Newbie needs help and advice! - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Apr 18, 2021
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I'm here today because I need some help and advice in brewing some Ginger Wine for my Whisky Mac nightcap!
Stones Ginger Wine has finally outpriced itself!

I've dusted off my old 5 gallon brewing bin and want to try this recipe from "The Happy Homestead"!:-
Ginger wine is easy to make and is so delicious! This recipe makes a 5 gallon batch and creates a gutsy fiery yet smooth ginger wine.
• 1.5kg of fresh ginger root
• 4kg granulated sugar
• 500g brown sugar
• 500g sultanas
• 1 banana
• High alcohol yeast
Having read several other recipes, which vary wildly in both quantity and ingredients, I'm thinking I'll make a couple of additions/variations but bear in mind I have no idea what I'm doing!:-

First, using raisins instead of sultanas, ..and possibly 2 x 500g, considering the brew quantity?
Also adding the zest and juice from 4 smallish lemons, I don't know why, but they seem to appear in most recipes for Ginger wine.
I have 500g of Ginger and I'm off to buy another 500g, though I feel that 1.5 kilos might be a bit of overkill!
I also propose to add a couple of teaspoons of Dried Chilli Flakes for a bit more heat.
I will also be using all white sugar, no brown as listed in the recipe.
My yeast is a "Yeast and Nutrient mix" from my local brewing shop that I bought a couple of days ago, packaged by a company called "Ritchies" researching it just now, I find that Ritchies has been bought out by "Bevie Handcraft NZ Ltd 2021", which surprised me!
It is current stock though, sealed and the BBE date is March 2023.
I suspect it is just a general purpose yeast, so I'm not expecting an 18/20% Wine, I'd be happy with 12/13%!

Does that sound like it might succeed?

Any advice on "method", or any other wrinkles to help me produce something "drinkable" would be gratefully received!
I have some "pektolase" which I understand I should add at the start to help with pectin breakdown and aid final clearing.
I could also do with some instruction on using my old Beer Hydrometer which has just two scales: ABV and SG!
Thanks in advance!