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Old 06-25-2013, 05:00 AM   #1
Danny_
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Default my first attempt

ok, this is my first attempt at wine making, my only other experience in making wine was while serving my debt to society. i read a few posts, but im not really sure what the heck im doin when it comes to making somethin that actually tastes good. heres what i got goin on...

i found an old empty gallon wine jug, i took a can of fruit cocktail, smushed it up and let it sit in the jug with a cup or two of water for about two days, heard it gives off a natural yeast if u let it sit. then i put in four cups of sugar and shook the heck outta it. I added two of them containers of welches frozen grape juice concentrate and water, and by some dumb luck i found a small pack of red star active dry yeast .25 in the cabinet that i just threw in there. put a balloon on the top with a rubber band. It started to inflate in about six hours so i put a few pin holes in it so it wouldnt blow off... its been goin about 24 hours. Appreciate all suggestions.

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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I did a post about "balloon bottle" wines a while back. You seem to have done essentially the same thing. This doesn't produce anything amazing, but it's a good way to step into wine making.

A few things...

1) Good job going for the wine jug. Glass is better thank a flimsy old milk jug or the like.

2) If you want to keep it easy I put up a easy concentrate wine recipe you could look at. It's scaled for 5 gallons. So you can scale it down, or just pick up one of the 5 gallon blue water jugs at walmart/lowes etc.

3) Fresh fruit has wild yeast on them that has settled there by virtue of being outside. This is how they got fermentation going back in the day before you could buy cultured yeasts. The fruit cocktail almost certainly has no yeast in it or it would burst the can sitting on the shelf. It has been pasteurized and processed to kill all the critters (including yeast) inside the can. So good job tossing in the yeast. Was it just bread yeast?

4) I always put everything in at once give it a good mix to dissolve everything and add oxygen then cover it up.

5) So I'd say your next steps to improve are...

a. upgrading from bread yeast to wine yeast. If you can find a store it's like 45 cents a package. If not it's available online.

b. Upgrade your ingredients I try to stay away from canned stuff, but I do some nice concentrate based wines. Walmart has a shockingly good assortment of fruit concentrates. Or you could go all fruit if you have access. Check out Jack Keller's site, if it's possible to ferment something into wine, he's done it.

c. Upgrade your equiptment. Carboy (to replace wine jug), corker/capper (for when you're done), bottles (start collecting and cleaning empties now), and an airlock (to replace your balloon).

d. Start exploring this site and see all the subtle things you can do to make a quality beverage. The people here are helpful and answer questions quickly. If not just send me a private message and I'll get back to ya as quick as I can.

HAPPY BREWING!! Welcome to the addiction.

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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thx for the feedback, the yeast i used isnt bread yeast, it was a small packet of red star yeast. i may put another in it since there is four cups of sugar. any ideas on how long this will take to be done?

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Old 06-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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I would top it up with water to make it an even gallon. other than that what you have done would probably turn out okay in a few weeks. it's not going to be a great wine, but I see no reason why it shouldn't be good.

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Old 06-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_ View Post
thx for the feedback, the yeast i used isnt bread yeast, it was a small packet of red star yeast. i may put another in it since there is four cups of sugar. any ideas on how long this will take to be done?

What kind of yeast though? Red Star is the brand. They make all kinds beer yeast verities, wine yeasts of different styles, high tolerance distillers yeast, yes, even bread yeast. The kind style of yeast you pick can be as important as any other ingredient

Keep it out until your balloon starts to deflate a little, then move it to the fridge if you can. It'll help the yeast to quit and settle out. Then just wait for everything to settle out and clear. I was drinking my balloon bottle wine three weeks after I started it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:20 AM   #6
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basically what you are making is "prison wine" only you are using glass and not a plastic garbage bag. You should check out yoopers frozen concentrate recipe, it is what I started my wine making adventure with and it turns out pretty good if done correctly.

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Old 06-29-2013, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brazedowl View Post
Keep it out until your balloon starts to deflate a little, then move it to the fridge if you can. It'll help the yeast to quit and settle out. Then just wait for everything to settle out and clear. I was drinking my balloon bottle wine three weeks after I started it.
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Originally Posted by Goofynewfie View Post
I would top it up with water to make it an even gallon. ...
What they said.

btw sounds like it will turn out somewhere's around 14%- 15% once topped up to a gallon and fermented as far as it will go. With the grape juice and the fruit might be good for sangria.

When it's done and clear, transfer (siphon) the clear wine to another container, add some chopped fruit - slices of oranges, lemons and limes ... maybe berries of some sort, a bit of sugar to sweeten just a bit, and if you have it some brandy - 4oz or so (common in sangria), chill it in the icebox to mull for a few hours ... then add maybe some seltzer/soda to give it some fizz. Something on the grill ... a few friends ... Saúde! ("Cheers"),
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:56 AM   #8
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Here's a fairly simple recipe for concentrate wines. I used Old Orchard Apple/Cherry.

3lbs raw cane sugar
1 tsp nutrient
1 1/2 tsp acid blend
1/4 tsp tannin
1/8 tsp pectic enzyme
1 campden tab
3 cans old orchard apple/cherry blend
water to 1 gallon

I used Lalvin EC-1118, but there are others that will work. It was all I had. From what i have read, it should have a high yeast profile in the finished product, but I didn't notice it in the apple/cherry blend, however I did notice in straight apple wine I made from farmed cider.

maybe Montrachet, but a lil less sugar perhaps. I was aiming for the EC-1118's max alc content with the 3 lbs of sugar.

Maybe reduce sugar to 1 1/2 lbs, I think maybe any good wine yeast and whatever flavor of juice concentrate you choose could be substituted in my recipe above.

I didn't want to use my 6 gal ale pale to primary a 1 gal batch, so I mixed everything in one 1 gal jug and after pitching yeast I split it into two 1 gal jugs for primary.After about 10 days I re combined into 1 gal.

Sanitize any equipment your gonna use! Sanitizer is great, bleach may work in a pinch, but make sure to rinse with distilled water and dry thoroughly.

Mix evrything but yeast on the first day. wait 24 hrs for the campden tabs to do their magic. The re hydrate your yeast according to directions and toss it in. Agitate it a bit to oxygenate the mix, I use an empty airlock for the next 24 hrs. When fermentation begins I fill the airlock and wait 10 days to rack, then re rack evry 21 days till it's as clear as you like! I would rack it at least twice after primary. The wines i have made this way are delicious right out of the jug, so I drink a lot of it right away and only bottle 1 from each batch. Larger batches I bottle two, 1 dry and 1 sweet, experimenting with sweetness and aging.

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