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vezePilot

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I have discovered Vintners Best Fruit wine Base, in Watermelon, and Watermelon concentrate ... both from LabelPeelers. I have made 3 batches of WE CA Moscato, but I'm thinking of making some Watermelon "Fruitscato" to start the Summer. (I've also made 3 batches of WE Cabernet Sauvignon, and sixty-seven (67) batches of Ale.)

So I would just find a good type of Yeast (I use SafAle US-05 for beer) ... perhaps the same style yeast as what comes with WinExpert CA Moscato? And kinda follow the instructions that are also provided for the WinExpert Kits ... ? That would include the other compounds and fining agents, as well?

Can't Wait!

edit: Apparently, the WE kits that I have done (Cab & Moscato) both include Lalvin EC-1118 yeast, also available at labelpeelers.com .
 
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Jim Welch

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Coming to winemaking from being a long time brewer, substituting yeast was one of the first tweaks I did. IMO yeast selection can add subtle but important details to a fermented beverage and there are so so many to choose from.
I’ve used the canned bases to make country wines too but mostly make grape wines, mostly reds.
Have you heard of Coloma Frozen? They make frozen concentrates and have many different fruit bases. I have a couple batches of Zinfandel and one Chardonnay from their concentrates in the pipeline but none are bottled yet.
 

vinny

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I have discovered Vintners Best Fruit wine Base, in Watermelon, and Watermelon concentrate ... both from LabelPeelers. I have made 3 batches of WE CA Moscato, but I'm thinking of making some Watermelon "Fruitscato" to start the Summer. (I've also made 3 batches of WE Cabernet Sauvignon, and sixty-seven (67) batches of Ale.)

So I would just find a good type of Yeast (I use SafAle US-05 for beer) ... perhaps the same style yeast as what comes with WinExpert CA Moscato? And kinda follow the instructions that are also provided for the WinExpert Kits ... ? That would include the other compounds and fining agents, as well?

Can't Wait!

edit: Apparently, the WE kits that I have done (Cab & Moscato) both include Lalvin EC-1118 yeast, also available at labelpeelers.com .


I have made 11 batches so far, 4 kits and the rest from raw ingredients. I would still consider myself a beginner, but I'm getting a grasp on things. From what I gather EC-1118 is one of the more common wine yeast for home winemakers. Its'a a champagne yeast developed for sparkling wines, but it's a power house and extremely universal. Very stable and reliable. It reproduces very fast, and It will push through ferments other yeast won't. High acidity musts like skeeter pee, for example.

KV1-1116 is another common one with similar attributes. I can't remember which is which off the top of my head, but one is a bottom fermenting yeast and the other top fermenting. EC-1118 is considered more of a flavour neutral yeast, where KV1-1116 is going to enhance your fruit flavours. It can help to pull out those more subtle flavour notes. White grape blending into green apple and citrus notes for example.

These are only a couple of yeasts in a huge pile to choose from and all that I have experience with, but it is an example of how the yeast is only one of the things that can bring your wine to your desired result.

You can easily say either of these are great choices and choose one just for their reliability. Or, you can think about what you want your final product to be and choose your ingredients including your yeast strain based on where you hope it will pull the flavour profile in the end.
 
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vinny

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As for directions, Dragon's Blood offers a good footprint. You can adjust or completely eliminate the lemon. Use your extract in place of the berries. Adjust your sugar and water ratios based on ABV, amount of concentrate and intended yield, etc.
 
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KV1-1116 is another common one with similar attributes. I can't remember which is which off the top of my head, but one is a bottom fermenting yeast and the other top fermenting. EC-1118 is considered more of a flavour neutral yeast, where KV1-1116 is going to enhance your fruit flavours. It can help to pull out those more subtle flavour notes. White grape blending into green apple and citrus notes for example.


All wine yeast would probably be considered as top fermenting, since they are all the same strain.

Also, I want to point out that many homewinakers have grown well beyond the EC1118. I seldom use it, skeeter pee is about for all. There are certainly many, many more yeasts that folks should look at and consider using.
 
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@vezePilot, yeast can be a challenging decision. I go by recommendations from others (which you are doing) and by reading descriptions in yeast strain charts. The following chart is good, and there are others. In your situation I'd use Lalvin ICV-K1-V1116, Lalvin QA23, or Red Star Pasteur Blanc.


How to make the wine will be a bit different from what you're used to, for several reasons. A big one is the Vintners Best reconstitutes to 5 US gallons / 19 liters, so after racking you'll be short in a 19 liter carboy. There are a few ways around this. The easiest is to top with a neutral white wine, or a light fruit wine (strawberry might give a nice accent).

My choice (see my notes below) for an Elderberry was to add grape concentrate to extend the batch.


I also have an Elderberry In Detail blog in which I go into much more detail. Feel free to ask questions.
 

vezePilot

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Thanks Very Much! for the excellent advice!

I arrived at the point of considering a "Fruitscato" by reading about the Sangria Kits offered by WinExpert, which I found looking at LabelPeelers for the Finer Wines Tavola kits. Also, enjoying a bottle of Barefoot Watermelon Fruitscato convinced me toward my own fruitscato instead of a sangria.

I noted that the Sangria kits have suggested "boosting" of corn sugar and grape concentrate. Sooo ...

I thought I might add the 1 lb of corn sugar and 1 liter of white grape concentrate intended for a sangria to a recipe for a fruitscato. This would also increase the ABV to above 10%.

And now I have learned that I should use either the Lalvin 71B-1122 or ICV-K1-V1116 instead of the EC-1118. I'm not sure I'm ready to try something like DangerDave's recipe using the mesh bags. So I plan to stay with the procedure provided in the WinExpert kit instructions for their CA Moscato.

So does this mean that for a sweet wine, I will still need to add a "reserve bag" for sweetness after fermentation? It isn't clear that the Vintners Best Fruit Wine produces a sweet wine by itself. If it is a "FruitSCATO" that I am after, it should be sweetened in the manner of Moscato ... correct?

If so, an added reserve bag would likely bring the batch up close to a full six gallons. And that "reserve" might be something like the Amoretti Fruit Puree?

Thanks again!
 

vinny

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If you are aiming for a sweet wine, you first need to run your first fermentation dry. Meaning the yeast has used up all the available sugars and nutrients to complete fermentation to max abv. This is where your final ABV is determined unless you accidentally cause a second fermentation by adding more sugar without adding Potassium sorbate (killing or deactivating the yeast).

In order to (back)sweeten a wine you have to make sure the yeast are not going to start a second fermentation. With kit wines this is accomplished with the sulphite and sorbate pack. You can add sorbate and sulphites separately purchased from your supplier, but the results and intention are the same. Sulphites protect the wine from oxidizing, sorbate prohibits yeast from starting a second fermentation using up added sugars intended for sweetening.

Once fermentation is finished and sorbate is added you can then add sugar (in the case of a wine kit, a reserve pack) to bring up the level of sweetness to your preferred level without affecting ABV, just taste/sweetness.

Reading through dragons blood may help clear up the process. DB is simply adding the ingredients individually but follow the same process as the kit. You will see the pattern.

Create the must.

Dragon's Blood- sugar, fruit, water, nutrient, tannins, etc.

Add yeast.

Kit wine/concentrate- fruit/grape concentrate (including sugars and nutrients), water to top up, additives (bentonite, etc.)

Add yeast.

Fermentation happens on it's own from this point if all goes well. Once all the sugars are used up the yeast will fall out of suspension, but are alive and waiting for more 'food'.

Once SG has levelled out under 1.000 and fermentation is complete you add sorbate and sulphites to stabilize the wine and neutralize the yeast. Same in DB as in kits.

You then add clearing agents, both with DB and kits.

Given some time for all to rest, work, and settle, you can then add a reserve pack (syrup), or simply add sugar to sweeten the final product. DB and kits.

Sitting a few days (or longer) ensures your yeast has not been reactivated by the added sugar. It is then common to bottle. Again, both DB and kits.

Follow whichever method makes more sense to you. I am just trying to help simplify and clarify the process.
 
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vezePilot

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So here is what I'm thinking about doing, and I'm just about to order everything from LabelPeelers.
I don't use Chitosan, but Sparkolloid instead. This recipe basically summarizes the WinExpert instructions for CA Moscato.
I like the simplicity of this, because I don't need another hobby. This is for wine of ~ 10% ABV, not boosted.
Also, wine that I make evaporates too quickly after bottling to even think about "aging." :)

Watermelon Fruitscato recipe (4 week)

STEP 1 - DAY ONE - PRIMARY FERMENTATION

Sanitize everything (PBW and Star San). Pour 1 cup hot tap water into fermenter.
Add Bentonite (30g) and Mix well. Pour in Watermelon Wine Base Jug (128 oz).
Top up Fermenter to 5 gallon mark with good water. Stir well. Use Hydrometer, record Day one S.G. (1.070 - 1.097).
Sprinkle in Dry Yeast (Lalvin K1V-1116, 5g) Install Lid with Airlock (sulphate solution & water). Keep fermenter warm (65-75 deg F).

STEP 2 - DAY 14 - STABILIZING/DEGASSING

Use Hydrometer, record Day 14 S.G. (< 0.996). If not in range check again in 48 hours, record Day 14 S.G.
Using sanitized equipment, siphon wine to Carboy. Add Potassium Sorbate stabilizer (9.5g)
Using sanitized spoon agitate wine vigorously 10 minutes. Stir in Kieselsol (12.5ml). Fit Lid with Airlock.

STEP 3 - DAY 15 - CLEARING

Pour in Wine Conditioner sweetener (12 - 17oz). Pour in Watermelon Fruit Flavoring (4 oz). Add Sparkolloid (1 tbsp/1 cup boiling water). Stir Gently.
Top up to 6 gallons with Barefoot Watermelon wine. After 5 days, give carboy a twist to drop sediment. Keep carboy warm (65-75 deg F).

STEP 4 - DAY 26-35 - POLISHING RACK/AGING?

Wine should be perfectly clear. If not, leave 7-14 days. Carefully rack wine to a second sanitized carboy. Let sit another two days.

STEP 5 - DAY 28-40 - BOTTLING (CLEAR WINE ONLY)

Carefully siphon wine into sanitized Bottles. Cork bottles and allow to sit 3-5 days for corks to expand.
Store wine at 52 - 65 deg F for bottle aging. (yeah, right).

Thanks everyone for all of the excellent advice and comments!

edit: Because this is new for me, I'll check a bit of it on Day 15 before adding Sweetener/Fruit Flavoring. It may not need much or any of these.
 
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vezePilot

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Watermelon Fruitscato recipe (4 week)
DAY ONE - PRIMARY FERMENTATION
Sanitize everything (PBW and Star San). Pour 8 cups hot Spring water into fermenter.
Add Bentonite (2 Tbsps/30g) and Mix well. Pour in Watermelon Wine Base Jug (128 oz).
Top up Fermenter to 5-1/2 gallon mark with Spring water. Stir well. Use Hydrometer, record Day one S.G. (1.070 - 1.097).
Stir in Cranberry-Strawberry Fruit Juice from grocery (half bottle, 32 oz.) Stir Well.
Sprinkle in Dry Yeast (Lalvin K1-V1116, 5g) Install Lid with Airlock (sulphite solution & water). Keep fermenter warm (65-75 deg F).

So this is going well, as of day 3 ! Corrections/Additions to my plan are in Bold above. Starting S.G. was 1.074.
It smells great and is bubbling nicely through the Airlock. I ordered a pH tester but it has not arrived yet.

I updated my Brewing Recipe PDF, that I've been using since 2012 (doc version 12 now) and made a version for Wine.
Printed out and on a Clipboard, I Fill in the Ingredients and Check Off each step as it is completed, just as I've done for 68 batches of Ale.
And then save as part of my records. This will be Wine Batch number 7.
Screen Shot 2022-05-08 at 12.48.01 PM.png

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vezePilot

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I bottled the Watermelon fruit wine today. When I sampled some a week ago, or more, it was not sweet enough and still cloudy. So I added more of the Global Vintners sweetener/conditioner. And used more of the Sparkolloid. Very clear now, better than my Moscato usually is. And very tasty.

This is my first wine that was not from a prepared kit. I used a jug of Vintner's Best Watermelon Fruit wine base, added some Strawberry jam, strawberry squeeze syrup, and Cranberry-Strawberry fruit juice. This brought it up to Six Gallons. I also ordered the K-sorbate, K-meta and Kieselsol separately, and already had a container of the Sparkolloid. And the above instructions/process was/were developed from my Ale and from WE kits.

WatermelonBottled.jpeg

Conditioner.png
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