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Old 08-10-2010, 01:56 PM   #31
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what's the SG now?
i would not increase the volume too much as you will be diluting flavor in doing so.
i would not personally use store juice to increase volume, some store juices have preservatives added which inhibit yeast activity, but more importantly, i don't think store juice (table grapes) brings much to the table as it were for wine. I would top off with inexpensive commercial wine in the aging stage if necessary to bring it to a small headspace though.

pureeing may have extracted more color than a typical crush. its an experiment for sure. heh.

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:03 PM   #32
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what's the SG now?
i would not increase the volume too much as you will be diluting flavor in doing so.
i would not personally use store juice to increase volume, some store juices have preservatives added which inhibit yeast activity, but more importantly, i don't think store juice (table grapes) brings much to the table as it were for wine. I would top off with inexpensive commercial wine in the aging stage if necessary to bring it to a small headspace though.

pureeing may have extracted more color than a typical crush. its an experiment for sure. heh.
I'd go with about 6 pounds of grapes per gallon, and dilute with water to get to the gallon (with the dissolved sugar). Most concord-type grapes (if it's concord, or catawba, etc) are very acidic and can make an unpleasant "straight" wine. I don't know what else to suggest, except take a look at Jack Keller's recipes for wild grape varieties and get some ideas on how he suggests doing this. Generally, I just smash up the grapes and put them in mesh bags (simulating a crusher) and then ferment about 5 days before "pressing" with my hands. I do some acid adjustments, but you certainly don't need to, especially if the must tastes good.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #33
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Ok this was at least 40-50 pounds of grapes so ~8 gallons, what I'm going to do is let out about a half gallon of the juice, and several scoops of the goop and put that in my 3 gallon carboy and then top that off with apple juice and shoot for a 1.100 SG, then I'll top off the remainder with water and sugar to 1.110 and make a 3 gallon batch of "experimental" apple/grape/elderberry wine and a 6 gallon batch of more traditional red wine.

I'll report back in a few months with my results

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Old 08-11-2010, 03:03 AM   #34
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I have pressed thousands of pounds of those grapes. Some years the acid is high, sometimes not. Other years we need to add sugar, sometimes not. Check your acid and brix and you will be fine. A blush wine this will not be. It will be dark and heavy. Chances are you will not like it unless you sweeten when you bottle. The addition of sugar drastically brings out the fruit. I prefer it blended with Niagra. It really makes the fruit explode. I have sweetened (after stabilizing) with "simple syrup" from a restaurant supply store. It has worked well, and no strange tastes developed. Table sugar works fine too.

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Old 08-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #35
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I have pressed thousands of pounds of those grapes. Some years the acid is high, sometimes not. Other years we need to add sugar, sometimes not. Check your acid and brix and you will be fine. A blush wine this will not be. It will be dark and heavy. Chances are you will not like it unless you sweeten when you bottle. The addition of sugar drastically brings out the fruit. I prefer it blended with Niagra. It really makes the fruit explode. I have sweetened (after stabilizing) with "simple syrup" from a restaurant supply store. It has worked well, and no strange tastes developed. Table sugar works fine too.
Anytime I have a wine of questionable taste I find that just throwing a splash of Sprite into the glass makes a world of difference.

So I sulphited the stuff last night mixed it up real good and added sugar and water to take it to about 2 inches from the top of a bottling bucket (so right around 6.5 gallons) I'll get an SG today and adjust with more sugar if necessary and then pitch yeast right before bed.

Using Lavlin 1118 yeast should get a pretty vigorous fermentation I'd guess.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:59 PM   #36
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Using Lavlin 1118 yeast should get a pretty vigorous fermentation I'd guess.
Vigorous indeed, SG today is .996 and I'm no sommelier but I think it's fairly acidic. Not undrinkable, hell I'm polishing off the test tube I took for testing with out any real scrunchy faces being made.

Guess I'll rack to secondary in the next few days on top of this handful of white oak chips I used to age some brandy in last year and then how long would folks recommend till I re-rack to remove it from the oak? Days, weeks, months, years even?

So far looks like it'll make a fairly decent deep red wine. So my pureeing of the grapes maybe wasn't detrimental to my success.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:04 PM   #37
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how long were those chips in the brandy? chips will become neutral in about 6 weeks or less - meaning they will stop imparting any oak character... on oak, in an experimental batch i would taste at weekly intervals and rack when you have achieved the oak character you seek.

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Old 08-30-2010, 01:15 PM   #38
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how long were those chips in the brandy? chips will become neutral in about 6 weeks or less - meaning they will stop imparting any oak character... on oak, in an experimental batch i would taste at weekly intervals and rack when you have achieved the oak character you seek.
Hmm I don't remember exactly but it was at least several weeks, they've been in the freezer in a zip loc baggy for at least a year now. I can get some fresh chips at the the LHSB I mean they're not exactly an expensive item to go cheap on or anything
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:00 AM   #39
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Racked my wine to a secondary, added my peach juice (finally found it) and some oak chips. Took a test glass just now and hell, this is good damned wine. Little bit acidic in the bite but it's quite drinkable I'd say.

Gonna get a small glass again in a week and see if my oak chips impart any flavor, it was a pretty good sized bag of chips so hopefully I'll get some. If I don't oh well, such is life, better luck next time.

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Old 10-04-2010, 04:42 PM   #40
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I am ready to bottle, should I simply rerack and put in some clarifier (I have a packet of that chitin stuff) and bottle after a day or two, or should I do more?

I remember on my last wine kit it actually had me aerate the wine during the end which seems counter to everything I've learned about beer. Should I aerate when I put in the clarifier? I'll also sulfite it as I bottle since I plan to try and age a few of the bottles for as long as I can stand it.

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