Hello from NW Indiana

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Senior Member
Oct 25, 2007
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I just wanted to say hello, I've been saving my bottles for a few years, and finally got my first kit, a Selection Merlot.

After I get my feet wet, I'm going to try a couple of small batches from frozen fruit.

Wekcome and feel free to ask away!

That won't be a problem :D

I'm lucky that I live about 15 min from the Red Barn in DeMotte...I must have talked for an hour with the owner when I picked up my Merlot kit. He's got quite a few years of experience, (as a wine maker and a tasting judge) and he's local, so that's a plus.

Between that, this forum, and Jack Keller's site, there's just a wealth of information to draw from.

I started a 1 gallon Old Orchard grape concentrate today, it's amazing to see the process in the 1 gallon jug, as opposed to the 7+ gallon primary that I started the merlot kit in. I used two different types of airlocks, just to see the difference, the econolock that came with the equipment kit, and the "S" type that I purchased separately, and used with the smaller batch.

I'm pretty sure I'm hooked at this point...not that that's a bad thing. :D

What was your starting sg of that Old Orchard wine. Jack Keller has some great recipes but they seem to always have a very high sg. The best sg to start with for most wines is 1.085.
Starting sg was 1.092. I used 3 cans instead of the 2 called for in Jack Keller's recipe, then just added spring water and sugar solution until the sg came down to the level I wanted it (around 12% potential).

Great job, that is a good sg for this type of wine. 3 cans is what I prefer for these wines also, sometimes even 4 if it is a very weak fruit.