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Wine Making Talk

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Ikeya

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So I am new to wine making. I have my 3rd batch going right now. I come out with about 2 gallons each time. I loosely follow recipes from the boon I got and creditable websites. I have made
Pinapple and strawberry
Strawberry, BlackBerry, and pomegranate
Mango and strawberry

My first 2 came out around 15-16%. My family tells me "that wine be hitting different." Lol typically this is what I do

Wash and cut fruit
Put into mesh bag and hand crush
Heat sugar and water. Let cool and add
Add acid blend, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrient
Weigh liquid with hydrometer
Let sit for 24 hours
Add yeast. Cover with towel
Stir each day (sometimes more than once)
Measure weight each day.
When sugar levels drop add more (my goal is high alcohol wine)
After around 7 days (when yeast is about done)
Rack off to carboy (2 of 1 gallon carboys)
If too much head space top off with other wine or water.
Let sit for 1 to 2 months. Racking again in sediment is bad.
Rack into new carboys and add campden tablet in about ½ cup of warm water with ½ tsp. of potassium sorbate. Add to wine and let sit 24 hours
Then pour multiple glasses of small amounts and add different amounts of homemade simple syrup for sweetness (brown sugar and white sugar mix or honey and sugar)
Bottle and cork.
(I keep my room around 74 or 75 to help with the fermentation)

I'm planning on using lorann extract this time to help with fpack.

So any advice or thoughts would be great. Or just how you do it. I dont have much interest in grape wine making. I find other fruits more interesting and fun. But like I said very new to this.
 

Scooter68

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Reduce your ABV by starting out with a lower initial SG. Fruit wines with too high an ABV tend to just burn and not present the best flavor. (Except for those made as sweeter dessert wines)
Not going to comment on the details of your process but that high ABV is likely hindering what people think of the wines. They can get good an snockered on it but the taste is just overwhelmed by the alcohol.
 

Ikeya

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I forgot to put that I use 2x the amount of fruit called for to try and cover the high alcohol
 

Rice_Guy

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* before the initial “let sit 24 hours” I assume you add Camden tablet, metabisulphite helps kill unwanted microbes. Red grape has antioxidants in the skin, with fruit wines we are chasing oxidation, usually with metabisulphite.
* I like double fruit and over the last two years have started to blend a high acid fruit with a lower acid usually more aromatic fruit. At some point you need a pH meter, cheap ones work well enough. If the must is light color pH paper will start you in that direction. pH acts as another preservative aLeo helps with oxidation. I target 3.3 +/- .1
* I have played with 14% primary alcohol with the logic, I run high fruit (flavors) so why not top off with water when racking and eventually get diluted to the normal 11 or 12%
* fruits will retain aromas better if the fermentation is 60 to 65F.
* it helps if you can find experienced wine makers to taste and describe the flavors, ,,, and suggest how to manage any off flavors. ,,, or a contest or state fair.

Have fun and good luck.
 
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Ikeya

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* before the initial “let sit 24 hours” I assume you add Camden tablet, metabisulphite helps kill unwanted microbes. Red grape has antioxidants in the skin, with fruit wines we are chasing oxidation, usually with metabisulphite.
* I like double fruit and over the last two years have started to blend a high acid fruit with a lower acid usually more aromatic fruit. At some point you need a pH meter, cheap ones work well enough. If the must is light color pH paper will start you in that direction. pH acts as another preservative aLeo helps with oxidation. I target 3.3 +/- .1
* I have played with 14% primary alcohol with the logic, I run high fruit (flavors) so why not top off with water when racking and eventually get diluted to the normal 11 or 12%
* fruits will retain aromas better if the fermentation is 60 to 65F.
* it helps if you can find experienced wine makers to taste and describe the flavors, ,,, and suggest how to manage any off flavors. ,,, or a contest or state fair.

Have fun and good luck.
I am not adding Camden tablets before but I will now. Thank you! We have a local brew shop but i did not discover it was there till after this pandemic started. I'm planning to go when this is over and see if there are local brew people around.
 

Ikeya

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How are you calculating your alcohol content?
Using my hydrometer. I do the initial measure (usually around 11% or 12%) and then I do the math after that. When I add sugar I check weight and when it eats the sugar and weight changes I calculate from there.
 

Rice_Guy

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* I know juice bucket folks who have the philosophy meta doesn’t matter in the primary. The logic is your primary is releasing CO so it protects itself.
* The best web recipe describes the crop you have in your fridge. Making wine is like cooking, we are blending traits to get a hedonic end point. That said you will see analysis of fruits. I use numbers to estimate how to get an end point, (every harvest is different and for climacteric fruits it will change by ripening on the kitchen counter) however as a starting comparison the crops you used could be:
pineapple , , SpG 1.056 , , , pH 3.89 , , , TA 0.63% (canned Dole)
strawberry , , SpG 1.040 , , , pH 3.57 , , , TA 1.06% (garden)
mango , , , , , SpG 1.060 , , , pH 4.10 , , , TA 0.28% (store)
blackberry , , SpG 1.040 , , , pH 3.91 , , , TA 0.7% (garden)
pomegranate SpG 1.080 , , , pH 3.13 , , , TA 1.59% (store)
acid blend, , , TA 100%
grape wines aim for gravity of 1.090 pH less than 3.5 and TA about 0.6%. If you did a mango strawberry wine you need extra acid source to drop the pH, the TA is “normal” with a 1:1 blend and sugar is just low so supplement with table sugar. You will see that no matter what ratio you use you will be short of a reference grape must, ,,,,,,, I use ingredients as building blocks.
* sugar is magic and can balance high TA in a cranberry or make peach rhurbarb taste more like peach and less like rhurbarb. ,,,,,,, ie we have preconceived idea of what something tastes like
* R&D folks sometimes hand out samples at a mall to get opinions how hedonic a food is. Your neighbors down the block can be your taste panel, look for people that like to cook, they may not have chemical names but will understand balance. ,,,, I make pies to test new fruit combinations.
 

Rice_Guy

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Wines are usually built to about 1.090 specific gravity which translates to about 12% alcohol and “20 something” Brix on a triple scale hygrometer.
Using my hydrometer. I do the initial measure (usually around 11% or 12%) and then I do the math after that. When I add sugar I check weight and when it eats the sugar and weight changes I calculate from there.
There are sugar calculators on the web, as an old fart I go to a chart. The numbers are linear so one can say if I am 1.050 I add X grams per liter (or pounds per gallon) to get 1.090,,, be aware that adding sugar increases volume/ required carboy size.
 

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