Would like some wine direction

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Arpolis

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Hello everyone

I had some thoughts and questions on a good wine recipe and would love some input.

First off I have a good background in mead but nothing in wine really. So I have much of the basics down. So hopefully I do not come off as a complete noob.

While talking about my mead with my father he said would love to brew a nice grape wine but has not really taken the time to do so. So I want to put together all the equipment for him and start him off with a good recipe.

Here is my dilemma: since all I know is mead I can't wrap my head around some things. My biggest issue which you all may correcty my thinking is that all the recipes I find all use some table sugar. In mead making table sugar is highly frowned upon. I have read through the wine forum for a bit and googled a ton of recipes. I came up with the following is what I thought as a sound recipe so let me know if I am crazy.

5 gal of father son wine

25lb of table grapes (white)
25lb of raisins (golden)
Pectin enzyme
3tsp Acid blend*
Yeast nutrients
Nutriferm advanced

Yeast starter:
Yeast: Lavlin K1V-1116
1 100mg b6 tablet
1cup spring water
10 chopped raisins
1/4 cup of honey

Ok so to start:

Make the starter 8-12 hours before starting the wine. Start with 1cup of spring water and 1/4 cup of honey and mix well. Chop up 10 raisins finely and add. Crush 1 100mg b6 tablet and add. Mix the starter really well and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Wait till time to pitch.

Take the table grapes and the both of us would de-stem them and place them in nylon bags and squeeze as much juice out as we can & adding it to a large stock pot.

Finely chop up the golden raisins and add to the stock pot. Heat the juice to 130*F and hold for 30 min. This is mainly to sterilize and extract as much sugar from the raisins as possible.

Let cool to 100*F and then add pectin enzyme. Let it sit until temp reaches 70*F or room temp.

Transfer the juice to carboy and add in 3tsp of acid blend and add yeast nutrients per package directions, top off with spring water. I will take the gravity reading here. I am hoping this ferments dry to an ABV of about 12-14%.

Pitch the starter, add blow off tube for the first day or two and then switch to airlock.*

At the 1/3 sugar break add on the nutriferm advanced as package directs.

When there is lees 1 in. or more rack to secondary. Then rack every 3-4 weeks until there is no real sediments dropping.*

Before bottling add in 5 campden tablets and potassium sorbate to stabilize & back sweeten with welches grape concentrate to a gravity of 1.01.

Let that age in carboy for a couple of weeks to make sure no fermentation starts up and then bottle.

What do you think? Should I change anything?
 

cyberlord

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I think you'd be better off purchasing a wine kit. You'll have a much better product in the end.

What you re basically making is raisin wine and that tastes different than wine from grapes. Also the end result from the raisins depends on the quality of the grapes prior to being dried. So you may end up with decent raisin wine or crap.

I'm not sure the cost of the raisins and grapes this time of year but I'm sure for a few extra 10s of dollars if you purchase a wine kit you'll have better results.

IMHO ;)
 
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Arpolis

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I know wine kits are pretty well excepted but in the mead community kits are usually steered away from so that has been my habit for a while. The only reason I choose to do raisins is because I wanted to forgo table sugar. I know that table grapes have a lower sugar content than wine grapes but I figured pound for pound raisins are like grape concentrate. So will have a higher sugar content for the volume which would allow me to break 12% ABV without adding sugar. If I went with 50# of standard grapes "probably some of the good ones that SAMs club gets in once a blue moon", would the sugar content be good for 12+ ABV? Overall though are the steps sound in the recipe?
 

cyberlord

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Well I think it takes about 80 to 90 pounds of wine grapes to make 5 gallons. Table grapes are less juicy, have less sugar and usually more acid. There in lies the problem. You have to add more grapes to get the quantity of juice. This increases the acid and you have to cut the grapes with water to reduce the acid which reduces the sugar levels. It's a spiral you can't control without adding sugar.

There doesn't seem to be a problem with your instructions, wine is made very much like mead so follow the same principles.

There is nothing wrong with wine kits, they are usually just decent grade wine grape juice. It's like buying honey for mead. It's just one of the ingredients.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting, I know I've done lots of it. But if you want good predictable results I still recommend going with a good wine grape juice kit.
 

Hummer

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I agree that table grapes and raisins would likely make a disappointing wine for a wine drinker. For your father's first effort a kit is a good place to start. I don't think much of the cheaper wine kits, especially reds, but the higher end kits can make decent wine.

With a little reading you'll find that table sugar is perfectly fine and universally used for fruit/grape wines using wine yeasts. Wine ferments table sugar completely (or nearly so) without leaving behind unfermentable sugars that in beer produces undesirable flavor.

You might be able to source wine grapes grown in OK or brought in by a home brew store. Fresh fruit wines can be fantastic, and easy to make. Most LHBS carry wine grape juice concentrates that will produce better wine than table grapes and raisins. I often ferment fresh fruit like apples, peaches, apricots, etc. with some wine juice concentrate to make very tasty wines.
 
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Arpolis

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Yea my lhbs has lots of concentrates of different fruits but not grapes? Unless you buy a kit. I may look around and see if there are any wine grape growers around or that can be shipped for not that much. I still may get a kit but would like fresh fruits instead of concentrates if possible.
 

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Yea my lhbs has lots of concentrates of different fruits but not grapes? Unless you buy a kit. I may look around and see if there are any wine grape growers around or that can be shipped for not that much. I still may get a kit but would like fresh fruits instead of concentrates if possible.
Grapes are harvested in the fall, but sometimes can be found frozen in pails after the harvest.

Keep in mind that using grapes and making wine involves pH adjustment, brix adjustments, acid adjustment, etc. It's not as simple as throwing some table grapes into a bin and fermenting them. You also need a crusher, and a press.

Sometimes you can find some pressed juices (particularly whites, since they are pressed before fermentation) frozen, and with the acid adjustments already made. They are usually pretty good quality, although you usually get better results with a wine kit if you're not an expert winemaker.
 
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