First time wine making from juice - help needed

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Molydeii

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Hi Everyone,

Several days ago I tried to ferment my first wine, using %100 Apple juice, sugar, regular bread yeast and a 1,5L plastic bottle covered with a baloon with pin holes on it.

This morning, after some five days since I started, the bubbles and the foam disappeared from the surface of the liquid so I poured the juice into another bottle. It has an overall cloıdy apperance, I tasted a bit and it surely tastes alcohol. The problem is, it smells really bad. Not like vinegar bad, but like a heavy apple/stale bread bad. From what I have tasted , it is bitter, not like vinegar bitter, but bitter like very dry. I wasn't expecting that. It also has a very disticntive smell that I cannot relate with anything, maybe bread dough gone sour. As I am writing this, that smell is on my hands, it is that heavy. :)

What can I do to sweeten it a bit before I drink it? any advices? I looked aroud the web and there are lots of things being said. I thought it may be better to ask in person to more experienced brewers.

This juice was an experiement for me, befıre starting to brew more. While it was brewing I bought two airlocks (S) type, wine yeast, cartons of %100 grape and%100 apple juice. I browsed through the web and found this forum and wanted to ask to experienced members to what can I do to avoid that smell and bitter dryness next time.

I live in a country where campden tablets, hydrometers or elese are not availible on the market. All I can reach are wine yeast, airlocks, %100 fruit juices. Is there anything I can do to make the next batch better?

Also keep in mind that English is a learned language for me, so I am hoping my English is making some sense.

Thank you in advance.

Cheers,

edit : Typo
 
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sour_grapes

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Welcome to WMT!

Your English is quite good, so I can understand you clearly.

As for the taste: I predict the taste will improve dramatically with age. In particular, the yeasty smell/taste will diminish. Your wine is very, very young, but will be much better in a few months. It will also become much clearer (less cloudy) in that time.

The unavailability of Camden tablets (or any metabisulfite) could pose some problems. You need to age the wine, but you need it to not spoil in the meantime. I would be tempted to try to age it anyway (under airlock at first), and monitor it for bad smells every couple of weeks.

You said that you wish to sweeten it. One problem is that it may start fermenting again. There is a substance called potassium sorbate that inhibits the yeast from reproducing; when we sweeten wine, many of us add that along with the sugar to prevent refermentation. I doubt that you will be able to get that, however, if you cannot get those other supplies. Therefore, my advice would be to sweeten it just before you are going to drink it. You can sweeten with regular sugar, or "simple syrup" (which is water and sugar boiled together), or more apple juice.
 

Molydeii

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Hi Paul,

Thank you for your comment! I haven't been using English for years now, it's nice to hear I haven't totally forgot it.

An hour ago I stirred up some sugar in it and it is now on a drinkable level. I either has gotten used to the smell or some air did help. Meanwhile, I made two seperate things, one is an airlocked 4lt. grape juice fermentation using wine yeast, and second is a 1lt. apple juice fermentation using again the wine yeast. This time I did not use any bread yeast.

I think, from what I red online and your coment that my "wine" is just finished what people call as "primary fermentation" part. It's at the fridge now while the other two are supposedly fermenting.

A basic search online, I found some vendor sells Potassium sorbate (E202) and Potassium Metabisulphite (E224). They also have this Sodium metabisulphite, and it says on their webpage that Sodium metabisulphite is used to keep a sterile enviroment in fermenting alcohol. Are they what I am supposed to add when aging and/or adding sugar after fermentation? If they are what I need to have for the second process, is there a webpage or can you please kindly tell me how much of which one am I supposed to add after the primary fermentation is over.
 

Molydeii

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Thank you! Just one quick question, should I just add those two along with some sugar, put the airlock back and keep on waiting and check for the taste every now and then?
 

hounddawg

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Thank you! Just one quick question, should I just add those two along with some sugar, put the airlock back and keep on waiting and check for the taste every now and then?
you ain't gonna get better advice than from sour_grapes, their are equals, a few, but sour _grapes is about as good as it comes, i know back several years ago he was one of many that taught me how to marry the old hillbilly ways to the modern ways,
Dawg
PS
don't tell him.... i'd hate to swell his head, lol, all joking aside your in great hands,,,,
DAWG
 

Rice_Guy

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Welcome to WMT

Most soda and retail drink bottles will slowly leak oxygen. We use glass when we have it available. Your 1.5 liter plastic bottle will be OK for a month, maybe six months of storage.

Small volume of new wine can be sweetened if stored in a refrigerator. We use potassium sorbate for room temperature where yeast are able to grow.
 

winemaker81

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@Molydeii, it appears you can do mail order. Buy a hydrometer -- it's the one tool a wine maker should not be without. With care, they will last your life time.

Small batches (~1.5 liters?) make it very difficult to use powdered potassium metabisulfite, as the typical dosage is 1/4 tsp for 5 US gallons / 19 liters. Dividing that down for a tiny batch is difficult.

Campden tablets are designed to use 1 tablet for 1 US gallon / 3.8 liters, so you can cut a tablet in half for a 1.5 liter batch. Continuing to make 4 liter batches makes adding sorbate and sulfite much easier.

You can also bottle in gallon jugs, and decant into smaller bottles for drinking. Plastic bottles are not the best choice, but if you don't have access to glass, it will have to do.
 

Molydeii

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Dear everyone, thank you for welcoming me so friendly and giving me advices! They're really helpful. I'll see where I can get a hydrometer, they should have it online - the problem is delivery is quite slow to here. But I can wait.

The first batch, one that smells awful is in the fridge at the moment. I will sweeten it and try making a sangria/punch with it tonight. It has cleared visibly in the smaller glass bottle and smells not as bad as it was when I first opened the bottle it was fermented in. I havent't tasetd it after that day but I plan to, using a teaspoon.

I have saved and throughly washed/used boiling water for some used wine bottles with perfectly fitting corks. I was thinking the same, when the second group with the wine yeast is finished first fermentation process, I will pour them into another container (same plastic) leave them with an airlock for a month in a second container, and after that month, I will decant them into those glass bottles. (I sadly cannot store the fermenting plastic bottles longer than a month at the moment, due to lack of space)

I'll ferment a 4lt. apple (as I have the juices laying around) today or tomorrow with an airlock. Funny thing is I can almost hear the bubbles bursting on the 1,5lt apple one (baloon-locked) but the 4lt grape one doesn't have that sound (but still bubbles coming out to the surface)

I duct tape the necks of the plastic bottles to avoid, as much as possible, for air to get in.

For futher fermenting, I will order the E202 and E214 online and make the fermented juices rest at least 2-3 months with added chemicals. I will use the amounts @winemaker81 and @robert81650 specified above and do as @sour_grapes suggested.

I really thank you so much everyone who has responded to my inquiry above. You have helped me a lot during this process. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming here, this is something rare to find nowadays online in those modern times. Once again, thank you every so much everyone. :)
 

DizzyIzzy

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Hi Everyone,

Several days ago I tried to ferment my first wine, using %100 Apple juice, sugar, regular bread yeast and a 1,5L plastic bottle covered with a baloon with pin holes on it.

This morning, after some five days since I started, the bubbles and the foam disappeared from the surface of the liquid so I poured the juice into another bottle. It has an overall cloıdy apperance, I tasted a bit and it surely tastes alcohol. The problem is, it smells really bad. Not like vinegar bad, but like a heavy apple/stale bread bad. From what I have tasted , it is bitter, not like vinegar bitter, but bitter like very dry. I wasn't expecting that. It also has a very disticntive smell that I cannot relate with anything, maybe bread dough gone sour. As I am writing this, that smell is on my hands, it is that heavy. :)

What can I do to sweeten it a bit before I drink it? any advices? I looked aroud the web and there are lots of things being said. I thought it may be better to ask in person to more experienced brewers.

This juice was an experiement for me, befıre starting to brew more. While it was brewing I bought two airlocks (S) type, wine yeast, cartons of %100 grape and%100 apple juice. I browsed through the web and found this forum and wanted to ask to experienced members to what can I do to avoid that smell and bitter dryness next time.

I live in a country where campden tablets, hydrometers or elese are not availible on the market. All I can reach are wine yeast, airlocks, %100 fruit juices. Is there anything I can do to make the next batch better?

Also keep in mind that English is a learned language for me, so I am hoping my English is making some sense.

Thank you in advance.

Cheers,

edit : Typo
What country are you living in presently?
 

DizzyIzzy

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Hi Paul,

Thank you for your comment! I haven't been using English for years now, it's nice to hear I haven't totally forgot it.

An hour ago I stirred up some sugar in it and it is now on a drinkable level. I either has gotten used to the smell or some air did help. Meanwhile, I made two seperate things, one is an airlocked 4lt. grape juice fermentation using wine yeast, and second is a 1lt. apple juice fermentation using again the wine yeast. This time I did not use any bread yeast.

I think, from what I red online and your coment that my "wine" is just finished what people call as "primary fermentation" part. It's at the fridge now while the other two are supposedly fermenting.

A basic search online, I found some vendor sells Potassium sorbate (E202) and Potassium Metabisulphite (E224). They also have this Sodium metabisulphite, and it says on their webpage that Sodium metabisulphite is used to keep a sterile enviroment in fermenting alcohol. Are they what I am supposed to add when aging and/or adding sugar after fermentation? If they are what I need to have for the second process, is there a webpage or can you please kindly tell me how much of which one am I supposed to add after the primary fermentation is over.
You can probably buy the Campden tablets from the same vendor. Welcome to the site!
 

DizzyIzzy

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Dear everyone, thank you for welcoming me so friendly and giving me advices! They're really helpful. I'll see where I can get a hydrometer, they should have it online - the problem is delivery is quite slow to here. But I can wait.

The first batch, one that smells awful is in the fridge at the moment. I will sweeten it and try making a sangria/punch with it tonight. It has cleared visibly in the smaller glass bottle and smells not as bad as it was when I first opened the bottle it was fermented in. I havent't tasetd it after that day but I plan to, using a teaspoon.

I have saved and throughly washed/used boiling water for some used wine bottles with perfectly fitting corks. I was thinking the same, when the second group with the wine yeast is finished first fermentation process, I will pour them into another container (same plastic) leave them with an airlock for a month in a second container, and after that month, I will decant them into those glass bottles. (I sadly cannot store the fermenting plastic bottles longer than a month at the moment, due to lack of space)

I'll ferment a 4lt. apple (as I have the juices laying around) today or tomorrow with an airlock. Funny thing is I can almost hear the bubbles bursting on the 1,5lt apple one (baloon-locked) but the 4lt grape one doesn't have that sound (but still bubbles coming out to the surface)

I duct tape the necks of the plastic bottles to avoid, as much as possible, for air to get in.

For futher fermenting, I will order the E202 and E214 online and make the fermented juices rest at least 2-3 months with added chemicals. I will use the amounts @winemaker81 and @robert81650 specified above and do as @sour_grapes suggested.

I really thank you so much everyone who has responded to my inquiry above. You have helped me a lot during this process. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming here, this is something rare to find nowadays online in those modern times. Once again, thank you every so much everyone. :)
I think your use of English is "spot-on". So glad you found this site!
 

Molydeii

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Hi everyone, now I'll be updating my funny adventures with fermenting supermarket juice. :)

Before I start I am really thankful for all support and advices I've gotten from you more experienced members. Without you guys, it'd be impossible for me to enjoy what I am trying to do now.

With the bread yeast batch, I didn't need to make a punch with it. Few days in the fridge in a screw lid bottle, it turned unexpectedly good with almost white table wine taste. I wasn't expecting it willl be that good so it has been already consumed (or I really have low standarts, lol)

The apple 5lt one I made a week ago is now bubbling and releasing oxigen fiercely. It's almost having your pocket hydroelectric power plant at home, with those noises. Last night when I wake up at 4am, I thought what was making that bubbling sound in the house. :) It's under a wine airlock now.

The grape 5lt one has made a few bubbles (again its under the airlock since the very beginning) but now gone quiet. It's been ten days so I am thinking of opening it, if it tastes okay I will bottle and out it to a fridge. If now, I'll decant it into another 5lt container with wine airlock for another week.

I either airlock them or put a baloon as soon as I mix the sugar, juice and yeast. Soem sources say I need to put a towel or cheese cloth on the mouth of the bottle (not with an airlock) and keep them waiting like that for a few days, then decant and airlock. Is that true, or shoould I go with the direct airlocking?

@DizzyIzzy : I'm living in Turkey. There are many great local wines here but the problem is the price/quality is not as one expects from Italy or France. People drink Beer or Raki here (a distilled drink that's made from grape and herbs, a lot like Greek Uzo or Italian Grappa) and wine is often regarded as a luxury, something that is fancy to drink. And I do not like anything stronger than 14-15% wine, so I thought why not produce some at home. I'm still a very very beginner but more than the beverage itself, I like the joy I am having while I make those.
 

mikewatkins727

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Sometimes I am faced dealing with fractional gallons of wine or wine must. I devised this method to help me. I obtained a small bottle that has graduation marks along the side, similar to ones we get at the pharmacy for cough syrup. I add one-quarter tsp (¼) of potassium metabisulfate to the bottle and fill with water to the 6 oz mark. Then I will add 1 oz / 1 gal of wine or wine must. If I have to work with a half gallon (½) I add ½ oz. Keep the bottle capped when not in use. If you are using the metric system, 1 oz = 29.57 ml.
 

sour_grapes

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I either airlock them or put a baloon as soon as I mix the sugar, juice and yeast. Soem sources say I need to put a towel or cheese cloth on the mouth of the bottle (not with an airlock) and keep them waiting like that for a few days, then decant and airlock. Is that true, or shoould I go with the direct airlocking?
Glad to hear you are having fun!

It is really your choice whether you want to airlock or just cover with a towel. Most here will say to use a towel. Most agree that the yeast can benefit from the extra oxygen exposure early in the fermentation, when they are trying to reproduce and build biomass.
 

ZAF

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Amazing journey. I am also on the Grape Juice to wine wagon at the moment. So hopefully both of us end up producing some enjoyable wines.

Keep us posted :)
 

DizzyIzzy

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Sometimes I am faced dealing with fractional gallons of wine or wine must. I devised this method to help me. I obtained a small bottle that has graduation marks along the side, similar to ones we get at the pharmacy for cough syrup. I add one-quarter tsp (¼) of potassium metabisulfate to the bottle and fill with water to the 6 oz mark. Then I will add 1 oz / 1 gal of wine or wine must. If I have to work with a half gallon (½) I add ½ oz. Keep the bottle capped when not in use. If you are using the metric system, 1 oz = 29.57 ml.
Hi Mike....another buckeye, ay? I live in Knox county. Re: your above post, I just learned something similar from Vintner's Harvest. They recommend adding 5 teaspoons of either sodium or potassium sulfate to one cup cool water (I put the solution in a glass jar). Evidently one tsp of this solution = one crushed campden tab. This method would eliminate the need to cut tablets and wonder about the exact measurements of each portion of the tablet. I am going to refer Molydeii to your post...............dizzy
 

DizzyIzzy

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Hi everyone, now I'll be updating my funny adventures with fermenting supermarket juice. :)

Before I start I am really thankful for all support and advices I've gotten from you more experienced members. Without you guys, it'd be impossible for me to enjoy what I am trying to do now.

With the bread yeast batch, I didn't need to make a punch with it. Few days in the fridge in a screw lid bottle, it turned unexpectedly good with almost white table wine taste. I wasn't expecting it willl be that good so it has been already consumed (or I really have low standarts, lol)

The apple 5lt one I made a week ago is now bubbling and releasing oxigen fiercely. It's almost having your pocket hydroelectric power plant at home, with those noises. Last night when I wake up at 4am, I thought what was making that bubbling sound in the house. :) It's under a wine airlock now.

The grape 5lt one has made a few bubbles (again its under the airlock since the very beginning) but now gone quiet. It's been ten days so I am thinking of opening it, if it tastes okay I will bottle and out it to a fridge. If now, I'll decant it into another 5lt container with wine airlock for another week.

I either airlock them or put a baloon as soon as I mix the sugar, juice and yeast. Soem sources say I need to put a towel or cheese cloth on the mouth of the bottle (not with an airlock) and keep them waiting like that for a few days, then decant and airlock. Is that true, or shoould I go with the direct airlocking?

@DizzyIzzy : I'm living in Turkey. There are many great local wines here but the problem is the price/quality is not as one expects from Italy or France. People drink Beer or Raki here (a distilled drink that's made from grape and herbs, a lot like Greek Uzo or Italian Grappa) and wine is often regarded as a luxury, something that is fancy to drink. And I do not like anything stronger than 14-15% wine, so I thought why not produce some at home. I'm still a very very beginner but more than the beverage itself, I like the joy I am having while I make those.
Hi Molydeii, I have been fermenting half-gallon storebought juice for several months now with great success. I have the following fermenting now: Pomegranate/Plum, Mango/Tangerine, Cranberry/Pomegrante, 7 Super fruits, (all in half-gallons, 100% organic juices) The receipe I have been using calls for initially removing some of the juice, adding sugar and wine yeast, applying the airlock, and when fermenting subsides to add back some of the removed juice, but not so much that it will foam up into the airlock. When it is completely fermented out I rack into glass bottles for aging.

You might benefit considerably from reviewing MikeWatkins727 post here as he describes the method he uses to stabilize smaller batches. I responded to him of the method I just learned from Vintner's Harvest, which might also be helpful to you. I look forward to hearing more about your venture into this hobby.....................Dizzy
 

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