

edit-- I re-read your post. I think I understand; you originally did a batch of apple cider with bread yeast, and now you're doing a grape juice batch with wine yeast. OK, the comments about bread yeast still stand, and for your grape wine batch, letting it age will help immensely. Welcome to homebrewing!

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Old 01-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input guys, I have been reading the sticky about apfelwein and it sounds very tasty. We should be moving in 2 months so I'm going to hold off making it until then so I don't have to transport it. My other question is, my grape juice wine has pretty much stopped any action, do I still just let it sit there? It's not very clear as of yet but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. Won't it start to mold if I let it just sit there?

Thanks for all the help guys and the kind welcomes!



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