Diving into the wine world….

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Hello Everyone! I made a post recently in the ‘Beginners Winemaking Forum’ in regards to a wine I started but thought I’d give a little information here.
Obviously I’m gathering information on wine making. That’s a goal. I do have a few roadblocks tho. I know nothing about wine aside from what it is and a general idea how it’s made. Atm I can’t tell you what some of the wines mentioned in some of these threads are or even mean which might be a bit amusing. So if you throw names at me like Pinot or Merlot I am a bit lost atm on the specifics of that wine and am in the beginning research of all of it.
I need to know what is what and how to discover what I’m after. I’m after something just haven’t found it yet. 😂 Wine is not something I have tried a lot of other than a few bottles gifted. I’m not even sure if they were what folks call good bottles. 🤣🤣🤣 So I am still trying to figure out a taste preference so to speak and create what I’m after.
I have a thing for real and natural and am very curious about natural fermentation. However considering what others have chimed in on I do think a lot of information and learning can be beneficial with making wine using the methods more commonly used today.
This would be an interesting road to travel especially with so much variety in the choices out there. Atm I do have a peach wine going but being in unfamiliar territory I’m not sure how that will turn out. I do have grapes and blackberries in my freezer that I’m contemplating doing something with but I want and need to do this right. So will all that said all any help you guys can provide would be so appreciated!
 

Ohio Bob

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
369
Reaction score
502
Location
Cleveland, Ohio area
Sounds like you’re eager to learn. That’s a plus. Buy several types of wines, determine some favorites, note it’s good to pair with food. Research what wine goes with your favorite foods.

First, fermenting with natural yeasts might be an advanced effort, learn the basics first. Research kits, especially any kit instructions you can probably find online. Recognize these are for beginners. To make a better wine, there are tweaks that can be made, mostly extending the aging times.

Foraged fruit, or farmers market purchases are cost effective. The fermentation process is the same but handling the fruit requires some tricks, like freezing to help release more juice, pectin enzyme to help break down the fruit. This could be a good way to get started.

Kits, another good way to get started. No matter how you decide to proceed, there are some equipment pieces you will need to get, fermentation buckets, carboys, hydrometers, etc. see what you need to get, cost it out, are you still in??

Any help you need just ask!
 

ChuckD

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1,780
Location
NE Wisconsin
Welcome. A year ago I was exactly where you are. I actually thought you could take any grapes and make, say, a merlot… that it was all in the recipe. By reading on the site I learned the grape makes the wine and the recipes are generally the same. With a few tweaks.

I have been making fruit wines, wild grape, and some fruit concentrate wines (skeeter pee). This hobby can be addicting! This spring I planted a small vineyard and will be getting some real grapes this fall to ferment.

I would suggest checking Craig’s List and FB Marketplace for used wine making equipment. You can find some good deals out there.

Before you start a wine post your recipe and planned procedures on the site and ask for suggestions. Most folks think it’s all in the recipe but the procedure can be just as important.
 

BernardSmith

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
3,780
Reaction score
2,318
Location
Saratoga Springs
Hi Oaks - hope this is not a silly question, but you say you have grapes in your freezer. Grapes? Are these table grapes (usually, a varietal called Thompson) or are these wine grapes which are always recognized in terms of the wines they make (Riesling grapes; Chardonay; Pinot Noir, etc etc). Table grapes are fine for eating, but they don't have the sugar content of wine grapes, the flavor profile, the acidity, the tannin level and they are unlikely to have been picked at the peak of ripeness. While you can make a wine from table grapes, it really won't be mistaken for a grape wine.
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Sounds like you’re eager to learn. That’s a plus. Buy several types of wines, determine some favorites, note it’s good to pair with food. Research what wine goes with your favorite foods.

First, fermenting with natural yeasts might be an advanced effort, learn the basics first. Research kits, especially any kit instructions you can probably find online. Recognize these are for beginners. To make a better wine, there are tweaks that can be made, mostly extending the aging times.

Foraged fruit, or farmers market purchases are cost effective. The fermentation process is the same but handling the fruit requires some tricks, like freezing to help release more juice, pectin enzyme to help break down the fruit. This could be a good way to get started.

Kits, another good way to get started. No matter how you decide to proceed, there are some equipment pieces you will need to get, fermentation buckets, carboys, hydrometers, etc. see what you need to get, cost it out, are you still in??

Any help you need just ask!
I have a few gallon carboys and a racking tube I came across years ago. A hydrometer, campden tablets, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, calcium carbonate, and potassium sorbate I recently acquired after starting peach wine. I started it in a glass gallon and half gallon jars. It’s what I had. I’m in. I’ll build from there. 😊
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Welcome. A year ago I was exactly where you are. I actually thought you could take any grapes and make, say, a merlot… that it was all in the recipe. By reading on the site I learned the grape makes the wine and the recipes are generally the same. With a few tweaks.

I have been making fruit wines, wild grape, and some fruit concentrate wines (skeeter pee). This hobby can be addicting! This spring I planted a small vineyard and will be getting some real grapes this fall to ferment.

I would suggest checking Craig’s List and FB Marketplace for used wine making equipment. You can find some good deals out there.

Before you start a wine post your recipe and planned procedures on the site and ask for suggestions. Most folks think it’s all in the recipe but the procedure can be just as important.
I’ll definitely post before I start! Thank you. 😊
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Hi Oaks - hope this is not a silly question, but you say you have grapes in your freezer. Grapes? Are these table grapes (usually, a varietal called Thompson) or are these wine grapes which are always recognized in terms of the wines they make (Riesling grapes; Chardonay; Pinot Noir, etc etc). Table grapes are fine for eating, but they don't have the sugar content of wine grapes, the flavor profile, the acidity, the tannin level and they are unlikely to have been picked at the peak of ripeness. While you can make a wine from table grapes, it really won't be mistaken for a grape wine.
Not a silly question and I’m glad you asked in case I was headed in the wrong direction. 😉 The grapes I have in the freezer are homegrown. Concord. Nothing fancy but may be fun to play with starting out. I also have wild blackberries as well. I live in a rural area and have a slight advantage on wild fruits as well as those grown on the farm.
 

ChuckD

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1,780
Location
NE Wisconsin
I’m not even sure if they were what folks call good bottles.
A “good wine” is a wine you like. Keep at this hobby and I guarantee that will change with time.

I would also recommend winery tours. Especially small ones where they grow their own grapes. Talk to the owner/vintner/wine server too.
 

ChuckD

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1,780
Location
NE Wisconsin
Not a silly question and I’m glad you asked in case I was headed in the wrong direction. 😉 The grapes I have in the freezer are homegrown. Concord. Nothing fancy but may be fun to play with starting out. I also have wild blackberries as well. I live in a rural area and have a slight advantage on wild fruits as well as those grown on the farm.
Untold gallons of homemade wine have been made witeh Concord grapes. They have a distinctive taste (Morgan David wine and Welches grape jelly).
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Untold gallons of homemade wine have been made witeh Concord grapes. They have a distinctive taste (Morgan David wine and Welches grape jelly).
That’s what I’m hearing. But I’m new here and clueless.
 

vinny

Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
931
Reaction score
2,065
Location
Central Alberta
It wasn't really clearly stated. Merlot, Pinot noir, etc. is the variety of grape that the wine was made from. Nothing fancy, just different flavour profiles from different varieties. Same with different regions and wineries.

I am also big on the real and natural side. I made a post on it actually. You can replace a lot of ingredients/chemicals in recipes with natural alternatives. K meta is the one thing that one shouldn't skip unless you want to make a real quick drinker. Meaning if you get it to 4-6 months and love it, it might start declining at 8 months without the protection. K-meta is the main ingredient in Camden tablets, Potassium sulphite. Most add it as a straight powder for simplicity. It will absorb O2 andstabilize your wine, it is really worth adding.

Same as yeast. I think a natural ferment would be fun, but for what it's worth using a yeast packet will dramatically increase your chances of success with no detrimental effects.

I agree with others, if you buy some different wines and see what you like you can decide what to make from there.

I have a limited knowledge of wine as well. I have made a lot of country wines, but also some kits. I have a Shiraz, Merlot, and Diablo Rojo that have matured enough to drink. They are all great. There are differences, but they are not just drinkable, they are all really good. Better than what I would normally buy, and I don't think my opinion is biased just because I made it. 😉

My two best pieces of advice are... I've only been at this about 7 months, so from a beginners stand point, If you like it, it is good wine. It it is ready when it tastes good to you. You can tweak a wine even after you have bottled it, although it is easier in a carboy. Sometimes it just needs more time, but you can also adjust tartness, sweetness, and add in flavours at any time if you are not quite happy with it, or just want to experiment with flavors/ingredients.

2. Wine is VERY forgiving. I was stressed about making mistakes. I still did, and my first wines are great, as I said. Other than allowing oxygenation, starving yeast causing off flavours, or sanitary issues, the rest is pretty simple. Have fun, make cheap wines. Find stuff on sale, growing outside, or use freezer section ingredients to experiment. With every batch comes more confidence and understanding.

This is fun and interesting, no reason to stress. Simple precautions will save you from complete failure, everything else provides experience.

There is a great group here that will answer any question, don't be shy to ask for guidance. Books and internet searches provide a lot, but asking here will clarify with experience.
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
I’ve tried a couple of the barefoot brands nothing stuck out at me on flavor. Tried another one or two but can’t remember the names of those but remember I wasn’t impressed. I have also tried a couple of the Stella Rose Red and Black and I actually didn’t mind those. I would buy those again. Maybe something in that direction. Have to look into them some more. Beer was easier. 😂
 

vinny

Mildly Amused
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Messages
931
Reaction score
2,065
Location
Central Alberta
I’ve tried a couple of the barefoot brands nothing stuck out at me on flavor. Tried another one or two but can’t remember the names of those but remember I wasn’t impressed. I have also tried a couple of the Stella Rose Red and Black and I actually didn’t mind those. I would buy those again. Maybe something in that direction. Have to look into them some more. Beer was easier. 😂
The first wine I ever tried that made me say wow, was a Riesling. Pinot Grigio is very similar and what I often buy now simply because it is more common locally. They are both white's with prominent fruit notes. Green apple and melon make them bright and exciting, but also an easy drinker. If not the most common, they are amongst the more popular wines.

If it offers any insight or encouragement, I am not a fan of Barefoot.

Someone might be kind enough to chime in with a safe choice US winery. My go to's are Canadian.
 
Last edited:

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
The first wine I ever tried that made me say wow, was a Riesling. Pinot Grigio is very similar and what I often buy now simply because it is more common locally. They are both white's with fruit notes, green apple, and melon. Both are pleasant easy drinkers. If not the most common, they are amongst the more popular wines.

If it offers any insight or encouragement, I am not a fan of Barefoot.
I’ll look into those. 😉
 

BigDaveK

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
1,224
Reaction score
2,087
Location
Hocking Hills, OH
Oaks, as you can see there's a boatload of great people here.
I've been at this wonderful hobby for 10 months now and I might have drifted away after a couple attempts without WMT. It has ignited a thirst for knowledge and a passion for experimentation.

Most of my wines are still bulk aging but the ones I've bottled are really good. Two - ground cherry and blueberry - made me say 'Wow!" But even the ones that didn't still make me say, "Damn, I made this!" And I may never buy wine again.

I have some grape vines but I definitely prefer country wines. I've made 6 flower wines that truly shocked me with their flavor. Raspberries, mulberries, blackberries, and flowers are in the freezer. Garden coming along nicely so there will be vegetable wines in the queue. I need to start drinking more than just one glass a day! :h

What "rural" part of the country do you live? I'm sure you could forage many wine ingredients - just be absolutely certain of their identification. Too many "you die now" plants out there.

I have 2 pieces of advice - have fun and get more carboys.
 
Last edited:

TechAdmin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
17
Welcome Oaks, where are you in the US?
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
Missouri here. I’m in the Ozarks.
Got lots of wild blackberries, raspberries, and some gooseberry bushes. Elderberries are around as well and some other natives plants I need to research on.
 

Ohio Bob

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2022
Messages
369
Reaction score
502
Location
Cleveland, Ohio area
Not a silly question and I’m glad you asked in case I was headed in the wrong direction. 😉 The grapes I have in the freezer are homegrown. Concord. Nothing fancy but may be fun to play with starting out. I also have wild blackberries as well. I live in a rural area and have a slight advantage on wild fruits as well as those grown on the farm.
You’re in a good position to start a few batches without breaking your wallet. Concord is probably on the sweet side if you buy it in the stores. Blackberry tends to be tart and needs sweetening in order to be more palatable. Start batches of each, separately. Add sugar until you get an SG of 1.090, stir daily and measure SG, when it hits 1.020 or lower, seal the lid and put an airlock on it. The wines will continue to produce CO2 which will protect the wine. At day 14-28-ish, rack to a sanitized carboy, add 1/8 tsp Kmeta, and put a clean airlock on it. Rack when you see sediment on the bottom. Typically another month. Take notes on what it tastes like at every racking. When the wines are clear, no sediment, make a glass of 75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blends of the two. You may need to add a bit of sugar to bring out more flavor. Blend a larger quantity of wine and age it in a carboy another couple of months, then bottle. Any excess that doesn’t make it into the final blend can be bottled for use in future blends. That’s it in a nutshell.
 

Oaks

Junior
Joined
Aug 2, 2022
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
USA
You’re in a good position to start a few batches without breaking your wallet. Concord is probably on the sweet side if you buy it in the stores. Blackberry tends to be tart and needs sweetening in order to be more palatable. Start batches of each, separately. Add sugar until you get an SG of 1.090, stir daily and measure SG, when it hits 1.020 or lower, seal the lid and put an airlock on it. The wines will continue to produce CO2 which will protect the wine. At day 14-28-ish, rack to a sanitized carboy, add 1/8 tsp Kmeta, and put a clean airlock on it. Rack when you see sediment on the bottom. Typically another month. Take notes on what it tastes like at every racking. When the wines are clear, no sediment, make a glass of 75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blends of the two. You may need to add a bit of sugar to bring out more flavor. Blend a larger quantity of wine and age it in a carboy another couple of months, then bottle. Any excess that doesn’t make it into the final blend can be bottled for use in future blends. That’s it in a nutshell.
Okay that may be fun. Thank you for all that!! I need to see how much juice I get from the blackberries first. Not sure how many I have on those. I found some blueberries and a small batch of cranberries too.Got a bunch of grapes tho. 😂

Some of you mentioned trying some different wines to help direct me down this path. I’m assuming grabbing 3 different bottles of red and white with each being a dry, semi-dry, and a sweet would be a good start? That will be a puzzle narrowing down choices.

Also I looked and found a Moscato and a Pinot Grigio here.
 
Last edited:

TechAdmin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
106
Reaction score
17
Missouri here. I’m in the Ozarks.
Got lots of wild blackberries, raspberries, and some gooseberry bushes. Elderberries are around as well and some other natives plants I need to research on.
Wow, those are lots of berries. Which of them do you like? Just curious because a friend told me how hard it is for his berries to reach fermentation.😀
 

Latest posts

Top