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Jeepsn beer 09-13-2007 06:18 PM

Home grape wine?
 
I am completely ignorant of the wine making process! I have some really good grapes on the vine right now and would like to make some wine out of them. Can someone give me a quik rundown of the process. Do I just smash the grapes,pour off the juice and boil. Pasteurize instead of boil? Or just throw it in a carboy with some yeasties. Degassing? what the hello is that? Please help me out with this one, I could get brownie points with the wife.

Yooper 09-13-2007 06:53 PM

Winemaking is easy- easier than beer, for sure! Grapes are the trickiest, though, believe it or not! Unless you are using wine grapes, you might have to experiment a little to figure out what works best with your kind of grapes.

As far as process, you NEVER want to boil or pasteurize your fruit. Fruit has pectin in it and it'll never work. (Think jam or jelly- that's from boiling fruit). You use campden tablets or potasium metabisulfite (same thing) to sterilize the must to kill wild yeasts and bacteria. Here's the best website I ever found on the process: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp

Also, he has many, many recipes for grape wines. I'm going to do this one next: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/nativew1.asp

Don't worry about degassing, there is no need with fruit wines as a rule. That usually happens with kit wines or wines that have been rushed to bottle. Just normal wine making with appropriate rackings will naturally degas.

Jeepsn beer 09-13-2007 08:03 PM

sounds good, I'll check out that site.

NYeric 09-14-2007 07:31 AM

I read on that site that white clover makes excellent wine....Is that true? Has anyone tried it?

I am thinking every summer I have a lawn full...............

ALPS 10-02-2007 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yooper Chick
Winemaking is easy- easier than beer, for sure!

Sure it is--- grape juice + yeast = wine. Simple.

Now, if you want it drinkable, it gets a little more involved.

If you want it to be good, expect some difficulty.

If you want it to be great, invest the next decade or ten.

Granted, there are less steps than beermaking....

Jeepsn beer 10-12-2007 02:31 AM

well the home grape wine is finished fermenting. I got aout 4 gallons of brilliantly clear white wine. Initial tasting is quite good. It didn't blow me away, but it is very drinkable. I still get a hint of sulfer smell from it which I hope will go away with age. The acidity and tannin seem to be inline with a commercial white. I'll bottle tomarrow and age it.

Yooper 10-12-2007 11:59 AM

If it's still carrying that sulfur smell, it'll fade with time I'm sure. I like to bulk age mine and bottle 6-12 months after fermentation is finished. I have found that some wines threw some sediment for almost a year.

My grape wine is now in secondary and it's a dark pink/light red. I think my grapes (which were never exactly identified) are a concord variant. They've got a definite Mogen David flavor to the juice.

Jeepsn beer 12-15-2007 07:32 PM

sulfer went away, the wine is crystal clear but slightly sour.

Yooper 12-15-2007 09:13 PM

Sour as in tart? Or sour as in vinegar? A little tartness is expected, and you can let it age. If it's sour, it could be contaminated though. Make sure you use campden tablets (1 crushed per gallon dissolved in a little water) in every other racking.

sTango 12-15-2007 09:23 PM

i made my own wine from our concord grapes. heres what I did, it made a beautiful blush the first time i did it:

1. pick grapes and removed from stems
2. layer grapes with some sugar in a fermenter bucket
3. add enough water to just cover grapes
4. let stand and ferment for 3-4 months
5. siphon out fermented juice and rack in a carboy for another 2-3 months.
6. bottle.

that is it.

its really easy. i just depended on the natural grape yeast and went (almost) old school (except for the sugar)


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