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Hello from Wilm.,NC and BlueBerries!

Wine Making Talk

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crossthread

Junior
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Yes, a "Newb" needs Advice!

Introductions, I'm a Disabled/one-armed Old guy..ie: poor..

I recently, about a month ago, acquired about a gallon of Blueberries, (over ripened) from the Local food Bank for nada..
Soooooo, Like My Dad back in the day, whom made Wine from Wild Muskaidine >sp< grapes, I decided to give "WineMaking" a go...
He used Plastic, One gallon Jugs, store bought yeast/Sugar/water, with a "tube" running into another Jar of water.
I KNOW what fermentation looks like, as He had a Jug *BLOW-UP* when the Sun got to it one afternoon...

So, I got Sugar/Water/Store bought yeast,washed & added the Berries, proofed the yeast... AND,AND, well It "fermented" about 2 weeks fairly good. Added more Sugar, and now fermentation seems to have stopped? I mean theres about 5 inches of berries still floating but I don't see "signs" of anything going on, and just a SLIGHT smell of alcohol...
I tasted the stuff, and it's un-godly sweet still? Added *more* yeast, nothing doing....
I got all this in a 1 gallon glass Pickle Jar with the Lid just setting on top.. So Co2 can escape.. Semi-Dark, around 75-78 degrees...
I'm a Month into this... My room smells like, well, blue-berries...
Before ya'll :) at Me...
I'm just a poor guy, I cannot afford these Wine Kits, But I've got access too Fruit (over-ripened Store Donated) in season from the food bank Quite a Bit... Peaces & Pears & Blackberries, are getting ready to come in season, and I wish to try My hand w/Peaches & Black berries...
Though, these Blue berries have got Me thinking second thoughts...
What am I doing wrong?
Second, How Do ya'll get *fizz* into a Wine?
Can I used Paper Coffee Filters to Strain this Stuff?
What do I use to get the "S***-Effect" from yeast left-over from the Finished Product?
Lastly, I'm in NO Hurry, Making this stuff, I want a NICE Table/Dinner Wine that I can give My Pops a Quart, from Son to Dad...

Thanks, everyone.... Sincerely Perplexed,in Wilmington, NC
 

Madriver Wines

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You need a hydrometer. It will tell you what is or is not happening with your wine. More details such as you recipe will help also. It may be done but the very sweet part makes me think it has stalled. Luc has a kick butt yeast starter so search for it here. First give us all the details ya can.
Steve
 

Racer

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First of all. Welcome to the forum! I lived in Cherry point/Havlock N.C. for about 3 years (a life time ago). I hope to move back into the piedmont area in about 8 -10 years too.

As far as help with the current wine we'd need to know somemore info on it first. Like how much sugar and blueberries etc. etc.
Madriver is right the first thing you should get is a hydrometer. Its used to see how much sugar is in the must(unfermented juice) before you add the yeast. That way you will know how much potential alchohol it will have and can help you keep from over adding sugar that wont get fermented or wont ferment at all if way too much is added. There not expensive and can be found at any homebrew shop you might have near you. Also you really need to buy yeast at the shop too when your there. Yeast from the homebrew shop will have a higher tolerance to alc. and ferment things out better and easier for you too.
Hope you hang out here and enjoy everybodys company too.
 

crossthread

Junior
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Well....

2 pounds of granulated Sugar..
Water
Store bought Dry Yeast, (Fleischman's) proofed then added to Mix.
Over-Ripened Blueberries, about 3/4's filled in a 1 gallon glass Pickle Jar..
thats it...
Let set.. Stir once in awhile....
 

koda_ky

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Hi and welcome to the forum:b
sounds like you have a good start the guys here can help just tell them what you have done so far. as for equipment.. I went to mcdonalds yesterday and ask them if they had any food grade buckets and they gave me 3 2 gallon with lids free of charge that is what I use for primary's for my one gallon batches. glad to see another newbie, you will love it here I have learned a lot.
 

Wade E

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The only problem you had is most likely adding too much ugar for that type of yeast. The Bakers yeast has a low tolerance to alc and will quit early so you need to cut down on the sugar and r get some wine yeast. The best thing to do would be to get a hydrometer like mentioned above which will cost about $6.00 and a package of wine yeast is about $.75 so you see what is truly needed to make better wine wont cost you much. When making a fruit wine you dont want to add too much sugar or you will hide the flavor of the fruit with high alc. You ant to start with a specific gravity of around 1.090. The hydrometer is a very easy to use tool and you just look at where it floats in the liquid and read it like a thermometer. If you get this tool you will make good wine believe it or not. Its knowing what amount of sugar to use with the yeast you have that eliminates your wine being too sweet. What you really want to do is ferment it till it has no sugars left and then if you want a sweeter wine you will also need some potassium metabisulfite and some potassium sorbate to prevent re fermentation in the bottle or you could just add some sugar to each glass as you drink it so you wont have toget those chemicals. Those chemicals are also very cheap. If you have a local wine and beer supply store then just go on in and ask for those things mentioned above and all will cost you under $20 and will last you a long time. If you are going to keep making small batches then instead of using the potassium metabisulfite powder get whats called Campden tablets as each tablet is designed for 1 gallon of wine. It will take the guess work out of it. If you dont have a local supply company here is a great place to order from, click this link! http://www.finevinewines.com/products.asp
 

crossthread

Junior
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OK after quick research

Another Couple Questions....
When I started this *soupy mixture*... I mean thats how It kinda looks now, half of the Berries On the Bottom, and about 5 inches on top floating , I can "see" though this stuff, when looking @ it with a Window in the back ground, It's got nice "color"? Lordy call it souped up grape juice.. :)

I understand *now* about the Bakers Yeast... Still doesn't explain HOW My pops made some high powered wild grape Wine...(He used the same stuff). Will try to scape together money to buy some better yeast, recommendations?

Second, I know what a Hydrometer is... Question is..
Can I use My trusty One that I use for Automotive work???? (I'm a ex/disabled Auto Tech..) Or "make My own" I saw Instructions on how to do that, Is it "accurate"?

Third, My Pops has a HUGE, (10 gallon) Ceramic Crock... I means this thing is at least 100 years Old, with a Lid... It was used as a food something or another thoughout the years... (It belonged to My great grand father, whom came from Germany and brewed beer w/it, or at least that is what I was told).
I heard about "lead" Issues. should I be concerned about lead? though No one in My family died from it.
I may scale this up, will get more Fruit, ie: Free Peaches.....For that Project..

I also wanted to say, when I started this, everything was going very well, to a point I had to remove extra berries, from the top of this, Fermentation was pushing the stuff outta the Jar, It took several Cups of Berrie removal, so it wouldn't *Boil Over*, out the Jar.....
It's still going, I think, when I just stirred it a second ago, ALOT of bubbles came to the top.....
Again, don't laugh @ My Simple mess... :)
Thanks for the hearty Welcome.. :b
 

Madriver Wines

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On the crock I have used one. It was too heavy but no lead issues. They are salt glazed, no lead. The coffee filters are so fine they take a week or so to drain, lol.
There is a great thread on here for yeasts. Just do a search.
Hope this offers some help, Steve
 

B-well4200

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Welcome to the forum. I work in a very rural area in GA and there are ALOT of wine makers in that area. Although whenever I use the word "air lock" or "racking" your wine I get blank stares. :? But I have sampled some of these wines and they pretty good. Most of these people use igloo coolers to ferment in. But anyway, if you don't have a hydrometer (which you said you didn't) many of these "old timers" just use a simple egg. Put the egg in and it should float before it ferments. Check it later and if the egg sinks to the bottom it is done fermenting. Its a very rough guess but it gives you an idea of where you are at. Also, you can use a ballon or condom as an airlock. Just poke a pin hole in it and when it fills with gas it will seep out and then seal back up. This may or may not help but good luck and its very possible to make good wine without all that fancy stuff. HAVE FUN!:r
 

Wade E

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What do you exactly mean by grape juice? Are you talking about store juice or juice squeezed from grapes locally cause there are wild yeasts on grapes and the wild yeast strain might have a stronger tolerance to alc then bakers yeast. Bakers yeast can sometimes go as high as about 12-13% but usually not higher then that and usually doesnt make it that high. As far as wine yeast goes you will have to get that from a local wine or brew makers shop or order it through the internet at a place like this.
http://www.finevinewines.com/Home-Wine-Making-Ingredients-Lalvin-Wine-Yeast.asp
There are places in NC to get supplies though. This placeis in Belmont - Alternative Beverage, This place is in Raleigh - American Brewmaster, This place is in Yadkinville - Carolina Wine Supply, This place is in Lumbetron - East Coast Wine Supply, This place is in Laurel springs - grapestompers.com, This place is in Wilmington - www.nbwinery.com Thats all I could find on my search and hopefully 1 of those is close enough!
 
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