I'll try and fill you in on where I'm at and what I've been doing.
Welcome aboard. You'll find a wealth of knowledge here.
I'm sure we can reccomend some reading material to you.
From Vines to Wine by Jeff Cox is a great resource if you plan to grow and make wine from grapes. Another one is The Winemaker's Answer Book by Allison Crowe.
If you like experimental wine, try Making Wild Wines and Meades by Pattie Vargas.
There are also step by step videos and recipes on (edited out due to spam filtering). I highly reccomend this retailer as he is honest and won't sell you things you won't need.
Thanks for the book references, I will probably check out the Making Wild Wines and Meads book as it sounds right up my alley.
I don't have a good spot on my property for growing grapes, and frankly with all the limestone around it's a real PITA to grow any good fruits. So I don't see myself growing grapes for wine. I might buy some grapes this fall though, I'm not sure if I want to go that far just yet though. I would need to buy a press first, and some larger equipment than I am using now.
However, I have landscaped out some areas where I have two very young apple trees, 4 blueberry bushes and a strawberry patch. I had to work the soil for a year to get the pH right and now add some acidic fertilizer to these areas to keep it acidic. It seems to be working well so far.
I'll also be checking out those video's, and maybe that store as well. I have a local homebrew shop just a couple miles from me, but I've been sold some things I didn't need! I've noticed I get better help/answers from one lady who works there but she's not always there when I go.
Hi and welcome to Winemakingtalk. What are some of the wines that you have made and yes skeeter pee is good. Once you have one batch bottled, start another because it goes fast in the summer
I should mention that I have been doing 1-gallon batches only, primarily because I stocked up on 4-L and 1-gal glass carboys early on, and haven't really looked at upgrading too seriously.
I've had mixed results with Concord, but a batch I recently consumed of Concord was probably my best wine yet I think. It was my first batch of Concord not using Welch's concentrate, but I'm not sure if the difference was the brand or the recipe to be honest. I'm aging a couple bottles of that now.
I tried some Niagra using the Welch's Niagra concentrate but I didn't particularly like it, although I'm not sure it is fair to call it a failure.
My first try at Gewurztraminer looked so promising, but after racking I left it aside to age and didn't pay enough attention, and found it was sitting on some lees for the whole time. It tasted god awful when I tried it. I bottled it and am letting them age in the bottle just in case they turn good, but I don't know, that was NASTY.
Most of the wines I have completed so far were country wines.
My first stab at Apple Wine from a juice concentrate was pretty good, but I then tried an Apple Cider Mead that tasted so bad at one point I tossed it, only learning later meads aren't tasty until they have aged a couple years or more.
I've tried cranberry wine from juice concentrate that was too tart, and one from dried cranberries that grew a white film on it in the secondary.
I was really excited to try a Blueberry wine using fresh fruit, but it did not ferment to dryness and was too sweet. However, when I blended it with the tart cranberry one mentioned above, it wasn't half bad.
I've made two batches of Jalapeno wine which turned out good, but neither were really drinkable for me, was just too weird. One was hot, one was mild. I still have two bottles of the hot.
I also tried a Watermelon Mead which when I recently bottled I was not happy with. However, it might get better with age. I thought the watermelon flavor tasted a little green though.
I had a good Strawberry wine made from fresh strawberries, and I still have two bottles that might get to age a little more before I drink them, but considering how many bottles of stuff I have here that I don't want to drink right now they are in jeopardy.
Those are the wines I started since I began keeping records which I have finished. Over the last year, I stopped making new batches for some reason, and just recently started again.
I have started a Zinfandel blush from concentrate, Pinot Chardonnay from concentrate, and 2 batches of Concord. All of these are currently in secondaries to finish fermentation to dryness. One of those batches of Concord was transferred to the secondary just tonight. I'm looking to start on some Skeeter Pee next.
GREAT TO HAVE YOU ABOARD BIGABYTE. This is a very nice site and fun and amusing. I have learned a lot from December and I am still learning.
You will find a wealth of info and help here. A huge variety of wine types and some beer as well.
and yes tell us more about what you made, are making and what you want to make.
Has the squirrel recovered yet?
I hope not. That darn thing stole my beer!::
I am kind of trying to do a routine of starting a new batch every weekend. I'm also trying to make every other batch be a grape varietal so I will have at least experienced making those. It's the batches in between I will be doing country wines, Skeeter Pee and more Concord wines. I really like concord wine for some reason. I'm like the only person on the planet like that i think, but I really do like a good just slightly sweet Concord wine. I don't know why, just what I like for some reason. Must be the kid in me, tasting the good old grape juice or something.
Well, I've probably talked your ears off already, and I haven't even asked questions yet!
After reading some here, I'm beginning to question my methods of primary/secondary. A lot of how I do things came from the Jack Keller website, but if I'm reading how many people here are doing things, I'm thinking they ferment in the primary to dryness and rack to the secondary, whereas I let the active fermentation go in the primary until it really slows down, then transfer to secondary to finish fermentation. It makes me wonder what difference there is.
I have a million more questions, but one at a time will do, as answers to each one will shape other questions I'm sure.