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Old 10-06-2011, 02:43 PM   #11
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Change thread title to "4 mistakes is too many"


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Old 10-06-2011, 03:37 PM   #12
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I've been in this hobby for less than a year, and I screw stuff up all the time. The good news is, it gets better. I haven't really screwed up a batch in quite a while now. And fortunately, winemaking appears fairly forgiving. My 2nd batch (strawberry, as it were) that I screwed up pretty bad has turned out to be quite tasty 6 months later.

If there's one thing I've learned from Yooper's posts, it's "give it time and leave it alone."


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Old 10-06-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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I started making beer as a time filler because wine making is so slow. In the 6 months since I started I've made 5 pretty good beers out of 5 tries.
During that same period I've made a pinot noir (kit) that is ok, an apfelwein (Edwort's) that is ok, a mint wine that failed, a mead that failed, and now a batch of both strawberry wine and mead that I stabilized way too soon.
The wine making costs WAY more $$$ and takes WAY longer than beer making. But I don't have the personality to quit either. It's just hard to accept the loss of $$$ and work that went into processing all those strawberries.

I'll be ok and get back on the wine horse, just need to vent a bit.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:33 PM   #14
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If it makes you feel any better, I thought it looked pretty.

And Ill drink just about anything with booze in it, so if you absolutely have to get rid of it you can ship it to me ;-)
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:40 PM   #15
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I started making beer as a "time filler" too, because of my impatience with wine! I've made wine far longer than beer, unless you count the "Beer Machine 2000" attempts years ago!

The good new is that it's really hard to screw wine up totally. When in doubt on what to do, the answer is almost always, "Wait".

Jack Keller's site IS really the most wonderful resource. It's hard to navigate, but if you look at the area you're in, you won't get mixed up. In the example above about stirring, that is in the "off-flavors" area. He's talking about solving a problem, and how to go about it.

I'd start with this page: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/basics.asp and read thoroughly the "step 1" and then the "step 2" and so on. He's a great resource, and I'm sort of a "Jack Keller Groupie".

From now one, remember that if you do two things- have the wine topped up to within 1.5 inches of the bung and airlocked, and rack when the lees are more than 1/4" thick after 45-60 day- then nothing else is important and it can wait. Even the racking can wait, but if there are lots of lees after 60 days you want to get to it sooner rather than later. In fact, winemaking is a great hobby for procrastinators!

Stabilization can always wait. Bottling can always wait. When in doubt, do nothing!
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:02 PM   #16
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Thank you for your words of encouragement. The strawberry wine and the mead is now back in the storage room in the dark. We'll see how it looks and tastes in 60 days.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:31 AM   #17
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UPDATE:
It's now been 75 days since stabilizing this wine prematurely. As I pulled the carboy our of the dark it looked exactly the same as it did in the previous picture... beautiful red clarity on top, cloudy on the bottom.
It stills smells and tastes rubbery but I think it diminishing. To prove how impatient I am I decided to rack the top 3 gallons (the clear stuff) off into 1 gal carboys and discard the cloudy 2 gals.
I'll now wait another 60 days minimum before sampling again. I think I've calmed down enough to try to make another wine. Now I need to decide if I want a kit or try real fruit again.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasontheBeaver View Post
Now I need to decide if I want a kit or try real fruit again.
Do both! The kit wine will usually be bottled in 4-6 weeks, while the fruit wine will be more like 4-6 months. That way, you have plenty to do, but have results sooner!

I have a mix of 6 week kits, 10 week kits, homemade fruit wines, and grape wines. It means that I have lots of different wines to sample, eventually! But I can drink a kit wine early, and that's very gratifying while I'm waiting for the others.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:41 PM   #19
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As usual you are the voice of reason Yooper. What brand of kits do you prefer? I've done a Pinot Noir from Grand Cru and it seemed fairly simple.

Sorry about the Packers' loss.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasontheBeaver View Post
Just tasted my strawberry wine that I started on 7-6-2011, it's got the dreaded rubber taste.So where do I go from here? Will any time and additions help this wine?
I've gotten that "rubber stopper" taste a few times; I'm convinced they were from fermenting at too high a temp, which caused the formation of fusel alcohols. The good news is that "rubber stopper" flavour will age out. It might take a year, maybe longer, but it'll age out.

Just keep racking as needed; sulfiting might strip some color, but it'll protect the wine from oxidation when racking.
Regards, GF.


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