Making wine without chemicals.

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BigDaveK

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I am likening fermentation to a curry or hot pot. With the right ingredient ratio's from the beginning and time to 'cook' (stewing vs aging) you get one long and complex flavor profile that changes over the palate. Not one single ingredient is necessarily identifiable. Where as with an infusion the infused flavor is more topical and overlaying the base flavor.

I am going to start playing with some things myself. Once I get myself sorted, I have a lot ready to bottle. I think a couple of peppercorns here and there, a cinnamon stick, oak, bacon? 😂. Maybe not bacon.... Yet. If it works as an infusion, then I'll add to primary.
I agree. An infusion with a spice could easily dominate. In my liqueur making days that infusion was wonderful - but in that case that was the intention. With wine I would aim for an amalgam of wonderful flavors that can't quite be identified.

A cinnamon stick is later this week (first time!) and oaking may be for next year. Bacon? Bacon works with everything! I'm on it! 😂

BTW, there's a chocolate chain in Cleveland that every now and then makes chocolate covered bacon. And yes, WOW is that good!!
 

Terryfirma

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Outstanding!
Great update! Saved me some experimenting.
I'm beginning to think root crops (and squash) benefit from simmering for a while.
My next question is if baking makes a difference? Some vegetables are baked to make them table-ready and I'm really curious! Gee, I just happen to have some winter squash. As soon as I have the time.....
Ooh?. Interesting?., baking seems to concentrate flavors.🤔 let us know!
 

Terryfirma

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Spices, that's another category.. No rules about how many categories are in primary. :p

I expect fermenting will produce more of a 'blended' flavour. There are definitely some things that come through as very noticeably, orange, for example. Even through fermentation, but I find the specific flavor of the ingredient can certainly be transformed differing from an infusion. With the dandelion I just tasted it was strong orange rind of the hop. I was disappointed, I wanted dandelion wine, not orange. I learned a lesson though. I like mandarines and clementines, I am not a fan of the big bland 'utility?' oranges. If you don't want to eat it, don't add it to your wine! Mandarine would have been much sweeter and softer, and LESS. They are significantly smaller, so lesson learned. However... given time the orange flavor is still present, but not as distinctly 'orange', and not as in your face. I don't know if I could identify it as orange if I didn't taste it months ago. It is mellowing into a more complex, rounded, and unified flavor profile. I am curious if this is an effect of aging after fermentation, or if an infusion will blend and mellow similarly over time.

I am likening fermentation to a curry or hot pot. With the right ingredient ratio's from the beginning and time to 'cook' (stewing vs aging) you get one long and complex flavor profile that changes over the palate. Not one single ingredient is necessarily identifiable. Where as with an infusion the infused flavor is more topical and overlaying the base flavor.

I am going to start playing with some things myself. Once I get myself sorted, I have a lot ready to bottle. I think a couple of peppercorns here and there, a cinnamon stick, oak, bacon? 😂. Maybe not bacon.... Yet. If it works as an infusion, then I'll add to primary.

You know, it gives me an idea, too. I could take a cheaper kit and split it into 3 or 4 1 gallon batches and a topper upper. I'll have the base to top up after rackings and as a comparison to all the different versions.... Hmmmm 🤔
I figured I might as well update as I just racked all the wines. I made 5 wines total. 2 dandelion, and 3 carrot. The carrots all had different methods. Chopped and boiled. Juiced and boiled pulp added to a mesh bag, and juiced with raw pulp added in a mesh bag. One carrot got a full dose of nutrient and energizer, and two were no additives. One dandelion got a shot of energizer, the other no additives. Boiled carrot was certainly the most pleasant in the must, and although I tasted them all at racking I didn't note the method for comparison. I'll save that for when they are farther along.

All fermented out dry. The ones without any additives took significantly longer. Like 2 weeks longer to stop active off gassing, but I never got a final gravity on those, so I can't say specifically how much longer.

They all taste pleasant, but are all going to get more time. One dandelion recipe tasted very strong of orange peel when I first transferred. To the point I thought it was a throw away. Now, it has mellowed and I think more time will improve them all. They are currently 5 months from pitching. There are no notable differences between additives and not other than clarity. I didn't add peptic enzyme to all, and only a 1/4 tsp to some. For the dandelion that was enough, for the carrot it did very little. I was going to add more, but I am going to age another 3 months at least, so I figured I would wait and see what time does as another comparison. I can always dose and clear at a later date if I decide they are ready to bottle before they clear. Absolutely no notable off flavors from one batch to the other due to lacking nutrient. I did add vitamin B and food grade epsom salts (micro nutrients) to one dandelion that was chugging along really slowly at day 6 to give it a higher chance of success.

So really no definitive results other than fermentation can be completed without any additiives. Even a low nutrient must like dandelion. I used EC-1118 in all but the slow dandelion, that was K1-V1116. Other yeasts with higher nutrient requirements would likely be a completely different story and possibly a complete fail.

I ended up dumping the 3 gallons of Dragon's Blood mentioned earlier in the thread. Whether I beat it to death with 02 or not, the Buon Vino tainted it with the filter soap taste. That will never be used on ANY of my wines again. I have a poly spun filter housing ready to set up and All In One wine pump supplies on the way.
View attachment 94996
Thank you for sharing! Good info. I’m of a more natural process mind-set.
I have a few no chemical wines aging nicely at 15 years. (And, my grandparent’s
homemade Grape wine from 1967- very potent and drinkable:)
 

Terryfirma

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I dry-hopped (for just 48 hrs.) some small quantities of my Mint and Elderflower wines.
It’s interesting how a small quantity changes the flavor/ character so quickly.
I’m anxious to see how it ages.
I just found some Juniper berries today, so have plans to play with them? Hmm..maybe Rose hips, Sage..? So many options!
 

Raptor99

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You might want to try an herbed mead (metheglin). Traditionally they were used for the medicinal properties of the herbs. I made a Viking mead with meadowsweet, yarrow, and juniper berries. Sage mead is on my list.

Some Juniper berries are edible and some are not, so be sure you have the correct species if you are foraging them.
 

BigDaveK

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I have some dried juniper berries I use to make corned beef. (Yes, from scratch, takes about 10 days but damn good!) Juniper berries are on my wine list but near the bottom. People have said the wine will smell like gin but...uh....I haven't had gin in 40+ years.
 
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People have said the wine will smell like gin but...uh....I haven't had gin in 40+ years.
Have a bad experience with gin? I know several people who had very bad experiences with gin, and the smell makes them nauseous years later. Some blame it on the gin, but I've noticed folks who had bad experiences with gin and tequila tend to have problems with the offender. I formed the opinion that the problem is the aroma, which in both cases is very distinctive, so our bodies/minds remember it and associate it a negative religious experience.

I had a very stupid experience with blended American whiskey when I was 17, and to this day the aroma makes me nauseous. I can drink bourbon, Canadian, Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whiskey with no problem, but there's something distinctive about the aroma of American blended whiskey that does me.
 

Jovimaple

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Have a bad experience with gin? I know several people who had very bad experiences with gin, and the smell makes them nauseous years later. Some blame it on the gin, but I've noticed folks who had bad experiences with gin and tequila tend to have problems with the offender. I formed the opinion that the problem is the aroma, which in both cases is very distinctive, so our bodies/minds remember it and associate it a negative religious experience.

I had a very stupid experience with blended American whiskey when I was 17, and to this day the aroma makes me nauseous. I can drink bourbon, Canadian, Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whiskey with no problem, but there's something distinctive about the aroma of American blended whiskey that does me.
Tequila for me, since the night after my 21st birthday . . . and the 2 days afterward before I recovered. :d

I agree about the aroma - I have had strawberry margaritas and also tequila rose drinks on two occasions, with no issues. In both cases, I couldn't smell the tequila (and on the tequila rose occasion, I didn't even know that's what I was drinking until afterward).
 

BigDaveK

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Have a bad experience with gin? I know several people who had very bad experiences with gin, and the smell makes them nauseous years later. Some blame it on the gin, but I've noticed folks who had bad experiences with gin and tequila tend to have problems with the offender. I formed the opinion that the problem is the aroma, which in both cases is very distinctive, so our bodies/minds remember it and associate it a negative religious experience.

I had a very stupid experience with blended American whiskey when I was 17, and to this day the aroma makes me nauseous. I can drink bourbon, Canadian, Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whiskey with no problem, but there's something distinctive about the aroma of American blended whiskey that does me.
Never had a bad experience with gin. Just not much of a hard liquor drinker. (Yes, there's a story there.)

In college it was beer - Blatz in a bottle, Genesee cream ale, couple others I can't remember.

I DO remember drinking 2 bottles of a cheap tawny port at a math club party. (All the math club did was plan parties.) I was so sick - close my eyes I wanted to throw up, lay down I wanted to throw up. BAD headache the next day. Haven't had tawny port since.
 

Jovimaple

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Never had a bad experience with gin. Just not much of a hard liquor drinker. (Yes, there's a story there.)

In college it was beer - Blatz in a bottle, Genesee cream ale, couple others I can't remember.

I DO remember drinking 2 bottles of a cheap tawny port at a math club party. (All the math club did was plan parties.) I was so sick - close my eyes I wanted to throw up, lay down I wanted to throw up. BAD headache the next day. Haven't had tawny port since.
I had a bad experience with Bacardi rum and I think if I HAD thrown up, it would have been better.

Those were the days ... 🤣
 
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Genesee cream ale
"Screamers" (Genny Cream Ale) ... when I was in college, keg parties were legal. I have "interesting" memories of a dorm party where we got a keg of Screamers.

My first week of college, I learned many things. One was to NOT play quarters with ponies (7 oz beers). I proved it is possible to get sick, then get drunk, all in less than 15 minutes. Nope, it was not my finest time, but it was a great lesson.

At the end of that week, my roommate freaked out (drinking heavily, taking strong allergy medicine, and toking), thought he was in hell, and thought I was the devil. I sat up with him all night, and got the nickname "Devil", which got shortened to "Dev". This did not set well with various religious groups on campus, who were too busy frowning upon me to bother to learn that I earned the nickname from doing a good deed. [I thought their reaction was funny and admit I wasn't all that polite to some folks.]

Back to Screamers. By that party I had learned my lesson and was the sober one. Watching others was amusing, and in some cases, informative. 🤣

We've done our usual good job of tangenting, haven't we?
 
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