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Old 03-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
TGuy
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Feb 2012
Posts: 13


Ok. So I'm now head long into making beer and my imagination is going crazy. I remember making a Hooch when I was a kid with grape juice, sugar, and bread yeast. Damn nasty. It did the trick though. Now, however, I'm a bit refined. Not much though. So I am sitting here thinking about sugars and yeast. I thought about using grape juice, some kind of sugar, and like an ale or lager yeast. Then bottle conditioning the stuff with priming sugar. Any good thoughts, recipes, ideas or inputs on this?

 
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
jondthechemist
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Feb 2012
Posts: 33

If you have been brewing long enough, then I will just cut to the chase. But for those skimming over this and with a little lack of experience, make sure whatever juice you use tastes good on its own and has no preservatives (common ones are sodium/potassium metabisulphite/sorbate).

In general, Welsch's grape juice tends to ferment out to something pretty crappy so if you are interested in flavor profiles and not just inebriation, then I would suggest starting fresh with any sort of real fruit. Not all grapes are made equal and the best wines tend to be made from the more acidic grapes (those grown in the colder regions of the world). In contrast, commercial industries tend to sell the sweeter grapes with lower acid levels.

For your source, I'd say go for a relatively good juice that is either a non-traditional variety such as apples, pears, peachs, etc. or get a good grape juice that maybe someone else here on the forums could give you some insight into. I haven't personally fermented many grape juices, but I do know a thing or two about country wines. For instance, if you want a pineapple wine, I'd say use about 600 mL of pineapple juice per gallon (depending on your preferrence) which is comparative to a 750 mL wine bottle. I believe that brown sugar pairs very well with pineapple because the sweet, thick molasses flavor goes well with the acidity of the pineapple. Keep in mind, thats my preferrence :P

Pineapple wine (1 gallon)
600 mL pineapple juice (roughly half a medium pineapple)
1500 grams brown sugar (dark or light and this is approx. 1.7 bags)
or add sugar to your preferrential specific gravity (usually 1.080 is good)
1 gram/liter of anhydrous citric acid (estimated at about a teaspoon)
spring water

Yeast nutrients can be used if you want, but usually not necessary. Keep it around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For wines, you usually want to get those esters that are often produced at higher temperatures, but if you go too high you can get the nasty odors of fusel alcohols and the such.

I usually use an ale yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) because it is versatile and handles a good alcohol level. Sorry about the long comment. I hope this helped.

 
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
DoctorCAD
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Jun 2008
Fayetteville, NC
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Wine yeast is like $.80 a pack.

If you want wine, get some.

 
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
Dicky
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Sep 2011
Nottingham
Posts: 229

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorCAD View Post
Wine yeast is like $.80 a pack.

If you want wine, get some.
That.

And I would say use fruit juice for your first go. It's not hat baaaad.

Dicky

 
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
solbes
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Jul 2011
Ramsey & Akeley, Mn
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Yup, good wine yeast is far cheaper than good ale/lager yeast. I would get some Montrachet or Premier Cuvee and get on with it.

That said I made an Apfelwein with Windsor yeast because it was about to expire and I had ruled out using it in beer. It's coming along nicely at around 5 months since the pitch. Another month in bottle and it should be great. Something to note, just because an ale yeast routinely craps out at relatively high gravities (like Windsor), don't expect the same with the less complex sugars in fruit wines. The windsor brought it all the way down to .996 in my Apfelwein and attenuated quite well.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
ChaosStout
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Aug 2011
Moorhead, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondthechemist View Post

In general, Welsch's grape juice tends to ferment out to something pretty crappy so if you are interested in flavor profiles and not just inebriation
That is totally untrue. Welches Concord Grape juice makes a really nice Concord wine and others have had similar sucess with other flavors.

 
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:38 AM   #7
jondthechemist
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Feb 2012
Posts: 33

My apologies! I tried making a wine back a few years ago to try and make a cheap wine and it turned out tasting bland, immensely acidic, and an off taste I could not pinpoint. I suppose it could have slightly spoiled? On top of that, I maybe confusing myself with a different brand. The brand I remember listed its first ingredient as sugar, second water, third grape juice lol

 
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
ChaosStout
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Aug 2011
Moorhead, MN
Posts: 253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondthechemist View Post
My apologies! I tried making a wine back a few years ago to try and make a cheap wine and it turned out tasting bland, immensely acidic, and an off taste I could not pinpoint. I suppose it could have slightly spoiled? On top of that, I maybe confusing myself with a different brand. The brand I remember listed its first ingredient as sugar, second water, third grape juice lol
Ya If your going to make wine out of store bought juice it has to be 100% juice. Welches does also make a Grape juice that isnt 100% juice. You might have used that by mistake

 
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:04 AM   #9
dmoore714
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Jan 2012
Americus, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGuy
I remember making a Hooch when I was a kid with grape juice, sugar, and bread yeast. Damn nasty. It did the trick though.
I made two batches of CraigTube's "Inmate Brew" (search for it on youtube) before I got into brewing beer. I used bread yeast, table sugar, and storebought bottles of juice. I made some grape, which was actually pretty good, and some apple that turned out terrible.

I've done a few more batches of fruit juice wine since then. Pomegranate, strawberry, watermellon (disaster), and some lemonade and limeade. Ive tried ale yeast, champagne yeast and some red star montrachet wine yeast. In my experience the red star ferments cleanest. Its also supposedly the most temperature tolerant... up to 95*F, according to fermentis (I still try to keep mine in the mid-60s though).

With some Good Recipes, the right yeast, and a few additives (camden tablets, acid blend, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, gelatin) you can have a lot of fun with store bought fruit, fruit juice or juice concentrate... and make some decent booze in the process.

 
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