Easy Beginner Wine

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by Tom_S, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. Oct 31, 2012 #1

    Tom_S

    Tom_S

    Tom_S

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    This is the basic recipe I recommend for anyone starting out wanting to make wine. It's the recipe I use whenever I want to make a basic red Concord wine. I love the flavor that the Montrachet yeast gives to the wine.

    Easy Beginner's Wine

    This is for a 1 gallon batch, increase all amounts by five for a five gallon batch, except for the yeast.

    1 gallon Sam's club or Welch's red or white grape juice
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp. yeast nutrient
    1 packet Red Star Montrachet wine yeast
    1/2 tsp. potassium sorbate (if wine is to be sweetened)
    1 campden tablet (potassium metabisulfite)

    Pour most of the gallon of juice into a clean 1 gallon glass jug. Add sugar a little at a time and stir until it dissolves. You may need more or less than 2 cups to get an SG reading of 1.098 on a hydrometer, or 13% potential alcohol reading. Once enough sugar has been added, add the yeast nutrient and stir in. Add yeast by sprinkling on top of juice, it is not necessary to stir in. Cover mouth of jug with dry cloth or paper towel. After about 24 hours, the must should start bubbling. Once it is bubbling vigorously, top up with remaining juice, add airlock & ferment between 65-75 degrees for 7 days. Rack into a second jug and let set for about two weeks or until clear. Rack again being careful to avoid picking up yeast sediment on bottom of jug. Add sugar if desired for sweetness, or leave dry. If sugar is added, add 1/2 tsp. potassium sorbate to prevent refermentation. Add 1 potassium metabisulfite (campden) tablet per gallon by crushing tablet between two spoons & stirring into wine. Let set for about 3-6 months until acid crystals form & settle in bottom of jug with fine yeast residue. Rack again (filter if available or needed) into clean jug. Degas wine if needed by stirring vigorously or by creating a vacuum in jug. Add 1 campden tablet per gallon after degassing. Wine may be bottled after 24 hours or left to age in jug several more months before bottling.
     
  2. Oct 31, 2012 #2

    Julie

    Julie

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    instead of stirring to dissolve sugar in the juice, take some of the juice out and heat that up, add the sugar to the heated juice, stir until dissolved then add back to the remaining wine.

    It is better to not to add the airlock at the very beginning of the fermentation, this could cause a stuck fermentation.

    And when backsweetening do the same, take some wine out, heated it up, add the sugar, stir until dissolved and then add back to carboy.
     
    Shayne Edwards likes this.
  3. Oct 31, 2012 #3

    Tom_S

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    I've never had a problem with stuck fermentation when adding an airlock, but I usually wait until it's bubbling very vigorously before adding an airlock, like when you open a bottle of champagne. By then there's so much CO2 coming out of the must that there's no way oxygen would be getting to the yeast, and by that time they generally don't need it anyway.

    I tend not to heat up the juice because I don't want to risk causing a pectic haze. If you're patient it doesn't take too long to dissolve sugar into your juice, but you do have to be careful that it all dissolves before taking a reading and deciding that you need more.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2012 #4

    Julie

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    you won't get a pectic haze, you are just warming up the juice. IMO you are taking a big chance just stirring in the sugar, and yes it probably doesn't take long but that is a one gallon batch, what if someone wanted to make a 3 or 5 gallon batch?

    Yes you can add the airlock at the beginning but you are taking a chance. I prefer to make sure my yeasties are very happy and I'll give them the best environment that I can. That means letting them have at it with the oxygen Once fermentation slows down and gets around 1.01 then I will add the airlock.
     
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  5. Oct 31, 2012 #5

    ShelleyDickison

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    Julie: is there an advantage to using heated must over using just water and how would that apply to kits. Would you make the kit per instruction then take some out and heat it or use some of the water you normally would add to the kit (going on the assumption you wanted to up the ABV ex Mist or Breezin kit). Also is it alright to just sit the lid on top for the kits and then at a specific SG snap down and airlock (I am going on the premise you do not have to do a daily stirring on kits. Haven't found that answer yet and it's not mentioned in the kit instructions so I haven't been doing it). Thanks Shelley
     
  6. Oct 31, 2012 #6

    Julie

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    For the kits, I would follow the instructions. If you are looking at upping the abv, then use the f-pac that comes with the kit. I would start with 1/2 of the fpac, take a reading. Get the sg up to 1.080. And yes I always lay the lid and actually lay a towel over the lid until sg is around 1.010 and snap down the lid. And I think I would do daily stirring. And I do believe did when I did kits, sorry haven't done one for quite awhile.

    Hope this answers your questions.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2012 #7

    Tom_S

    Tom_S

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    Julie, I make 5 gallon batches too, and it really doesn't take long for the sugar to dissolve as long as you add about a cup at a time and stir it in well. I always wait for it to dissolve before taking hydrometer readings or tasting if I'm backsweetening.

    I don't think there's much chance of a stuck fermentation from adding an airlock on the primary. I know there's been a bit of controversy as to whether or not it's OK to do that, with some people doing it, some not. I personally don't think it's going to hurt anything as long as you do it after a strong fermentation is underway. After I add yeast, I will leave a paper towel in the neck of the primary jug, and once the must is bubbling like freshly-opened champagne I add the airlock. I don't think it's going to hurt anything because when it's bubbling that vigorously a strong fermentation has taken off and the yeast tend to not need much oxygen by that time. Also, all the CO2 being released pushes any oxygen out of the fermentation vessel and keeps it away from the must anyway, so the yeast couldn't get oxygen from the air even if they wanted to at that point. So it's not going to hurt a thing by adding an airlock. I've been doing it this way for years and not once have I had a stuck fermentation.
     
  8. Mar 28, 2018 #8

    crooked cork

    crooked cork

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    I used 10 cans of frozen grape concentrate to make a batch and then 4 cans to back sweeten. easy to drink right away and it fabulous after a year of aging.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2018 #9

    Scooter68

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    At the risk of being picky - A starting SG of 1.098 has a potential ABV of 14.18 (I Always assume ferment goes completely dry at .990). For some that might be a bit much for a simple red. Again a bit picky but for a beginner that ABV might be more than they want.
     

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