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-   -   Watermelon Wine (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/watermelon-wine-226173/)

ColonelAngus 02-18-2011 04:16 AM

About 10 lbs of white sugar
Watermelon juice to 4.5 gallons
OG approximately 1.120

Acid blend, yeast nutrients, pectic enzyme, Red Star Champagne Yeast.

To get the juice from the melons I scooped them into a blender and pureed. Then poured through a mesh strainer. After draining a bit I dumped the pulp into a cheese cloth lined colander to let it drip out into a bowl while I worked on my next batch.

I'll take an SG reading and taste it in a week. If I really like it I'll add about a gallon and a half of watermelon juice sweetened to the 1.12 gravity when I rack it.

ColonelAngus 02-20-2011 12:33 PM

It's been in the primary for 3 days.
I only open and stir my primary once, on day two. The fact of the matter is that yeast are anaerobic except during the time that they are reproducing.

I also use a sealed top and airlock for the whole fermentation process.
C02 is heavier than air, so covering with a towel does nothing but invite wild yeast and bacteria to the party.
If I was fermenting something that produced a lot of chunky head I'd use a blowoff tube instead of airlock.

That said, my airlock is chugging away like a steam locamotive trying to make up for lost time, and I can hear the must fuzzing away.

mayberry 02-20-2011 02:08 PM

Good luck to you! I did a test batch of watermelon wine just once and it turned out pretty foul and stinky. I still have a bottle of it in the fridge to see if it gets any better, but the rest has been dumped. My problem may have been overly ripe fruit.

bubbachunk 02-20-2011 04:15 PM

I did a batch of watermelon mead and it turned out awful. Did pretty much exactly what you did but used honey instead of sugar. Good luck though!

kpr121 02-20-2011 04:24 PM

Have you made this before or is it an experiment?

ColonelAngus 02-21-2011 01:28 AM

This is a Jack Keller ricipe. I used sulphides to avoid spoilage during fermentation. I also pitched the same night that I prepared the must.

I guess watermelon juice goes bad VERY quickly, which could be the reason for the bad luck y'all have experienced.

CampFireWine 02-21-2011 03:41 AM

I ferment so quick that the watermelon still has an under-ripe taste when it hits the glass. No problems going bad here.

ColonelAngus 02-21-2011 08:45 PM

You don't control the speed of fermentation, that's up to the yeast.

CampFireWine 02-22-2011 12:37 AM


Originally Posted by ColonelAngus (Post 2667598)
You don't control the speed of fermentation, that's up to the yeast.

Selection of yeast and temperature both play a vital roll in the process in which the winemaker controls.

PH and Nutrient also play a part but I don't think I would personally run into any problem with those.

The better the environment, the faster it goes.

ColonelAngus 02-22-2011 02:57 AM

Not necessarily better.
One gets better flavor at 65 than 75 for most wine yeasts, but the yeast works faster at 75-80

Yeast also works faster in a lower acid environment, but most wines taste like poop without enough acid.

Furthermore, fermentation doesn't effect the ripeness of the melon. Use ripe tasty melons and your wine will taste more like tasty melons.

If you mean still fermenting swill by under ripe, then just let it age and clarify longer before bottling and drinking. Once the alcohol reaches a preservitave level you don't need to worry about spoilage.

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