Wine making 101

Well, let's see. First you buy her a cubic zirconia ring instead of a diamond, then you take her to Mickey D's instead of that expensive steak place, then . . . Uh, wait . . . Sorry. I thought this post was about whine making 101. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
47,774
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Takes too long and doesn't take too good to 5 gallon batches like beer. Then after a year or three of aging it hasn't improved much so it goes to waste. I made a pretty good pear wine (perry). A decent Pinot Nior (aged like 4 years but still huge). I give you this much, it's tougher to make a good wine at home than a good beer. The best "wine" I made was a Red Currant Lambic Beer! Sparkling and dry with a hint of earthy fruit, really not much malt at all (60% wheat malt and rice). Women loved that juice! Only a little hops, but no bittering hops.
 
Messages
9,785
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
artists make wine, engineers make beer. I don't have enough control over wine and it takes too long to make at home. Besides that I live in one of californias wine regions so there is literally a hundred wineries withen 1 hour of me.
 
Messages
3,202
Location
Far North East Texas
Don't remember where I heard or read this, but I'll post it here anyway. The #1 requirement to make good wine- don't let flat-chested gals stomp the grapes! [Big Grin] If that ain't true, it oughtta be. [Cheers!]
 

Nebraskan

Thread starter
Messages
613
Location
SW Michigan, near Fennville
Well, I'm around it a lot too, and not living in California. I work as an Associate Winemaker. We have tanks waiting for bottling/blending and we are now gearing up for a harvest just around the corner. California is ahead of us in that regards, they have already started there. We made a Red Raspberry wine and had it finished and in the bottle in as little as 45 days here. I started out with Welches Concord grape juice concentrate, adding water and sugar, and some bakers yeast (wine yeasts do work a little better) and then having it ready to consume in about 3 weeks. That was when I was a senior in HS, back in 1971. I STILL have a tendency to make some wine at home, even with all the grapes pressed,crushed,etc etc. I like to make about 2 gallons of our Pinot Noir clone 777 and 667 at home. At the winery they all get dumped togethter and I really think those 2 clones are the exceptional ones of the bunch. Most of the winemaking is just following cleanliness, using enough, but not too much sugar in the beginning, and some patience for it to settle and there are a few tricks to that as well.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
There's a winery on every corner here these days. Every spare block of land you see vines growing or going in. The new retirement goal of Australians. Had a Colombard Viognier blend last night, never seen that blend before. Sales Manager bouht cases online from Grays Auctions. Very expensive, $3 a bottle! Not worth the effort to make it when it's that cheap.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Agreed. I'm only interested in the best but the CV blend was offered so I took it. Retail $20+. I have a case of 375ml Late Harvest Semillon coming which will be interesting. And a case of Chardonnay brand/vintage unknown. These guys at work spend an hour or more every 2nd day hitting on Grays Auctions for wine and beer at ludicrous prices like $24 for a case of wine with retail between $20-$30 a bottle.
 

Nebraskan

Thread starter
Messages
613
Location
SW Michigan, near Fennville
Well, I started this thread since it is getting close to fall, grape harvest and all, and thought there might be someone with a question about yeast to use for dry wine, or what percentage of sugar should I start out with.. those type of things. But in Canberra, you are getting ready for bud break and vines growing. I know a lot more about comptuers and winemaking than I do about oils, but I'm learning.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Bud break is here. I also know a little about computers and winemaking and oils. More about good/organic food(s) and sprintcar racing. I sell IT mainly hardware for a living. Fell into it by accident after being a techo for 20 odd years..s
 

KW

Messages
1,686
Location
Central Arkansas
Is it possible to use my beer making stuff to make wine? About the most complicated stuff I do is partial mashes for beer. I bought most of my outfit in England. I have a couple of big brew pots, two 6 gallon plastic fermenters, one 6 gallon glass carboy primary fermenter, two glass carboy secondary fermenters, two 5 gallon EDME pressure kegs. And of course an assortment of flip top bottles.
 

Nebraskan

Thread starter
Messages
613
Location
SW Michigan, near Fennville
Yes or course you can use some of your brewmaking equip for making wine. eg. 1> A clean 5 gallon pail(small batch) dump in grapes, mash with empty or full flat bottom wine bottle (just an example). Remove stems by hand whether red or white grapes (fruit, just ignore this). Now you have a crusher/destemer 2> If it's a red wine just check the sugar content to be about 22-24 brix (%) add wine yeast 3> stir 2 times daily minimum(Red). 4> When done (or near done) fermenting, most of the fruit is now mixed in and not alway on top. Then put into another 5 gallon plastic pail with plastic collander or such to remove as much of the pulp/seeds/stems as possible. 5> Pour this into glass carboys 1gal, 5 gal, etc. but at this point does NOT have to be nearly full and if still doing some fermenting perfer NOT to be completey full. add an airlock, wich can be fancy water filled airlocks or just the lid on loose (I use the lid on loose). 6> When done bubbling, siphon off the gross less from the bottom into another carboy (glass jug) now fill FULL. Leave it for a while. 7> If it's grape wine chill it down in the winter or put in a refrigerator to drop excess cream of tarter out of the wine. It will eventually form as crystals on the bottom of the carboy. This also removes excesses of Tartaric acid and softens the wine quite a bit. Rack again (off settlings) about a month later (or 6 weeks) into another clean container. If you have campden tables (potassium metabisulfite) you should use them after fermentation 1 tablet per gallon of wine. You can use real potassium metabisulfite, but have to use it at a rate of around 40 - 80 ppm.. which would be pretty small for 1 gallon (ie < 1 gram). If you like the wine sweeter, then add some Potassium Sorbate 1/8 tsp per gallon, add sugar to taste and bottle up.
 
Messages
23,769
Location
CA
Charles Shaw is < $4.00/bottle at Trader Joe's, and tastes better than many higher priced wines on the market. Actually, you must have a lot of time on your hands to consider backyard wine brewing.
 
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