banana wine question

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schoch79

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Simply put, is more bananas better? I see most recipes call for around 3.5 pounds per gallon. What if I use, lets say, 6 pounds per gallon? Also, I've seen various recipes, some call for skins on, others for skin free. I'm not afraid to use the skins but would one taste better than the other/what does the skin do for the wine that we want it in there? Thanks for the help
 

bernardsmith

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I have made banana wine only once and I used about 4 lbs to the gallon. I think the more fruit you use the richer the banana flavor will be so 6 lbs should be OK. I chose not to use skins as I have seen many comments disparaging banana wine because of its overpowering banana flavor when the skins were added. I think the one benefit of the skins is the tannins they provide but if you use really ripe bananas then I am not sure how much tannin is left in the skin. In any event I added tannin.
All that said, I plan to open my bottles around the first of July but I (obviously) tasted the wine before I bottled it and it tasted a little like a muscatel - not like a liquid banana. If it maintained that kind of flavor profile in the bottle while it aged (about 6 months or more) then I think it is going to be quite drinkable.
 

TedLarsen

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I have made banana wine only once and I used about 4 lbs to the gallon. I think the more fruit you use the richer the banana flavor will be so 6 lbs should be OK. I chose not to use skins as I have seen many comments disparaging banana wine because of its overpowering banana flavor when the skins were added. I think the one benefit of the skins is the tannins they provide but if you use really ripe bananas then I am not sure how much tannin is left in the skin. In any event I added tannin.
All that said, I plan to open my bottles around the first of July but I (obviously) tasted the wine before I bottled it and it tasted a little like a muscatel - not like a liquid banana. If it maintained that kind of flavor profile in the bottle while it aged (about 6 months or more) then I think it is going to be quite drinkable.
Since bananas are often used to add body to a wine, increasing the amount of bananas can only make for a more full-bodied wine, I would think. The one thing I have read a lot (and Yooper's recipe specifically states) is that maturing it in the bottle a good 2 years (or more) is important for this wine.
 

Jacob_Marley

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First .. I never use the skins.
The pesticides sprayed on commercially grown bananas are concentrated in the skins ... a mix of carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins and developmental or reproductive toxins.
Organic bananas? ... I'd have to investigate to see exactly what that designation means to what was sprayed on them while being grown.

As far as "the more the merrier" ... using more banana is fine. The problem arises with trying to get the yeast to chew through that very thick must ... and also dealing with the residual starch which can be helped by the use of amylase prior to fermentation.
 

WVMJ

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The more black ripe banannas the better, the skins add a lot to the taste, could never wait for 2 years to start drinking it, more like after its cleared and bottled for a couple of months its good. We also add amylase as above just for insurance against a starch haze later but using the skins has a lot of enzymes to break down the bananna, also ending up sweeter goes with bananna I think better than dry. Go ahead and jump in and make one, its a fun batch, but make extra must so when you rack from the primary you can make up for the bit lost to the pulp and lees. Some other additions to this could be a vanilla bean, a little oak or even a hint of ginger root, fresh, to pep it up a bit. WVMJ
 
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schoch79

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Actually, I just started one a few days ago and I was already thinking of adding some vanilla bean after the ferment so its funny you mention that. I'm also glad you said something about using black bananas since I asked a question about the color of my banana "soup" as I was cooking it. It wasn't white/grey like I've seen pictures, mine was red/brown and my bananas were only barely speckled with brown spots. When you use black bananas I assume yours is similar? Does it finish out yellowish from there? Thanks.
 

bernardsmith

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I am not certain about the biochemistry here but the riper a banana is the more the starches and enzymes in the peel have converted to fermentable sugars in the fruit itself. I suspect that the skins of unripe bananas are full of tannins, hence the pucker effect they have if you taste them. Blackened bananas don't seem to have the same effect.
 

Yooper

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Here's the banana wine recipe I use (and love):
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/banana-wine-33636/

I freeze bananas before using, once they are very ripe and really overripe. Sometimes I get overripe bananas at the store for 19 cents a pound, and then freeze them. The skins are absolutely black when I use them, but the wine is awesome.

For many things, "less is more" really applies. Wine has a balance of acidity, alcohol, sweetness, body, etc. Adding more bananas will make a heavier body, and that may be good if you want a "thick" wine, but you'll want to make sure to add some more acidity as well. Just like when you cook, you don't add more baking powder unless it's needed, the same is true with wine recipes.
 
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Here's the banana wine recipe I use (and love):
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/banana-wine-33636/

I freeze bananas before using, once they are very ripe and really overripe. Sometimes I get overripe bananas at the store for 19 cents a pound, and then freeze them. The skins are absolutely black when I use them, but the wine is awesome.

For many things, "less is more" really applies. Wine has a balance of acidity, alcohol, sweetness, body, etc. Adding more bananas will make a heavier body, and that may be good if you want a "thick" wine, but you'll want to make sure to add some more acidity as well. Just like when you cook, you don't add more baking powder unless it's needed, the same is true with wine recipes.
So I'm going to make my first Banana Wine tomorrow and I'm really excited about it...

However, what's up the raisins? Why add the raisin and according to the recipe...it seems the raisins are not added until the 2nd month?

I plan on boiling my bananas without the skins...I don't want any chemicals in there so I'm guessing that will be OK since some recipes are without the skin.

I also want to try and make this without ANY chemicals...so my only ingredients will be:

Bananas
Sugar
cup of tea for Tannin
Water
Yeast
Raisins (don't know why)

Also the recipes says...to stir daily for 7 days...
what is the purpose for stirring it? I thought I was NOT suppose
to let it get much air? So do I stir it gently or aggressively to aerate it?

I would love some feedback and guidance so I don't mess up...
forgive me for the questions...but I'm new, I'm new and I don't know what to do! Lol

Thanks
Burt
 
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