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Old 07-25-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
pernox
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Default Need a real sweet wine recipe

After taking a sip of every sort of beer I've thrown at her and wrinkling her nose at all of it, and doing the same with every wine she's ever been presented at a family gathering, my beloved wife has finally found a drink (other than Mike's Hard Pomegranite or a white russian) that she likes; Arbor Mist.

I would really love to be able to make some for her, with all the patience she shows my beer making habit it's the very least I could do...

Can someone point me in the right direction? I've seen the Island Mist kits, but they're a little spendy at $80. If she doesn't like my Arbor Mist clone, it's likely going to find its way to the drain. If there's no cheaper way to experiment, I'll grab one, but I'm all about saving a dime where I can, and I'm used to buying grain for $.39/lb and hops a pound at a time @ $12 or so... $80 for a batch of anything is sort of a sticker shock!

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Old 07-25-2010, 02:38 AM   #2
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1 Gallon recipe

1 gallon Welch's Red Grape juice (red, not the concord)
1 pound of sugar
Lalvin D-47 yeast



Ferment til done, stabilize with sorbate and camden, then back sweeten with more juice or sugar.

It will be ready to drink soon, will clear easily if you rack and let it sit for a couple weeks after fermentation. You can't carbonate in the bottle after stabilizing and sweetening so it won't be arbor mist, but it will be sweet and straightforward. You can experiment with just about any kind of juice to make different "flavors" like arbor mist comes in, blackberry, white grape/peach, etc etc just using commercial juices.

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Old 07-25-2010, 02:43 AM   #3
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If she likes Arbor Mist, she probably won't like many homemade fruit wines unless you ferment them out and sweeten. Even then, they are way too "winey" for someone who likes Arbor Mist.

Those Island Mist kits are probably exactly the right thing for her. I've seen them on sale for under $50. Keep in mind that they make 6 gallons, so you get 30 bottles for that price tag. My friend likes box wine and sprite, and she LOVES the Island Mist kits. She's always making one called "Mango Citrus Symphony" and thinks it's great. I'm more of a wine snob, and don't care for them at all.

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Old 07-25-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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I would think that Ed Wort's Apfelwein pulled at 3 to 4 weeks, crash cooled and force carbonated would be the cheapest test? I dunno, seems it would still have some sweetness as she wants with no other additives, well added? I could be wrong though.

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Old 07-26-2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbyebluesky82 View Post
1 Gallon recipe

1 gallon Welch's Red Grape juice (red, not the concord)
1 pound of sugar
Lalvin D-47 yeast



Ferment til done, stabilize with sorbate and camden, then back sweeten with more juice or sugar.

It will be ready to drink soon, will clear easily if you rack and let it sit for a couple weeks after fermentation. You can't carbonate in the bottle after stabilizing and sweetening so it won't be arbor mist, but it will be sweet and straightforward. You can experiment with just about any kind of juice to make different "flavors" like arbor mist comes in, blackberry, white grape/peach, etc etc just using commercial juices.
So the sorbate and camden will kill off the yeast, which will allow me to backsweeten with whatever I'd like, if I read correctly? I could go ahead and force carb and bottle it off from there.

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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
If she likes Arbor Mist, she probably won't like many homemade fruit wines unless you ferment them out and sweeten. Even then, they are way too "winey" for someone who likes Arbor Mist.

Those Island Mist kits are probably exactly the right thing for her. I've seen them on sale for under $50. Keep in mind that they make 6 gallons, so you get 30 bottles for that price tag. My friend likes box wine and sprite, and she LOVES the Island Mist kits. She's always making one called "Mango Citrus Symphony" and thinks it's great. I'm more of a wine snob, and don't care for them at all.
Thanks for the recommendations - I'll drink wine if it's put in front of me, but the things she likes taste more like over-sweetened soda to me, so I'm not really sure I can differentiate between wine, good wine, bad wine, and fruity-sorta wine. I didn't spend a long time pricing out the kits - fifty bones sounds a lot more reasonable, particularly with a six gallon batch. Having not made wine, and gotten used to the beer process, I see six gallons and think "well, it'll be five gallons going into the keg after I leave the trub in the bottom of the primary and secondary.."

...Except, there's no hops or break protein to worry about, and probably nothing more than a thin layer of yeast to rack off of, right?

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Originally Posted by Selfsufficient View Post
I would think that Ed Wort's Apfelwein pulled at 3 to 4 weeks, crash cooled and force carbonated would be the cheapest test? I dunno, seems it would still have some sweetness as she wants with no other additives, well added? I could be wrong though.
This might be a good experiment, as I'd like to try some for myself, and I could always sweeten half a batch.

Thanks for the help, lady and gentlemen. =)
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:38 PM   #6
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So the sorbate and camden will kill off the yeast, which will allow me to backsweeten with whatever I'd like, if I read correctly? I could go ahead and force carb and bottle it off from there.

Thanks for the help, lady and gentlemen. =)
Technically not kill the yeast, but just inhibit it from restarting fermentation. Fermentation would have to be essentially "done" and have a stable FG to use the camden and sorbate before sweetening. But if you could do that then force carb and bottle well.... you could experiment and get dang close to Arbor Mist fruit soda wines. Save your arbor mist and champagne bottles!

My gf likes Arbor Mist, and I will drink some of the varieties without complaint like the Blackberry Pinot Noir, even though I chuckle to myself about the name. Some of the others are just plain awful though. Have fun experimenting.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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Actually, bluesky, Campden WILL kill the yeast, or at least most of it. That's why it's generally used in fruit wines in the must 24 hours before adding the yeast you want in there- it kills all the wild yeast and then the SO2 that it makes (which is what does the killing) evaporates out and away, allowing your desired yeasties to thrive. You're right about the sorbate, though. That does inhibit fermentation by inhibiting yeast reproduction. So you kill off almost all the yeast, and those that are left can't reproduce to make up for those that died. Hence, fermentation is stopped!

If you're looking for something sweet, tasty, and not terribly alcoholic...well, I really can't help you. However, I have a recipe for a pyment that I find incredibly tasty, if a little bit heady (read: strong!).

15 qts Concord grape juice (from costco. ~$22, leaves you with an extra 3 qt bottle for drinking)
15 lbs Kirkland honey (from costco. ~$30, in 3 5-lb bottles)
1 packet montrachet wine yeast

Your OG will be around 1.155 or so (+/- 0.005, depends on the honey and juice). I have no idea what the FG is, as I haven't tested it yet, but it's still quite sweet and AFAIK montrachet tops out at around 12% ABV or so. It could theoretically be up to around 20% at that OG, but I highly doubt it's anywhere near that. I should probably take a reading on it today...Have to wait until after work, though!

Also, Austin Homebrew Supply has the Island Mist Kits for around $65 for most of them. A couple are $85-95, but most are around $65. Just FYI. There's also the $8 shipping to consider, but if you're already buying some other things the shipping doesn't really add all that much to the cost.

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