Apple Wine Attempt

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QuiQuog

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I have a couple of Haralson apple trees in my yard and only just thought of using them to make apple wine. Time to pick them is coming soon, but I have many questions. I'm thinking of just making a gallon, but may do 5 if it's not too difficult.
1. What other apples would you blend with them? I'm thinking I can get some to mix at a local orchard.
2. What about skins, seeds and cores? Remove all, leave all, leave some?
3. Can I run them through a grinder attachment on my stand mixer to juice them? Would pulp be an issue?
4. What about additions such as tannin, pectic enzyme, acid?
5. Can anyone point me to a recipe that they love? I've seen so many variations online.
6. yeast recommendations?
Any help would be appreciated.
 

Bmd2k1

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I'm not exactly sure what the ABV dividing line is between hard cider and apple wine -- but for all my hard ciders (both low and high ABV) I use D47 yeast.

Cheers and Good Luck!
 

ChuckD

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I have a couple of Haralson apple trees in my yard and only just thought of using them to make apple wine. Time to pick them is coming soon, but I have many questions. I'm thinking of just making a gallon, but may do 5 if it's not too difficult.
1. What other apples would you blend with them? I'm thinking I can get some to mix at a local orchard.
2. What about skins, seeds and cores? Remove all, leave all, leave some?
3. Can I run them through a grinder attachment on my stand mixer to juice them? Would pulp be an issue?
4. What about additions such as tannin, pectic enzyme, acid?
5. Can anyone point me to a recipe that they love? I've seen so many variations online.
6. yeast recommendations?
Any help would be appreciated.
I didn’t have a press so I fermented them with the pulp and skins. I cored them with one of those corers that slices them up then chopped them a little more.

35 lbs of apples
1 gal apple juice
10 in’s of sugar
3 gal water
3t Pectic enzyme
8t Acid blend (to pH 3.4)
EC 1118 although I will be switching to Lalvin 71B
Standard k-meta procedure

Tossed everything in a 10 gal Brute. I scooped everything out and strained it at SG of 1.010 and put them in secondary. Four weeks later it was dry and I racked it off about 5” of lees. Aged for another 6 months then back sweetened a little and bottled. It was very good when bottled, better 6 months later and gone 8 months later!

This year I have a grinder and press so I plan on pressing and fermenting pure juice.
 

ChuckD

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I like to have a variety of apples and got a mix of seconds from the orchard. I found a free local source this year. Zestar, macs, and ?. I also found a crab down the road so I will add some of those for tannin.
 

BigDaveK

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I used 71B and was happy with it.
Pectic enzyme is a must have for apple.
I crushed and pressed, 100% juice. Next time I think I'll add some of the pulp just for the heck of it.
I suggest making a slightly larger batch than planned. Like @ChuckD said, you'll have a boatload of lees.
 

ChuckD

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I used 71B and was happy with it.
Pectic enzyme is a must have for apple.
I crushed and pressed, 100% juice. Next time I think I'll add some of the pulp just for the heck of it.
I suggest making a slightly larger batch than planned. Like @ChuckD said, you'll have a boatload of lees.
Boatload of lees is right. I went from a 6 gallon carboy to a three and a one after racking. And I topped up at least a quart (apple juice) in the 3-gallon carboy.

I wonder if adding mainly skins would help intensify the apple
Flavor?
 

QuiQuog

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Would it be more efficient, with less lees, if the juice were strained before primary? I’m thinking just a wire strainer.
Is adding lemon juice to prevent browning a thing?
I’m starting to imagine a process. Use a peeler/corer then drop the apples into a bucket of lemon water, along with the skins. Run the apples through a grinder and strain the pulp out as the juice goes into the fermenting bucket. 6ish gallons of juice. Add skins to fermenter. Bentonite?, pectic enzyme, acid blend, tannin?, yeast (tbd). Will I need nutrient?Does that depend on yeast choice? Rack into hopefully 5 gallon carboy secondary. What if I were to top up with apple juice in secondary if needed? Be it 5 or 6 gallons.
Also, most recipes I see mention boiling the apples. Yes, no? I’m leaning towards not wanting that.
 

ChuckD

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Would it be more efficient, with less lees, if the juice were strained before primary? I’m thinking just a wire strainer.
Is adding lemon juice to prevent browning a thing?
I’m starting to imagine a process. Use a peeler/corer then drop the apples into a bucket of lemon water, along with the skins. Run the apples through a grinder and strain the pulp out as the juice goes into the fermenting bucket. 6ish gallons of juice. Add skins to fermenter. Bentonite?, pectic enzyme, acid blend, tannin?, yeast (tbd). Will I need nutrient?Does that depend on yeast choice? Rack into hopefully 5 gallon carboy secondary. What if I were to top up with apple juice in secondary if needed? Be it 5 or 6 gallons.
Also, most recipes I see mention boiling the apples. Yes, no? I’m leaning towards not wanting that.
I did use juice from a few lemons to prevent browning while chopping.

Even with a grinder I think straining will leave too much juice behind. You need to really press them hard… or let Pectic enzyme and fermentation break them down.

I think nutrients are good. I double checked and did add them. At the start of fermentation.

I would fear cooking them would set the pectin and make it very hard to clear.

I topped up with juice at every racking.
 

Rice_Guy

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You sure have a lot of questions. See if the library has a copy of The New Cider Makers Handbook; Joulicourt, about 2010?
Would it be more efficient, with less lees, if the juice were strained before primary? I’m thinking just a wire strainer.
Is adding lemon juice to prevent browning a thing?
I’m starting to imagine a process. Use a peeler/corer then drop the apples into a bucket of lemon water, along with the skins. Run the apples through a grinder and strain the pulp out as the juice goes into the fermenting bucket. 6ish gallons of juice. Add skins to fermenter. Bentonite?, pectic enzyme, acid blend, tannin?, yeast (tbd). Will I need nutrient?Does that depend on yeast choice? Rack into hopefully 5 gallon carboy secondary. What if I were to top up with apple juice in secondary if needed? Be it 5 or 6 gallons.
Also, most recipes I see mention boiling the apples. Yes, no? I’m leaning towards not wanting that.
* apples have high pectin, I would never boil
* traditional creates juice with two choices 1) grind whole apples and then squeeze out the juice. Grinding could be a garbage disposer or if you quarter them a meat grinder. 2) freeze whole apples > thaw > press whole apples (I will score the skin or with apple crabs cut in half). Freezing creates a cleaner juice than grinding. Traditional would not peel or core, ,,, that is major added work..
* grinding followed by straining will have poor juice yield, you really need a press to put constant pressure on the apple. A simple press is two 18 or 24 plywood squares with threaded rod on the four corners. A grape/ traditional fruit press works well.
* bentonite, won’t help a lot you are fighting pectin, ,,, pectase or even five times package direction, ,,, remember to treat right away since alcohol decreases effectiveness
* a standard tree can yield five bushels! Apples are easy to get by asking the neighbors or driving the town roads and finding on the roadside. Juice volume can get massive.
* the US apple market produces high sugar aromatic types. Good cider/ wine/ cyser is a blend of sharps (high acid), sweets (1.050 to 1.060), bitters (high tannin 10% of the juice +/-).
* I have been using under the power lines city owned Prarie Fire crabs for tannin at five to ten percent. These are dry therefore I “wash” out the tannin by crushing the crabs the adding an equal volume of fresh cider. A cider apple like Kingston has low enough tannin that it can be a single variety.
* US table apples by themself are kind of blah! We can get acid (sharps) with the acid bottle and sweets (sugar) with the sugar bag. Look for aroma and tannin, ,,, apple tannin tastes better than chestnut or grape (opinion)
* a lot of US fresh cider is pH 3.2 / 1.0% TA and 1.050 gravity. Doesn’t really need acid. A yeast like 71B or Maurivin B will reduce the malic acid. Some ciders have malo run to reduce the acid.
* Acetobacter will be on the apple skins, watch the head space and sulphite.
* cool / unheated garage does a better ferment than 70F.
FAVORITES
* a 1.100 gravity cyser or brouchet made with 10% tannic crabs back sweetened with apple concentrate, ,, table apples blended with a stronger flavor as 10% cranberry juice, ,, I will put 10% crab apple in my Briana white grape or 5% in my rhubarb wine, to me it misses the harsh notes from chestnut or grape tannins.
 

BigDaveK

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Would it be more efficient, with less lees, if the juice were strained before primary? I’m thinking just a wire strainer.
Is adding lemon juice to prevent browning a thing?
I’m starting to imagine a process. Use a peeler/corer then drop the apples into a bucket of lemon water, along with the skins. Run the apples through a grinder and strain the pulp out as the juice goes into the fermenting bucket. 6ish gallons of juice. Add skins to fermenter. Bentonite?, pectic enzyme, acid blend, tannin?, yeast (tbd). Will I need nutrient?Does that depend on yeast choice? Rack into hopefully 5 gallon carboy secondary. What if I were to top up with apple juice in secondary if needed? Be it 5 or 6 gallons.
Also, most recipes I see mention boiling the apples. Yes, no? I’m leaning towards not wanting that.
Don't boil.
Bentonite isn't needed. It will clear nicely in 4 months or so.
LOT of juice in pulp. A press is really needed.
Last year I used almost all Granny Smiths and liked the result.
 

mikewatkins727

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Boatload of lees is right. I went from a 6 gallon carboy to a three and a one after racking. And I topped up at least a quart (apple juice) in the 3-gallon carboy.

I wonder if adding mainly skins would help intensify the apple
Flavor?
Adding skins does improve flavor. I have experimented with and without skins. In fact I have apple peelings frozen set aside for a secondary ferment. (Just need to drag them out of the freezer.)
 

cenk57

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Apple is my favorite non-grape wine. I have several apple trees at my house. I will try to answer your questions. Some I will not be able to answer as I always crush and press my apples for 100% juice.

1. What other apples would you blend with them? I'm thinking I can get some to mix at a local orchard.
Yes! a mix of apples drastically helps flavors. I shoot for the following mixture. Just get it in the ball park:
40-60% Sweet - (aka “aromatic”) Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Jonagold
20-40% Sharp – (aka “tart”) Gravenstein, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Winesap, Rome, Empire, Braeburn, Liberty
15-35% Bittersharp –
Crabapple, Franklin Cider, Kingston Black, Porters perfection
2. What about skins, seeds and cores? Remove all, leave all, leave some?
Don't know. I have heard that skins help. Since I crush and press I have never tried adding skins.
3. Can I run them through a grinder attachment on my stand mixer to juice them? Would pulp be an issue?
I don't see why not. Just add plenty of pectic enzyme pre-ferment. Pulp will not be an issue. Any pulp will clear out.
4. What about additions such as tannin, pectic enzyme, acid?
Add tannins, pectic enzyme, acid to get it to pH 3.4 or so. Potassium metabisulfite (campden). If you want "wine" over "hard cider" you will have to add sugar pre-ferment (chaptalize). I try to get it to 1.090 - 1.100 SG.
5. Can anyone point me to a recipe that they love? I've seen so many variations online.
Can't help you there. But apple blended with concord is my favorite. I would advise against boiling.
6. yeast recommendations?
71B with apple every time. Apple is loaded with harsh malic acid. 71B reduces the malic acid.

Have fun and good luck!
 
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QuiQuog

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I don't really want to spring for a press at this time. I'm also rapidly running out of room. If I do this, I'm going to have to grind it all up and figure out a way to reduce the pulp that goes in so I don't waste a lot of juice to it, or just take the hit.
Yes! a mix of apples drastically helps flavors. I shoot for the following mixture. Just get it in the ball park:
40-60% Sweet - (aka “aromatic”) Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Jonagold
20-40% Sharp – (aka “tart”) Honeycrisp, Gravenstein, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Winesap, Rome, Empire, Braeburn, Liberty
15-35% Bittersharp –
Crabapple, Franklin Cider, Kingston Black, Porters perfection
Where would Haralson apples fall in these categories? That's what my trees are. They're not really sweet, I would guess sharp? Interesting that Honeycrisp is in the sharp column. I would have thought it was sweet.

Thanks for the advice so far.
 

cenk57

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I don't really want to spring for a press at this time. I'm also rapidly running out of room. If I do this, I'm going to have to grind it all up and figure out a way to reduce the pulp that goes in so I don't waste a lot of juice to it, or just take the hit.

Where would Haralson apples fall in these categories? That's what my trees are. They're not really sweet, I would guess sharp? Interesting that Honeycrisp is in the sharp column. I would have thought it was sweet.

Thanks for the advice so far.

You are correct. I was copying and pasting from my notes. Honeycrisp would fall in the sweet category. I have corrected it. I am not familiar with Haralson, but by doing some quick research, I would say it would fall in the sharp category.
 

ChuckD

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I don't really want to spring for a press at this time.
You certainly can grind them toss everything into the primary fermenter. You won’t waste so much that way. I’ve done it that way for two years.

When I hit SG around 1.010 I set up a five gallon bucket with a straining bag. scoop out the pulp from the primary, squeeze out the liquid, and dump it into a carboy. Rinse and repeat as needed. You will still get a lot of lees in the carboy so plan on making extra or top up with apple juice.
 

QuiQuog

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Another question before I start making it this weekend. Do I need to worry about oxidization of the apple juice as I prepare them? I decided on using my masticating juicer to "press" them. This should reduce the lees by removing a good portion of the pulp. The plan is to use a corer/slicer and drop them into water with lemon juice to prevent oxidation before juicing them. If I skip the lemon, or they oxidize anyway, does the brown color go away by the time it's cleared?
Edit to add: I'll be using 71B yeast
 

cenk57

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Another question before I start making it this weekend. Do I need to worry about oxidization of the apple juice as I prepare them? I decided on using my masticating juicer to "press" them. This should reduce the lees by removing a good portion of the pulp. The plan is to use a corer/slicer and drop them into water with lemon juice to prevent oxidation before juicing them. If I skip the lemon, or they oxidize anyway, does the brown color go away by the time it's cleared?
Edit to add: I'll be using 71B yeast
Yes, you do need to worry about oxidation. It will turn brown and no, it won't go away and will affect your wine. Just work fast and have k-metabisulfite in your container collecting your juice. If you're planning on getting 1 gallon, add the appropriate amount of k-meta for a gallon (or 1 campden tablet per gallon) to the juice collecting vessel. That should protect it. I've never used lemon juice, so I don't know how that would work, I can't see where it would hurt. Instead of lemon juice could you use k-meta in your "holding vessel"? Just a suggestion, I've never done this. Mine go straight from the crusher to the press then into my primary fermentation vessel with a good dose of k-meta waiting.
 

QuiQuog

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Thanks Cenk, I never thought of kmeta being used for anti browning. I may or may not go that route. When I would cut apples up for the kids, they always went into a bowl of water and lemon juice. It really enhanced the flavor of the apples. I doubt it would change the flavor of the wine in any meaningful way, but I trust it because of experience. I did also plan on adding some kmeta to the must anyway.
 

QuiQuog

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Rereading this thread, I see that the lemon juice question was already asked and answered. My bad.
 

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