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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Bottled my first wines .....
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Bottled my first wines .....

So here is the story line on these wines. I had received several hundred pounds of apples, last fall. I pressed them all, and made hard cider from about 2/3's. The other 1/3, I split into two apple wines. Along with these apples I picked several pounds of the small decorative crabapples. (what a pain ) I also found many regular crabapple trees, where I picked many bags of the fruit.

In the end I made an apple/raisin wine, apple/small crabapple wine, crabapple/raisin wine and a straight crabapple wine. each batch was
~ 5 - 6 gallons. I followed all the proper techniques with the must, and got them all fermented. I ended up extending my times between rackings. (too busy/forgot) Sulfited on the second racking. Then basically let them bulk age and clear.

During the clearing time frame, I purchased bottles, corks, bottle tree, bottle rinser (sulfiter) and a floor corking machine. I decided to bottle half just the way they ended up. The remaining half I am going to backsweeten slightly, just to see how they finish.

I finally got around to actually bottling them, and after cleaning and sterilizing the racking equipment, I just rinsed the new bottles with an iodophor solution, and let them drain on the bottle tree. I'm glad I got the 90 bottle tree too. The bottling process went so smoothly, and the corker was sheer perfection. It took about an hour to do 4 cases of wine (one case of each flavor), including the cleanup afterwards. I just have to do the calculations for backsweetening them, so they won't be too sweet, but hopefully enough to get some of the apple taste to pop.

I am getting married next June, and hope to break out several of these wines for the after wedding dinner.

I just thought I would pass along this update on the wines. I will post another update after I open some of these sometime next spring.

Happy brewing to all.


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Old 08-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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Confused about your comment for back-sweetening the wine. I believe you saif you bottled 4 cases, right? Are these to be opened later and back-sweetened? I have been making apple wine for several years and have always finished my wines prior to bottling. In all cases, I have never back-sweetened as I stop fermentation prior to getting to low on the S.G.

A year at least will be required (in my opinion) to condition the wine and allow it to develop the aroma's and flavor potential.

Salute!


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Old 08-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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Because I didn't stop the fermentation early, I want to experiment with sweetening them a little bit, probably 1.005 - 1.010, just to see how they will turn out. I had four 5 gallon batches of wine, and basically bottled half of each (12 bottles), for a total of four cases. Those that I have bottled will stay the way they are, dry. The remainder I will sweeten, and let them sit for a week, or two, just to make sure a secondary fermentation doesn't start up. Then I will bottle them, and age them along with the rest.

I hope this clears things up.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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I assume you're using campden and sorbate to stabilize first?

I like your plan- having different amounts of sweetening will give you a variety of wines and also help you know for the future what you like best.

You probably already know this, but in my experience the wine seems to get sweeter tasting in the bottle. So, if I like a wine at 1.010, I sweeten just a hint under that, to 1.008 or so. You can do off-dry, semi-sec, sweet, dessert, etc. I'm jealous- with all the wine I've bottled (95 bottles just last Friday!), I never even thought about doing that. {Smacks forehead}
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:52 PM   #5
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I used frozen apple juice concentrate to backsweeten my last batch of apple. It seems to have worked quite well. I let it sit 3 more months after backsweetening and I still have a light dusting in the bottoms of the bottles. Doesn't hurt the wine, just looks funny.


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