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BeerSlinger

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Ok, I was thinking about doing some wine for both my wife and myself.....my question will be in two parts because I have a question about the equipment and over the ingredients. Personally, I haven’t thought about doing this until now because I’m not a wine drinker. Even though it's something that I don’t relish, I like something good to drink so I started thinking “outside the box” and I realized that this is an area that I probably should look into. Even though I don’t care for most grape biased wines, I do love the fruit wines tremendously. In fact, it had been so many years since I had drank them, I had forgotten how much so.

So here is the first question, this is the equipment that I have:

5 gallon fermenter
5 gallon carboy
Carbung
Auto siphon
4 feet of hose
Carboy Brush
Bottle Brush
Bottle Capper
Hydrometer
Thermometer
9 gallon brew kettle
Bottle Filler
2 Spice Bags
2 Airlocks
2 Corey Kegs
5 lbs CO2
Hoses and fittings for both filling and dispensing the Kegs

Now, outside of the fact that I don’t plan to bottle and cork; personally, I would rather use brown bottles because it is a more accommodating size. Is there any other equipment that I would need other then what I have listed?
 

Luc

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As long as you are spending money, I would add an acid test kit.

And if you are not doing kits, but using fresh (or frozen fruit) I would add some straining bags.

And maybe (if you are loaded with money) a press.

That ought to get you started.

So if you are not going to bottle and cork it, how are you going to drink it ??? Straight from the carboys ?????

Welcome to this forum and to this fascinating hobby.

Luc
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
As long as you are spending money, I would add an acid test kit.

And if you are not doing kits, but using fresh (or frozen fruit) I would add some straining bags.

And maybe (if you are loaded with money) a press.

That ought to get you started.

So if you are not going to bottle and cork it, how are you going to drink it ??? Straight from the carboys ?????

Welcome to this forum and to this fascinating hobby.

Luc
Thank you for a response......I was about to show where my confusion was with an example because I did a little research (only a minimal amount) because I know that this is almost a stupid question but there were some outstanding questions that I had, but I will get to that later. To address yours, the answers are quite simple.

Acid Test Kit – I know what it is but I don’t know why it is used?!?! Personally, as long as it tastes good and I can sleep at night without acid reflux, why would I care how acidic it is?

Strain Bags – Yes, I was looking into this last night, the large mesh bags that you boil whole hops in….you can get them quite large. I plan to boil most of my flavors because I would like to do almost every fruit under the sun. Actually, how this whole subject came up is the fact that I’m “Cheap” when it comes to money and I was talking to my wife. I brought up the fact that I could do a dandelion wine if I had the equipment because I always have a bumper harvest every year that I just mow over. Personally, our yard is tiny but we have more dandelions per square foot of anyone.

Press – nice idea but you talking to a chap that won’t turn on the heat above the temperature that will prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. Nice Idea and Dually Noted but I can’t see that happening.

Containers – A funnel, siphon and a carboy…..hadn’t thought about it tell you said that but I will have to try that one day….No seriously, I didn’t want to use the large bottles that most use because I want to preserve freshness and make a one serving bottle. Not to mention that I don't like to drink from a glass and prefer a bottle for almost every way to drink a beverage; plus I would look silly drinking from a large wine bottle and I would hope that I've not quite thrusted my self toward the world of bumdom quite that quick.

Since I’m a beer brewer already, I was referring to the fact that I would put it in 12oz bottles and cap them. Then store them in the basement until they are fully aged.


Where I was confused was when I was looking at the kits and comparing them to beer kits. This one is really straight forward and almost exactly like a beer brewing kit:

http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19378

But you look at this one there is crap in here that I have no clue what it is:

http://morewinemaking.com/product.html?product_id=19379

I have no clue what a v-vessel system is and I have no idea why you would have a funnel. Wouldn’t you use an auto-siphon and bottle filler?

The first kit made sense to me but I found the second one very confusing. Before I had seen it I would have argued that there was very little difference between beer and wine making with the exception of the corking and the fact that you have to add potassium stabilizers.
 

smurfe

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You can use most of the equipment you have. I wouldn't use the same fermenting bucket for wine and beer though. You might transfer flavors between the two.

A 5 gallon fermenter for wine is pretty small unless you are making smaller batches. You couldn't make a 5 gallon batch of wine, particularly fruit wines as you need 5 gallons of liquid plus the fruit bag. I have a 7.9 gallon fermenter and it fill it to the top for a 5 gallon batch if I have a big fruit bag. I use a 10 gallon fermenter for fruit wines normally.

As far as bottles, you can use your beer bottles and cap them like beer for your wine if you wish. Just make sure you did a good job de-gassing or you will be blowing caps off.

Smurfe
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
You can use most of the equipment you have. I wouldn't use the same fermenting bucket for wine and beer though. You might transfer flavors between the two.

A 5 gallon fermenter for wine is pretty small unless you are making smaller batches. You couldn't make a 5 gallon batch of wine, particularly fruit wines as you need 5 gallons of liquid plus the fruit bag. I have a 7.9 gallon fermenter and it fill it to the top for a 5 gallon batch if I have a big fruit bag. I use a 10 gallon fermenter for fruit wines normally.

As far as bottles, you can use your beer bottles and cap them like beer for your wine if you wish. Just make sure you did a good job de-gassing or you will be blowing caps off.

Smurfe
You know I never thought about the difference in size between fruit and hops. That is a really good point. Personally, I was going to use a carboy only at first, and then I’m switching to the Corey Kegs for aging because they are so space efficient. Also you make a good point about cross contamination. I will probably want to have separate wine and beer kegs as well…

Generally I wash my equipment fanatically with bleach in the dishwasher (because it gets hotter then my hands can handle). But cross contamination might be a problem.

de-gassing…what do you mean? I’ve never heard that term before…and the last thing I need is 10 six packs of hand grenades…
 

smurfe

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If your kegs are stainless steel you should be OK there. It is the plastic fermenter that can not as much contaminate, but pass odors of beer to wine or wine to beer. When you ferment wine it produced CO2. You stir the wine prior to bottling to drive out the CO2 gas from the wine. If you don't your corks will pop out and you will have a fizzy wine. You can also get an off taste and odor of a yeasty nature in your wine from the CO2.

Also, I don't know if it is common in beer making but most winemakers do not use bleach to sanitize or use a dishwasher unless it is not used to wash dishes. The bleach can leave an off taste unless rinsed very very well. I have used it in a pinch but it takes a ton of rinsing to eliminate the chlorine smell. 3 tablespoons of Sodium meta-bisulfate in a gallon of water makes a great and cheap sanitizer.

As far as the dishwasher you can get small food particles on your equipment that could cause a bacterial infection unless you are using a commercial dishwasher that can reach 180 degrees. For example, my wife owns a private school that has pre-school as well. We have a regular household dishwasher in our kitchen there and can not use it to wash any dishes because it does not reach 180 degrees, the temp required to sanitize. Only commercial dishwashers get that hot. So, we have to soak the dishes in a bleach solution to sanitize the dishes. Makes you wonder though why no one gets sick at home from using theirs.

Smurfe
 
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C

Caplan

Guest
BeerSlinger, welcome aboard!

Most of the kit you have will be fine for wine making. 'Fruit' wines are very easy to make - much more simple than beer IMHO (and I only brew extract beers with specialty grains).
Get a bigger primary bucket (to fit the extra fruits) if yours does only hold 5 gallons - (I'd guess yours just measures up to 5G on the side with loads of head space? if so it's fine to use) and ensure your kegs are sanitised well. 'Cross Contamination' isn't an issue - you practise decent sanitation.

'Degassing' is merely getting CO2 out of a wine to help it clear faster. You simply shake, swirl, whisk, etc the wine in secondary to get it out.

Beer obviously needs CO2 in bottles to give the carbonation (by adding extra sugar to feed the remaining yeast) - bottle a dry wine in beer bottles with crown caps that hasn't been degassed won't give you bottle grenades or 'blow the tops off'. It'll just take longer to clear and and will leave you a sediment layer that you'd rather not have.
 
C

Caplan

Guest
Generally I wash my equipment fanatically with bleach in the dishwasher (because it gets hotter then my hands can handle). But cross contamination might be a problem.
I don't know if it is common in beer making but most winemakers do not use bleach to sanitize or use a dishwasher unless it is not used to wash dishes. The bleach can leave an off taste unless rinsed very very well. I have used it in a pinch but it takes a ton of rinsing to eliminate the chlorine smell. 3 tablespoons of Sodium meta-bisulfate in a gallon of water makes a great and cheap sanitizer.
Bleach or dishwashers aren't used for sanitizing in beer brewing either as standard - Merely cleaning.
Beerslinger may rinse well and use a sanitizer after. I've avoided the 'bleach' bit as our 'Sister Beer Forum' has a 'long standing thorn in the side' about this issue.;)

As far as the dishwasher you can get small food particles on your equipment that could cause a bacterial infection unless you are using a commercial dishwasher that can reach 180 degrees. Makes you wonder though why no one gets sick at home from using theirs.
Correct - Bacteria needs the right environment to prosper - moisture, a little heat, a food source, time and nothing to suppress them. Basic food hygiene practises and hot dishwashers deal with 'day to day' nasties. Homebrewers don't deal with 'day to day' - it's more 'month to month' and need to clean the best way they can and then sanitize after.:)
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
If your kegs are stainless steel you should be OK there. It is the plastic fermenter that can not as much contaminate, but pass odors of beer to wine or wine to beer. When you ferment wine it produced CO2. You stir the wine prior to bottling to drive out the CO2 gas from the wine. If you don't your corks will pop out and you will have a fizzy wine. You can also get an off taste and odor of a yeasty nature in your wine from the CO2.

Also, I don't know if it is common in beer making but most winemakers do not use bleach to sanitize or use a dishwasher unless it is not used to wash dishes. The bleach can leave an off taste unless rinsed very very well. I have used it in a pinch but it takes a ton of rinsing to eliminate the chlorine smell. 3 tablespoons of Sodium meta-bisulfate in a gallon of water makes a great and cheap sanitizer.

As far as the dishwasher you can get small food particles on your equipment that could cause a bacterial infection unless you are using a commercial dishwasher that can reach 180 degrees. For example, my wife owns a private school that has pre-school as well. We have a regular household dishwasher in our kitchen there and can not use it to wash any dishes because it does not reach 180 degrees, the temp required to sanitize. Only commercial dishwashers get that hot. So, we have to soak the dishes in a bleach solution to sanitize the dishes. Makes you wonder though why no one gets sick at home from using theirs.

Smurfe
I believe that cory kegs are stainless by nature. It’s the same kegs that people use for draft beer so I really have never questioned whether it could be used or not.

Using a dish washer and bleach isn’t common with beer makers, it’s just my touch. Most people use B-Bright or something like that to sanitize but it’s the same thing is your average bottle of Clorox. So you just have to watch your amount and I generally use only a half a cap when I clean but I’ve heard people use as much as one cap full per 5 gallons.

In regard to temp, I didn’t have a camera in the washer but I did have a thermometer in the machine when it was running because it was attached to my boiling kettle. With a standard high temp wash and dry when I pulled the pot out it was at 120 degrees. On the other hand, I have no idea where it peaked. Nonetheless, I cut the bleach in half to avoid residue and then just let it go to work. From everything I have seen I believe that it gets hot enough to kill most bacteria. I know if you leave anything stuck on the dishes when you put them in, then it bakes them on and is a royal pain to remove.
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
BeerSlinger, welcome aboard!

Most of the kit you have will be fine for wine making. 'Fruit' wines are very easy to make - much more simple than beer IMHO (and I only brew extract beers with specialty grains).
Get a bigger primary bucket (to fit the extra fruits) if yours does only hold 5 gallons - (I'd guess yours just measures up to 5G on the side with loads of head space? if so it's fine to use) and ensure your kegs are sanitised well. 'Cross Contamination' isn't an issue - you practise decent sanitation.

'Degassing' is merely getting CO2 out of a wine to help it clear faster. You simply shake, swirl, whisk, etc the wine in secondary to get it out.

Beer obviously needs CO2 in bottles to give the carbonation (by adding extra sugar to feed the remaining yeast) - bottle a dry wine in beer bottles with crown caps that hasn't been degassed won't give you bottle grenades or 'blow the tops off'. It'll just take longer to clear and and will leave you a sediment layer that you'd rather not have.
I just made at least 5 gallon in my fermenter and I had head space of about 4 inches so a second one would seem advisable but not vital. I didn't mention it but I also plan on working with the tastes of artifical flavoring because I'm doing POP, BEER, WINE....and I want to see what the taste difference is in the long run vs running natural products....

You can almost say my house is a convience store in the making because I also smoke....

Ok, I would be afriad of degassing because its hard enough to stay away from the cloud......especially if your using alot of fruit or other items to soak in your wert.....

It would seem to me that it would be more of a problem with ratio and amount of sugar to yeast in making hand grinades....

But I'm just still a newbie at both, I just base that opinion on my research.....
 

Luc

Dutch Winemaker
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Acid Test Kit – I know what it is but I don’t know why it is used?!?! Personally, as long as it tastes good and I can sleep at night without acid reflux, why would I care how acidic it is?
a ) Beer is quite different as wine is. Beer is a short term beverage and wine is a long time beverage. What I am trying to say is that most wines are not sooner consumed as one year afther brewing. So wine needs some preservation techniques. One thing you can and should use is sulphite. The other stuff that acts as a preservation is acids.

b) Wine has more alcohol as beer. So when not using acid wine will taste as medicine. I have experienced this myself with a Pineapple wine which had very low acidity.

c) Each wine has his/hers own characteristics so therefore a white wine has a totally different taste as a red wine. And A red Port style wine has a different taste as your average red plonk. Part of the tasting experience is the acidity.

d) Wine will mellow out during the aging process. So if acidity is not right at the beginning nothing will be over at the end. On the contrary: You can always add more acid when fermentation is stopped. But without an acidity test kit how do you know how much acid to add.

Success
Luc
 
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B

BeerSlinger

Guest
a ) Beer is quite different as wine is. Beer is a short term beverage and wine is a long time beverage. What I am trying to say is that most wines are not sooner consumed as one year afther brewing. So wine needs some preservation techniques. One thing you can and should use is sulphite. The other stuff that acts as a preservation is acids.

b) Wine has more alcohol as beer. So when not using acid wine will taste as medicine. I have experienced this myself with a Pineapple wine which had very low acidity.

c) Each wine has his/hers own characteristics so therefore a white wine has a totally different taste as a red wine. And A red Port style wine has a different taste as your average red plonk. Part of the tasting experience is the acidity.

d) Wine will mellow out during the aging process. So if acidity is not right at the beginning nothing will be over at the end. On the contrary: You can always add more acid when fermentation is stopped. But without an acidity test kit how do you know how much acid to add.

Success
Luc
Wow, point taken and firmly noted.

It almost begs the next question. I'm most comfortable when I see a video of a drink being made like Samuel Adams has a video on how to make a basic ale. Also if you look on YouTube there is someone who gives an intro to mashing.....his technique is a bit shakey but the principles are the same.......

Is there something like that out there for wine? Also, I have heard bad things about using distilling yeast for wine......Well, like beer its done by the lager or ale type that your going to do.....How would you know which one to use for a non-grape recipe?
 
C

Caplan

Guest
It almost begs the next question. I'm most comfortable when I see a video of a drink being made like Samuel Adams has a video on how to make a basic ale. Also if you look on YouTube there is someone who gives an intro to mashing.....his technique is a bit shakey but the principles are the same.......

Is there something like that out there for wine? Also, I have heard bad things about using distilling yeast for wine......Well, like beer its done by the lager or ale type that your going to do.....How would you know which one to use for a non-grape recipe?
The best wine site I can think of that will ease your worries is http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/ :)
 

cpfan

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Wow, point taken and firmly noted.

It almost begs the next question. I'm most comfortable when I see a video of a drink being made like Samuel Adams has a video on how to make a basic ale.
Spagnols has a wine making video on their web-site. It is wine kit oriented. Also in the past I have been unable to play it (internet too busy? or a site problem?) so I haven't actually watched it.

http://www.rjspagnols.com/resource/wine_making.asp

Also, I have heard bad things about using distilling yeast for wine......Well, like beer its done by the lager or ale type that your going to do.....How would you know which one to use for a non-grape recipe?
Use a wine yeast (not sure what a distilling yeast is). On jack kellers site there is a description of the various wine yeasts available. Also pay attention to which brand and yeast varieties are sold where you will be shopping. In my store I usually have 5 varieties of Lalvin yeast in stock. Other stores are different.

Steve
 

Luc

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Use a wine yeast (not sure what a distilling yeast is). On jack kellers site there is a description of the various wine yeasts available. Also pay attention to which brand and yeast varieties are sold where you will be shopping. In my store I usually have 5 varieties of Lalvin yeast in stock. Other stores are different. Steve
A distilling yeast is a special yeast that will give a very high alcohol content. An example is a product called Turbo Yeast which will give alcohol percentages up to 18%. But the yeast is used exclusively for distilling purposes this means no attention is paid to taste. And to be frank if you you use this yeast in a wine (I have tried elderberry to get a port style wine) it tastes really awful. The manufacturer recommends filtering the alcohol with coal to get rid of the off-tastes. But stubborn as I am I just had to try and guess what ???? They were right. Do not use distillers yeast for wine.

Also: Do NOT USE bakers yeast. This will get you lots of CO2 and hence you will get lots of foam on your must, and low alcohol percentages. Besides that your wine will taste yeasty. I admid I tried it with my first batch of wine I ever made because I had nothing else to play around with. It was not disgusting but I would not recommend it to anybody.

Luc
 
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B

BeerSlinger

Guest
A distilling yeast is a special yeast that will give a very high alcohol content. An example is a product called Turbo Yeast which will give alcohol percentages up to 18%. But the yeast is used exclusively for distilling purposes this means no attention is paid to taste. And to be frank if you you use this yeast in a wine (I have tried elderberry to get a port style wine) it tastes really awful. The manufacturer recommends filtering the alcohol with coal to get rid of the off-tastes. But stubborn as I am I just had to try and guess what ???? They were right. Do not use distillers yeast for wine.

Also: Do NOT USE bakers yeast. This will get you lots of CO2 and hence you will get lots of foam on your must, and low alcohol percentages. Besides that your wine will taste yeasty. I admid I tried it with my first batch of wine I ever made because I had nothing else to play around with. It was not disgusting but I would not recommend it to anybody.

Luc
Ok, I'll go with that, it seems like I read exactly what you said about turbo yeast. I just thought that I would banty it about to see if i got the same result.

On the other hand though, after seeing what is out there for beer yeast and noticing that its kind of the same with wine. In other words, "the yeast definds the drink." So I'm not really sure what to use for a fruit flavor, but it would seem like you would use almost a champayne yeast or a light white wine flavor....
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
Spagnols has a wine making video on their web-site. It is wine kit oriented. Also in the past I have been unable to play it (internet too busy? or a site problem?) so I haven't actually watched it.

http://www.rjspagnols.com/resource/wine_making.asp



Use a wine yeast (not sure what a distilling yeast is). On jack kellers site there is a description of the various wine yeasts available. Also pay attention to which brand and yeast varieties are sold where you will be shopping. In my store I usually have 5 varieties of Lalvin yeast in stock. Other stores are different.

Steve
Thanks for the vid links....I'll look at them in a bit...I don't have the software right now because they are apple, I will unembed them and download them and see what I can get.....

Kit or not, if I see it done, I'm always more comfortable trying or even researching something if I have seen it done.....
 

cpfan

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On the other hand though, after seeing what is out there for beer yeast and noticing that its kind of the same with wine. In other words, "the yeast definds the drink." So I'm not really sure what to use for a fruit flavor, but it would seem like you would use almost a champayne yeast or a light white wine flavor....
I'm not sure that the yeast is as important with wine. Most wine kits that I sell come with EC-1118. A few come with RC-212. Some day I'll have to do some side-by-side trials to see the result.

In my store I mostly sell Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast. It works well in a greater range of temperatures and goes to a higher alcohol than other yeasts. For some dark fruit (eg blackberries) RC-212 is recommended. The others that I sell (in small quantity) are ICV-D47, K1-V1116, and 71B-1122. I believe that these are the only ones Lalvin packages for the home winemaker.

See their page at
http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp

Steve
 
B

BeerSlinger

Guest
I'm not sure that the yeast is as important with wine. Most wine kits that I sell come with EC-1118. A few come with RC-212. Some day I'll have to do some side-by-side trials to see the result.

In my store I mostly sell Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast. It works well in a greater range of temperatures and goes to a higher alcohol than other yeasts. For some dark fruit (eg blackberries) RC-212 is recommended. The others that I sell (in small quantity) are ICV-D47, K1-V1116, and 71B-1122. I believe that these are the only ones Lalvin packages for the home winemaker.

See their page at
http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp

Steve
Good God, I've never seen anything that well laid out....up till now all I have seen are listings like at www.beer-wine.com or www.morebeer.com that just have it by the wine type.......that's some really good information.....

I really liked that it had the Specific Gravity, Fermentation Speed and Temp range all listed.....that takes almost all of the guess work out of it......



I'm impressed, Kudo's...
 

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