Apple wine

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RedneckRich

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I have six gallons of apple juice that was harvested from the tree and frozen last year. I don't know what kind of apples but they were not red. My wife says I have to free up the freezer space. I'm generally not a fan of sweet wine but all the apple wine I've ever tasted has been sweet. I'm guessing there's a reason for that. Should I just use Jack Keller's apple wine recipe and multiply everything by 6 (except the yeast)? IF I sweeten it before bottling, how much sugar do I add? And please don't write "sweeten to taste" as I'm not nuts about sweet wine in the first place so I'd probably screw it up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Julie

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Use all apple juice, no water and backsweeten to 1.000 and have some taste it. If you don't like Apple wine why are you making it? Is it for someone else? If so have them taste it.
 

bkisel

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Myself, family and friends have been very pleased with my apple wine made from raw apple cider. I've got 12 gallons bulk aging right now.

Apple Wine from Cider

Primary Ingredients...

6 gallons non-pasteurized, no additive apple cider
1 tsp. tannin
3 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 tsp. yeast energizer
3 tsp. pectic enzyme
3/4 tsp absorbic acid
6-9 tsp acid blend
3-5 tsp bentonite
6-8 pounds sugar - SG 1.080-1.090 - 11% to 12% potential abv
1/4 tsp k-meta
1 packet yeast (EC-1118 or some other white wine yeast) - after 24 hours of above

Degas/Stabilize/Clear...

2 tsp Potassium Sorbate
1/4 tsp k-meta
1 packet(s) SuperKleer

Back Sweeten...

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup honey
2 cans frozen apple juice concentrate
 

ceeaton

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I have six gallons of apple juice that was harvested from the tree and frozen last year. I don't know what kind of apples but they were not red. My wife says I have to free up the freezer space. I'm generally not a fan of sweet wine but all the apple wine I've ever tasted has been sweet. I'm guessing there's a reason for that. Should I just use Jack Keller's apple wine recipe and multiply everything by 6 (except the yeast)? If I sweeten it before bottling, how much sugar do I add? And please don't write "sweeten to taste" as I'm not nuts about sweet wine in the first place so I'd probably screw it up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The main reason to sweeten a wine is usually to offset another issue, in this case it may be high acidity due to the harsher malic acid found in apples. You could try fermenting it with 71B-1122 yeast, which can metabolize some of the malic acid making the wine a little bit smoother. Once it is done, taste it, but realize it will smooth out a bit with some time (like at least a year). You may be able to stabilize it (with Kmeta and Sorbate) and then run "bench tests" where you use varying amounts of sweetness (I tend to base it on final SG, .998, 1.000, 1.002 etc) and see if you like it at a certain point. Then use a program like FermCalc (free program) to help you figure out the correct amount of sugar/honey/whatever to use to back sweeten your wine. I always aim a bit lower in SG than what tastes good, as the sweetness comes to the front as the wine ages and flavors integrate (and harsher flavor subside).

You may find that you like the apple wine, just not a super sweet version of it. It's your wine, so make it the way that tastes good to you. I'm not a sweet wine drinker in general, but a off-dry or semi-sweet apple wine is pretty good in my book. Hope that helps.

Oh, almost forgot. You want your starting specific gravity lower as a high SG will create more alcohol which can mask some of the nice apple flavor it exceeds 12% ABV (some keep it as low as 10%). So I'd aim for between 10% and 12% ABV if you can.
 
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hounddawg

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bench test a glass using granular clover honey, not liquid honey and not powdered honey, try it at 1.010 or 1.020, mine i go to 1.040. the honey gives a completely different taste then cane sugar, and as stated above the true taste will not come ThRu till aged one year, and if you like an offset sweet, i use a small amount of crab apple pressed in my fruit press, when i make any with crab apple i canT make enough to get to keep me any, grape tannin will work but the taste is not near as good as using crab apple bitters, the recipe is a southern recipe from 1825.
Dawg::

GOOD LUCK NO MATTER THE PATH YOU CHOOSE,:h
 
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Johnd

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bench test a glass using granular clover honey, not liquid honey and not powdered honey, try it at 1.10 or 1.20, mine i go to 1.40.
So as not to confuse the OP, your sweetened SG numbers are worlds apart from @ceeaton. I'm assuming that you mean 1.010, 1.020 and 1.040 in your sentence above. Decimal places are critical in SG readings, and I know you know EXACTLY what you're doing Dawg, but please clarify for the record.
 

RedneckRich

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bkisel,

Thank you for the advice. Just to minimize the chances of me messing it up, the ingredients you list are for the entire batch, correct? (As opposed to per gallon.)

I should have mentioned - I've made a lot of kit wine, but have very little experience making wine from fruit.
 

hounddawg

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yup as you know you gotta keep me straight,,,
Dawg,,,:h



So as not to confuse the OP, your sweetened SG numbers are worlds apart from @ceeaton. I'm assuming that you mean 1.010, 1.020 and 1.040 in your sentence above. Decimal places are critical in SG readings, and I know you know EXACTLY what you're doing Dawg, but please clarify for the record.
 

wineforfun

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I have six gallons of apple juice that was harvested from the tree and frozen last year. I don't know what kind of apples but they were not red. My wife says I have to free up the freezer space. I'm generally not a fan of sweet wine but all the apple wine I've ever tasted has been sweet. I'm guessing there's a reason for that. Should I just use Jack Keller's apple wine recipe and multiply everything by 6 (except the yeast)? IF I sweeten it before bottling, how much sugar do I add? And please don't write "sweeten to taste" as I'm not nuts about sweet wine in the first place so I'd probably screw it up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you have six gallons of actual juice then there is no need for Kellers. Add appropriate acid blend(not knowing the apples and if you don't have a tester, I would start with approx. 7 1/2 tsp.), nutrient, tannin (if you want) pectic and sugar, if needed, to SG 1.085-1095. The juice I used this year I went with KVI-1116 yeast. As ceeaton mentioned, you could use 71B too. After you ferment dry, since you want a definitive answer and not "sweeten to taste", I would backsweeten to 1.010 - 1.014. This should end up being a semi-sweet to sweet wine, depending on who is drinking it.
 
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