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-   -   I'll drink it if it kills me (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/ill-drink-if-kills-me-120372/)

Brewster2256 05-21-2009 08:24 AM

I'll drink it if it kills me
Picked the grapefruit tree of an old acquaintance and filled 3-4 boxes of huge yellow spotted fruits. Juicing them resulted in a tart, bitter drink. I have no experience making wine, and very little in brewing beer for that matter, but I decided to try my hand at a grapefruit wine.

Juiced the suckers until I had about 1/2 gallon of grapefruit juice, added a couple cups of juiced apricots, roughly 2 pounds of assorted sugars laying around the kitchen, and brought it all to a boil. I figured these grapefruits were very acidic, supposedly around 3.5, and I had a vague notion that baking powder was a fairly harmless basic compound - so in went a couple teaspoons of that. The only yeast I had around, were a couple containers of washed ale yeast I had in the fridge. After I cooled down the grapefruit concoction to around room temperature, I pitched the yeast in a 1-gallon wine jug and hoped for the best.

Any possibility of success?

Pogo 05-21-2009 12:15 PM

Ummm...any idea what the OG of the juices, GF+apricot, were before adding the sugar?

Any idea what the SG of the concoction is now?

Two pounds of sugar added to a one gallon batch is probably so sweet that any fermentation is now stalled!

I would have warmed the juice to add the sugars, myself, rather than boiled, but thats just me.

And, I would have used calcium carbonate, instead of baking (powder?) soda, to reduce the acid levels...and, I would have at least used ph test strips, if not a ph meter, to adjust the ph, rather than just making a stab in the dark...but, again, thats just me.

I'm thinking that this will never be drunk, at least as it sits now!


Brewster2256 05-21-2009 05:12 PM

Didn't bother with the gravity, just thought I'd let it ferment and see how it tasted. It's bubbling a bit slow at a bubble/4sec after ~9 hours. I think you're right about the sugar, especially with that much juiced fruit, although I don't think our grapefruits had much sweetness to 'em. Thanks for your input, we'll see what happens.

will_cbe 05-21-2009 06:25 PM

Baking soda is a base, and will help counter the acids.
Baking powder is mainly baking soda and cream of tartar. Done right, it's ph neutral. When you add water, the two ingredients mix and put off carbon dioxide. It's used to leven ph neutral batters, like biscuits.

jkpq45 05-22-2009 06:38 PM

I just can't stomach much grapefruit. In a soda (like Fresca) the flavor's pretty pleasant. I just can't eat 'em plain.

I vote bottle condition/keg this beast so it sparkles. Then serve over ice cubes and 7up (and more sugar, damn this stuff'll be tart).

Brewster2256 05-22-2009 08:03 PM

I came to check in on my grapefruit wine, in it's one gallon jug, and the fermentation was extremely active. It had filled my airlock with grapefruit juice which mixed with the rum I had filled it with. Luckily the pressure from the C02 kept the airlock liquid from draining back down into the wine. Considering I reused the recommended ale yeast for my IPA, I was wondering how long I should let it sit. Since its an ale yeast, I figured it wouldn't take as long as most fruit wines.

EoinMag 05-23-2009 01:29 AM

I made a grapefruit wine according to a jack keller recipe, it's good, but I don't like grapefruit so it's not to my taste. Before you ask, my wife is a big fan and I did it for her, so far most people who've tasted it go crazy for it and it's only three months old. In a year it'll rock the shop.

Rossnaree 05-25-2009 12:00 AM


Originally Posted by Brewster2256 (Post 1337383)
Any possibility of success?

ummm, ...in what? It killing you if you drink it? I'd say the chances are great! :D

IDK, kind of reminds me of taking all the paints in your palatte that you plan on using for your masterpiece, then deciding that since they'll all eventually be on the canvas in certain proportions anyhow, why not just blend them all together now and plop it on and call it good? :)

What the heck, you can always label it, "Shepherd's Pie Wine" or "Goulash Wine." :D :D :D

Brewster2256 05-25-2009 05:40 PM

A lot of activity coming out of that little one-gallon jug. I love really-really bitter drinks, (espresso/black coffee/whiskey and of course grapefruit juice) so I'm hoping that it'll turn out as an alcoholic version of the same taste. How long should I let it sit? Should I bother with a secondary fermentor?

Gremlyn 05-25-2009 06:58 PM

Let it sit until it is no longer fermenting, of course! Use your hydrometer as your guide. I would only rack to secondary if you plan on aging this beast a looooooong time.

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