What wine recipe

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

aamcle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
477
Reaction score
45
I would like to try again I've never had success with wine and I'm not entirely sure I have the patience I normally brew beer.

Note. I'm in the UK some US ingredients are not available for example frozen juice is hard to find.

The types of wine I like:-
  • Fleurrie
  • Good Merlot
  • Chardonnay
Not sweet, not too dry, not much Oak but with some reasonable body.

I prefer red wine but chilled the Chardonnay is nice in summer.

I have all the common wine making equipment, including a Harris filter, demijohns, airlocks and so on the rest being shared from my beer brewing equipment.

I've never been successful with wine the last one I did was a juice (pineapple) wine and when I poured it down the drain the rats fled the country!
However as summer approaches I'd like to try again.

If I'm to go to a lot of trouble for just 6 bottles, I bottled 42 beers yesterday, I want something good whether it's a juice wine or a country wine.

I know I can't do a good red without fermenting on the skins but within that limit what recipe can you recommend?

Thanks All. aamcle
 

Coffee49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
38
I recommend a wine expert kit, a Chilean Diablo Rojo, very good red ready in 120 days.
 

Jacob_Marley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
1,231
Reaction score
316
Location
Detroit
With summer coming up I'd suggest Lemon Wine (the one sometimes called "skeeter pee" ... there's an HBT linke below with more info)

Lemon wine is a light, fruity wine, great over ice in the summer.
If you go easy on the ABV%/opening gravity, it is especially easy to drink and very popular with the womenfolk, and makes a great spritzer.

When you read many lemon wine recipes (including Lon DePoppe's original skeeter pee recipe), you'll see that most use the lees leftover from previous wine or beer fermentations for the source of yeast.
However, while I've done that using a wide variety of leftover lees including from banana wine (which is excellent), ginger wine, blueberry wine and quite a few others , I don't suggest that method; instead I'd suggest using fresh yeast which you've hydrated properly and then made a starter with. This is because the low nutrient characteristics, acidity, and preservatives found in bottled lemon juice such as Real Lemon (which is what skeeter pee calls for) can make for unhappy yeast and so the ability to specify what strain of yeast you will use is preferable.

To that end, although I've used many different yeasts for lemon wine, I'd suggest going with EC-1118 because it tends to be quite bullet-proof and relatively problem free.

Though lemon wine made with other yeasts (D47, 71b etc) has improved flavor and aroma in side-by-side fermentations with EC-1118, EC is going to make it easier from start to finish for a successful run. Lemon has lots of flavor and the expression of the lemon characteristics is still strong.

A little about EC-1118 in lemon wine ... it's a fairly bullet-proof yeast that tolerates uncertain nitrogen availability, has a fairly aggressive fermentation, a very short lag phase (which guards against multistress resistance), is very resistant to hydrogen sulfide production (a smelly wine fault), produces moderate sulfites itself when other conditions have been optimized (yeast generated sulfites also slightly affects flavor), and has a strong "competitive factor" against other yeasts.

EC-1118 fermenting temp range is 50* to 86*f and tolerates ETOH/ABV/alcohol levels up to 18% ... though I don't suggest anything near that high.
Lon (aka Minnesotamaker, the originator of skeeter pee) suggests an OG of 1.07 for an ABV of around 10% ... I'd suggest going even a bit lower than that ... I tend to shoot for an ABV of 8% to 9%.
This wine is fermented to dryness and then fined and backsweetened ... I would say backsweeten carefully to your taste (adding a bit of sugar at serving time works well too).

The benzoates and sulfites in a product like Real Lemon are really not a problem as long as you hydrate the yeast in water, then create a proper starter which you've acclimated to the acidity and preservatives with a series of additions of the "must" (the final juice/water/sugar mix you will be fermenting).
Whatever lemon juice product you use, the one thing that it can NOT contain is any form of sorbate such as potassium sorbate ... just read the label when buying.

All this technical stuff having been said ...

I would say, don't let the learning curve put you off!!!
Just charge ahead and do your best.
Skeeter Pee is ready to drink quickly and does not require aging. It also makes a wonderful sparkling product.

One thing about Lemon Wine ... with the summer months, batches are "truly good and truly gone" ... I'd suggest doing larger batches ... the stuff goes quick.

Though there are other threads and recipes on HBT for it ...

Here is a link to an large HBT thread on making Skeeter Pee
 

Jacob_Marley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
1,231
Reaction score
316
Location
Detroit
another suggestion ...

As it has been said that grapes are the perfect thing to make wine from.
Grapes contain everything that is necessary to make successful wine ... a good sugar profile, the correct pH and acidity, nutrients, tannin components, and even the actual yeast, which exists in the natural environment on the skins of grapes.
It has been suggested that if you fell into a vat of grapes and had a seizure, in two weeks you'd have wine.

That said, one of the most straightforward ways to make wine is with store bought Welch's grape juice. This is particularly helpful if you are just getting into winemaking and working out your understanding and method as small inexpensive batches can be produced.

If there are examples of grape wine recipes, comparable to the veritable "Joe's Ancient Orange" type recipes, but for grape wine ... here is one ...

This is Yooper's simple recipe for Welch's grape wine.



and as far as my reference above to "Joe's Ancient Orange" ...
Joe's Ancient Orange is a legendary recipe designed by Joe Mattioli for a "one pot" (so to speak) honey mead wine ... SO, another wine recipe that you should at least consider and definitely worth reading about
 
Last edited:
Top