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New at wine making, want to help us??

Posted by Karen_sl (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 17, 05 at 1:37

We have had some help from an older neighbor who makes awesome wine..so we really are doing things right.
We have 13 gallons of concord grape going now.
Unfortunatley the neighbor has had a heart attack and we have some questions.
We have racked the wine twice, should we do so again to get rid of any more settlings??
It has been working for a couple of months, can we drink some for the holidays??
I know we want to wait until March or so to bottle, but some (the last batch) is very dry.
Do we sweeten and then stabilize before bottling?
Hope someone can help us, we do so want this to be good.
Karen L


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Karen, need a little more info..what are you making your wine in? Did you use a hydrometer to make your wine? Do you want a sweeter wine rather than dry? what kind of yeast did you use? Has it stopped working?? Did your neighbor use chemicals to begin the wine? How much settling is on the bottom now?

Yes you can sweeten the dry wine..but you need a chemical to prevent it from working futher..DO NOT bottle a wine that is still working! and yes..you can drink it at any time..but wait until it stops working..And as to the racking times..it should be racked after it stops working..and then another after it sets more..To many racks allows more air to enter the wine and will hurt the taste..and using a mesh straining bag at the beginning will eliminate the number of racks to probably only one rack, and then while bottling leave the left over residue in the bottom..which should be only a trace..

Concord is a grape that makes a very good wine.MY favorite.. enjoy..


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Did you use a air lock on your bottle or cask? if you did ,do not open it until the bubbles have stopped, as you can get airborne contaminates in your wine, that is why you use an air lock.I have made many gallons of grape wine and have not lost a batch yet using the air lock method and always 50 gallons at a time.

I only strain the juice once before fermenting and being careful when siphoning the finished wine into bottles after the fermenting is done.

NEVER, and I mean NEVER! put sugar into your bottles when you are bottling the wine, they will EXPLODE!!If you want to make something like a sparkling Burgundy (Cold Duck) you should mix or (batch) the wine with sugar before bottling and using Champagne bottles and NEW wires and corks.

My first experiment with making a Cold Duck was that I put a teaspoon of sugar into all the bottles of wine instead of batching the sugar with the wine, then I corked and wired them and then put them in the cellar to age. WOW, you should have heard those bottles going off at four AM. LOL, sounded like WW4!

BTW, you don't need yeast when making wine from grapes, they have their own yeast on the skins, The (white powder) stuff on a grape is yeast and they are the only fruit that has It's own yeast..

Last summer I picked elderberry blossoms and made Elderberry Blossom wine, The wine will be finished at Christmas but I couldn't resist to crack a bottle and taste a few days early, Yummmmmm, dark amber in color, sweet and a bit fruity. I would say, more like a cordial than a wine. I have the recipe if anyone wishes it..


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Actually other fruits also have yeast blooms, as it is called. Yeast has successfully mutated to colonize anything and everything that it possibly can, including human beings but, that is neither here nor there as to this discussion.
Their are many, many varieties of yeast, as is evident with the wine making yeast that comes from different regions of France that can be purchased through a vinters supply.
Some fruits have been used for their wild yeast to start sourdough starters as well. Mother Earth News once did an article on fruits and wild yeasts, and it was a wine making article.
Personally I enjoy country wines, and sometimes drink them young. Some wines lend themselves more to that than others, of course.
If you are wanting to make a wine to be enjoyed while young then you may want to try using a yeast that is more specific for that purpose. Lalvine yeast offers a type labeled 71B-1122 that is suited for that purpose.
If you are not stuck on making your own Beaujolais Nouveau, and would like to try a country wine that is fairly good when young, then you may like to try making one with any of the various cranberry juice cocktails on the market. They now have cocktails with raspberries, strawberriess, and one called wildberries, among others worth making a wine with, and that bypasses dealing with a must. Easier than pie.
By the way; even though yeast does exist on other fruits grapes are indeed the only fruit where the fruit is allowed to use its own yeast for the fermentation process. A wine making yeast, which is a grape yeast, should always be used for country wines that are made from various fruits and vegetables other than grapes. The natural yeast that may occur on other fruit is first killed of with sulfur tabs before adding the much more desirable wine making yeast.
Perhaps this need not even be said here but, although making wine with baking yeast can be and has been commonly done,to me there definitely is a big difference. I have known several country folks over the years who make their wine that way.


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Hi the chemical You buy If you want to sweeten the wine is potassium sorbate,and you stabalize then sweeten,Potasium sorbate does not kill yeast instintaly it stops them from reproducing killing them off.Also you can get wine conditioner which will help speed up the aging, but is a sweetener.There are non fermentable sugers you can buy,but don't want to give the wrong answer, because Im not quite sure.one non fermentable used in Milk stouts is Lactose U.S.P.(is it surcose?) You wanted to drink some by Christmas or I mean Easter I'd wait longer seeing you just posted it will taste better if you let it age longer,but whats a couple of bottles.Other than that K-1122 is good used for North American Native Wine Grapes Like OzarkMTman sugested.Do you plan to use finings for clearing like Bentonite or whiped egg whites, but time will clear to.

I just wanted to ask did you adjust the PH If you did you might want to check again before bottling?

Another thing a good way to destem the grapes I read was to get a milk crate than In cheese place grapes in the milk crate, and Cheese cloth and stomp to destem, for my [BLEND] of North American Native Wine Grapes one being concord I placed the skins in a cheese cloth, placed those in the must, and it made it easyer to push the cap down,but secure tightly maybe even a little lose if you deside to do that.


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Karen
Listen to these folks, they know what they're talking about!
moko...please do post that Elderberry Blossom recipe.
I remember picking the berries as a child, and though I'll probably never be able to find elder blossoms, it will help me get through the Winter reading that recipe and imagining the blooms. Gawd! Those Elderberry bushes were over my head and I got thoroughly soaked from head to foot picking the berries at sunrise on an early Summer morning on the upper slopes of a cow pasture here in Connecticut. Man, those Elderberries were acidic and sweet, not quite like any other fruits I know of.


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Woohoo, please post the elderberry recipe.
We have elderberries in the back yard. The bushes were my father in laws and when he passed away we trimmed them and brought them home.
They had a lot of berries last year but we did not know what to do with them!
Karen L
Thanks for all your advice, we have been reading and reading. We both want to do this right.


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

What you need is the book that I bought called HOME WINEMAKING BY TERRY GAREY it is a good read and has lots of recipes and tells you what can go wrong. I have made Concord wine for several years now, each batch tastes different.Go to Google and type in Home Made Wine there is a lot of information there. BETTY


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

If you want something to drink that is ready in short order then perhaps you might try out a ginger beer recipe. It is much lighter than an actual beer, more like a cross between a wine cooler and a ginger ale soda pop. It can be ready in as little as a couple of weeks or so. I use a beer yeast when I make a batch of it.


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Betty--the Garey book is a good introduction to wine making. great suggestion.

Also, the website maintained by Jack Keller is great. Just keyword his name into your search engine.

OzarkMtMan--sooooo? Lets have that recipe, please.

And Karen, maybe the only way you'll know if that wine is ready to drink is by opening up a bottle?


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Elderberry Blossom Wine

1 gallon Boiling water
1 qt Elder blossoms
3 lb Sugar
1 Lemon; thinly sliced
1 T Fresh yeast
Turn off the stove and Put blossoms in the hot water. Let stand 1 hour. Strain, add sugar to
liquid, skim. When lukewarm, add
lemon and yeast. Let stand 24 hours, then strain
and put juice into bottles or jugs to be air locked.

Airlocks are easy to make although you can buy them in wine specialty stores. Take the cork or cap of the bottle or crock your going to ferment in, drill a small hole in it , so a small hose, the same size as the hole, fit the hose into the hole, then paraffin or beeswax around the hole so no air will get in, now take the other end of the hose and put it in a glass of water, then watch the bubbles of fermented gases bubble out in the glass, when the bubbling is done , It's time to cork and let age..

Once you have brought those beautiful umbels of blossoms home, the fun begins, Ha! ,You have to PACK that quart bottle with the tiny blossoms making sure no stems or green parts go in.

With two of us working, about one hour stuffing one quart jar with the blossoms.

The wine is done ageing at Christmas, or a bit earlier!, heh heh heh.... CHEERS!!






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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Thanks moko!
Know what you mean about geting rid of the greens. The one time I did dandelion wine, I had to pick them free of the bitter greens. Trouble was, I did not care much for dandelion wine after going to all that work.
Hope you did not get impatient and drink all that elder blossom after Thanksgiving and so had a bottle left for Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you, and to all!


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RE: New at wine making, want to help us??

Remember to add sulfite when adding sorbate. sulfite(camden) can be added alone but not sorbate.
We subscribed to" Wine Maker" magazine for several years and it's well worth the subscription price.
I like elderblo wine a bit on the sweet side and use some dried flowers in most lots of elderberry and other wines too. lends a nice floral nose. Some of the best port style I have made was elder port and the very best was black currant Port.


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