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Apr 4, 2020
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Will be starting my first batch from scratch soon so looking for some comprehensive advice. Ive read such varying methods and recipes that the authors swear blind is the only right way. I know they're be lots of different opinions on here as well. I'll update the thread as I reach each stage rather than starting loads of new threads.


I'm looking to make a full bodied red. I tend to lean toward really dark, heavy wines.

1. Is a combination of fruit pulp and premade juice suitable? I think to make 5L of wine would take a hell of a lot of grapes which would make it ridiculously uneconomical. I was thinking more of around 1 to 1.5kg of black grape and maybe a handful of blackberries or plum. Then make up to 5L with grape juice from concentrate. Also should the fruit just be crushed or blended to a finer pulp?

2. Is it necessary to add water? Will a full 5L of juice and pulp yield a more viscous wine without the addition of water? If water is required does bottled spring water make a difference to taste?

3. Sugar. Does it matter what type? I've also read honey can be used but this seems an unnecessary expense. Are you taking into account the sugar content of the fruit/juice to get an overall total (haven't got a hydrometer yet so have no idea how to take the measurements). Might not get a hydrometer any time soon due to lockdown. I'd imagine overdoing the sugar will leave alot left over once the yeast has perished?

4. Additives. Does it matter how much yeast you use? Obviously it multiplies in time. I've bought a "super" wine yeast, don't think it's anything fancy or a particular type. Comes in 10g packs. Also got stabiliser and fining. Does this go in from the beginning or at another stage?

5. The vessel. Ordered a fermentation bucket but not sure if it comes with an airlock so would it be ok to start it all off in a demijohn then rack to clear?

That's it for now. If I've missed anything please feel free to point it out. Apologies for the long winded post. I realise this will all have been asked a thousand times already.
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Doing it with all fruit will give the most flavor the fruit has to provide. But that can be good or bad, depending on the type of fruit or grape, you’ll sometimes run into ph/acid problems unless you add some water or offset with some bicarbonate. As for amounts, it takes about 10lbs of berries/grape to get a gallon of juice after squeezing pulp, but then you’ll lose some to lees and racking, so you’re looking at close to 15lbs per gallon of finished product. Type of sugar is kind of personal taste/budget. Different sugars can impart different flavors and aromas to the product. White table sugar is fine, fairly neutral but some say they can notice it. Honey makes it a mead, but that’s almost doesn’t matter once you have this much fruit involved, but it still makes a noticeable difference in mouthfeel and aroma.