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April 2016 WOTM Club

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Jericurl

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Hi all!

It's been a while since we have done one of these, so hopefully there will still be some interest in participating.

And for any new people, this is our official Wine of the Month Club thread.

We don't like many rules here so we keep it easy.
Participation is open to new and old brewers alike and open to anyone who is interested in making a one gallon (or larger) test/experimental batch and sharing the recipe, process, ups and downs with the rest of the participants.

If you are interested, please post:
a) full recipes with all ingredients and steps as you go along
b) pictures
c) helpful suggestions on recipe ideas and any advice for stuck members
d) thinking outside the box
e) pictures! (we love pictures!!)


At the end of the month, we attempt to post a recap of what worked, what didn't work, and what we would do differently/what we learned.
Then post periodic updates throughout the year as you go along, usually at any of the major accomplishments in your young wine's life, ie, racking, adding flavors, bottling, etc.

At the one year mark, we will all pop open a bottle of the previous year's wine and take pictures, post comments on how it turned out, and hopefully have a tried and true recipe to post in the recipes section.

We welcome questions and suggestions from participants and casual observers alike.


And above all, HAVE FUN!

April 2016 WOTM Club

Jericurl ..... Peach/Lavender mead

Arne..........Apple Butter Cyser

Phil Darby....Vanilla Fudge Wine (?)
 
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Jericurl

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Treat this post as a stream of consciousness/typing out loud notes section for me:


I haven't been doing much wine lately. My main outputs have consisted of derivatives of Dragon's Blood and all different kinds of mead.

With that in mind, I've been wanting to make a peach mead.
I make a peach/lavender jam every year that is to die for.
In doing research for peach, I also find it pairs well with ginger.

So now I'm kicking around an idea of peach/lavender/ginger.
Now, my problem is that from what I read, peach can be a very very subtle player. And ginger can go from nice to overpowering very quickly.

I've got about 10 lbs of frozen sliced peaches in the freezer. I plan on having peaches in primary, then also adding peaches to secondary. I'll more than likely purchase a can of Vintner's Harvest peach to achieve this, so I'm likely going to be going with a 3 gallon batch. I also expect quite a bit of sediment, so I'll probably start with 4 gallons total, expecting to end up with a solid 3 when it is all said and done.
Now, do I buy another 5 lb bag of frozen peaches, plus the Vintner's Harvest can?
Should I use water, find peach juice, or use Welch's white grape peach concentrate?
Should I experiment with using sugar and honey?

Where can I cut corners so this doesn't end up being a $150 experiment?

Target alcohol percent between 10-12% so that none of the flavors get drowned out by the alcohol.

I have lavender flavoring so it is likely I will use that rather than fuss about with flowers.

1 oz grated ginger per gallon?
 

Arne

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Going to give apple butter cyser a whirl. Thanks to Kirk from Lincoln, Ne. for the recipe. I will tone it down to get about 12 to 14% alacohol. He says using the Wyeast it will get up around 19%. Anyway here is his origional recipe. When I get it started, I will post how I changed it.

Apple Butter Cyser

5 gallon Apple Cider
10 lbs clover honey
5 lbs. Light brown sugar
2 lbs Briess Dark Dry Malt Extract {.5 lb used in yeast starter)
28 oz. Musselman's Apple Butter
9 Whole cloves
15 Cinnamon sticks
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Yeast nutrients
Wyeast 4347 Eau de Vie in 40 oz. starter.

I have all the needed ingredients, will get it started shortly and let you folks know how it goes.
Actually I am waiting a few days for the basement to warm up a bit more. Still a bit chilly down there for the yeast.
Arne.
 

buzzzkllr

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Coconut Almond Joy.

I'm just starting to wrap my head around this experiment. I'm thinking of a coconut wine and adding chocolate and almond to the secondary. I've only been making wine for a little over a year and this will be my first attempt at pulling something out of my brain. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I have read coconut has lots of oil so as soon as I am comfortable from a few more hundred hours of reading I'll come up with something.
 

Jericurl

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@Arne Oh man, apple butter...this sounds wonderful. I can't wait to hear about this one.



@buzzzkllr
I'm not sure how to get rid of the oil problem, but I'm guessing you could always siphon from underneath the oil slick layer.
Another option would be to use extracts. Are you wanting to do a red wine and add those flavors to it, or make a wine only using those ingredients?
In any case, Olive Nation can probably help you out, or of course, you can make your own.
https://www.olivenation.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=+all+extracts+
 

PhilDarby

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@jericurl Ive made some fantastic peach wine last year it was based around the peaches with lots of fur on them, which I think is an American import (in the uk) I left the peel on and sliced it the results was / where outstanding I still have some left which Im currently using for blending, it doesn't need much as the peach flavour from that particular peach variety is outstanding and fairly strong, once fermented.

If I was to describe the flavour it would be of a dry peachy taste, the flavour off the skin is quite pronounced and contributes to the dry flavour, with a sweet peachy after taste, in reality if I can obtain some of the same variety locally this year ill be making more of the same it was that nice.

The fruit was left in the must for 7 days before removal.

Regarding oil removal, your right the easiest way is to leave it alone for at least a few days and syphon the oil off the top, discarding the part with the oils in.

@ buzz the easiest way to add almond is via cake flavouring (but it must be based on propylene glycol containing no oils) it also only needs a small amount eg 1/2ml per gallon for a subtle flavour, regarding chocolate flavouring ive found a few articles both here and online, although ive never experimented with it here, but from what I recall, it`s best added late in ferment, although you`ll have to research it further, to confirm my memory recall.
 
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PhilDarby

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Well im debating attempting a vanilla fudge kind of flavour, its basically going to be a blending exercise based on ideas which don't always correlate to traditional wine making, if I go with the flow ill be back in a few days once I formulate some ideas and an intended goal and after I find out what I can find locally.

So, I started a 10 litre batch on 16th, basically ive been thinking more about the end goal than anything else, in all fairness I was drunk when I started brewing it, so my objectives might change a little, currently im thinking of making a liquor kind of a drink, mostly by fermentation, originally I was going to just use fermenting, but, ive since decided that adding a fortifying spirit would mean that I can make a desert type of drink and not have to use sorbate, hence prolonging storage life (well that might not be relevant, as I suspect it will be drunk fairly fast, but it was a consideration) in addition I can get the ferment over slightly faster.

Originally I was going to add sugar in stages to the ferment until the yeast caved in and couldn't go any higher abv, Ive since decided that, its going to be easier although more expensive to fortify it.

So after some thought over the past couple of days, ive decided that im going to fortify with some cherry brandy (Ill steep some brandy in cherries while the main brew ferments and sweeten it to an acceptable sweetness, ive also added 30 mls of glycerine so that the final result will have a nice mouth feel)

So as it stands ive got 9 litres fermenting away which I intend to hit 14 to 16 % abv Ive also got a litre of brandy, which I intend to make cherry brandy from.

at the moment I cant do much else until tomorrow, when the local shops are open again, ill see what I can find locally and add the ingredient list then.

As it stands the 9 litres fermenting has the following ingredients in :-

2 litres of apple juice from a carton
1 litre of apple and elderflower (because I already had it in my cupboard)
2 1/2 kg of sugar

I added the following flavourings :-

2 mls of chocolate.
2 mls of chocolate and fudge.
1 ml butterscotch.
2.5 mls vanilla.
4.5 mls caramel.

yeast used was a general purpose, high alcohol wine yeast

The apple juice I used is one ive used before and tends to be a good blender, with most flavours.

well 3 days into ferment, Im fairly sure it was a mistake to add the flavouring during primary ferment, when it was started it had a smell and flavour a bit like I intended, the smell has completely gone, so now it just smells like a regular ferment, I also had a sly sip and I think the flavourings have been altered, much more than I expected, so I guess that's mistake number one.

Just tried a sly sip of the main batch, it tastes of apple with no hint of other flavours at all apart from a hint of elderflower, so, very strangely the food flavouring have disappeared completely, so, its definitely back to plan B, adding them after ferment, with the brandy.

The brandy has been put to one side in a steeping jar, up to now ive added :-

30 mls of aqeous glycerine.

5 mls chocolate / fudge.
2 1/2 mls vanilla.
5 mls cherry flavouring.
3 small tubs of glaced cherries.

Over the next few days ill be adding some cherries and sugar to let it steep a bit while the main brew ferments.

I decided to add flavouring to the brandy and let it steep, that way, as im kind of figuring it will work a bit like an f pack when added to the main bulk, it will also be steeping with the brandy, while the main ferment is under way.

At the moment when if ferments to dryness ill have around 15 to 16 % abv from the main ferment, with a further 4 % abv from the brandy, so, im expecting around 20 % abv in total once its finalised. At that time ill back sweeten and do some final flavour tweaking, as needed.

30th april, update ok so im doing an update because if not this post will get forgotten, so, the primary ferment, now has a fudgy kind of taste, which wasn't apparent until the last few days, I added 500 mls of mango today and had a bit of a sampler, at the moment it tastes a bit like apple/fudge, the brandy I added 400 gms of glaced cherries yesterday it was all I could find locally, Its going to be a few more weeks yet before its done but that's the progress report, btw the brandy rocks, so ill do a further update as both progress.

4th may the brandy was added to the main ferment, 2 1/2 litres of brandy In total, it tastes acceptable, but, not how I intended and as such I consider it a bit of a failure. Although it is drinkable, just. I also added another 200 grams of cherries, which has become the dominant flavour now.

If I was to make this or anything similar again, I wouldn't add any food flavouring to the initial ferment, also, I think I would just stick with the cherries, or would try for a more, subtle background flavour from the food additives.

31st may update, having a small bottle of this today, it appears to be aging quite nicely, compared to what it was, main flavour if a fudge type flavour, with a hint of cherry, after taste, sweetness is about right ill have to take an sg reading to confirm what it is, but, it has a distinct brandy kind of flavour on initial tasting and on mid hit, with a hint of fudge once it goes down, it is also, slightly astringent if that's the correct word, as it tends to dry the mouth a bit, definately a liquor kind of drink, which is what I intended, although overall flavour was intended to have cherry dominate, which it doesn't really, brandy and fudge being the dominant flavours. It is drinkable though, in a palatable kind of way as opposed to being not nice. Its also, definately in the dessert type of drink category and has quite a complexed flavour.
 
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Jericurl

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Wow...sounds pretty interesting and rather involved.

So, are you shooting for more of a port then?

In any case, I'll be interested in hearing about the results.
Where do you get your flavorings?



As far as my peach mead, I've been all over this town looking for Welch's White Grape Peach frozen concentrate and cannot find it. Anywhere. At all.

So that idea goes down the drain.
So plan B will be pulling the trigger on a small can of Vintner's Harvest Peach Puree.

I'm going to add the peach puree and 10 lbs of frozen peaches to primary, ferment to around 1.02, then rack and add more frozen peaches to secondary.

I should get my puree tomorrow or the day after, so I'll be starting then.

eta: I actually ordered two cans of the peach puree. After I move to secondary and taste, I will see where we are flavor wise. I may add more puree to secondary as well. Or I might make syrup out of it and serve it on ice cream. Who knows?!
 
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PhilDarby

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yes, I guess its like a port, with some schnapps influence, the idea to flavour the brandy sprang from some experience I had with a still ages ago, for drinks similar to schnapps its common to use glycerine, which adds mouth feel, the flavouring is actually basic food flavouring, which I have around from making e liquids, so that's kind of handy as it serves for both hobbies I guess, ive successfully made schnapps type drinks previously using a combination of strongish apple wine, glycerine and fruits, mixed with food flavouring to improve the nose and enhance the flavour a little, it generally doesn't need much in the way of food flavouring either in liquids (generally just a few mls per gallon, if using fruits as well)

The food flavouring idea originally sprang from making schnapps from a still, using a kit,
which consisted of flavouring, glycerine and sugar, basically, after a bit of an experiment adding some to some of my wines, it is possible to improve some drinks using it, particularly fruit type drinks which may not taste anything like you expected, or like the original fruit, at all, its probably not widely used by other people in the same way and this is the first time ive experimented with using it outside of fruit type wines. It works really well for strawberry or banana wines. Ive also found that some mango from a juice carton approx. 500 mls per gallon adds to a schnapps kind of flavour, I might add some to my ferment in the next few days if it seems to be going badly, mango seems to have some very slow acting sugars which retains some sweetness if drunk while young, as im going to fortify, it may well preserve that natural sweetness and improve the overall flavour.

The food flavouring I got from ebay, but, some cake shops stock them as well, it must have a propylene glycol base and not an oil based one, they come in 30 ml plastic bottles which last for a long time, as only a very small amount is usually needed. Oil based flavours float on top and cause spoilage.

After I looked at my original thoughts and wondered what would go with it I thought hmm cherry brandy, so, as ive made some before many years ago, I have a rough idea how to go about it, I basically added the flavour to the brandy, in an attempt to try and let it steep, because adding it to the primary ferment appears to have totally failed, Ive had a sly sip of the brandy and its quite nice too ;-)

I guess it is based on a port type of drink, with some influence from schnapps, that's, if it turns out the way I intend, its basically an experiment based on some previous ideas which have worked in the past, but, adding the flavour to primary was definitely not a good idea and im not sure how these different flavours are going to turn out.

As it stands I think the base wine just needs to be one which is a basic good blender one, the food flavours I added have disappeared, so, its actually going to turn out quite simple I think if I do another, because, it means just adding flavoured spirit.
 
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PhilDarby

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@jericurl over here in the uk white grape juice is fairly non existant, I used to be able to welchs red, but the supermarket has recently closed down, so, im stuck with an alternative red, which luckily I can still get, ive not seen any white grape juice for about 4 years now in the uk. so for whites ive had to resort to an apple juice I can get locally which is actually quite good considering, although not all apples work some taste more like cider, so mostly ive been making reds for a few years now.

Lavander is something ive never even considered in a wine, Ill be interested to hear how it turns out.

I think peach can also, smell a bit dodgy during ferment if it does, dont throw it as it tends to improve.
 

Jericurl

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That is quite interesting and has me thinking about what I could do next month.

I've got some apple juice that I bought last winter to make some type of alcoholic beverage out of and I wonder now if I ought to follow your lead and attempt a high octane cordial/schnapps type of drink.
 

Jericurl

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Ok, here we go!

Peach/Lavender Mead

10 lbs sliced/frozen/thawed peaches
Water to between 3.5 - 4 gallons
2 inch chunk of peeled ginger
1 large can peach puree
1/4 c lavender buds
2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 campden tablet
9 lbs honey

Right now I've got 10 lbs of peaches thawing out. I'll let that go overnight and in the morning, add just a bit of water and the campden tablet.
12 hours later I'll add the pectic enzyme, then 24 hours after that, the rest of the ingredients.

I'll be shooting for about 12-13% ABV, but I guess that will depend on the peaches and how much water I can get away with not adding.
I normally add yeast nutrients and energizer at 1/3 sugar breaks, so that's what I will follow here.

The peach puree is on the way, so I'm thinking it will be added at around 1.03 SG.

20160419_201103.jpg
 
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Jericurl

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Ok, brought water 1/4 c lavender buds and the chopped ginger to a boil, then let steep for a 1/2 hour.

Added the "tea", honey, and rest of the water to primary.

Starting SG @ 1.11

Here we go!!!

ETA: Pitched QA23 yeast last night, just before bed. Got up this morning and it is chugging away! I will check SG in a couple of days and add my first nutrient/energizer addition at 1.08
 
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Jericurl

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SG is already down to 1.03. Holy crap. This is probably the fastest fermentation I've ever had.

I went ahead and added energizer and nutrient, though I'm really not sure it actually needed it. I certainly don't want it to stall out though.
Hopefully this keeps my yeast nice and healthy so when I add my peach puree in secondary it still has enough oomph to eat through that.
 

Arne

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Well, almost out of time. Got it started last night.

4.5 gal. storebought apple juice
1 lb. Briess dry malt extract
28 oz. musslemans apple butter
yeast nutrient
yeast energizer
7 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 qt. fresh honey
Bentonite
1 tsp. tannin
Pkg red star cote des blanc yeast.
enough light brown sugar to get to 1.085
Warmed the malt extract up in a half gal. or so of water before adding.
Sprinkled the yeast on top last night, looks like it is getting ready to take off today.
Smells pretty good, give it a little time and see how it goes.
Arne.
 

Jericurl

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@PhilDarby , is the vanilla fudge wine your WOTM club entry, or did you start it last month?
 

Jericurl

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Well, almost out of time. Got it started last night.

4.5 gal. storebought apple juice
1 lb. Briess dry malt extract
28 oz. musslemans apple butter
yeast nutrient
yeast energizer
7 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 qt. fresh honey
Bentonite
1 tsp. tannin
Pkg red star cote des blanc yeast.
enough light brown sugar to get to 1.085
Warmed the malt extract up in a half gal. or so of water before adding.
Sprinkled the yeast on top last night, looks like it is getting ready to take off today.
Smells pretty good, give it a little time and see how it goes.
Arne.
I can't wait to see how this one turns out!
 

Arne

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Give me a month or so and I'll let you know. Will give it the taste test then, and add the pectic enzime then. I was out of it so didn't add up front like I normally do. Arne.
 

Jericurl

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Ok, I racked this to secondary on Friday. SG was down to 1.00.

I then added the peach puree. I was a bit worried that fermentation would have a hard time starting back up, but when I remeasure SG, I was just a tad bit over 1.00 @ 1.001 or so.

Hmmm...that's odd. So I mixed it up really well, went to bed, then measure it again on Saturday. Same.

I do note an occasional bubble in the airlock but not much.
I really expected SG to go up a couple of points when I added the puree, but I guess not.
In any case, I will likely rerack in a couple of weeks, then put her to bed for a few months.

What went well: Nothing really stands out. I think I've finally gotten down brainstorming and coming up with ideas, then implementing them.

What could have gone better: I think next time I will either strain out the lavender buds after making the tea, or use them in a mesh bag. Quite a few ended up getting transferred to secondary, which was a bit of a pain to rerack again in order to make sure none stayed. It probably wouldn't have hurt much, but they look like tiny mouse poop floating in the mead. No thanks.

What went wrong: I left the fruit in too long I think. I likely should have racked or removed it after no more than 5 days. I think the mead now has an odd taste that I'm hoping goes away with a bit of aging.
 

PhilDarby

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@jericurl it was started early april, but, I think I consider it a bit of a failure its got plenty of alcohol in but isn't what I expected, its basically turned out a bit like a cherry liquor, with the other food flavouring not really apparent, somewhere down the line I might experiment a bit more with the idea.

As a cherry based liquor, it isn't that bad at all and I guess it will get drunk, but the food flavouring idea hasn't really worked too well, despite some successes using them for other drinks previously, maybe those particular flavours might not be very succesfull in wine, Ive since researched and have read that 3 oz of cocoa powder, per gallon, is the right amount for a chocolate flavoured wine but ive not experimented with it and don't know if it should be added before or after ferment has completed, although I have read hints to add it after ferment while it matures.

Just been thinking I might try for a chocolate based wine for my next wine of the month.
 
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