Originally Posted by Badaboom
Not sure if OP still follows this thread but figured I'd ask some questions anyways.
I have never made wine before and figured I'd give this a try. I picked 29 lbs of crap apples from a friends and just pulled the stems out, gave them a wash and threw them in the freezer.
I need to track down the other ingredients mentioned but was wondering about the mashing process. Whats the best way to mash it? I figured I would get a cheese bag and line my 5 gallon pail and have a separate tub in which I can individually press down on the apple then dump it in to the meshed pail. Or will the apples after they are frozen be easy enough to just pour in the meshed bucket and smash away?
How many pounds of apples will a 5 gallon pail hold with the required water? Is there a particular type of wine yeast that I should buy?
I use thicker mesh bags, which are sold in winemaking shops. They are pretty heavy duty, and you can smash fruit right in them. You can smash them up however it works- I just got an apple crusher and press last year and while it makes it easier, it's not required! I let them thaw in the bag in the fermenter, and then smash them up with a sanitized mash paddle. Once the yeast starts working on them, and the pectic enzyme, they smash even better if you get them crushed a bit first.
I use 6 pounds per gallon of wine. If you only have a 5 gallon pail, you can probably make 3 gallons of wine, but then you'd need a three gallon carboy for secondary. I like most general wine yeast strains, but if your crabs are particularly tart, they may be very high in malic acid. If so, using 71B-1122 (Lalvin's brand), "Norbonne" yeast will help a lot as it metabolizes more malic acid than other yeast strains do.