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Old 02-19-2008, 06:28 AM   #1
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Default First wine - some questions...

I've made beer once before from a beer kit. It was a great success! Lots of bubbling and a nice end product.
This is my first wine experiment. The point was to see if I could try and make something drinkable from ingredients found at ANY grocery store in Finland.
I think I have a stuck fermentation. Its only been a day I know, but I was getting a little activity after 1 hour and the next day I expected crazy bubbles. It seems slower than the first hour now though!
Could someone check my documentation and see if i've made any fundamental mistakes or is this totally normal?
Thanks!

Quote:
Time of production: 18 February, 2008 - 21:00 (9pm)

Intro
I got real excited and rushed this one a bit. Everything here is non specialized, using ingredients from my local shop (Every food shop in Finland will have these exact ingredients). My vessel holds 6 liters.

Method
Boil about a liter of water.
Add 1 DL of sugar.
Wait for water to boil again.
Add 18g (a packet of Santa Maria brand) of powdered ginger.
Whisk until ginger has no clumps.
Wait to boil again.
Whisk some more.
Add to fermenting vessel and top up with water (about 5 liters total solution).
Allow to cool to about 26 degrees Celsius.
Crumble 1 cake of fresh bread yeast 50g into the solution.
Whisk the solution very well to aerate it.
Seal it and store at room temperature until rapid bubbling has stopped.


After notes
The biggest mistake I think was to over boil the ginger. Imagine you where making tea. Boil some water and when it has boiled, remove from heat and add the ginger. Whisk, then add the sugar. Like with tea, if you over boil it, it will taste bitter.
I think the ginger smelt a bit like burning when I left it on boil for a few minutes.
I also put the sugar in first. I don't know if this makes a difference or not.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:37 AM   #2
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Well, it sounds like you've made ginger flavored swill. Maybe it's just really late and my eyes are glazing over the recipe, but I read it twice and I don't see any fruit or fruit juice listed, which means you've made a mixture of alcohol, water, and burnt ginger. Personally, that doesn't sound too good. Also, metric confuses me, but it looks like you've added less than a 1/2 cup of sugar to 1.5 gallons of uhh 'wine'. That will give you an OG of 1.006 and 0.33% ABV when fermented to dryness, which would explain the quick fermentation. I don't mean to be harsh, but I'd honestly recommend dumping this stuff and trying again with a real recipe, or a wine kit.

So uhh is this post serious? I have a feeling you're messing with us.

EDIT: And 50g of "yeast cake" for a 1.5 gallon batch? Yeah, this must be a joke...

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
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Nope! No kidding, I'm just a total noob! I couldn't find a recipe on the net and I honestly didn't know you needed fruit because a friend of mine said you could make boose from anything.
So i guess i've used too much yeast and not enough sugar. I'm going to look on the net for something with fruit in and use the ginger as an added ingredient.
Would it even be safe to try this stuff?

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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Yes you can make booze out of anything. Yeast eats up sugar in a must, creating alcohol and co2. However, most agree that you need more flavoring to it. If you add a proper amount of sugar, you will essentially ferment ginger wine, but personally I have no idea what that would taste like.

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Old 02-19-2008, 05:26 PM   #5
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Are there recommended amounts of yeast to sugar to solution when making alcohol?
I've noticed a lot of recipes just state 'yeast' without the quantity.

Edit: forget that, just noticed it stated it on a packet i have just bought.

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Old 02-19-2008, 07:46 PM   #6
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I have a recipe for two or three things that maybe be something you're interested in in my recipe drop down. The Welch's grape juice wine (you can just leave out the pectic enzyme, acid blend, et) or apple juice wine, or the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. Those three actually taste good, and can be made with grocery store ingredients if you have to. (They would be better wine wine yeasts, but bread yeasts would ferment it but leave a weird flavor)

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Old 02-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew
I have a recipe for two or three things that maybe be something you're interested in in my recipe drop down. The Welch's grape juice wine (you can just leave out the pectic enzyme, acid blend, et) or apple juice wine, or the Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. Those three actually taste good, and can be made with grocery store ingredients if you have to. (They would be better wine wine yeasts, but bread yeasts would ferment it but leave a weird flavor)
Thanks! I haven't seen grape juice in the shops here, but i would like to see the apple recipe. Coincidently I stumbled upon Joe's orange mead whilst looking for an orange wine recipe early this evening. Being overly bored and impatient (see earlier post) I modified it because I don't have the honey yet.
Here it is...
Quote:
19th February 2008 - 21:00 (9pm)

1kg sugar
18g packet of ginger
25 raisins
2 medium size oranges
wine yeast
6 liter brewing vessel (fill to 5 liter level).

Heat about a liter of water until boiling, remove from heat, wait about 30 seconds and add ginger.
Whisk until dissolved and add sugar.
Whisk some more until sugar has dissolved.
Use potato peeler to the peel oranges chop into quarters and blend into a fairly smooth pulp.
Add pulp, raisins and ginger solution to brewing vessel.
Top up with water and whisk vigorously.
Add your desired wine yeast (See packet for amount to add) and whisk into solution.
Edit: Just noticed the recipes feature
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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Rule of Thumb 1: Fermented sugar water usually doesn't taste good. This time it looks like you've given the sugar water a bit more flavor with oranges and the like, but now you're missing the honey, which is probably the most important ingredient in this recipe. It's what makes it a mead (and not fermented sugar water aka swill). Also, blending the oranges may have released a lot of the bitterness in the pith, which isn't a good thing. Third, zesting isn't the same as removing the peel with a peeler.

Despite all this, you're getting closer to something that might be drinkable, but I'd still be very surprised if this ended up as something that one could enjoy. It looks like the biggest problem you're experiencing is impatience. Following a wine recipe is only hard because it involves a lot of patience. Patience to clean everything thoroughly, patience to get all the right ingredients, etc. Try again, and this time take everything slowly making sure to follow the recipe to a tee. Good luck.

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Old 02-19-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
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Alcoholic beverages have been around for tens of thousands of years. In that time, many people have written books on the subject.

It's not that I doubt your ability to all of a sudden, on your first attempt, while possessing absolutely no knowledge or direct experience in brewing or fermenting, come up with something that tastes good... it's just that your odds of success will be dramatically improved if you allow yourself to use the knowledge and experience of at least a couple of the millions of people throughout history who have brewed successfully. In this modern post-Gutenberg world we live in, there are ways of gaining access to others' knowledge through the use of books.

Perhaps even more interestingly than that, in this post-Al-Goreian world, we can even rely on the internet to gain this information from others.

I'm not trying to rip on you too hard here, but your recipes are like a blind man throwing darts at a wall. At least TRY to follow a recipe that has been successful for someone in the past.

Even if you successfully formulate a recipe that might be tasty, it might still come out bad if your sanitation or other practices are off. Until you have experience and are able to say, "I did everything right", you'll never even be able to trust your failures.

Anyway, my gut instinct tells me that you are trying to sneak ingredients out of your mother's cupboard without her noticing. What's the legal drinking age where you are? How old are you?

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Old 02-20-2008, 02:36 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I guess this is a great lesson about patience and yes i'm old enough to drink

Could someone tell me more about "Fleishmann’s bread yeast" from the mead recipe.
Is it dry, or fresh like this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C..._yeast_-_1.jpg
I'm going to do this one to the letter!

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