Does anyone make their own wine?

Discussion in 'The BOC Diner' started by festus, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    I didn't know where to post this, but I guess right here is ok.

    Last year (2008) I made more than 40 gallons, and have touched very little of it. This year was a terrible year for fruit because of excess rain. And I rediscovered fishing this year and didn't have time.

    Just wondering, if you do make wine, what types?
     
  2. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

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    7,187
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    minnesota
    I used to make it in high school, took grape juice concentrate and sugar and a pinch of yeast, not the greatest but I used to have other kids want to buy it. Not the greatest but did the trick.

    I tried to make some strawberry wine once, but threw it away before it was finished, I thought it was not gonna turn out, I didn't know what its supposed to turn out like.
     

  3. festus

    festus New Member

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    Welch's grape juice wine has won many a wine competition and fooled lots of people. Yeah, I started in high school, too. My dad was a jack-of-all-trades, including TV repairman. I'd use various sizes of crocks for whatever size batch, then strain it into gallon jugs, then let it finish, then siphon it off. I'd use the old junked out TV cabinets to store my fermenting wine. Strawberry wine is tricky. When I was a kid I loved it, then after I got older, it's just too perfumy. The secret is to use fresh berries, not the stuff shipped in from California. For some reason the California berries are pithy and make an old off brownish color wine. Fresh berries make almost a cherry red wine.

     
  4. smokey

    smokey New Member

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    I used to make wine. It takes too long so I started to make my own beer. Much faster and I really dont care for wine that much.BUt you cant go wrong with beer.
    smokey
     
  5. festus

    festus New Member

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    I've made beer, too, Smokey, but never got beyond the kit stage. There's a friend in Maryville who does his own whole grain recipes and kegs his. When I made beer I just put 5 gallons of water on to boil, dumped the hop/malt syrup in there, along with sugar, then let it come to a boil again, stirring all the while, and turn off the heat. After it cooled, I poured it into a crock, let it cool, then pitched the yeast. When the hydro dropped to 1.005, I bottled it in quart bottles and 12 oz bottles. This extra sugar allowed a bottle fermentation and a good head without the bottles exploding. After about 2 weeks it was drinkable, but better after 4-6 weeks.
     
  6. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

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    5,379
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    Arnold, MO
    I make Vignoles, Catawba & Concord, on the grape side. With berries, I make Cherry, Peach & Blackberry. For awhile I was up to 185 gallons but way down the last few years, perhaps 85-100 gallons. Either my tastes have changed or they aren't coming out as good as I would like, anymore. I had a few years I was quite proud of, but not lately. This last years batch, I tried blending for the first time. It was better than either, separate.
     

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  7. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

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    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    i have made my own wine on a few occasions but never really perfected it. my roommate in college took a 5 gallon batch of apple wine we made one time and froze it down to make a moonshine like liquer out of it. that was some dangerous stuff...

    i would really like to learn how to make an apple wine. my mom and her friends as well as my female friends all like it and i would like to learn how. we buy it from the apple barn in gatlinburge but i havent come up with a batch yet that can compete.

    great thread festus, this should be a topic head....(hear that paul?? :wink: )
     
  8. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Good looking setup, Tom! My carboys are scattered around on dressers and tables in two spare bedrooms. Mine is terribly disorganized, but that doesn't affect the flavor, of course.

    I only have three rows of grapes, mostly are muscadines, then a few Catawba, Concord, and Niagara. I used to make at least 25 to 30 gallons of blackberry every year. I think the most wine I made at home by myself was maybe 80 gallons or so, and it's been several years. Vignoles, that's the same grape as Ravat, right? I've had Ravat, I think at a winery down toward Chattanooga. I've never tried raising hybrids simply because I couldn't decide which one I wanted. I did make a kit Riesling in Sept. 2008, it's pretty decent, I have about a case left.

     
  9. festus

    festus New Member

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    I think they call that frozen concotion Applejack, Jeremy, and I've heard it can be dangerous. When I was in high school, you could buy a bushel of apples at a roadside stand for $2-$3. That was some very good stuff. I think I added about a few boxes of white raisins to the mash/must. I've never been to the Apple Barn, but they sell their wine in most liquor stores around here. Never tried their apple, but used to buy their muscadine if I was out somewhere or running low at home.

     
  10. playin4funami

    playin4funami New Member

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    4,104
    State:
    Saronville Ne.
    I've made a little hear and there from wild fruit,Elderberry,wild plum,rosehip,and a couple others. none turned out to bad. I worked in ethanol for years,been to fancy alcohol producers conventions and all,If you didn't know ethanol is just 200 proof / 100% pure grain alcohol. You don't drink that,it would kill you,but along the way to becoming grain alcohol you have to make beer first. Since working in the alcohol industry making any at home has no interest anymore,besides that they won't let me do any home distilling:wink: Last thing out the door at a ethanol plant they add 3 to 5 % gasoline to the alcohol to denature it,or make it unfit to drink! crazy the things people will try to drink!
     
  11. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

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    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    they have some really good wine everytime i get down that way or my parents do we buy a case or so to keep for differnt times of the year.... i am going to get started making some wine, i just need a few tips...this is a great thread ill post my questions in a little...
     
  12. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    There's another winery there in Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain Winery. It's one of my favorites. The last time I was there, there was a jelly factory nextdoor.

    I need to work on my labels. I use AutoCAD and Photodraw, but never really put enough time in it to be satisfied. The label I attached was done on another computer in a different version of CAD, and the text formatting didn't come out right.:confused2:

     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  13. pabloracer4748

    pabloracer4748 New Member

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    283
    State:
    Kansas
    When I was a kid I would take bread and mix it with grape juice. let it sit a couple weeks. Wont try that again.:smile2:
     
  14. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Yeah, I've heard of recipes that called for yeast to be moistened and spread on a slice of bread, then float it in grape juice. I don't know what the bread is for, it's just an old hillbilly recipe.
     
  15. mintaka

    mintaka Well-Known Member

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    1,467
    State:
    Charlotte , N.C
    My aunt makes some kind of wine from wild grapes.
    I've never drank any - I see how she behaves at times and , as they say , drinking brings out the DEVIL!!!
    :smile2:
     
  16. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Yeah, I've heard old alcoholics say if you strain that denatured alcohol through light bread, it'll extract the poisons. WRONG!! I don't think any of those folks are around anymore.

     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  17. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    That's probably either muscadine grapes or possum grapes since they're wild, Mason. They make pretty good wine, but unless it's been sweetened pretty heavily toward the end, it's pretty bitter.

     
  18. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

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    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    festus, i like the label man...it looks like something professional... they are alot better than the white tape and black marker labels i use...haha

    i have a question for you, you said you use carboys, when you strain your wine from the initial fermentation do you put it into another glass carboy or do you put it straight in the bottle. i have always strained it into another glass carboy, but i dont see why you couldnt put it straight in the bottle and then place balloons over them while they ferment. i think it could allow me to make much more wine that way with out the need for extra carboys....
     
  19. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
    Thanks for the comment on the label, Jeremy.

    I start my initial fermentation in a food grade plastic fermenter, I have several sizes. The first step is to mash the fruit, and on grapes or any other fruit with big seeds, make sure you don't crush those seeds because you'll get bitter results. I've found out it is much easier if before you begin to ferment to put your pulp into a straining bag first. These straining bags are available in different sizes. After I mash the fruit, I'll open the straining bag, push the bottom of the bag into the fermenter, and if I'm alone, I'll fasten the top of the fermenting bag around the top of the fermenter with clothespins. If I have help, I'll have someone holding the top of the straining bag making sure it doesn't slip. Then I pour my pulp into the straining bag. After this, I pull the straining bag up a bit, and start putting pressure on it. After it gets pressed fairly well, I tie off the bag, then drop it into the fermenter. I have several sizes of bags, and on large batches, sometimes I will use 2 or 3 bags per batch. Fruit wines and some wild American grape wines usually call for water and sugar, I go ahead and add those in the right proportions, then check the Specific Gravity or Potential Alcohol with a hydrometer. Usually I shoot for about 12-1/2% potential alcohol. All the while there's certain chemicals that will be needed, pectic enzyme, sulphites, maybe tannic acid or acid blend, and some other things. Then I cover the fermenter, of course.

    Then 24 hrs. later, I take off the fermenter top, give the bag a good squeeze, stir, then drop it back in, stirring well. Then it's time to add the yeast, and cover. I use this same procedure for 7 days (except for adding yeast).

    After 7 days, (or whenever desired color is obtained), then I pull the bag up, press it fairly hard, but not too hard, and extract the remainder of the juice. The fermenting liquid in the fermenter is then siphoned into a carboy, I usually strain it again through a gallon filter funnel during this process. This filter funnel has to be shaken occasionally and filter popped out ever so often to clean the strainer.

    After about three weeks, I'll siphon the wine into another carboy, making sure the siphon hose doesn't suck any of the sediment from the bottom. I throw this sediment away, but have heard of people drinking the nasty stuff. After 2-3 months, I'll do the same, siphon the clean wine off the sediment. This siphoning is called "racking". After 2-3 more months I'll rack again. The wine can be bottled at this time (3rd racking) if it's completely fermented and clear, but I've been known to rack four times, especially on wild muscadine wine. All this time, you want to make sure the jug is topped up to within 3/4" or so of your rubber stopper or balloon. This prevents air from getting in and turning the wine to vinegar.

    There's a few chemicals and preservatives to add at bottling, some use these, and some don't. But I do, because I usually sweeten my wine a tad to soften it. This will prevent further fermentation and avoid exploding bottles.

    As far as straining directly into bottles, that would create much more work. And besides, fermenting wine needs to be kept in as large a bulk as possible to avoid sudden temperature changes. I have an assortment of jugs and carboys, 1/2 gal, 3/4 gal, 1 gal, 3 gal, 5 gal, and 6 gal. Remember, if you're shooting for five gallons of wine, might as well prepare to make 6-1/2 or 7 gallons at start. This is because you're gonna lose quite a bit in racking. I don't save the sediment for anything, but have heard some will let it dry and use it as yeast later.

    Hope I helped, and feel free to ask questions. I'm not the best at explaining things, anyway. It sounds like Tom makes more wine than I do, so I'm sure he has his $.02 to add later.


     
  20. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

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    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    like i said i am fairly an amateur when it comes to wine making. everything i have done we drank after the first racking. so thats probably why it never turned out very well. had the effect we were looking for, but not the quality. i am going to have to pick up quite a bit of buying materials before i start for real i would think. i have two glass car boys, 1-5 1-6 and the bubblers for both. i used to use a gravity style sifin.