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November 2016 WOTM Club

Wine Making Talk

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Jericurl

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This informal “Club” is open to anyone who wants to join in. I am still adding names to the list and month is open til the last day. Feel free to join in at any time.



All participants make a 1 gallon (or more) batch of wine.

Try and think out of the box and come up with a unique and interesting wine to try. Something you’ve never done, or a recipe you’ve done but want to tweak. The idea is to make a small one gallon batch so that if it’s bad you aren’t out a lot of money and supplies. If it’s good, you can make a larger batch.



Post your recipes, any updates and/or photos, as we progress we will all post a summary of what we could have done better on a particular batch (and how), something that went very well, and something that was learned.

Posting the experience gained is not a requirement, but I think it will help a lot since a lot of us that are participating are beginners. It is also a way to keep positive and look back and see how much we have learned.



In one year, November 2017, we will begin drinking our wine and post our findings/impressions, etc, for each bottle consumed.

November participants:


jericurl.....Strawberry Basil Mead

Cheerful Heart.....Spiced Apple Wine

BernardSmith.....T'ej

Norton.....Reisling Kit experiments

BernardSmith.....Triple Batch Apple experiment

Stressbaby.....Triple Elderberry Rosé Experiment
 
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Jericurl

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This month, I have a bunch of basil that I needed to use up before it turns too cold.
Basil is ridiculously cold sensitive. I've frozen and dried a lot this year. A LOT. And I still have a plant that is going strong, so I wanted to incorporate it into a wildly experimental batch this month.

Strawberry Basil Mead

3 lbs strawberries
4 cups fresh basil
1 overripe banana, frozen, then thawed
3 lbs orange blossom honey
1 tsp dried orange peel
1 tsp pectic enzyme
71B-1122 yeast


Ok, watch this space. So far, I've boiled one gallon of water with the cut up banana. Once the water started to boil, I added the basil, let it boil for a couple of minutes, then turned off the heat. Now everything is steeping until cooled.
Once cool, I'll add the honey, then pour over the frozen strawberries in my primary.


In secondary, I plan on adding more orange peel, maybe more basil if needed, and 2 lbs of strawberries. And maybe a wee bit of ginger if it needs it.

My goal is to have a drinkable mead by springtime. I think strawberry and basil will be a perfect spring evening beverage.
 
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CheerfulHeart

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SPICED APPLE WINE

I started a 2 gallon batch of apple wine this weekend. Recipe is a very slight tweak on Pappy's Pub Cider on homebrewtalk.com.

2 gallons of Tree Top apple juice

4 pounds (8 cups) sugar

1 packet of Montrachet yeast--using what I have on hand--waiting for the end of the year sales so I can stock up on various yeasts again :h

Deviations from Pappy's recipe on HBT:
I used Montrachet--Pappy's recipe suggests E-1118

Added 2 teaspoons of nutrient--it was what remained in the jar and I figure the yeasties might like it--Couldn't hurt?

I plan to add 1 or 2 Martinelli's mulling spice sachets (similar to a tea bag) to secondary for a little zing...the spice mix is cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, dried orange zest and a few other things...I plan to let the spices infuse for a week then taste to see if the spice needs to infuse longer

The recipe is really easy. You can just pour everything into a carboy, put an airlock on it and let the must do what it wants for a month or so until the airlock quits bubbling...usually takes about 4-6 weeks...then rack to secondary. I whisked everything together in a bucket before pouring into the primary.

By next November this will be very smooth. Beware! This is high octane. Unsure of the ABV.

If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to chime in :h
 
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Stressbaby

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SPICED APPLE WINE



I started a 2 gallon batch of apple wine this weekend. Recipe is a very slight tweak on Pappy's Pub Cider on homebrewtalk.com.



2 gallons of Tree Top apple juice



4 pounds (8 cups) sugar



1 packet of Montrachet yeast--using what I have on hand--waiting for the end of the year sales so I can stock up on various yeasts again :h



Deviations from Pappy's recipe on HBT:

I used Montrachet--Pappy's recipe suggests E-1118



Added 2 teaspoons of nutrient--it was what remained in the jar and I figure the yeasties might like it--Couldn't hurt?



I plan to add 1 or 2 Martinelli's mulling spice sachets (similar to a tea bag) to secondary for a little zing...the spice mix is cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, dried orange zest and a few other things...I plan to let the spices infuse for a week then taste to see if the spice needs to infuse longer



The recipe is really easy. You can just pour everything into a carboy, put an airlock on it and let the must do what it wants for a month or so until the airlock quits bubbling...usually takes about 4-6 weeks...then rack to secondary. I whisked everything together in a bucket before pouring into the primary.



By next November this will be very smooth. Beware! This is high octane. Unsure of the ABV.



If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to chime in :h

17%

Way past the alcohol tolerance of Montrachet (13%)

I show Apple juice to be 24g/cup, 384g/gal sugar. Add to that the 900g sugar you added (2#/gal) and you are at 1284g/gal. Plugging that into a SG calculator I show your starting SG at 1.130. If you are able to ferment that dry you'd be at 17%. If Montrachet stops at 13% as expected, you'll have a lot of residual sugar.
 

Jericurl

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@Stressbaby, that's some good info. If the yeast is superhappy, then maybe it'll go a couple of % points higher, but yeah, I don't see it hitting 17%.

@Cheerfulheart, with the info Stressbaby gives, that's probably going to give you an ending SG of at least 1.02 (which is pretty sweet, but drinkable) to more likely @ 1.04. 1.04 with an ABV of only 14% is probably going to taste a bit cloying and unbalanced. It would work out ok if your ABV was super high, 17-20%, but you may find you want to get your SG down later.

I know you've just started, so you can let this finish out as is if you choose, then later get some EC-1118, make a monster starter, then add it to your batch with a bit more sugar, nutrients, and energizer.
Well, if you decide you don't like it as is anyway.

I definitely wouldn't add any of the spices, etc, until you decide whether you will be taking the SG down further or leaving as is.

In any case, it does actually sound like a beverage I wouldn't mind trying at some point. I quite like apple juice as a base in wines, and love it even more with a few bananas added. It seems to bump up the mouthfeel w/o adding any flavor.
 

Stressbaby

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November will be my elderberry experiment. I need three primaries to do it, though, and one is still tied up with this year's straight up elderberry wine.
Look for my November triple entry next weekend.
 

Jericurl

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November will be my elderberry experiment. I need three primaries to do it, though, and one is still tied up with this year's straight up elderberry wine.
Look for my November triple entry next weekend.
I love elderberry so much!

I'm thinking one month we need to organize a swap with some of our WOTM club entries.
 

BernardSmith

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Plan on making another batch of t'ej (Ethiopian style mead) which uses twigs from a plant called gesho. My plan is to boil the gesho in about 3 qts of water blend about 3 lbs of mesquite honey in the water and top up to make a gallon. I always make t'ej with 71B but this time I want to see what difference Safbrew BE-256 might make.
 

CheerfulHeart

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@Stressbaby and @Jericurl: Thank you for the great advice! About 3 AM this morning I actually thought of adding the energizer and extra yeast. I wonder what psychology experts would say about me dreaming about wine recipes and how to improve current batches? At least it is pleasant thoughts. :) I appreciate your confirming what I was thinking. You are right about the residual sugar. It doesn't ferment to dry.

I am off to add energizer and yeast. :h
 

CheerfulHeart

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Did some searching among my supplies and found a lone packet of E-1118 and a partial packet of nutrient. Hurrah! :h

Rehydrated the E-1118 and added a heaping teaspoon of energizer, a half teaspoon of sugar and a heaping teaspoon of nutrient. Along with a heating pad set on very low and being loosely wrapping the primary in a blanket, I think this will make the yeast happy. :h Temperature in my fermenting area--enclosed patio--dropped into the mid-50's Fahrenheit last night so the pad and blanket seemed a good idea. Will feed with more energizer at a later time if needed.

Thank you Jericurl and Stressbaby!
 

BernardSmith

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So the t'ej is nicely fermenting and I am seriously thinking about making a second batch - using the old 71B yeast but making a variation with the addition of some chocolate flavoring. To do that I have in fact added 4 oz of cocoa nibs (unroasted) to about 1 pint or so of vodka to extract the flavor and my plan is to add a little of the extract to the t'ej before I bottle. Does anyone have much experience with the use of extracts in wine making? Certainly going to bench test but should I be expecting to add a teaspoon (5 ml) to a gallon or 50 ccs? Thoughts? Thanks
 

Norton

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I'm doing an experiment. I have two riesling kits. I will make them the same except for the temp of the fermentation process. In one I will go by the book on temps and in the other I will keep it as close as possible to 55.
 

Stressbaby

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I'm doing an experiment. I have two riesling kits. I will make them the same except for the temp of the fermentation process. In one I will go by the book on temps and in the other I will keep it as close as possible to 55.

I will be following this. I tried to keep my PG juice pail down toward 55F and it would. not. go.
 

BernardSmith

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A third batch - My LHBS had ordered some specially pressed apple juice from a local orchard and 6 gallons was for me. They arrived yesterday afternoon and I picked them up and added pectin enzymes a few minutes after I got home in the evening. The plan: three single gallon experiments using different yeasts US-04, US-05 and T-58 (all ale yeasts); a low ABV cyser (Tupelo) using 71B (also 1 gallon) and an apple ale - using D47 (3 gallons- 2 of apple and 1 of ale ) . This last one is more a malted apple as there are no hops in it. Started all last night and all were actively fermenting this morning (ambient temp: 64F)
 

Jericurl

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I racked onto another 2 lbs of strawberries, added another pound of honey and a wee bit more water to account for racking losses.
It's still bubbling away happily.
I will likely take the last of the basil and add it in the next couple of days once fermentation slows down a bit.
I'll leave that for 5 days or so, then rack the whole thing to secondary and put her to bed for a while.
I've also got some basil in a mason jar with vodka, just in case the basil flavor needs a boost.
 

Stressbaby

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My November WotM is a Triple Elderberry Rosé Experiment.

Tbh, I'm not 100% sure what I intend to learn from this. But one of my wife's favorite non-grape wines is an elderberry rosé based on this Keller recipe published in Winemaker Magazine. My usual tweaks to this recipe are to double the elderberry "seconds" and leaving out the grape concentrate. So 3 gallons of wine originates from 2 batches of straight elderberry, total of 30# of berries. I'm trying to get to 3 gallons starting with 6# of berries. What I may learn is that it is a lot easier to just make a 3 gallon batch with 6# of berries.

I started with 6# frozen berries, see pic 1. To them I added 6 cups of water and brought it to a simmer, pic 2. I did not crush the berries. Once simmering, the heat was turned off, the water strained off into the first primary, pic 3.

The berries were then dumped into a mesh bag and pressed. I fluffed the cake a couple of times. This yielded about 2 cups of thick purple elderberry juice for the second primary, pic 5. I then put the bag in the third primary, pic 6.

I chopped 3# of frozen very ripe bananas and simmered these in 6 cups of water for 20 min. The water was strained off, and 2 cups of the banana water added to each primary. I added water to 1 gallon each - 8, 12, and 14 cups of water respectively in each primary.

I added 1kg sugar to each which predictably got the SG very close to 1.090 on all three. To each I also added 1t pectic enzyme, 1g Booster Rouge, 1g Opti Red. pH was adjusted with a mix of 2 parts citric to 1 part tartaric acids to a range of 3.45-3.49. Interestingly, the first primary took 2.75t of the acid, while the third only 1.875t.

The three primaries are shown below, as are a sample of each in a wine glass.

As I said above, I normally leave out the grape concentrate on this recipe. I had forgotten that the original recipe has some grape concentrate. For better or worse, I made the late decision this morning to add white grape concentrate to each. This drove the pH down to 3.22-3.27 range for all three batches...lower than I'd normally like but hopefully still workable. K1-V1116 is planned for later today.

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Norton

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I will be following this. I tried to keep my PG juice pail down toward 55F and it would. not. go.

I started it at about 73. After it got started the next day I began cooling it off. So,far so good on the fermentation. I am cooling it with ice bottles so my temps,do,fluctuate. I believe the range has been 53-63.
 

Norton

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I will be following this. I tried to keep my PG juice pail down toward 55F and it would. not. go.

I started it at about 73. After it got started the next day I began cooling it off. So,far so good on the fermentation. I am cooling it with ice bottles so my temps do fluctuate. I believe the range has been 53-63.
 

Stressbaby

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I started it at about 73. After it got started the next day I began cooling it off. So,far so good on the fermentation. I am cooling it with ice bottles so my temps do fluctuate. I believe the range has been 53-63.
Yeah, I think my mistake was to try cooling it too soon. I basically started cooling at the end of lag phase and I think it needed another 12-24 hours to really get the yeast going.
 

Jericurl

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Ok, here it is racked and SG down below 1.00.
I've added the last of my basil leaves, torn in half, and shoved down into the carboy.

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