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stashu

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Hello,

My name is Stan. You can call me Stan, stash (stosh), or you can call me 'hey you'. Whatever you call me, it will be nicer than what my wife calls me.
I live in Arkansas where its really too hot to grow most grapes. I have access to some grapes (concord, muscadine, scuppernong) and never miss an opportunity to use them. But, mostly I am doing fruit wines as they are more plentiful here.

I am pretty new to wine making. I just started the summer before last. Since then I have made probably about 30-40 gallons of wine and wine-like beverages. Some of it has even been drinkable. I've made more bad wine than good at this point. But, not to be deterred, I am looking forward to the upcoming season.

31 years ago, when I was 10 years old, my Mom built a house and told me and my brother and sister we could each buy a plant for the yard. I don't recall what they got, but I got a Concord grape vine and planted it next to a chain link fence. My intentions back then were to make wine from the grapes.
Of course, my mom didn't think a 10 year old should be making wine, so when we picked the grapes, they were turned into jelly.
I eventually left home and went to the military and then lived abroad for several years and I forgot about the vine. My step-dad has cut the vine down, burned it out, poisoned it, etc. But it always came back.
My folks are older now and my mom doesn't do a whole lot of jelly now, so they told me to pick my grapes and do something with them. So BAM!!! After 30 years, I finally got to try wine making with the grapes I'd planted way back in my childhood.

It sucked. I should have tried to sell it to a breakfast restaurant as Concord pancake syrup. I didn't know what I was doing and it showed. I think I used something like 15 lb sugar in 3 gallons of wine. GAG!!! i poured it out. I should have kept it and figured out a way to make it work, but I was an expert novice and knew not what I'd done wrong, nor how to fix it.

But, being a technology guy, I started keeping really great records using Microsoft OneNote that included lessons I have learned from every batch. And I've applied these lessons to batches since then.
As I have applied these lessons, my wine has improved in quality.

I don't know how the folks on this board are, but I am not one of these wine purist who think wine can only be made from grapes. I understand them, and I believe that the best wines I've made have been grape wines (with the exception of last years strawberry wine). But, I make wine out of anything and everything I can get my hands on. Saturday morning, for example, I am going dandelion picking.

Right now in my big carboys (i currently have 4 five gallon carboys), I have 5 gallons of peach-banana that i don't think is going to turn out, 5 gallons of cranberry (-raisin) and 5 gallons of white grape-raspberry (from Welch's frozen concentrate). I have one empty 5 gallon 'boy' I'm using for racking.

I also have 2 large Carlo Rossi jugs, 2 one gallon jugs I bought at a supply store, 2 one gallon jars similar to big pickle jars that I found under my mom's house, and a 1/2 gallon jar I found under my mom's house. They are all empty except for the 1/2 gallon jar. it has a little bit of Scuppernong wine in it that I am going to use in a cold stabilization experiment.

In bottles, I have golden raisin-almond (and it is straight up horrible), scuppernong (that REALLY needed some tartaric acid management), muscadine (that is too damn sweet), strawberry (that is straight up lovely), and more of the white grape-raspberry.
The white grape-raspberry was an experiment, but was much loved by several of my wife's hillbilly, whitetrash friends...and its cheap. So, I'm making another batch. If I had the equipment, I'd do 20 gallons of it just for parties.

I have 3 lb. clover honey in my cabinet I intend on using to try making a mead if I ever get around to it before strawberries and stuff start coming on.

And interestingly (or maybe not) I don't drink wine really. I will. I have. But, I am more of a beer drinker. I am all about some bitter, hoppy IPAs or belgian beers. I personally believe that Chimay Blue is the best beverage money can buy.

So, anyway, that's me. I'm just learning. I'm just hobbying. I love to make wine and pour a glass for someone and watch them lie to me and tell me its good. I also like to give my good stuff to my good friends who do me the kind of favors that only good friends do.

I hope I can be of assistance to anyone who needs my help, and I hope that I can call on you all for help when I need it. I've bored you enough, if you've even bothered to read this, and I will let you get back to your regularly scheduled business now.

Cheers,
Stan
 

Tom

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Stan Welcome. :hug
If you "search" the topics on the front page you will find alot of info. Look for the STICKIES there is alot of uploaded info there. Look at the topics and you also will find a huge amount of info.
You can always start a new thread under any topic.
Ask away we all been there and dont that.
 

jeepingchick

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hey there! im new to . just wanted to see where in Ar ya are. i used to live in Jax, have fam in Jonesboro and Little rock, and great friends in Scott! while i did love the state, im LOVING the weather here in De, not even nearly as hot in the summer, tho i could do with out my snow in the winter LOL!
 

stashu

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I live in Hot Springs at the moment. Its nice here, but too hot and humid in the summer. I go up to Jax occasionally to hit the commissary on the base.
 

xanxer82

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welcome aboard. These are some great folks here with a lot of info. First question from me is you have a hydrometer? Do you have two hydrometers? Two so you'll never break one.
 

jeepingchick

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wow! what a haul just for the com!! after the tip, and the fee, its not enough savings for me LOL!
 

stashu

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I have A hydrometer. And I use it to start batches. I should use it when the batch is done so I can get an accurate measure of my alcohol, but for some reason I've always let that part slide.

You are right though - I should have 2.
 

stashu

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wow! what a haul just for the com!! after the tip, and the fee, its not enough savings for me LOL!
We only go up there if we happen to be in that neck of the woods with a big ice chest. Then we fill the car up to make it as "worth it" as possible.
 

Runningwolf

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Welcome aboard Stan! It sounds like you're well on your way. Are you sure you want to hang with us. You will gain tons of great information and ideas which will only take your hobby to an obsession.:h Really though, we look forward to hearing about your adventures and helping you through any issues.
 

Julie

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Hi Stan,

Welcome to winemaking talk. There are a pile of us who make wine from fruit. You need to check out the skeeter pee threads, I think you will like that. :b
 

Runningwolf

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Hi Stan,

Welcome to winemaking talk. There are a pile of us who make wine from fruit. You need to check out the skeeter pee threads, I think you will like that. :b
Dear Julie, I can't believe you reference piles and pee in the same sentence with us wine makers. :slp
 

Wade E

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Welcome Stan and I work with a Stashu. Almost all fruit wines should start off with an sg right around 1.085 so using that as a guide you wont make that syrup that you have before. Just add all your fruits and water and then adjust up from there with your hydrometer and a sugar addition calculator. Watch out for recipes on the net as most are very hort on the amount of fruit needed and way to high on the sugar amounts leaving you with a tasteless high alc beverage that nobody wants.
 

Julie

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Dear Julie, I can't believe you reference piles and pee in the same sentence with us wine makers. :slp
Oh Dan, only you. Stan take my warning don't listen to a think Dan says, he will lead you astray! :p
 
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