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ThousandJulys

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I am looking to make a semi-sweet apple wine. I have previously made a five gallon batch of Strawberry Wine, a one gallon of blackberry, and am currently fermenting a gallon of pineapple wine.

What type of yeast is best apple fermentations? I will be making five gallons.

What kind of apples are optimal for this type of wine?

Does anyone have a link or a recipe for one that is amazing?

Can you add dried fruit to it to give it extra body/character?

I'm excited for this one. If I start it soon, my friends and family and I can be enjoying a cold, delicious home-made apple wine by Spring and will last into summer. Any advice is welcome, thanks!
 

Luc

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If you want an early drinkable wine I can recommend cyser (apple-honey). You can find my recipe here:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2009/10/cyser.html

Or an apple-strawberry made from fresh apples and strawberry jam:
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2009/11/appel-aardbeienwijn-apple.html

I recommend using a general wine-yeast, and do not overdo it on the alcohol. About 11% will do for an apple wine.

If you do not have a press, core the apple and freeze them. When thawing they will release a lot of juice and you can press them easily by hand.
http://wijnmaker.blogspot.com/2008/09/appeltje-voor-de-dorst-apple-day.html

Luc
 

Hillbilly Bill

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I am looking to make a semi-sweet apple wine. I have previously made a five gallon batch of Strawberry Wine, a one gallon of blackberry, and am currently fermenting a gallon of pineapple wine.

What type of yeast is best apple fermentations? I will be making five gallons.

What kind of apples are optimal for this type of wine?

Does anyone have a link or a recipe for one that is amazing?

Can you add dried fruit to it to give it extra body/character?

I'm excited for this one. If I start it soon, my friends and family and I can be enjoying a cold, delicious home-made apple wine by Spring and will last into summer. Any advice is welcome, thanks!
I used Lalvin 1116 yeast in mine... it came out semi-sweet with good alcohol content... I back-sweetened it for the XYL.
HB
 

ThousandJulys

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I chose to use 40 pounds of seven different types of apples. Four red, and three green strains that I enjoy. I washed them in organic apple wine vinegar and rinsed them completely. Then I cored them with an apple slicer, and made sure to keep out any seeds or bad parts (which wasn't hard since almost all 90+ apples were super crisp!)

I them put them through a food processor, which I assume will just release more flavor, and put them in multiple straining bags. I thankfully added the sugar water to the apples in only four gallons instead of five, which would have flooded the primary fermenter. I couldn't even use all the apples, I had many left over and gave them to a neighbor and to my mother to make a dessert out of.

Should I make up the other gallon with sugar water when I rack, so that it's at the correct level (bottom of the neck of the five gallon carboy) ???

Also, I have been told that Pasteur Champagne yeast by Red Star is best for this recipe. I also have Cuvee, Montrachet, and Cote de Blanc so I'm not sure what is best.

I am also concerned that although the air-lock on the primary fermenter is above the wine level, it will froth up when I add the yeast in a day or so. What can I do? Will this be a problem? The apples just took up SO much space. I had no problem making 24lbs of strawberry wine in the same primary fermenter.

Any help is greatly appreciated as always! Happy 2010!
 

Racer

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I see that you have the apples in multiple straining bags can you get another fermentor to split your batch up and fit into better?
 

Tom

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I like the Cote des Blancs yeast
 

outdoorsmadness

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the 40 lbs of apples will make up for more than the gallon of water you didnt add after they break down
 

RomeoWhino

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I wouldn't worry too much about the water. That can be added later if you'd like to top off or for an adjustment.

As far as the yeast, I like Cote's De Blanc. I've used Lalvin EC1118 in the past but had better luck with the Cotes.

Leave some decent head space in your primary. I've found that if I start the fermentation a little cooler say at 60F and gently put the yeast starter on the top that the fermentation process ramps up niceley instead of going balistic. This should take care of the froth.

Good luck,

John
 

djrockinsteve

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This is what I like, a lot of ideas and preferences.

My father and I have made apple cider from his orchards starting in 1978 when he made a fruit press. After his passing I took the press and make apple cider and wine now.

I've found a mix of apples with a few pears tossed in is good, along with an ocassional bee or two. I add both white and brown sugar in the fermenting stage. I have not had success with red star code de blanc, but great success with Lalvin 1118 champagne yeast.

After racking off lees I add cinnamon sticks and bulk age 6 months. It's fantastic.

In making wine, there is no set rule. Experiment a little, keep records and enjoy. I didn't sweeten prior to bottling.
 

ThousandJulys

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Ok, so all forty pounds of apples didn't fit. I had three straining bags, and the water level ended up flooding the air lock and lid. I had to drain one of the bags, and the level went down to an acceptable level.

I racked into the secondary glass carboy once the PA got to 3% (Started out at 11%) and had a tad left over that I just dumped (not enough to even make 1/3 gallon, so I just decided to do the five.)

I ended up using the Cote des Blancs yeast, and I'll tell you...I've never seen anything initiate fermentation with any other yeast before. The smell is outrageously intense! When siphoning the wine, I got a good taste of it. Very sweet, very complex apple varietal flavors. I plan on racking off the lees and sediment when the air lock stops bubbling, and then rack it a few more times in the next six months.

BTW, thanks for the tip about keeping the wine fermenting initially at a cooler temp, I think that helped me from having a truly huge frothy mess.

I also like the idea of using some brown sugar. Depending on how dry it gets, I will want to sweeten it so that sounds like a plan. I also love the cinnamon sticks for extra complexity and flavor!

Do you think adding some American Oak Chips (for a smoother buttery oak flavor) would benefit this wine if I added them now to the secondary?

I'm really excited about this one, thanks for all the continuous input everyone. Can't thank everyone enough, this is a great forum!

-Ryan
 

djrockinsteve

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I'd skip the oak and just add cinnamon sticks. 3 or 4 for 5 gallon. I used brown sugar and white this batch in my primary. Can't wait to taste this. All the ones in the past were just with white sugar and they were wonderful.
 

ThousandJulys

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Ok, so I actually racked the wine from the secondary carboy after it reached maximum potential alcohol (it's 11% alc/vol.) back into the primary. I did this just to get it off all the lees and particulate matter, since it's a 5 gallon batch.

I then added a bentonite mixture to the wine in the primary to get rid of the haze, since it is so foggy. I want it to look like apple juice, or somewhat similar (is that how it should look after the bentonite 2 week clearing process?)

I also threw in three organic cinnamon sticks and stirred the whole mixture up. How long should I keep them in the wine?

Should I continue to stir it to mix up the bentonite, or should I keep it in my 77% room and just keep it still?

I actually like drinking my fruit wines after just two months of being in the glass carboy after a final racking and acid/sweetness adjustments are taken care of (like they do in annual oriental festivals of mead/wine, just one month sometimes for a 6.8% alcohol rice mead.)

Am I going to die pouring right from the carboy to a wine glass without doing the whole five/six months as I have done before? I currently am enjoying a pineapple wine that is only 1.5 months old and not only tastes great but gives me a nice buzz from just one glass.
 

arcticsid

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I am not going to admit this, but I am working on my 26th batch of wine and have never bottled any of them. After it is racked into the secondary, I usually let it sit for two or 3 weeks under an airlock.. Then I siphon into gallon milk jugs, freeze it, thaw it and drink it. I realize I am breaking the foremost rule of patience, but after all I have drank early, I am still here.

I don't think you would want to drink it while it is still fermenting, but just for something to drink early it seems to me apple is the best bet.

A few months back I did the "apfelwein" or whatever it is in the rcipe section in here. Started with a high abv. Mixed it up, put it in agallon jar under an airlock and 3 1/2 weeks later I siphoned it off the lees, let it get cold in the fridge and drank it. It tasted just fine and I remeber waking up on the floor.

But that is not the norm, there is no question that aging is the way to go. You hear all the time of people who have made a wine they insist was terrible, and then they come back a couple months later and remark how significantly better it was.

Either buy something else to drink while it ages, or make so much that you can't drink it all.

Either way, good luck and cheers!
 

ThousandJulys

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Well it already (at day 4.5 of bentonite clearing) looks like apple juice when I shine the light in the primary. I'll let it go the full two weeks, but I can already see the 1/2+ inch thick layer of sediment at the bottom of the 5.3 gallons of my five gallon batch (the sediment gone will leave me with a more pure AND cinnamon infused 2 week flavor more pure flavor I assume.)

The rice mead I cannot find the article to anymore. I did a search on google about drinking early fermented/lees free wines and found an article about how the Chinese/Japanese (forgot which, don't hit me!) climb a mountain and drink it with a picnic five or so times a year with different wines including a honeysuckle wine through the seasons.

I can't wait to siphon/filter into the glass carboy again and let it settle/taste better and possibly add a few more fresh cinnamon sticks and top off when done with some brown sugar boiled in water. Mmmmmmm.....
 
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ThousandJulys

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It's clear as a diamond, a beautiful apple juice type color. Bentonite worked exceptionally well, will use again for any other wines of such thick haze and fruit matter.

Quick question on my new wine I started. Might not need to start a new thread. So the Kiwi wine, I started a gallon. I just added the Pectic Enz. and am waiting a day to add the Pasteur Champagne yeast.

My problem...I tested the PA and it was only 10.1 or 10.2 PA. How can I get this a bit higher before I even add the yeast, or right away what can I do to make it stronger? I know I will only dilute later after racking off sediment, so I am a bit concerned of ending up with a six or seven percent alcohol kiwi wine :( What to do?
 

Wade E

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Why would you dlute later? Make more to begin with so you have extra for topping off later. For now you could just add more sugar to up the abv. Dissolve that sugar in a very small amount of very hot or boiling water.
 

ThousandJulys

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Ok, well I added about 4/5th a cup of sugar (was going to be pure honey but that's fine.)

THe yeast has yet to be added (3pm tomorrow, EXACTLY 12 hours from now. Original PA was at 10.2.

After adding the sugar like you suggested Wade, it went up to a beautiful 12.2% P.A. !!! Excellent suggestion, thank you so much. Now, after racking and minor top-offs, the wine will be around 11.5% or slightly higher/lower.

Can't wait to add the Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast...
 

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