Lbs of bananas for 3 gal of wine

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looking to make a banana wine, how many lbs would you recommend for 3 gals? What is the process of getting a high alcohol content without having my starting gravity too high?
 

BernardSmith

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I guess my question is why would you want to make a high alcohol wine? With wine balance is everything and to make a wine that has a high ABV is like running the marathon on stilts. You want a high ABV drink - then steep banana peels in vodka for a month, strain, and add enough simple syrup to sweeten this to your satisfaction. If you want a wine you should be aiming for about 10-12% ABV. Much above that and you are sitting on a two legged stool.

If you want to make the wine from the fruit and not the peel (and I have made both - but the peel makes a better wine , in my opinion) you need to use VERY ripe bananas. By that I mean bananas that are really very squishy, with the peel being very dark if not black. I would use about 5 lbs of bananas per gallon but I would begin with about 1.5 gallons of water because you want to boil the fruit for about 30 minutes to extract the sugars and flavors and a great deal of that water is going to be uncollectable when you strain the fruit.

If you like running on stilts then you step feed the yeast. Begin with about 2 lbs of sugar + the banana liquor and when the gravity has dropped to about 1.000 add another /14 - 1/2 lb of sugar and repeat until you feel that you don't the wine to taste as hot as a spirit or the yeast have quit because of alcohol poisoning... But as I say, you drink wine by the glass. You sip spirits by the shot glass. Very different drinks...
 
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I guess my question is why would you want to make a high alcohol wine? With wine balance is everything and to make a wine that has a high ABV is like running the marathon on stilts. You want a high ABV drink - then steep banana peels in vodka for a month, strain, and add enough simple syrup to sweeten this to your satisfaction. If you want a wine you should be aiming for about 10-12% ABV. Much above that and you are sitting on a two legged stool.

If you want to make the wine from the fruit and not the peel (and I have made both - but the peel makes a better wine , in my opinion) you need to use VERY ripe bananas. By that I mean bananas that are really very squishy, with the peel being very dark if not black. I would use about 5 lbs of bananas per gallon but I would begin with about 1.5 gallons of water because you want to boil the fruit for about 30 minutes to extract the sugars and flavors and a great deal of that water is going to be uncollectable when you strain the fruit.

If you like running on stilts then you step feed the yeast. Begin with about 2 lbs of sugar + the banana liquor and when the gravity has dropped to about 1.000 add another /14 - 1/2 lb of sugar and repeat until you feel that you don't the wine to taste as hot as a spirit or the yeast have quit because of alcohol poisoning... But as I say, you drink wine by the glass. You sip spirits by the shot glass. Very different drinks...
Understood and appreciate the the feedback. I’ll take you advice on the alcohol content. So about 15 lbs of overripe banana boiled on 1.5 gallons of water for 30 mins. Then add the the other 1.5 with enough sugar to get 12% alcohol. What is your take on brown sugar over white? How does the peel make it better?
 

BernardSmith

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The volume of water I mentioned was based on a gallon of wine. I could not tell you how much water you want to use to boil the fruit. I don't know the volume 15 lbs of chopped bananas. There's raw sugar which is brown and brown sugar which is colored and flavored. I have no experience using brown sugar but I am sure it will add flavors (some of which you might like and some of which you may not).
In my opinion, the peel is better for a couple of reasons. It provides a lot of flavor much like the zest of oranges and lemons and the flavors come from material that is for the most part a waste product. I eat a banana almost every day and I save the peel (store them in my freezer until I am ready to make a banana wine. So the cost of this raw material is zero. It also means that I don't have to compost the fruit after I strain the fruit from the liquor. In my experience you need to age wine made from the fruit for longer than you need to age wine made from the peel. (same amount of time extracting the flavors and color from the peel - about 30 minutes... )… BUT and here is the downside, I have no idea how much pesticide and what pesticides are used on bananas before they are exported to the US. And I have no good idea how to ensure that I am not extracting those pesticides when I boil the fruit or the peel... That said, wine made from the fruit itself is delicious and wine made from the peel is also delicious. From the peel the extract is easy to strain. from the fruit... you have to do a little more work to collect the liquid...
 

subseageorge

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I guess my question is why would you want to make a high alcohol wine? With wine balance is everything and to make a wine that has a high ABV is like running the marathon on stilts. You want a high ABV drink - then steep banana peels in vodka for a month, strain, and add enough simple syrup to sweeten this to your satisfaction. If you want a wine you should be aiming for about 10-12% ABV. Much above that and you are sitting on a two legged stool.

If you want to make the wine from the fruit and not the peel (and I have made both - but the peel makes a better wine , in my opinion) you need to use VERY ripe bananas. By that I mean bananas that are really very squishy, with the peel being very dark if not black. I would use about 5 lbs of bananas per gallon but I would begin with about 1.5 gallons of water because you want to boil the fruit for about 30 minutes to extract the sugars and flavors and a great deal of that water is going to be uncollectable when you strain the fruit.

If you like running on stilts then you step feed the yeast. Begin with about 2 lbs of sugar + the banana liquor and when the gravity has dropped to about 1.000 add another /14 - 1/2 lb of sugar and repeat until you feel that you don't the wine to taste as hot as a spirit or the yeast have quit because of alcohol poisoning... But as I say, you drink wine by the glass. You sip spirits by the shot glass. Very different drinks...
Do you have a recipe for making the banana wine using the peels ?

Thanks
 

BernardSmith

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No recipe, as such. I collected and washed about 15 or 20 peels and boiled them in enough water to cover them for about 15 minutes and added enough sugar to bring the gravity to about 1.090 if the total volume would be 1 US gallon (about 2.25 lbs of sugar) . I allow the water to cool overnight. Best to use organic bananas - then you can be more confident that they have not been doused in pesticides.
With the water cooled I strain out the peel and measure the gravity adding enough water to hit my target gravity. I assume in the first instance that the peel is full of tannin and I don't add acid until after I rack but I add nutrient and shake the bejesus out of this must to introduce air that the boiling removed. I pitch yeast - usually 71B but any yeast you favor is OK . Typically , I ferment in a bucket , loosely covered with a cloth and will rack when gravity approaches 1.005.
I've made mead using a similar approach except that I substituted about 2.5 lbs of honey for the sugar, and I've made a banana t'ej using this approach and here I added about 4 oz of enchet (gesho twigs) that I had allowed to dry after I used them in a previous batch of t'ej. Those twigs were covered in yeast and bacteria and so I did not have to pitch any additional yeast.
I find that banana wine tends to need some back sweetening so I stabilize the wine/mead and add enough sweetener to raise the gravity to about 1.008 - 1.010
 

subseageorge

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Cheers mate, Banana plants are like weeds here, all are wild and organic,. I have made 2 batches of orange as they are also cheap and plentiful. Im just looking at ideas for my next batch. I have bought a 7.9 gallon fast fermenter from amazon and want to try it. 717h5-ZH-rL._SL1500_.jpg
 

hounddawg

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when i make banana wine for my brother, i hate banana and pineapple because they are very messy and hard to clear, that being said i use the entire banana turned black then frozen with 12 lb of banana per gallon and no water, use apple juice or white grape juice instead of water, and as benard said keep ABV from 10% to 14 %. if you want a high ABV then go for either pineapple or lemon both can be run very high with out the jet fuel taste, all my country wines are kept balanced except for skeeter pee which i use for sleep, the meds i take make me a insomniac so instead of sleeping pills i use skeeter pee. all this has been discussed in detail with all my doctors,
Dawg
 

DizzyIzzy

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I guess my question is why would you want to make a high alcohol wine? With wine balance is everything and to make a wine that has a high ABV is like running the marathon on stilts. You want a high ABV drink - then steep banana peels in vodka for a month, strain, and add enough simple syrup to sweeten this to your satisfaction. If you want a wine you should be aiming for about 10-12% ABV. Much above that and you are sitting on a two legged stool.

If you want to make the wine from the fruit and not the peel (and I have made both - but the peel makes a better wine , in my opinion) you need to use VERY ripe bananas. By that I mean bananas that are really very squishy, with the peel being very dark if not black. I would use about 5 lbs of bananas per gallon but I would begin with about 1.5 gallons of water because you want to boil the fruit for about 30 minutes to extract the sugars and flavors and a great deal of that water is going to be uncollectable when you strain the fruit.

If you like running on stilts then you step feed the yeast. Begin with about 2 lbs of sugar + the banana liquor and when the gravity has dropped to about 1.000 add another /14 - 1/2 lb of sugar and repeat until you feel that you don't the wine to taste as hot as a spirit or the yeast have quit because of alcohol poisoning... But as I say, you drink wine by the glass. You sip spirits by the shot glass. Very different drinks...
Question: "Step feed yeast? What does that mean? I am assuming adding it gradually, but you didn't indicate the amount of yeast or when it is added?
 

hounddawg

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Question: "Step feed yeast? What does that mean? I am assuming adding it gradually, but you didn't indicate the amount of yeast or when it is added?
yes that's what it means, it is best to use a hydrometer and as it gets near 1.00 then add sugar and yeast nutrient , EC1118 AND K1V-1116 are the 2 wine yeasts that you can run up the highest 18% to 20% ABV
Dawg
 

sour_grapes

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Question: "Step feed yeast? What does that mean? I am assuming adding it gradually, but you didn't indicate the amount of yeast or when it is added?
To be clear, you are FEEDING the yeast sugar in a stepwise fashion, not adding the yeast in a stepwise fashion. You add the normal dose of yeast up front. With that in mind, @hounddawg 's instructions should be clear.
 

hounddawg

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To be clear, you are FEEDING the yeast sugar in a stepwise fashion, not adding the yeast in a stepwise fashion. You add the normal dose of yeast up front. With that in mind, @hounddawg 's instructions should be clear.
dang thanks sour'_grapes i missed pointing that out, thank you for having my 6's
 

hounddawg

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Cheers mate, Banana plants are like weeds here, all are wild and organic,. I have made 2 batches of orange as they are also cheap and plentiful. Im just looking at ideas for my next batch. I have bought a 7.9 gallon fast fermenter from amazon and want to try it. View attachment 61946
you sure that ain't a extra terrestrial mind probe??? lol,, that does look super cool, is the bottom for dropping gross lees into?
Dawg
 
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