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Chauncey

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So this is my first time trying to make fresh fruit wine and of course I have to start with the notoriously difficult watermelon. Knowing that fresh watermelon spoils easily my question is how do I know if it's gone funky and needs to be dumped? It fermented from a SG of 1.090 down to .996 in about 6 days and the wine doesn't have any off colors to it. I just racked it for the first time today.
 

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BernardSmith

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Hi Chauncey - and welcome. How do you know whether a fruit like watermelon has spoiled? You taste it. There is nothing in any wine you make from the moment that you harvest or buy the fruit until the moment that you bottle it that is going to make you ill from tasting. And like any good cook (or chef) you taste, taste, taste. If you don't taste you don't really know what is going on. Sure an hydrometer will tell you what is going on with the yeast and the sugar but that tells you nothing about how the flavors are progressing and coalescing and maturing.
 

Scooter68

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You picked a challenging variety to start with but you will get great help on here from those who have been through the challenge many times. (Not me but others)

My only word of advice is to write down the tastes you get. Get descriptive.

Keep a log and refer back to it later on.

Avoid sharing those taste tests with anyone else unless they are experienced wine makers. (Made that mistake myself. Had to educate my wife and I just don't share those tests with anyone else now)
 

Chris Gibbs

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I've only been making wine for a little over a year now, and like you, I was very eager to make watermelon wine as one of my first wines. I used about 15 lbs of my own muscadines and a couple of store bought melons to make a 3 gallon batch. I had no trouble during fermentation, but there was a pretty wicked smell coming from the wine as it aged. I scoured the internet for information about the odor and everything I found said it would go away with ageing. The odor is fading after about 6 months, and now I have a wine that tastes perfectly like watermelon rind. I have tried to mask the flavor with several different juices, and even went so far as to try and use the wine in a sangria. The rind flavor still comes through way too strong. I still drink a glass every now and then because I can't bring myself to pour it down the drain. Who knows, maybe in a few years...

I love watermelon. I mean, its one of my favorite foods. But i can honestly say I will never make watermelon wine again.

I am thinking about making a Welch's white grape juice wine and adding watermelon juice after fermentation though. That might get me the watermelon flavored wine I'm after.

Good luck, and enjoy!
 

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