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Old 01-29-2010, 06:36 AM   #1
Aphelion
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Default Several Perturbing Neophyte Inquiries

I've been tossing around the idea of brewing all manner of inebrieating elixers for the better part of a year since my recent 21st (I have yet to actually buy a kit). I've come up with several questions, some more odd than others, since then. I'd appreciate any help.

To start off simple... raspberry wine. I read that there is not sufficient liquid in raspberrys and so you must add water. My question, can I make a pure raspberry mash, with no added water? Will this ferment properly, or is there the issue of too much sugars and quote, osmatic pressure causing hell on the yeast unquote. I'm sure you'd have a heck of a racking process (or just press and filter the juice?), and it would be low yeild since with all the solids and little juice, but the idea of pure fermented raspberry (or blackberry) juice sounds heavenly!

Now for the weirder stuff. Cooked grape juice wine doesn't sound appealing at first, but don't forget madiera. My questions...

1. Why don't I want to use a breif boil for my must (rather than use chemicals)?
- Side note: I'm sure this would vaporize off some of the wonderful volitiles and aromas that are desirable in wine, but still...

2. Can someone tell me how a cooked must wine just might turn out?
- IE: If I did this purposely.. employing a longer boiling time. Hey, if they do this with beer malts to caramlize and concetrate the wort, I'm curious how this could work for a home brewed wine (that isn't specificaly in the madiera style). I'm curious how cooking the must down to concetrate it and caramalize sugars would work for several things.. as in cider and mead as well.

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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Consider that a bottle of Campden tablets costs $3.00 -- so not a terribly large expense...

Boiling to pasturize is very effective... but not really terribly necessary.

Boiling tends to drive off many of the light aromatic chemicals that give wine it's flavor, body, etc... Frequently, you end up with something that doesn't taste quite like you think it should...

If you really want to try heating it up.... run it up to 160F for 30 minutes and it should be pasturized.... BUT.. Pasturized things are also perfect growth mediums for *Everything*.. not just the yeast you pitch! (Think about how easy it is to infect a Beer wort...) Use a cheap kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature... or you will end up boiling it... Keeping the lid on also helps keep some of those aromatics in the mix.

The other idea behind the Campden/sulphite additions is to inhibit/stop growth of wild yeasts, bacteria, fungus, during and after fermentation... Commercial yeast is very resistant to that sulphite... where wild yeasts and bacteria mostly aren't... so it won't start growing something wild and mysterious 2-days after pitching yeast.

The only big thing I would watch out for is to make sure your starting SG is high enough so that you push it to 13% ABV-- which is enough to kill most all types of wild nasty-beastie that likes wine more than you do...

But.. wine was made for 10,000 years before man had Campden tablets.... Have at it.

Thanks

John

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Using pure juice of raspberries, or pretty much ANY other berry (except grapes) Isn't done due to the acid content of the fruit. You might be surprised at how tart the fruit is without the sugars, which you're removing when you ferment. It will be so tart, it will be undrinkable.

Boiling the must will drive off flavour, AND will set pectins. This means your wine will have a "cooked" taste to it, or at least it will be percieved as an "off" flavour. The setting of pectins will cause your wine to be cloudy & never clear, this won't really influence the taste, but it won't look very good & depending on the level of pectins, could cause it to actually thicken a bit.

If you're really that curious, give it a shot with a 1 gallon batch. Who knows, you might just stumble upon the next big thing; and if it turns out less than favourable, you're only out the money for a 1 gallon batch. Regards, GF.

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Old 01-30-2010, 01:02 AM   #4
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Edit: Since posting and digging though the forum I've found several references to boiled fruit, even wines made from jelly and jam, as well as the bochet burnt mead thread.. safe to say my curioisty is sated now.

Might I use a high yeild juice fruit thats low in acid to balance the raspberries instead of water and sugar (a fruit that would blend well with it)? Some low acid grapes perhaps?

In Jon Iverson's Home Winemaking book, his recipe for raspberry liqueur calls for using heavy sugar syrup for the liquid, 4 pounds of cane/beet sugar to 2 quarts of water, to which is added to the raspberry mash (approx. 12 lb. of raspberries) (along with 5-7 lb. ripe bananas and 3 lb. raisins) to raise the Brix to approx. 35-40 degrees B. Later on, he advises adding more of the sugar syrup when it has fermented down to 5 degrees Brix, up to 10-15 Brix (to which brandy or everclear is added after fermentation to raise the alchohol to around 20%).

I'd like to know if using low acid high sugar juice could be used in place of the sugar syrup, without ruining the balance. I know any different ingredient is going to have a different amount of sugar, but I'm trying to avoid using the additions of plain sugar in any of my recipes, I'd like to use natural fruit sweetners as much as possible.

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Old 02-01-2010, 12:52 AM   #5
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Check out Jack Keller's Winemaking site. He has 10,000 recipes for every sort of fruit, vegetable, etc... I even saw a recipe in there for Oak Leaves wine and Acorn wine! I don't think he has a recipe for Grass clippings wine.. but I am sure he has it on his list somewhere...

Thanks

John

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