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Old 07-11-2006, 07:25 PM   #1
Valor
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Default Newbie brewing wine with mr beer

Hey guys, nice forum wish I had found it sooner. Anyways let me introduce myself, my name is David and I've been brewing for a few months with a mr beer brewing kit that i received as a gift. It's pretty fun and I've brewed 6 different beers already and just took my first attempt at wine (in the fermenter right now). Anyways I found a simple recipe for homemade wine and decided to try it. This is what i used, 8 cans of frozen welch's frozen grape juice concentrate, about 1 1/4 cup of sugar, water, and brewing yeast that i had sitting around for a few months. Together the whole thing comes out to a little over 2 gallons of liquid. Now usually when I brew mr beer's beer I see fermentation start in 12 hrs or so, with this wine its almost been 24 hours and I do see some activity but very little. There are very few bubbles and I am wondering if there is enough sugar from the grape juice and sugar to ferment with the amount of water I put in. I am thinking it may be taking awhile to get started bcuz the yeast was a few months old and maybe the liquid wasnt warm enough when I put the yeast in, the liquid was prolly lukewarm at best. Anyways any comments would be appreciated.

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Old 07-11-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
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You need to go to the wine thread.


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Old 07-11-2006, 09:38 PM   #3
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It's possible that there's enough preservatives in the grape juice that it is inhibiting your yeast from working.

Even if it did ferment, you do know that it's still going to taste just like Welchs grape juice (with alcohol when your done?

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Old 07-11-2006, 11:33 PM   #4
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It's possible that the grape juice you used had sulfites in it, which does inhibit fermentation. It is also possible that it is fermenting just fine- wine typically does not explode like beer does when fermenting. Wine does not usually develop a krausen or a cap either. It's usually slow and steady.

A couple of things to remember- you must protect your must from air by using an airlock after primary fermentation. That is to say- I start my wines in a bucket, loosely covered with a towel to keep things from falling in. But I ALWAYS have used campden tablets first to kill bacteria and other undesirables. Then, when fermentation slows down (after a week or so), it goes into a airtight container with an airlock. An airlock works, but if you have a latex balloon, you can use that instead. Or post again or PM me, and I'll try to help with other ideas (a blow off tube, a flutter valve, etc) Because it's a slower ferment getting started, there is more of a chance for infection if you let air get to it- especially if you don't use sulfites or boil it first. Wine yeast is preferred over brewers or bakers yeast because it would be more tolerate of higher alcohol levels.

A good, simple recipe looks like this:

2 cans (11.5 oz) Welch's 100% frozen grape concentrate
1-1/4 lbs granulated sugar
2 tsp acid blend
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
water to make 1 gallon
wine yeast
Bring 1 quart water to boil and dissolve the sugar in the water. Remove from heat and add frozen concentrate. Add additional water to make one gallon and pour into secondary. Add remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover with napkin fastened with rubber band and set aside 12 hours. Add activated wine yeast and recover with napkin. When active fermentation slows down (about 5 days), fit airlock. When clear, rack, top up and refit airlock. After additional 30 days, stabilize, sweeten if desired and rack into bottles.

You're a little heavier on grape juice and light on the sugar, but it might equal out just fine. Acid blend is for flavor (to balance the acids) and pectic enzyme helps clear out haziness caused by fruit. Neither is necessary, but if you try a recipe like this next time, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

If you are seeing activity (even slight), leave it alone and keep it around 70-75 degrees. You'll have wine when you're done, but the taste might not be great.

Instead of using your Mr. Beer to make wine, it's better to just use a one gallon glass jug with an airlock. You want oxygen initially to get to your must, and you don't have that with your Mr. Beer. The other thing, with your Mr. Beer, you WANT co2 to stay in the machine, because that's what carbonates your beer. You don't want carbonation with wine.


Happy fermenting,
Lorena

(I hope a moderator can move this to the right forum)

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Old 07-12-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
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To be honest wine can sometimes take a couple of days to get going. I would wait until 48hrs has past before I worried about it.

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Old 07-14-2006, 04:07 PM   #6
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Hey guys thx for the replies. I had pretty much dubbed my wine a failure then all of a sudden fermentation started. I checked it wednesday morning and it seemed like there was less activity then the day before, practically no bubbles, then I checked it again before bed and it had just exploded. It is fermenting right now still going strong. I can smell the alcohol when I am a few feet away, which I guess is an indication of a strong batch. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.

Lorenae thx for the reply and recipe for the wine. I will definetly give it a try when I am done with this batch, but where can I go about finding acid blend, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient. I dont know of any brew shops around my area, do you know of any reliable places online where I could order these?

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Old 07-15-2006, 01:57 AM   #7
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There are many places online- I have ordered from Austin Home Brew and Lil Ole Winemaker Shoppe. Both are reasonably priced and quick. You also can order the wine yeast from them. It comes dry in a package like bread yeast. You probably have a home brew shop near you, to save money on shipping. Those dry ingredients are pretty cheap, and you get enough to last for a long time. You need 1 package of yeast for up to 5 gallons of wine, but in the other things you use 1 tsp or 2 tsp of a package. If you're ordering anyway, get a couple of bungs to fit your container (for example, if you're using 1 gallon jugs) and a couple of airlocks. These are cheap and really important to keep air out of your must.

I've made wine from rhubarb, blackberries, dandelions, etc. Fairly cheap and easy, but it does take a long time to ferment and age. Welche's recipe should be good and drinkable in a month.

Lorena

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Old 07-15-2006, 09:28 AM   #8
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austin homebrew has free shipping > $60.

they have a lot of stuff.

very helpful, too.



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