How does one create a wine recipe?

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The forager

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I'm pretty new to wine making. I look at many different youtube videos on wine making and I'm wondering how they come up with their proportions of fruit and sugar in each recipe. I would like to make 4 gallons of Pear Wine and every recipe I see has varying amounts of fruit. How do I know how much to choose? Also, do people just go by 1 gallon recipe and multiply the fruit / sugar by 4 to make 4 gallons?
 

lumpher

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Different amounts of fruit have different amounts of flavor. How strong do you want the fruit taste? As far as multiplying it, yes, for 4 gallons x4 the ingredients used for 1.
 
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The forager

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Different amounts of fruit have different amounts of flavor. How strong do you want the fruit taste? As far as multiplying it, yes, for 4 gallons x4 the ingredients used for 1.
I see. I wasn’t sure if there was a fast rule or not around the ratio of fruit to sugar.
 

MilesBFree

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I suggest looking for the Brix scale number for a fruit, but this will be a generic number and the actual fruit you use will likely vary from that depending on variety of fruit, ripeness of the actual fruit you have on hand, etc. But at least it will give you a starting point.


I have a rough idea of what i would expect a recipe to have in terms of added sugar so if a recipe ii find online seems WAY off i keep looking for more and see if most of them gravitate to a particular number.

And for certain recipes like dandelion wine, ypou know the flower petals have negligible sugar so depending on the alcohol level you are after and residual sweetness, I add 2-1/2 - 3 lbs of sugar per gallon. (It is basically sugar wine infused with flavor from the petals.)

On the other end of the spectrum, wine grapes, I believe, have all the sugar needed so no more is added. Likewise mead - honey is mostly sugar.

So fruit wine like the plum wine i have in progress is somewhere in the middle. I bought a boxed bag of plum puree that had the brix number on the box, so approximated from there.
 
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The forager

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I have so much to learn! I use a hydrometer but have no idea how that measures Brix.

I will look over that chart on the link you sent for guidance. Thanks very much!
 

Raptor99

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The easiest thing is to look at several recipes, then decide on the quantities of ingredients. Here is the basic list:
* Fruit
* Sugar
* Water
* Acid blend
* Pectic enzyme
* Yeast nutrient
* Kmeta ( or campden tablets)

You will need to determine what to use and how much to use for each basic ingredient type. Just like cooking, it is best to start with a known recipe, then start to modify it as you gain experience.

For the question of how much sugar to add, here is what I usually do:
* Freeze/thaw the fruit, then mash it and put it in a nylon mesh bag
* Add the water
* Add about 2/3 of the sugar you expect to need (based on the recipe and your target ABV)
* Add campden tablet, acid blend, and pectic enzyme
* Mix everything up and then wait for 12-24 hours.
* Then press the mesh bag with a spoon to release juice and mix thoroughly.
* Use your hydrometer to measure SG (or Brix), and calculate how much additional sugar you need.

You will need to do something similar with the acid blend and measuring pH

Once the sugar level and pH are correct, you are ready to add yeast nutrient and yeast.


Then
 

madscientist451

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Keep in mind that pears you would normally eat either raw or cooked do not make the best pear wine, or "perry". Perry pears are pretty much inedible. Also, fruit wines generally don't taste very much like the fruit you are using. Most of the flavor and aroma are lost in the fermentation process. I've never made wine from a kit, but if you are a straight novice, you may want to try one. You may also want to just get some apple juice and try some hard cider. Keep it simple, apple juice and yeast. Adding sugar can provide a "hot" rocket fuel flavor that some people tolerate, but I find repulsive. 1 gallon batches are the way to go when you are starting out, then if you don't like the results, dumping it isn't as much of an economic loss compared to a 5 gallon batch.
:inbottle:
 

Raptor99

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I have made some good pear wine using Bartlett pears. Not as good as perry pears, but I could get them for a good price. I used 7-8 lbs. of pears per gallon, but more would be better. With these pears, you need to add some acid and tannins to good balance of flavors. Pear is a delicate flavor, so you need to manage the fermentation to preserve the fruit flavor. My favorite yeast for pear wine is D47.

+1 on making 1-gallon batches for your experiments
 
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The forager

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The easiest thing is to look at several recipes, then decide on the quantities of ingredients. Here is the basic list:
* Fruit
* Sugar
* Water
* Acid blend
* Pectic enzyme
* Yeast nutrient
* Kmeta ( or campden tablets)

You will need to determine what to use and how much to use for each basic ingredient type. Just like cooking, it is best to start with a known recipe, then start to modify it as you gain experience.

For the question of how much sugar to add, here is what I usually do:
* Freeze/thaw the fruit, then mash it and put it in a nylon mesh bag
* Add the water
* Add about 2/3 of the sugar you expect to need (based on the recipe and your target ABV)
* Add campden tablet, acid blend, and pectic enzyme
* Mix everything up and then wait for 12-24 hours.
* Then press the mesh bag with a spoon to release juice and mix thoroughly.
* Use your hydrometer to measure SG (or Brix), and calculate how much additional sugar you need.

You will need to do something similar with the acid blend and measuring pH

Once the sugar level and pH are correct, you are ready to add yeast nutrient and yeast.


Then
Haven’t measured the PH on any wine yet. Still trying to understand the Brix.
 

lukebuz

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Skip the PH measurement and acid titration kits. Way overcomplicating things.
Make your wine, and when it comes time to bottle, have a sample. Is it a little flat? Lacking "zing"? Add a teaspoon of acid blend. Stir, sample again. Add until you've hit a spot that tastes great to you, but isn't sour or too tart.
 

bwible

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I have so much to learn! I use a hydrometer but have no idea how that measures Brix.

I will look over that chart on the link you sent for guidance. Thanks very much!
I’m pretty sure you measure brix with a refractometer. Not a hydrometer.

Its a thing I don’t know why. Wineries measure in brix. Breweries always want to do Plato. Most homebrewers do specific gravity. Three different ways with three different systems to measure the same thing. The amount (concentration) of sugar and thus the amount of *potential* alcohol. There are formulas or online calculators to convert one to another.

Then there’s degrees Balling, which I’m not sure if its the same as brix or its own thing - but almost nobody bothers with that one.
 
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bwible

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Keep in mind that pears you would normally eat either raw or cooked do not make the best pear wine, or "perry". Perry pears are pretty much inedible. Also, fruit wines generally don't taste very much like the fruit you are using. Most of the flavor and aroma are lost in the fermentation process. I've never made wine from a kit, but if you are a straight novice, you may want to try one. You may also want to just get some apple juice and try some hard cider. Keep it simple, apple juice and yeast. Adding sugar can provide a "hot" rocket fuel flavor that some people tolerate, but I find repulsive. 1 gallon batches are the way to go when you are starting out, then if you don't like the results, dumping it isn't as much of an economic loss compared to a 5 gallon batch.
:inbottle:
Wine kits make dececent wine today. The problem to me with those is the size and the cost. The boxed kits are juice concentrate in a bag that are designed to make 6 gallons of wine. Which would be about (30) 750ml bottles. That’s alot of wine for one person or household and alot to have of one wine or one kind of wine. To me.

They come with the juice concentrate and all the chemical additions to add, oak if its appropriate to the wine, and yeast. The cost of these kits is in the neighborhood of $120. Which works out to about $4 a bottle.

I’ve seen some homebrew shops and online that sell juice concentrate in smaller cans to make smaller quantities but those don’t come with all the additives and yeast.

The kits are very very easy. You literally dump your juice in the fermentor, top up with water, add whatever additive they tell you from a little package, add yeast and stir. Put your lid on and airlock and you’re done.
Transfer to carboy after 2 weeks or when its ready. Add the next numbered additive from the little pack. Wait and bottle.

You generally stir in bentonite at the beginning when you mix up the kit. Thats helps the wine clear later. The other packs are metabisulfite which is stabilizer they have you add after the wine is finished. And chitosan which is another clarifier.

I’ve made the 6 gallon kits and had very good ones. They put out limited edition kits too once a year toward the end of the year which are premium kits and usually really good.
 
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The forager

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Wine kits make dececent wine today. The problem to me with those is the size and the cost. The boxed kits are juice concentrate in a bag that are designed to make 6 gallons of wine. Which would be about (30) 750ml bottles. That’s alot of wine for one person or household and alot to have of one wine or one kind of wine. To me.

They come with the juice concentrate and all the chemical additions to add, oak if its appropriate to the wine, and yeast. The cost of these kits is in the neighborhood of $120. Which works out to about $4 a bottle.

I’ve seen some homebrew shops and online that sell juice concentrate in smaller cans to make smaller quantities but those don’t come with all the additives and yeast.

The kits are very very easy. You literally dump your juice in the fermentor, top up with water, add whatever additive they tell you from a little package, add yeast and stir. Put your lid on and airlock and you’re done.
Transfer to carboy after 2 weeks or when its ready. Add the next numbered additive from the little pack. Wait and bottle.

You generally stir in bentonite at the beginning when you mix up the kit. Thats helps the wine clear later. The other packs are metabisulfite which is stabilizer they have you add after the wine is finished. And chitosan which is another clarifier.

I’ve made the 6 gallon kits and had very good ones. They put out limited edition kits too once a year toward the end of the year which are premium kits and usually really good.
I’ve made the kits. Yes they are easy.
 

Coffee49

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I'm pretty new to wine making. I look at many different youtube videos on wine making and I'm wondering how they come up with their proportions of fruit and sugar in each recipe. I would like to make 4 gallons of Pear Wine and every recipe I see has varying amounts of fruit. How do I know how much to choose? Also, do people just go by 1 gallon recipe and multiply the fruit / sugar by 4 to make 4 gallons?
Start up is basic with 21brix (10% alcohol I discover after 2nd racking the wine gives a true sweetness taste, I will post sweeten just before bottling, using 1 cup dissolved sugar for semi sweet and 2 cups dissolved for sweet
 
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The forager

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Start up is basic with 21brix (10% alcohol I discover after 2nd racking the wine gives a true sweetness taste, I will post sweeten just before bottling, using 1 cup dissolved sugar for semi sweet and 2 cups dissolved for sweet
is there a chance the bottles can explode when back sweetening then bottling straight away?
 
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