Attempting Apple Wine

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by gsf77, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Aug 17, 2019 #1

    gsf77

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    I've been youtube'n and reading on here about apple wine. I bought some from a local winery and it was pretty good. I haven't had much good experience on "bought" wine. I bought 3 - 1/2 bushel bags of gala apples. My taste buds says gala's are about some of the better tasting apples I've ran across. Pies, preserves, butter or straight off the tree - they just good. So of course with the fever I'm thinking they would taste very good as a wine. Here's some questions/thoughts I have. All suggestions are very welcome;

    I plan to freeze them first for a couple of days. Is it okay to freeze them whole, quartered, or does it really matter?

    Coring - I've read both ways. Since I'm not going to do anything to crack or crush the seeds is this really necessary?

    I've read where some folks have thrown a pear or two in for added flavor. Although I don't like pears I do like pear preserves therefore I have pear trees :) any experience with this?

    Several of the recipes calls for golden raisins, some folks say they diminish the taste.

    In reading I see several folks say go high on the apples and forget the water. That's what I plan to do.

    We use to core, slice, then sprinkle some cinnamon and dehydrate them. One of the first thoughts that came in my mind was to add cinnamon, then I read where some folks did it and love the results.

    Very long process.

    Again, I welcome everyone's experience. thanks,
     
  2. Aug 17, 2019 #2

    iridium

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    I have made one batch of apple wine. I used mixed apples rather than one variety. I actually juiced my apples first and just used the juice as the basis for the wine.

    I think it turned out great. I back sweetened after aging to bring out more apple flavor. Tastes like a nice apple cider with a kick.

    If you want to add other ingredients go for it. My personal philosophy is to try to make the batch correct first then tinker with other ingredients.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. Aug 17, 2019 #3

    Scooter68

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    Mixing apple varieties is the recommended approach. In fact it is normally suggested that tart apples dominate the mix 60/40 if I recall correctly.

    Check out the section here for recipes and "Country Wine Making".
     
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  4. Aug 18, 2019 #4

    tradowsk

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    I would throw in some tart apples to your must. Gala are delicious but fairly low on acid so your wine may turn out a bit bland. You don't need raisins, those are usually used to add nutrients for the yeast but since you're using fresh juice the yeast should be fine.
    Personally, I would core the apples since seeds can impart bitter flavors and I wouldn't want to risk the batch. Freezing fruit is actually recommended since it allows for better juice extraction. You may need some pectic enzyme if you get hazy wine. You can add it pre-fermentation to help juice extraction as well. Lastly, make sure to sanitize your must with sulfites 24hrs before you pitch yeast.
     
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  5. Aug 19, 2019 #5

    Arne

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    If you add cinnamon, use the sticks. The powder tends to stay in the wine when clearing and as time goes by it keeps falling out. Makes it a bear to actually get the wine clear. Just my experience. Arne
     
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  6. Aug 19, 2019 #6

    gsf77

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    Thanks, I do have the sticks. Just letting the apple freeze good for right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  7. Aug 19, 2019 #7

    Rice_Guy

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    The best I have had, has bitter/sweet apples (high tannin) in the mix of varieties. Table and cooking varieties don’t contribute tannin flavor notes.
     
  8. Aug 20, 2019 #8

    gsf77

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    I went by the store and bought a couple of small bags of granny smith, in addition I will be adding some apple juice to the mix as well. I'm hoping this will give it more apple flavor. Thanks,
     
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  9. Aug 20, 2019 #9

    Rice_Guy

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    Most commercial apples are grown for the fresh eating/juice market. They have good apple flavors and I use concentrate for apple curry on salmon. They are not a significant source of long lasting flavor notes that grab on your mouth and hang there. .ie Tannins or bitter. My impression of table variety apple/ juice is that it loses punch when sugars are fermented out.
    Crab apples in general are noted for having the bitter notes. This year I planted a “Kingston black” apple variety which is called a bitter sweet variety (which puts me several years away from producing good cider) Of the commercial apple wines I have tested a winery up north has added long lasting grab the mouth flavor notes by adding cranberry juice. An astringent like pomegranate or low level of choke cherry might do the same. The hard cider (5 to 6% ABV) folks are sourcing alternate apples. If you can find one which says “traditional” flavor you might have a sample.
    As a side note, when looking at flavor interactions I try ideas out in a pie first. I don’t want to wait a year to find out I made a bad guess.
     
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  10. Aug 20, 2019 #10

    GreginND

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    There is some great advice and isight here.

    I make an apple wine in my winery that I really love and I do it as simply as possible. Mine is made mostly of a tart variety called Haralson, but any mix of sweeter and tarter would be good. You do want some tartness to it.

    My process is simple. I start with fresh pressed juice, add sugar to SG 1.090 and ferment with Lalvin 71b. I do use some Pectic Enzyme and I let it age and bottle it dry. No water. It is light, clean, crisp and delicious. It is especially good after a year of aging.
     
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  11. Aug 21, 2019 #11

    Rice_Guy

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    Haralson is one of the varieties I have lusted over. You are luck to have one Greg! , , Maybe next spring I will get a scion to graft on rootstock. This year I am still adjusting titratable acid out of a bottle.
     
  12. Aug 21, 2019 #12

    Rice_Guy

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    "]Haralson is one of the varieties I have lusted over. You are luck to have one Greg! , , Maybe next spring I will get a scion to graft on rootstock. This year I am still adjusting titratable acid out of a bottle.
     
  13. Aug 21, 2019 #13

    gbrickey

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    Be careful with the cinnamon sticks - they are powerful. I'm making 3 gallons of Apple Cinnamon wine and I dropped in 3 cinnamon sticks after clearing and racking it - I intended to let them sit for at least a couple of weeks. Someone did warn to monitor the taste often, so I checked it 18 hours later and wow - it was just right. Much longer and it would have been too much, so I fished them out. I almost made some Fireball apple wine there.
     
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  14. Aug 25, 2019 #14

    gsf77

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    I froze the apples, thawed them, spent several hours in preparation getting them to the primary fermentation stage. Got everything necessary in the bucket. I then let it set overnight in a warm environment waiting for the other ingredients to get ready for the introduction of the prepared yeast. Yesterday morning before my wife and I took off on our planned getaway for the day I went to add the yeast to each of the 5 gallon buckets. One of the buckets was covered with sugar ants and had a million of them drowned in it. The other had some ants on it but not in it. fyi, the modified DB had been fermenting about a week and they went around it, probably the alcohol in there. So out with one bucket and I managed to save the other. That's the way those sugar ants are around here. Millions appear in a short period of time. I'll keep batting 'till I strike out. That was a lot of work lost.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2019 #15

    Scooter68

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    Sorry about the ant attack. I've had great success with this home-made ant killer with those little buggers. Very simple and inexpensive - same stuff as used in Terro brand bait/killer
    There a number of variations on the amounts but essentially:
    • One cup of warm water (Hot is better - (As when making Simply Syrup))
    • ½ cup of sugar (I've seen the sugar and water amounts reversed but either should work)
    • Three tablespoons Borax
    Just remember to keep away from kids and pets.
    Large bottle caps with as cotton ball saturated in the solution works great. Place in known (observed paths) and leave for a few days. Refill as needed. Works both inside and outside.

    Sometime it takes a few days and other times (Suspect your experience might match this) you will find a boatload of dead ants at the 'feeding trough' almost overnight.

    Good luck.
     
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  16. Aug 26, 2019 #16

    gsf77

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    Thanks Scooter68 I'll sure try it
     

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