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Apple wine--does this look normal?

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Wood Butcher

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Another newbie here with a few questions...

My first batch of wine was made from some locally-produced cider (UV pasteurized) per the recipe at Jack Keller's web site. I racked it into the secondary fermenter on 01/10/10 and it appears to be clearing quite nicely. However, I'm wondering about the color...



The sediment layer is easily visible on the bottom of the jug along with a cinnamon stick put in for flavor. Color is not much different than that of the cider, but just a little bit brighter and much clearer. Should this color fade away or will the finished product be about the same? Not that it's a problem, I'm just wondering what to expect. I used light brown sugar instead of white sugar and am wondering if that has any effect.

Thanks

Mike
 

St Allie

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hiya Mike and welcome to the forum...

unfortunately you can't post links til you have a few posts under your belt.. or there is a problem with that link.

can you start an album and upload a pic to there for us?

Brown sugar will always affect the finished colour of your wine. I make a lot of cider and the apples also make a difference.. very white fleshed apples tend to be very bright and clear on the finish.. I use 1 tablespoon of citric acid per gallon of original juice.. ( juicing my own apples) this also helps prevent browning or oxidisation of your juice .. Should already have been added to your pasteurised juice anyway.

Allie
 

Wood Butcher

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hiya Mike and welcome to the forum...

unfortunately you can't post links til you have a few posts under your belt.. or there is a problem with that link.

can you start an album and upload a pic to there for us?
Hi Allie,

Thanks for the welcome. No problem with the forum rules on posting pics. Here the link to my album:

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=106&pictureid=468

Also, does it look like I left too much air space below the stopper? Wasn't sure how close it should be.

Mike
 
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St Allie

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have had a look at your album pic and have had cider come out that colour myself, even using the citric acid makes no difference...I have one tree of apples with a very deep crimson skin.. and that affects the finished colour, it'll still taste great. That airspace level is fine btw.

one other comment regarding wine in carboys.. the light can affect it too.. always pop a cover over the carboy if it's in a light room.

Bottle the cider and leave it 6 months.. you'll be surprised at the difference 6 months makes.. I have to hide mine from the teenagers.. they go hunting for it when they know I've just bottled it.

Then you'll have a carboy free to start another gallon! What's next on your list ?

Allie
 

TheTooth

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+1 to everything Allie said.

That apple wine looks mighty fine. As hard as it may be to wait with your first batch, you should definitely give it 6 months before you drink it. I suggest trying a small amount while bottling so you can taste the changes that happen while you wait. It's nothing short of amazing what time does to the flavor of a wine.
 

djrockinsteve

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Mike, my apple wine will look like that as well. It'll taste even better than it looks. Clean and crisp with a hint of cinnamon. I'll bulk age mine at least 6 months after it's fully cleared. That is when I add a few cinnamon sticks.

As far as the head space in your jug, keep it in a cool dark area and you'll be fine, especially if you added a little Pot. Meta. to it. I try to get my wine as close to the cork as possible, @ 1/2 to an inch. Remember if the temperature warms up your wine will increase in volume slightly and you don't want it up in the air lock.

Tell the kids it's vinegar and they'll leave it alone. Good Job though! Making wine is addicting. I can't stop.

Steve
 

Wood Butcher

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have had a look at your album pic and have had cider come out that colour myself, even using the citric acid makes no difference...I have one tree of apples with a very deep crimson skin.. and that affects the finished colour, it'll still taste great. That airspace level is fine btw.

Bottle the cider and leave it 6 months.. you'll be surprised at the difference 6 months makes.. I have to hide mine from the teenagers.. they go hunting for it when they know I've just bottled it.

Then you'll have a carboy free to start another gallon! What's next on your list ?

Allie
Thanks Allie, that puts my mind at ease about the color. I don't really know what kinds of apples the local mill uses as they purchase a large variety from across the area (Upstate New York, Finger Lakes region). The cider is consistently good, so I'm hoping that helps!

According to the recipe, the wine will be ready to bottle in early July. I was planning on letting it age for at least six months...that will be the hard part!

Next on the list...I was considering either pineapple or jalapeño, both from Keller's web site. However, the chili-apple mentioned in your tag line sounds intriguing...can you tell me more about it?

Mike
 

Wood Butcher

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Mike, my apple wine will look like that as well. It'll taste even better than it looks. Clean and crisp with a hint of cinnamon. I'll bulk age mine at least 6 months after it's fully cleared. That is when I add a few cinnamon sticks.
Thanks for the reply, Steve. Did I put the cinnamon stick in too early? Just wondering if it will be too strong or create some off-flavors.

The area where I'm keeping the carboy is inside a well-insulated closet (no exterior walls) in my apartment. It's very consistent temperature-wise and there is no problem with light getting in there.

Mike
 

St Allie

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it was originally a tabasco chili wine.. bulk aging for 8 months.. after a few rackings ( I split it into a 2 and a 3 gallon carboys for aging as I needed the large carboys for a kits) Each time i racked it .. one 3 gallon jug stayed all chili tabasco and the other one was topped up using bottles of my homemade applewine I ended up putting it into a 3 gallon and topped right up with applewine.. so was a third to two thirds split. Apple does tone down the tabasco quite a bit.

recipe..

Chilli Wine- 6 gallon batch/ 26 litres approx.

12 chillies finely chopped, leave seeds in.
300grams raisins chopped
3 bananas ( and chopped skins) boiled and strained discard solids
tablespoon of pectic enzyme
2 teaspoons each yeast and nutrient
sugar.. enough to lift SG to 1.070
18 litres red grape juice ( storebought)
8 cups boiling water
4 litres apple juice ( homemade)
1 campden tablet
2 packets of oak (optional)
1 bottle of blackcurrant cordial 750ml

put peppers/raisins/ crushed campden tab and banana juice in a bucket. Pour 8 cups boiling water over it. Leave to cool. Add large tablespoon of pectic enzyme leave 24 hours, strain solids out of must and add liquid to primary. Add red grape juice/blackcurrant cordial and cider check SG and add sugar to bring the reading up to 1.070. Stir well, add yeast and nutrient.

Airlock it and let it ferment out. Please note.. I never transferred this from the primary at all.. surprisingly not a huge amount of lees formed .. so I didn't see the need to disturb the yeast bed.

at about 5 days into I taste tested and felt it needed a little more body so I boiled up another 3 bananas in a small amount of water and added the strained juice.. this will have upped the sugars but not by very much.

at 7 days I made up a simple syrup with more grape juice, SG was 1.005 and I upped it to 1.035. added 1 toasted oak packet.

at 14 days we were back to 1.005 and I let it ferment to a full stop .998

I racked and split the batch into a 15 litre and an 11 litre carboy. the 15 litre was stabilised and another packet of oak added.. it's in bulk storage. The 11 litre was stabilised and allowed to clear on its own .. which it did all by itself quite quickly, I left it unsweetened and bottled it for use in cooking.

The 15 litre will be racked off the oak, tasted and adjusted at the end of this month. That one I am hoping will make a nice accompaniment to cheeses/dried fruit/ pickles and crackers type platters when we have guests.

So far the wine has a bit of a kick, time will smooth it out.. and I'm happy with the experiment.. won't be able to give you any more detail until I check the first bottle of cooking wine in 6 months hehehe

I have a feeling brown sugar and a bit of ginger and garlic plus chili wine .. marinate fish and stick it on the grill.. could be spectacular.

the link to the thread discussing how the recipe came about is here.. quite long but interesting..

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3565&highlight=chili+wine

Allie:p
 

djrockinsteve

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Cinnamon too early???

My cin. sticks are in my carboys 6 months. I had made a 1 gallon batch with 3 cinnamon sticks. You could really taste them. In a GOOD way. This season I added 3 or 4 to a five gallon carboy. It will also age 6 months or so. It's hard waiting while it ages.

Using a variety of apples will help with the flavor. How many cin. sticks is up to you. Just experiment. That's part of the fun.
 

Wood Butcher

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+1 to everything Allie said.

That apple wine looks mighty fine. As hard as it may be to wait with your first batch, you should definitely give it 6 months before you drink it. I suggest trying a small amount while bottling so you can taste the changes that happen while you wait. It's nothing short of amazing what time does to the flavor of a wine.
Thanks for the reply...waiting will be the hard part. I tasted it when racking into the secondary and was quite surprised, even when it was that early in the process. I can only imagine what it will be like at the next racking.

BTW, that's quite the repertoire of wine and beer you've got listed.

Mike
 

St Allie

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Recipe says I bottled the 2 gallon ( 11 litre for cooking.). I didn't though.. I bottled the 3 gallon and I have one bottle left.. everyone drinks it. none of it was used for cooking.

Allie
 

Wood Butcher

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Recipe says I bottled the 2 gallon ( 11 litre for cooking.). I didn't though.. I bottled the 3 gallon and I have one bottle left.. everyone drinks it. none of it was used for cooking.

Allie
Thanks, Allie, I wasn't expecting all that detail in your previous post! I just might have to try this one as I was planning to use the jalapeño as a cooking wine.

Your chili-apple wine must have been quite good if none was used for cooking ;)

Mike
 

St Allie

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chili apple was finally bottled yesterday.. and i can't see it being used for cooking either..

hehehhe
Allie :p
 

TheTooth

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Thanks for the reply...waiting will be the hard part. I tasted it when racking into the secondary and was quite surprised, even when it was that early in the process. I can only imagine what it will be like at the next racking.

BTW, that's quite the repertoire of wine and beer you've got listed.

Mike
It's amazing what times does, even after fermentation is over. Same thing with different strains of yeast. You could have taken that same juice, pitched a different yeast into the must, and gotten a different flavor profile. It's all part of what makes this hobby great.

The list isn't that big when you consider how many of those batches have already been made. I find brewing and winemaking to be very different processes but equally fun. I'm still new to winemaking, so I mostly just have a list of beers and kits. Speaking of kits, I just bought a couple more, so I need to update the list. One day I'll get a press so I can make some wine from a press rather than a kit or juice.
 

Wade E

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I agree as the color looks fine and like said before some apple wines take on different colors, Mine has a weird reddish color due to the skins from the crab apples and the fact that you added cinnamon to it will also contribute to that color. The head space looks just fine.
 

medicman427

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Mike, sounds like your off to a good start. I made my apple with 1 large cinnamon stick per gallon 6 in my case along with 1 med french oak spiral which I keep in for 2 months. It will take a long time to clear. However I used white sugar and white grape juice to add sweetness and round the flavor out. I have sent this wine off to competition judging the end of this month... fingers crossed ...
 

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