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Old 02-17-2017, 10:20 AM   #1
WilliamSYKES
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I have been making wine for several years now and have just recently started reading on forums like this on how other people make wine and technical terms of the process. The only way I have ever made wine is a 50 gallon barrel that is food safe and airtight with a cork with a hose running through it one end is in the barrel and the other end goes into a jar of water so the gases that are made during fermentation can escape and keep the barrel airtight. I usually get between 30-40 gallons of wine every batch and all have been really good. I always use the actual fruit instead of the juice and filter once or twice through a cheese cloth strainer that I make. Does anyone else make wine like this or is it a outdated way of making wine?

 
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:45 AM   #2
Johnd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamSYKES View Post
I have been making wine for several years now and have just recently started reading on forums like this on how other people make wine and technical terms of the process. The only way I have ever made wine is a 50 gallon barrel that is food safe and airtight with a cork with a hose running through it one end is in the barrel and the other end goes into a jar of water so the gases that are made during fermentation can escape and keep the barrel airtight. I usually get between 30-40 gallons of wine every batch and all have been really good. I always use the actual fruit instead of the juice and filter once or twice through a cheese cloth strainer that I make. Does anyone else make wine like this or is it a outdated way of making wine?
Essentially, you are doing the same thing we are, just with different equipment. Fermentation barrel or brute fermenter, same thing. Cork with hose going into jar of water = an airlock. Filtering through cheesecloth after pressing instead of racking off of the lees accomplishes much of the same thing. In the end, if you are letting it sit and get clear, we're on the same track...........Personally, though, I like the fancy toys, but that's just me.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:07 PM   #3
WilliamSYKES
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Ok thanks! I was really surprised when I saw how different people made wine. I'm hoping to prefect some of my wines this year and will be establishing a commercial winery in the next few years.

 
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:52 AM   #4
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I want to speak honestly and not candy coat this.

I am willing to guess that the method you use was taught to you by either your father or grandfather?

I would say that the method you use is the same as our method in principle only and is WAY oversimplified. If what you describe above is a detailed account of your wine making process, then you have a long way to go before going commercial.

You make no mention of PH, ABV, TA, Nutrient, Yeast strain, bulk aging, basic sanitation or sulfides (just to name a few). If none of these things mean anything to you, then I have to say that you have a lot to learn.

Please do not be offended by what I am saying. I have been winemaking for close to 30 years, have been a member here for 7 years, and still feel that I have a lot to learn too.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:37 AM   #5
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Making fruit ferment is as easy as letting crushed fruit sit there. Making the resulting product be the best as it can be, requires a lot of detail, as JohnT noted.

 
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:07 AM   #6
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I'd like to know a little more about your process... Do you keep the wine in that one barrel until it is time to bottle? Do you siphon to get your wine out of the barrel or do you pour or maybe the barrel has a spigot? How long from pitching yeast to bottling? You don't use any additives at all, just pitch the yeast?
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:19 PM   #7
WilliamSYKES
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Originally Posted by bkisel View Post
I'd like to know a little more about your process... Do you keep the wine in that one barrel until it is time to bottle? Do you siphon to get your wine out of the barrel or do you pour or maybe the barrel has a spigot? How long from pitching yeast to bottling? You don't use any additives at all, just pitch the yeast?
Yes it stays in that one barrel until the fermentation process is over and then I filter it and bottle. Usually let it sit in the bottles for a few months before I open the first bottle. I've never used yeast or any additives just the fruit which is usually the soft fruit from our packing line and sugar and water. It's a very simple way and it makes very good wine. My grandfathers muscadine wine was tried by several wine connoisseurs that we know and they swore it was the absolute best they had ever had and they routinely spent 50 or more dollars on one bottle of wine

 
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
WilliamSYKES
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I want to speak honestly and not candy coat this.

I am willing to guess that the method you use was taught to you by either your father or grandfather?

I would say that the method you use is the same as our method in principle only and is WAY oversimplified. If what you describe above is a detailed account of your wine making process, then you have a long way to go before going commercial.

You make no mention of PH, ABV, TA, Nutrient, Yeast strain, bulk aging, basic sanitation or sulfides (just to name a few). If none of these things mean anything to you, then I have to say that you have a lot to learn.

Please do not be offended by what I am saying. I have been winemaking for close to 30 years, have been a member here for 7 years, and still feel that I have a lot to learn too.
I understand that as a commercial operation will be much different than my hobby wine making. I am actually starting a Viticulture and Enology program this fall. I'll probably still make my hobby wine the same way just for the sake of preserving a family tradition. My family and extended family have been making wine from blueberries and muscadines this way for well over 100 years. My great grandmother had a bottle of blueberry wine that my great great grandfather made at the turns of the century and was still sealed.

 
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #9
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I love it. Do you measure the specific gravity so you know how much sugar to add and when fermentation is complete? I'd be interested in doing an indigenous yeast fermentation, but when I plunk down over $1,000 for grapes, I get scared.

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Old 02-21-2017, 02:19 PM   #10
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I understand that as a commercial operation will be much different than my hobby wine making. I am actually starting a Viticulture and Enology program this fall.
That is simply awesome!
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