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May 2017 Wine of the Month Club

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Jericurl

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Please join us! This thread is for anyone, from newbie to experienced winemaker, who wants to document making a 1 gallon experimental recipe. We like the whole recipe posted, pics of the process, notes, questions to others, comments, support, and updates. You can certainly try a batch bigger than 1 gallon, but it's going to hurt a whole lot more if it flops and you have to pour it down the sink.

After a year (May 2018), we invite you to pop back with some tasting notes as it ages. If the recipe is a keeper, put it in the recipes section! If it's a bust - no worries - one gallon isn't too much of an investment, and it's a great learning experience.

I will update this post at the end of the month with a list of everyone who is participating.

Soooooo???? Who's in?
 

Jericurl

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I'm in !

This month I'm trying something I've wanted to do for a couple of years. If it works out, I'm gonna call it Doctor Jaye's Cure-all and Restorative. It's a bit tongue in cheek and a nod to my snake oil selling ancestors.

Carrot Ginger Mead

104 fl oz carrot juice (2 bottles, says it has the equivalent of 39 carrots in each)
3 lbs honey
1 oz chamomile
2 oz ginger, cut into chunks
@ 1 quart water

Bring water and ginger to a boil, remove from heat and add chamomile (in a brew back). Let steep for a 1/2 hour then remove. Add water and ginger to primary, along with honey and carrot juice.
Mix well.

Add:

1/2 tsp bentonite
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 T medium toast French Oak powder

Let sit @ 12 hours so enzyme can do it's thing, then pitch yeast.

I've got everything hanging out right now and will decide what yeast I'm using in the morning.
So far, everything tastes fine. It's overwhelmingly sweetened carrot juice, not bad tasting, just very earthy.
 

jburtner

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I'm in for this month - I'm doing a dragon blood style mead cyser. Like this -

- MIX -
6 gallon kroger apple juice
1 cup (8 oz) santa cruz organic lemon juice
9 lbs frozen triple berry blend (blue/black/rasp)
15 lbs cut peaches
15 lbs blueberries blackberries and assorted produce fruit (very little grapes and apples - mostly blueberries - some black/rasp).
2 lbs golden raisins
6 bananas
Bentonite 4tsp slurried into warm water (for clearing)
Lallzyme EX 6gram packet - into berry must for extraction
Pectic Enzyme 3tsp - heaping teaspoons - into berry must for extraction - it turns into soup
1/8 tsp kmeta into berry must to prevent wild bacteria colony

- CHAPITALIZE -
Honey - to ~1.090 SG / 21 Brix (3x 64oz jars)
Ft Rouge tannin 2tsp - just before pitching yeast
Heavy toast oak chips - 8oz in primary.

- PITCH -
2tsp fermaid k rehydrated in 100f water w/8g BM 4x4 yeast pack.
Add a little must to this after ~30m.
Sit for ~60m and pitch into must

- SNA 1 -
~2.5 grams DAP
~5 grams Fermaid K
Sprinkle into must after lag phase - At first sign of yeast activity.

- SNA 2 -
~7-8 grams Fermaid K
Sprinkle into must @ 1/3 sugar depletion - about ~SG1.060.

This what I'm doing so far and might change things up as we go.... I pitched yeast last night and SNA-1 this morning after seeing some activity.

Cheers!
-johann

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jburtner

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Just a little mid-ferment update -

This one is doing great and the ferment is quite active. I ended up pouring all of the must into a strainer bag and reinforcing with a second layer of straining bag so - a bag in a bag - kind of thing... I made a second bag of oak chips and raisins because I forgot to add those to the original mixture. There are a couple floaters in the primary.... Some loose berries.

This morning (about 3.5 days after pitching into 1.090) I've got an SG of 1.020. Expecting to be racking maybe even Saturday morning.?? I did the second SNA addition yesterday @ 1.070 instead of planned 1.060 just because it was easier and I would probably have missed the 1.060.

I'm pretty excited about this one and it's sort of a reinforced dragon blood mead cyser kind of thing. I used way less lemon juice than called for (8 oz instead of 48 or 96 oz).. I'll check acid and pH after ferment and adjust at that time if needed.

The Brute is up to over the ten gallon mark with everything in there. I had six gallons of juice, almost five gallons of must, 1.5 gallons of honey .... That's about 12.5g total... If the 5g must yields two -to- three gallons of juice then we're looking at 9-10 gallon at first racking and probably 8-9 off the gross lee's... With some losses... Hopefully I can end up with a 6 and a 3g carboy in bulk.. I have a few DB bottles left from a first batch that I can use for top up if needed even though it's not a mead...

I wonder what clearing agent I could use to hit the gross lee's hard after primary ferment is complete and also add a nice dose of kmeta at the same time and then let sit for a week or two before next racking. In an attempt to have the first round of sediment to compact both quick and tight. I already have a good amount of bentonite in there already.

I would like to have this cleared and into bulk aging fairly quickly if I can manage it and it cooperates - Or just let it do it's thing... We'll see...

Cheers!
-johann
 

Arne

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Cleaning the freezer. 38 lbs pie cherries. Bagged them in strainer bags and let em thaw. Two days later, hit em with k-meta, that evening added pectic enzime. Checked notes from other batches and decided on 7 gal. of water to go with them. Had a sp. gravity of 1.015 after a few hours of soaking. Added 10 lb. sugar and came up with a s.g. of 1.050. Did not add as simple sugar, would not all disolve so the s.g. was not quite correct. According to ferm calc. I need right at 15 lb total to get to 1.090. Will add the other third of the sugar as the ferment progresses. Added 1/2 the nutrient I needed according to the pkg. Same with the energizer. Mixed in some tannin approx. according to the pkg, was toward the bottom of the package and just dumped the rest in. Used 2 pks. Cotes de blanc yeast, sat for almost 3 days, decided I should help it along some. The basement has not warmed up yet, still only about 60 degrees. Have a large cardboard container, set it over the primary and set a small electric heater blowing thru a large hole in the side of it. 3 hours later the yeast is happily munching away and the cherry fermenting smell is flowing thru the basement. When the s.g. gets down to 1.030 or so will add the rest of the sugar, nutrient and energizer. Should have some nice pie cherry wine this fall. Not sure we are going to get any more cherries this summer. Late winter storm came thru when the cherries were blooming. There are a few setting on, but an awful lot of frozen looking buds. Strawberries are still blooming, tho, so maybe will get a nice crop of them. Buddy has a nice rhubarb patch and said to take all I want. Never tried the rhubarb, but guess it will be another first for me. Have some in the freezer, have to go get some more. Arne.
 

Jericurl

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@Arne if you really want a cherry pie flavor, you can add a wee bit of mahlab.

If you go that route, know that a little bit goes a very long way.
 

Arne

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@Arne if you really want a cherry pie flavor, you can add a wee bit of mahlab.

If you go that route, know that a little bit goes a very long way.
Have to see if I can find the stuff. Won't add it to all of it, but can try it on a couple of gal. The little cherries are pretty strong tho and give a nice cherry flavor with the amount I used.

After about 3 hours with the heater the wine was merrily working away. Took the heat off and it is still going. Keeping the primary in the box to keep a bit more heat around it. Going to be a slow ferment but it should be ready to add the rest of the sugar shortly. Arne.
 

Jericurl

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Have to see if I can find the stuff. Won't add it to all of it, but can try it on a couple of gal. The little cherries are pretty strong tho and give a nice cherry flavor with the amount I used.

After about 3 hours with the heater the wine was merrily working away. Took the heat off and it is still going. Keeping the primary in the box to keep a bit more heat around it. Going to be a slow ferment but it should be ready to add the rest of the sugar shortly. Arne.
If you want to use it, I have a bit I can send to you.
 

jburtner

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Racked into secondary Saturday morning. Looks like 9-10 gallons? Certainly 9g after racking off sediment....

I have immediately placed these under vacuum and keep refreshing the vacuum several times a day.... Between refreshes the sediment starts to drop leaving behind a deep dark red.... When I hit it with vacuum again to refresh - little volcanoes start erupting down in the lee's and after a minute or two the whole bottom portion of the gross lee's erupts and muddies up the whole carboy again....

Might leave this on those lee's for a little while ?? No big hurries..

Cheers!
-johann

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Jericurl

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I've racked to secondary. The taste isn't near as offensive as I thought it would be so this may turn out to be the most delicious "medicine" ever.

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Arne

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Mine is in the secondary also. For as cool as the basement is it went to dry rather quickly. I'll let it sit and see if it will clear. Last batch of cherry cleared pretty quick, so will see how this goes. Arne.
 

jburtner

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I racked off the gross lee's this weekend and took some measurements. Ended up with a full 6g carboy and a half full 3g carboy (lost almost 3.5g to gross lee's in this total 11g batch). There will be some loss while she clears up but this should yield about 7 or 8 gallons total. I might top up the 3 gallon carboy with more honey and juice - maybe a couple more berries for flavour...

SG as of this past weekend was 1.002 - pH: 3.64 - TA: 084 and free SO2: 90... I thought I only added 1/8 tsp into primary during mixing of the must. High SO2 is probably from some sulfites in the grocery store ingredients. The only ingredient that listed sulfite was the raisins.

Cheers!
-johann
 

jburtner

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I'm going to be doing some racking soon and taking measurements, sulfiting, etc... In advance of upcoming winery work I had a glass of this "DB Mead" and wow! Unsweetened it is really good! I used way less lemon juice than the regular recipe called for so it doesn't seem to need much sweetening... Very interesting and I will probably do a very minimal sweetening on this... Looking forward to having this finish clearing and dropping and then do a run through the filter and sit for another month before bottling....

Maybe I need to spend an evening with a chilled carafe of the product to see if it's really that close? Yes indeed...

Ciao!
-johann
 

jburtner

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One bottle bloode mead theifed and going into the fridge... For testing tonight. Dry.

Cheers!
-johann

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jburtner

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This stuff is yummy - just going to take a touch of honey for sweetness - 3/4 cup to start into the 8-9 gallons! I'm going to size up my carboys in bulk ageing and these are part of the next group going into bottles... Need to make sure I've got my bottles on hand as I finalize any racking and final clearing or filtering...

Or - I can add more honey and see if I can step-ferment this one up to the limit... It's been sitting for a while so probably would need an ec1118 bomb with some added nutrients and stepping the honey in as it get's going again...

hmm....

Ciao!
-johann
 

Jericurl

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Time to get this one in the bottle. It is absolutely amazing and I'm calling it a win. The only thing I would change is using a wee bit less chamomile.
 

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