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Old 01-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
Newbrew12
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Default Grapefruit Wine Question

I am going to start a 5g batch of grapefruit wine adapted from Jack Keller's recipe on his site. I don't know what it is, but the grapefruits that are available right now are some of the best I have ever had with absolutely no bitterness and I have always wanted to, and am very excited to get this started this weekend.

My plan is to do a master batch of 5g and then when the time to transfer to secondary comes around, break it up into three different secondaries and try a couple things. One will be standard, follow the recipe word for word, and the other two I want to oak. I was thinking of doing one batch with American oak chips and the second with French to observe the difference. My other thought was to try the same style of chips with the addition at various times. And my last option is to use the same style oak chips at the same time while back sweetening one and letting the other stay dry.

I have heard that certain fruits wines do better being oaked than others and to me, the characters that are said to be imparted sound like they'd balance well with the grapefruit flavor.

I've never oaked a wine before so I don't know the ins and outs. Does adding it at a certain time matter? Should I add at the first secondary transfer, 3rd, 4th, last, etc...? My wines have usually taken 4-5 rackings (sometimes 6) as I like to let it clear naturally. Does the amount of oak added matter? Originally I was going to put it in a couple small barrels but I don't want to mess it up with dealing with small size barrels for now so I'll definitely use the chips and I'm leaning towards the French chips instead of the American.

Anyway... any suggestions would be great!

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbrew12
I am going to start a 5g batch of grapefruit wine adapted from Jack Keller's recipe on his site. I don't know what it is, but the grapefruits that are available right now are some of the best I have ever had with absolutely no bitterness and I have always wanted to, and am very excited to get this started this weekend.

My plan is to do a master batch of 5g and then when the time to transfer to secondary comes around, break it up into three different secondaries and try a couple things. One will be standard, follow the recipe word for word, and the other two I want to oak. I was thinking of doing one batch with American oak chips and the second with French to observe the difference. My other thought was to try the same style of chips with the addition at various times. And my last option is to use the same style oak chips at the same time while back sweetening one and letting the other stay dry.

I have heard that certain fruits wines do better being oaked than others and to me, the characters that are said to be imparted sound like they'd balance well with the grapefruit flavor.

I've never oaked a wine before so I don't know the ins and outs. Does adding it at a certain time matter? Should I add at the first secondary transfer, 3rd, 4th, last, etc...? My wines have usually taken 4-5 rackings (sometimes 6) as I like to let it clear naturally. Does the amount of oak added matter? Originally I was going to put it in a couple small barrels but I don't want to mess it up with dealing with small size barrels for now so I'll definitely use the chips and I'm leaning towards the French chips instead of the American.

Anyway... any suggestions would be great!
Add your oak after your wine has cleared. Start by adding a small amount. Then taste weekly. Add more oak until desire level is achieved.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:23 AM   #3
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Nice! Never done grapefruit, but I love them too. I'd love to know what recepie you're using, and how it turns out.

I would oak two with the same oak, and backsweeten one. Nova is right, I would oak when you feel ready to change the wines profile. Hey, you may end up thinking its great as it is, so give it some time. Oak can be added at any time, but it needs time of its own to mellow and blend into the wine.

I would add pectic enzyme BTW. I see this as being a very crisp fruity drink. Hope it turns out great!

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:40 AM   #4
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30 large grapefruit
5 lb chopped raisins
Sugar to desired specific gravity
2 1/2 tsp pectin
5/8 tsp tannin
Campden, yeast starter, and yeast. Still deciding on which yeast

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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And then my oak plans of course

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Newbrew12 View Post
30 large grapefruit
5 lb chopped raisins
Sugar to desired specific gravity
2 1/2 tsp pectin
5/8 tsp tannin
Campden, yeast starter, and yeast. Still deciding on which yeast
:-)

Nice.
As a suggestion, I would go with Lalvins K1-1116 as its one I have used for 'non grape' environments with great results before.

Also, with that much chopped raisins adding tannins of their own, you may not need Tannin as well.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:01 AM   #7
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Ya I was wondering about that. Think the raisins will help with body? I'd rather leave em out but don't want a "thin" wine. I made a pineapple that's been in the bottle for about a year and its much thinner this far than I had hoped. Great flavor but... Idk can't explain. After more research idk about the oak at this point. I might still do a gallon of it that way just out of curiosity but it seems whites don't generally do well under oak. I will be making a bit of it a sparkling. Was drinking my carbonated apfelwein and it hit me how great that would be with a hint of grapefruit. So many ideas so little time!

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Newbrew12 View Post
Ya I was wondering about that. Think the raisins will help with body? I'd rather leave em out but don't want a "thin" wine. I made a pineapple that's been in the bottle for about a year and its much thinner this far than I had hoped. Great flavor but... Idk can't explain. After more research idk about the oak at this point. I might still do a gallon of it that way just out of curiosity but it seems whites don't generally do well under oak. I will be making a bit of it a sparkling. Was drinking my carbonated apfelwein and it hit me how great that would be with a hint of grapefruit. So many ideas so little time!
The raisins will give body and fermentables and tannins. But that doesn't mean they are the be all end all. They also add flavor which may or may not work for this brew! As for oaking, I stand by what I said earlier, taste it first, you may not want to oak!
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
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Ok. Well I'm going with 35 pounds of grapefruit, 3 pounds of chopped golden raisins, sugar to SG with goal of 11-12% expected alcohol content. Will decide on additives based off how the fruit measures. Will add water to make total of 6 gal to siphon one off for topping up.

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Old 01-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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Good deal. I wish you good luck!

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