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Old 09-16-2010, 02:01 AM   #1
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Default Homeade "Minute Wine" Questions

So I'm making wine in my dorm dresser out of Minute Maid products(please don't ask me if I'm selling any or if I am what the money's for). I currently have 11 gallon-sized water jugs which have been fermenting for 13 days today. 4 are filled with Tropical Punch, 4 with regular Fruit Punch, and 3 with Lemonade. All jugs have been sanitized with bleach and rinsed out [I]very[I] thoroughly prior to beginning. I am using bakers yeast, as no other type is available. All jugs are sealed with plastic bag pieces rubber-banded over top. Since my budget is limited, all ingredients and equipment excluding the yeast were purchased at the Appalachian State University markets with my account card.

I call my creation "Minute Wine" since I use Minute Maid juice and cause it takes a short time to make compared to professional quality wine. I already drank one of the lemonades(I had 4 to start out with) for a frat party on Friday, though it certainly wasn't close to finished.

First some background: my initial experiment was with just 1 gallon of tropical punch. I let it ferment for 6 days before trying it. Realizing that it had an effect similar in strength to strong beer, I considered the experiment a success and drank it all by the next day, so I never figured out how long it would go till it finished. I began my first big batch directly after the RAs Health and Safety inspection was done. They didn't even look in my dresser, so I'm not worried. And even if perchance some authority figure does look in there, all they'll see is bubbling fruit juice and unless they have some knowledge of alcohol production, they won't know anything. As far as I can tell, I'm the first to have this idea though I know I couldn't really be.

For the big batch I have going on now, I added a little sugar to each jug before the juice went in, using a half-pound divided evenly between them. I tasted the Tropical Punch today and it has an effect like regular wine, though not the same kick. Only the Fruit Punch smells and tastes like real wine, though it doesn't have much of a kick yet either.

My questions are: When should fermentation be done for each of them? I'm pretty sure the yeast will die from the alcohol content(at around 12%) before they run out of sugar or nutrients. It's worth noting that the Tropical Punch started bubbling days before the others, so that's likely all I'll use from now on. Also, should I wait until it's done bubbling or will this eventually cause it to go bad? Most jugs have had some exposure to air, for periodic tasting and to fill them closer to the top after the initial burst of fermentation, but not before having enough alcohol content as far as I know to kill foreign bacteria.

Any other tips/suggestions are certainly welcome, just keep in mind my budget witch is extremely limited for now. I don't want to siphon these to remove the dead yeast, but I'll probably run them through some type of filter before returning them to their original containers.



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Old 09-16-2010, 03:37 AM   #2
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Tip 1: Post in the correct forum.

Wine Making Forum



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Old 09-16-2010, 03:47 AM   #3
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man, there is so much to reply to here, it's hard to start anywhere other than telling you that you need to read up on fermentation a little before you expect others to explain the basics to you (i don't mean to be rude, but everyone has a responsibility to do some background research before mixing sugar and yeast). howtobrew.com is a good place to start, i would concentrate on the role of using a hydrometer (it doesn't cost much at all) to determine how to calculate alcohol percentage since that seems to be of greatest importance to you at this point.

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:53 AM   #4
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You should really look into everclear if you are just looking for a cheap drunk. Homebrewing has a habit of getting way more expensive than you mean it to be.

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:57 AM   #5
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Hmm...thanks for the tip but I know the basics very well. I've been researching this online for many years and I even brewed beer successfully once with products and advice from a home brew store and some help from my mother. It's just that it's way more trouble than I want to go through(for an inferior product in my opinion) and I couldn't bring any of my equipment like my carboy and hydrometer to my dorm. I even have a bottle capper that I never used cause I didn't bottle it, just drank it. I don't really like beer too much anyway though I am part German, it makes me vomit even while really high and isn't really that potent compared to anything else. I'll save drinking a lot of beer for next time I'm in Hof, Bavaria at the Oktoberfet or the Volksfest. Good times, good memories...

Oh yeah and Everclear once gave me a chemical burn in my mouth at a party. Potent, sure, but not for me thanks.

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:03 AM   #6
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By inferior, I'm sure you mean a lower percent of alcohol. Have you tried adding white cane sugar to the juice?

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:19 AM   #7
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minute maid is mostly high fructose corn syrup.....it wont come out well in a wine. You should use 100 percent fruit juice

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:20 AM   #8
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I also know what jenkem is, it was recommended to me during my last post years ago, Clearer Liquid. By inferior, I mean lower alcohol and worse taste. My stuff now tastes great in the opinion of me and my buddies.

I would use pure fruit juice, but that's not currently within my budget. If there was an unguarded fruit tree around that I knew of I would be in luck, but unfortunately this is not the case.

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:48 AM   #9
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OK, first the props. While it will frustrate the heck out of most of the members here, good on you. I wish I had thought of doing something like this in my freshman dorm. It would have saved a ton of cash instead of overpaying upperclassmen to hook me up. I like the initiative.

Now the not-so-props. If you and your buddies like the taste of what you're making, so be it. But it's incredibly bad form to come into a homebrewing site and call a product we all are incredibly proud of inferior. I knew nothing about good beer/wine/liquor at 19. Without wanting to sound like a total a$$, your comments make it sound like you don't either. That's fine. But I hope you realize you are backhandedly insulting those you are asking for help.

The advice. As somebody previously stated, most of these drinks are made primarily with high fructose corn syrup which will fully ferment. That means if you let it go full course, you will be left with a high alcohol content, but an incredibly dry and non-sweet beverage. I promise you, if you don't like the taste of beer, this will be much worse.

You ask how much longer should you wait and how much abv is actually in the drink? There is no way for us to answer without a recipe which actually gives sugar content of said juice. Even then, it would only be a guess. Plus, you're using bakers yeast which is very unpredictable and IT is inferior. Yes it'll get the job done.

Do yourself a favor if you truly want to continue and go to a homebrew shop. I appreciate the budget issues, but youll only need to spend a couple bucks Buy a hydrometer (around $10) and buy some dry yeast. The packets are only around $2 and you will be much more likely to be happy with the product. Plus, brewer's yeasts are more predictable in terms of timetable. With a good yeast like Safale US-05, fermentation should finish up within a week. If you want to stop it early, pour into a two liter bottle and stick it in the fridge. This will stop fermentation and allow some residual sweetness.

This is all assuming, of course, that you are over the age of 21. If not, don't try this again until you are. OK, disclaimer stated, a$$ covered. Good luck.

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Old 09-16-2010, 05:30 AM   #10
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Cimire has a good point, sorry if I offended anybody. And it's not that I don't like the taste of beer, I drink it occasionally and I've tried many different kinds. It's just that I like the taste of fruit juice better, that's all. I knew that the corn syrup will ferment, but I also read that bakers yeast will die as the solution reaches 12% alcy, presumably before all the sweetness is gone.

And I've also had different kinds of wine, and my experience has been that most are not sweet and perhaps slightly bitter, with little taste. Is this right or is the wine my grandma serves with dinner just not very good or even spoiled?



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