Cucumber Wine - My Try (with Pics)

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vanceromance

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Back story:
Ended up with way more cucumbers than I could use. Made pickles, ate lots of cucumber salads and gave many away. Still they kept coming. (Probably having about 20 plants had something to do with it.) Anyway...

Searched if it was possible to make cucumber wine and found this thread on this site, https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/cucumber-wine-138143/ It told me it was possible but not much else.

There is another thread that links to this site http://www.winepress.us/forums/index.php?/topic/1150-cucumber-wine/ that discusses a slightly different recipe and says that it is quite good.

I figured with all the cucumbers and a few empty carboys why not try.
 
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vanceromance

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So with the recipe listed in the first link I started on 8/28/12 to make my cucumber wine.

Here is the recipe I started with:

Cucumber Wine


Recipe file created September 2, 2006.
Cucumbers have a high water content, so be careful to not add too much water in the beginning.
Ingredients



4 pounds cucumbers
3 campden tablets
2 oranges
2 lemons
7 cups sugar
pectic enzyme
nutrients
1 package wine yeast
water
Wash cucumbers. Leave skin on. Chop cucumbers and place in primary fermentor.

Wash oranges and lemons. Slice thinly and add to cucumbers. Stir in sugar and nutrients.

Pour 16 cups boiling water over mixture. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Add pectic enzyme.

The next day, check specific gravity -- it should be between 1.090 and 1.100. Add yeast. Stir daily for five days, until frothing stops.

Strain. Siphon into secondary fermentor and attach airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of syrup. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

Variations

Instead of granulated sugar, try honey or brown sugar.
For a spiced wine, add 1 ounce fresh ginger root, sliced thin, to the water before boiling it. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes before pouring it over the cucumbers.
NOTE:

This recipe makes 1 gallon of wine. To make a larger batch of wine, just multiply all ingredients by the number of gallons you want EXCEPT the yeast. One packet of wine yeast is sufficient for up to 5 gallons of wine.
 
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vanceromance

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The one thing I had no idea was how many cucumbers were in a pound so I had no idea how much wine I would be making so I only bought 2 oranges. It turned out for me that a full 4 cup measuring cup was about 2lbs.

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vanceromance

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It ended up I had enough cucumbers for 3 gallons of the wine. SO here is the recipe I ended up going with:

12 pounds cucumbers
9 campden tablets
2 oranges (only had 2 or would have went with 6)
6 lemons
21 cups sugar
5 teaspoons nutrients

I boiled 3 gallons of water and poured over the mixture.

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vanceromance

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It was too much for a 5 gallon bucket. So I poured it into a 6.5 gallon bucket, stirred a few times put a lid and airlock on.

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vanceromance

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The next morning I added 3 teaspoons pectic enzyme and gave it a few good stirs.

The next day I checked specific gravity and it was 1.092. Added a package of Cote des Blancs and stirred it in.

The recipe says to stir daily for 5 days until frothing stops. Unfortunately I was leaving on vacation the next day so I stirred it once (and it did froth) put the lid on and went on vacation for 8 days.

On 9/9/12 I opened and gave a stir and got a little frothing but not as much as in the beginning. Took Specific Gravity and it was 0.990. It was a yellowy-white milky liquid that tasted kind of hot (hoping time will fix this).

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vanceromance

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Racked into 3 gallon carboy and ended up with an additional gallon. Had a lot of trouble at first racking due to the racking cane getting clogged. Ended up "floating" a small colander in the middle of the wine and taking suction from there.

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vanceromance

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Here are the 4 gallons I ended up with. You can see in the photos, taken about 8 hours after I racked, that it is already starting to settle and clear.

I'll keep posting on the progress on this until it is done. According to the recipe supposed to rack every 3 months for a year.

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Unferth

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You should add some dill to that stuff! Then if it catches infection and goes to vinegar (which I wouldn't wish on anyone) you can have some kick @$$ pickle brine. Good luck!
 
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vanceromance

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Yooper, it wasn't bad. kind of clean but what I think people refer to as "hot". Had a strong alcohol taste. From one of the other sites that eventually said it cleared and tasted great with a slight cucumber nose I think it needs to age about a year. I plan to keep this post going to either it is good tasting or it fails. I decided to try it because while I've seen threads talking about the recipe I could never find specifics on how it turned out.
 

johns

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I understand the need for Camden tablets, but isn't 9 of them a bit much? Another question I have is doesn't that stuff eventually sink when you punch down the cap? If so how do you rack that stuff without clogging the racking cane. I am trying to picture the strainer that deep in the bucked and racking it without clogs. Did you use something like a paint strainer over the bucked and the pasta strainer on top of that? I like the idea of the strainer though. I should have thought of that when making my first mead before spilling half of it out onto the floor.

Did this patch finally clear? How long did it take. Have to say it does look like an interesting recipe.
 
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vanceromance

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I understand the need for Camden tablets, but isn't 9 of them a bit much?
I'm not sure if 9 is a little much. The recipe I had said 3 for 1 gallon and I ended up cutting 3 gallons worth of cucumbers per that recipe so I trippled it.

Another question I have is doesn't that stuff eventually sink when you punch down the cap? If so how do you rack that stuff without clogging the racking cane. I am trying to picture the strainer that deep in the bucked and racking it without clogs. Did you use something like a paint strainer over the bucked and the pasta strainer on top of that?
If I understand your question correctly, the cucumbers, seeds, oranges and lemons did not sink. They were floating on top (although some seeds must have been down in the "stuff" since when I was trying to rack it the racking cane clogged and when I looked at it it was full of cucumber seeds. I originally tried to wrap the bottom of the racking cane with a hops bag (like a paint strainer) but it also clogged right away. I settled on the SS strainer that I "floated" on top of the cucumbers and stuff and it kind of followed it down as the juice was racked out. I had the racking cane in the middle of the strainer so it was sorrounded by the juice all the solid stuff was kept away by the strainter.

Did this patch finally clear? How long did it take. Have to say it does look like an interesting recipe.
I looked at it this morning and it was much clearer and it was bubbling also. I'll take a photo tonight or tomorrow and post.
 

Arpolis

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OMG how did I ever miss this thread when it started??? I did a cucumber mead a while back. It was only a half gallon experiment. Here was my recipe:

4 large cucumbers skinned and juiced with 2 cups additional water. (About 3/4 if the half gallon container.)
3 pinches of fresh mint
Yeast

After primary I racked onto juice of 1 lime and 5 small cucumbers cubed.

I still have it bulk aging with the cucumber cubes still in it. Oh my does it ever taste and smell just like cucumber. However just not the pleasant kind of cucumber in my opinion. I hope yours goes well. Just Google search "Cool Cucumber Mead" to find the thread. I think it is a good read.
 
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vanceromance

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So it has cleared significantly in just this past week. Still some slight gassing and a lot of sediment. Here is what it looks like,

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vanceromance

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I decided to rack it off of that sediment today. It had cleared up quite a bit, although I did get some of the sediment during the racking. I'm sure it will settle and they'll be much less for the next racking. lost about 1/4 of a gallon during the racking today.

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vanceromance

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I did try it. It did have a slight cucumber taste but was still very "hot". Hoping it mellows as the year goes on.

Stay tuned....
 
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vanceromance

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Dec 2, 2012
Racked cucumber wine.

It has cleared up quite a bit. Has cucumber taste but is still strong. Hoping it continues to mellow as it ages.

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Jericurl

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I am very interested in hearing how this turned out as well.
 
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vanceromance

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Tried this summer and it was still strong. Still aging in the carboy. I'll try to get a better update soon.
 

Hypershade

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vanceromance said:
Tried this summer and it was still strong. Still aging in the carboy. I'll try to get a better update soon.
How long can you let it sit in the carboy ?
 

Kdog22

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How long can you let it sit in the carboy ?
As long as it's got little headspace and water in the airlock, a long time. Lots of people "bulk age" like this. I tend to leave my wines in the carboys as long as I can, until I have to bottle them to make room for new brews. :mug:
 

Hypershade

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Kdog22 said:
As long as it's got little headspace and water in the airlock, a long time. Lots of people "bulk age" like this. I tend to leave my wines in the carboys as long as I can, until I have to bottle them to make room for new brews. :mug:
Oh cool, didnt know this. So you want the Least amount of air/head space int he carboy? What if you open it is it safe to put the bung back on and leave it more? Lets say 7 mo down the road
 
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