The wine making process?
Ok, so I think I'm going to make my first wine (1 gallon recipe) today. I just want to clear a few things up because I am still a bit confused on the actual process. Here are the ingredients I have on hand:
Four 15 oz. cans of OREGON Whole Purple Plums in Heavy Syrup
One 15 oz. can of OREGON Blueberries in Light syrup
1.5 lb table sugar
Wyeast 4267 Bordeaux
Here is the equipment I have:
1 gallon Carlo Rossi Wine jug
Rubber stopper for jug
Ale pail (6 gallon?)
So I do not add any water? Should I puree all of this fruit in a blender? I'm confused. I need to have a gallons worth of juice right?
Can I make wine with these ingredients? If so, what is the process?
Would appreciate any info. Thanks!
Boy, that seems like a TON of fruit for a one gallon batch.
Usually, I use about 3 pounds of fresh fruit for a gallon of wine. I don't know what that is in canned fruit, but you could pour off the syrup and put the fruit in a sanitized mesh bag and put in a sanitized bucket (forget the jug for right now) and top up to one gallon. Smoosh up the fruit well and take an SG reading. You may need a pound or so of sugar, more or less, to get your SG into 1.085-1.095.
I dissolve my sugar in hot water and pour it over the fruit. Then, add one crushed campden tablet, dissolved in a little water and stir well. Cover loosely. In twelve hours, add 1 teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Stir well, and "smoosh" up the fruit some more with your sanitized spoon. Check the SG just to ensure it's correct, now that the sugar should be well dissoved and some of the fruit should be pretty mooshy. Twelve hours later, add the yeast. Cover. Stir daily for three days or so. Then, when fermentation slows down, about 3-5 days, check the SG. If it's 1.020 or less, lift out the fruit bags and squeeze well. Toss the fruit out, and rack the wine into your jug and cover with a bung and airlock.
Ok, so I'll only use 3 cans. two plum and one blueberry. That would be about 3.75 lbs. sound good?
A few more questions:
1.) When you say "top up," you mean with water right?
2.) What should I use to "cover loosely."
3.) When you say "cover," you mean with the plastic lid that comes with the fermenting bucket?
4.)What do you mean by stir daily? Three times a day?
5.) How will this wine turn out? I'd like it to be a nice balance, maybe a tad on the sweet side, but not too much! but rather have it sweet than way way dry.
Sorry for all the detailed questions. I'm excited for my first batch of wine and of course want to get it right. Thanks Yooper!
1- Yooper said nothing about adjusting the pH of the Must . How do you know that one Campden tablet brings
enough molecular SO2 into the Must without measuring the pH ?!
2- I would NOT add all the sugar at first . I would check the S.G. and the pH twelve Hours after adding Pectic Enzyme , since this Enzyme
releases more sugar and acid from the Fruit into the Must .
3- By squeezing the Fruit Bag , you are adding lots of lees to the fermenting Must . Then you will have more Sediment and more
Wine lost by the time of racking . So , I would squeeze the Bag , but NOT with full power !
and I'd like to say that if I were eon making Wine for the first time , I would choose a more SIMPLE Recipe with simple Ingredients .
For example , making Wine using a fruit Juice .
Thanks hector. If you think the above recipe is too difficult for me, what do you suggest?
I already have my yeast picked out and I think it is only good for darker wines like pinot noir or possibly a blackberry wine. The only dark fruit I could find at the store that seemed like it would fit the description of my yeast was plums. I also decided to throw in a can of blueberries for fun.
If you suggest juice, I can go that route. Just be sure to leave me some steps as I am a total beginner at wine making. I have brewed beer 7-8 times but never made wine yet.
Any juice you can recommend? Thanks again!
I'm not sure Hector is an experienced winemaker, but you're welcome to follow his advice if you think it's better. I'm not going to get in to how to guestimate/ determine so2 levels without a meter, but one campden tablet per gallon is fine for a fruit wine. It should give you 50 ppm.
I think you're completely safe with a pound of sugar, then checking the SG to see if you need to adjust up or down. But I did mention checking the SG before pitching yeast for that reason.
This is a SUPER easy wine recipe to make. I don't know how you could get any easier, so I think you'll do just fine with this. I have no idea why Hector would say it's complicated or difficult. That's just silly.
And please squeeze the bag HARD to get out all of the juice. After all, you want the juice out of the fruit. Sure, you may get about 1/8" inch more lees. BFD. You'll also get a quart more of juice and better flavor and color.
Fruit makes a fine wine, as does fruit juice.
2. Keep fruitflies out! A towel will work, but if you have a ton of fruitflies, you may need a "real" cover with an airlock. My preference is a clean towel, though.
3. Well, whatever you need to cover it. You won't need to airlock until secondary. But definitely keep out fruitflies (see #2). That may require a cover and airlock if you've got a ton of fruitflies.
4. Sometimes fruit will float and make a "cap" ontop of the must. You want to submerge that, to keep it from drying out, and you want to encourage oxygen. Once or twice a day is probably sufficient, but more wont' hurt.
5. It will be dry. HOWEVER, once it's done and no longer dropping any lees at all after 60 days, you can stabilize (I can tell you how) and sweeten as desired. It's easy!
I would encourage you to make at least a 1.5 gallon sized batch from the beginning. That's because you'll have racking losses each time, and I like topping up with leftover wine. You can even freeze some must when you rack to secondary, and use that for topping up. I usually fill a wine bottle (a small stopper, I think #3 or #4, but check with your LHBS fits a wine bottle) or a growler (#6 stopper) with the "extra" must.
If you start with an OG of 1.090, it should go to .990 (bone dry) for an ABV of 13%. That's why I said it's ok to top up with water in later rackings. I really like to end up with about 11-12% ABV for a fruit wine. You need about 10% or so for preservative qualities. I like about 12% for a nice drinkable table wine in about 8-12 months.
One other thing I forgot- to guestimate the amount of So2 in your wine, you can generally use one campden tablet (crushed and dissolved) in every other racking, as both an antioxidant and as a preservative. The sulfite will help prevent oxidation in the several rackings you'll probably need to do. I like to rack every 60 days or whenever there is 1/4" of lees. If after 45 days, there are few lees, I won't rack of course. Once the wine is clear, and dropping few lees, you can skip racking. But you don't want to bottle until the wine is dropping NO lees.
Another thing that can come later is if the wine is slow to clear, you can stick it in the fridge for 48 hours, and it might clear in a flash! Or you can use clarifiers, but that's not my preference because some of my friends are vegetarians and most clarifiers use animal products.
I have more Experiences in Wine making than brewing and I'd like to say it depends on "eon" himself , if he would like to just make some Wine or he is going to learn Wine making in order to make better Batches progressively .
Wine making is different from brewing . There are many factors that should be under control by Wine and the most important is "Balancing the Must" which determines mostly the greatness of the Wine at the End . So , to become a good Wine maker you need to learn Techniques with which you can balance the Must in a good way and as I've always heard from Wine Experts , it's recommended to begin with fruit Juice .
So , back to eon's Recipe :
I agree mostly with what Yooper said . For example , you can use one Campden tablet for one Gallon of Must , but keep in mind
that the minimum needed amount of free molecular SO2 which acts as Antioxidant is related to the pH .
I STILL recommend NOT to add all the sugar at first . You'd better check the S.G. as well as the pH first twelve Hours after adding Pectic Enzyme .
I've seen some Wine makers who added all the sugar at first without checking the S.G. after adding the Enzyme and they wondered at the End as they got a Wine with more Alcohol than they expected . They neglected the function of the Enzyme ! that's it !
I would never top up with Water , since it dilutes not only the Alcohol but also the Flavor of the Fruit !
And finally , you don't need to squeeze the bag so HARD , since you use Pectic Enzyme and it does the Job for you . By doing it that way , you will have more lees at the bottom of the Fermenter and it leads to more numbers of Racking which you could have gotten rid of it !
Boy, surprisingly, wine can be made with nothing but raw berries and has been made that way for centuries.
Chemistry is only to improve the final result.
I suggest using Yoopers recipe and don't worry about improving right away. Wine (and perfecting wine) takes time.
Enjoy the results of YOUR labor, not the chemists.
At least to start.
A balanced Must makes a balanced (and better) wine and the ideal time to make an adjustment to the wine is during its brief infancy before it has actually become wine.
These are actually interconnected; let’s take a look at how, starting with a balanced Must makes a balanced (and better) wine. The act of fermentation is an act of creation and construction. During the complex transformation from juice to wine, wine will continually put itself together using whatever materials are available in the Must. To use a construction analogy, if the Must is in balance, it essentially has all of the required raw materials to build a complete, well-made structure that’s up to code. However, if the Must is not in balance, it means that we may not have all of the required materials to build the structure we might have hoped to end up with. Instead of a lovely house, maybe we end up with a storage shed! The bottom line is, if we don’t have all of the materials we need in the correct amount, then we are limited in what we can ultimately build.
We can address the second point above concerning the timing of the additions using the same construction analogy. Say in the course of building our new house we decide to change the plans and add a third bathroom and increase the size of the windows. If we had this figured out before we started building, then it’s no big deal to incorporate these big changes. However, if we decided to make these changes after all of the plumbing and sheet rock was finished (i.e., much later in the construction phase) this would be much more difficult to integrate into the final project.
It is the same exact thing with wine. The earlier we make changes, the easier it will be to integrate them into the wine. And, any adjustment made before the wine starts assembling itself will integrate more gracefully into the wine than the same adjustments made after fermentation.
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