Coffee Wine Question - Need Opinions Please!

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BigDaveK

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Please post your recipe. I'm still thinking regarding my proportions, and yours will help me.

The coffee, of course, is the BIG variable. I like Sumatra coffee so that's what I used. It has less acid and is described as earthy, floral, chocolatey, and best enjoyed black. Kona I like. Guatemalan I don't like. Everyone's mouth is different. Use what you like.

I decided to cold brew to get the most flavor - smooth, "sweet", wonderful. The basic recipe is something like 4 tbls per 8 oz water, fridge for 18 hours, strain. Once "brewed" it will last a couple days in the fridge. Of course, this is one of those things where you have to play with the ratios to see what you enjoy.

I opted to make a strong cold brew concentrate which is "intended" to be mixed with 2 parts water for drinking. I think 1:2 is for mortals. I like 1:1 and that's what I decided to do here. (I've also had it straight - that takes the definition of "coffee buzz" to an incredible new level!)

Cold brew - 14 oz coffee, 3 qts water
3 qts water (you'll lose some water to the beans; add what you want but don't go over 1 1/2 gal in primary)
2.86 #s dark brown sugar (I got to SG 1.088)
1 tsp nutrient powder
1/4 tsp tannin
2 1/2 tsp acid blend (I got to a pH of about 3.6)
yeast (I used 71B)
If I need to top off the carboy I plan to use more cold brew.
Back sweetening I plan to use a dark brown sugar syrup and 2 tsp vanilla.

There's a lot of flavors here. Nectar of the gods or undrinkable? Patience rears it's ugly head yet again.

I only have 6 months under the wine making belt, learning every day (Thanks WMT!), so I hope I can intelligently tweak the recipe next time. I am also curious what you'll do.
 
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My first take on a recipe is as follows, using US measurements unless otherwise specified.

Prepare cold brew coffee using 40 oz water and 5 Tbsp ground coffee. I'll use 1 quart of this for the recipe and drink the remainder, as I've never made cold brew and might as well get 2 birds with 1 stone.

3# honey
1 quart cold brew coffee, warmed to 120 F
2 espresso cups worth of espresso
1 tsp Fermax (nutrient)
2-1/2 tsp tartaric acid
1 cup medium toast American shredded oak for fermentation

Mix all the above. Dilute to SG between 1.090 and 1.100 with warm water. I estimate an initial volume of 5 to 5-1/2 US quarts. I need enough wine, after sediment loss, to fill a 4 liter jug.

I have the urge to add chocolate, but am thinking that this first one will be just coffee. I'm currently planning off-dry, but am also considering that it may need to be backsweetened more than I expect.

Another future consideration is to ferment to a higher ABV, backsweeten more, and fortify with Everclear to 20% ABV to produce a port.

Sooooo many options!
 

BigDaveK

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Thanks Bryan!!
I printed your recipe and added it to my wine binder. You've got a couple decades of experience on me - haven't used honey, still use acid blend, haven't oaked. All in good time. You have a couple other good ideas. I'll reference your recipe my next go around.
Our recipes are so different! I think you might be light on the coffee for that much water. But then I may have gone off the deep with my boatload of coffee. Going to be fun. Hmm, maybe we could get the US Postal Service involved in a year or so and exchange bottles?
 
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Our recipes are so different! I think you might be light on the coffee for that much water.
Keep in mind that my recipe is for a mead, not a wine. While the end result is not all that far off, they are different. Also keep in mind that I'm making this up as I go. It's entirely possible I'll change a few things before I start.

I've gone back-n-forth between acid blend and tartaric. Currently it's tartaric. Last mead I made was 100% citric acid (I juiced lemons for acid). Don't read too much into choices such as this. Also keep in mind that regardless of my experience, I'm far from omniscient and certainly make mistakes. [note that deaths from skydiving are something like 99% "experts".]

Maybe I need to bump my cold brew to 1.5 quarts. I was thinking the espresso would be sufficient, but I'd rather have too much coffee flavor than not enough. This is among the reasons it's good to post a recipe ahead of time and get feedback. I learn from everyone around me. [sometimes it's that "expert" skydriver ...] ;)
 

BigDaveK

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Keep in mind that my recipe is for a mead, not a wine. While the end result is not all that far off, they are different. Also keep in mind that I'm making this up as I go. It's entirely possible I'll change a few things before I start.

Ah, I've never made mead. If I had maybe I would have realized what your recipe was for immediately.

I AM curious about mead but I'm content right now with wine - an additional alcohol beverage tangent won't happen in the foreseeable future. Weelllll, at least not this week.
 
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Ah, I've never made mead. If I had maybe I would have realized what your recipe was for immediately.
When honey is the primary contributor towards Brix, it's mead! :r

I AM curious about mead but I'm content right now with wine - an additional alcohol beverage tangent won't happen in the foreseeable future. Weelllll, at least not this week.
Emphasis mine. Well spoken!

To me, everything that's wine strength is just something else to ferment. At one point I fermented anything I could (and had money for!). These days I'm experimental, but I only experiment with things a much older and snobblish me will want to drink.

I had several ideas for this winter that I didn't get around to, and have 2 new kits on order that I didn't have in mind until I ordered them. I make plans and don't worry if things change. I'll ferment something. If you're interested, this link is my list of everything I have records of making, wine-wise.

 

BigDaveK

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I had several ideas for this winter that I didn't get around to, and have 2 new kits on order that I didn't have in mind until I ordered them. I make plans and don't worry if things change. I'll ferment something. If you're interested, this link is my list of everything I have records of making, wine-wise.

You can never have too many ideas or plans - though I seem to try. Some get tossed after a bit more thought and others mutate into elaborate projects that include "What was I thinking?" somewhere at the midpoint but finish with "Wow, that's beautiful!"

I'm familiar with your site. I actually found it before WMT. It's bookmarked and I drop by every now and then. Kudos my good man! As a side note - I remember thinking I had a high school teacher with the same last name. That was a loooooonnggggg time ago.

I never get tired of saying this - What a great hobby!
 

BigDaveK

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Update.
Wow, another quick ferment. In 72 hours it went from SG 1.088 to 1.006.
Tastes like a chocolate wine, just a hint of coffee. I know it's way too early but back sweetening would definitely get it to Kahlua territory.
What fun!
 
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I'm familiar with your site. I actually found it before WMT. It's bookmarked and I drop by every now and then. Kudos my good man! As a side note - I remember thinking I had a high school teacher with the same last name. That was a loooooonnggggg time ago.
I'm happy the site is useful.

My name is actually common ... in eastern and southern Europe. My roots are Hungarian, but the name translates roughly as "Potter", and I've been claimed by folks from all around eastern Europe, Greece, and Spain.

Are you from OH? One of my great uncles moved to Cleveland in the 30's, family lost touch with him in the 40's (long before I was born), and there was a large Hungarian community there at that time. It's entirely possible your teacher was one of my distant cousins ... or no relation.

Wow, another quick ferment. In 72 hours it went from SG 1.088 to 1.006.
Tastes like a chocolate wine, just a hint of coffee. I know it's way too early but back sweetening would definitely get it to Kahlua territory.
The FWK-style starters plow through the sugar, probably because of the large initial colony size. It may take several more days to finish up, as the last bit can be slow.

You've convinced me to up the coffee, to ensure I have good flavor. If it's weak, it's only 5 bottles and will get used up cooking, but since I'm forewarned, I'll up the coffee.
 

BigDaveK

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Are you from OH? One of my great uncles moved to Cleveland in the 30's, family lost touch with him in the 40's (long before I was born), and there was a large Hungarian community there at that time. It's entirely possible your teacher was one of my distant cousins ... or no relation.

You've convinced me to up the coffee, to ensure I have good flavor. If it's weak, it's only 5 bottles and will get used up cooking, but since I'm forewarned, I'll up the coffee.
OH MY GOD. I was born and raised in Cleveland. Half Slovak, half Hungarian. Now I live about 2 1/2 hours away, unfortunately. I REALLY miss the ethnic bakeries and butcher shops. I remember one butcher shop, sawdust on the floor, with chickens in cages. Pick one and they'd "prepare" it in the back room. Can't get fresher than that.

For the life of me I can't remember my teacher's first name. Catholic school, anything other than "Mr. Fazekas" was forbidden. My yearbooks are around here somewhere........
 

David Violante

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OH MY GOD. I was born and raised in Cleveland. Half Slovak, half Hungarian. Now I live about 2 1/2 hours away, unfortunately. I REALLY miss the ethnic bakeries and butcher shops. I remember one butcher shop, sawdust on the floor, with chickens in cages. Pick one and they'd "prepare" it in the back room. Can't get fresher than that.

Wow - that's really cool... My family is from Girard, just northwest of Youngstown. Gram was Slovak, and grandpa was a butcher. I'll have to ask about the shop he worked in...
 

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