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.