old fashioned method

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Apr 10, 2007
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i retired a couple of years ago and moved to the country on 80 acres. i've spent the last year establishing a small vineyard and orchard, so someday i'm gonna have a lot of grapes and fruit. there was a time when i considered goin' full blast with a commercial vineyard, but i just don't think i wanna work that hard, so i planted 30 vines of mixed variety, and several different fruit trees.
what i'm after is information on the old fashioned simple way of makin' what i call 'sweet countertop wine.' just put your fresh juice, sugar, water, and yeast in a gallon jar, set the lid on loosely and sit back a few weeks till it quits workin'. simply go from that same gallon jar to a filter, then into the bottles. i made one batch this way with some sand plum juice i squeezed, and it was damm good, but i'm always lookin' for more ideas and recipes just like it. i have neither the room nor the inclination for the methods that use multiple carbouys, chemicals, etc., i just wanna keep it as simple and easy as possible. if anyone out there can help me, i'll be grateful for any information.
Welcome to the forums. I have made a few batches like you do.
Ah, I didn't see in your post you were looking for recipes. Since you aren't going to use any chemicals, you will basically take any fruit and make it just like you did the batch you have already tried. Make sure to drink it fast to with no sulfite's in it. Be careful bottling with no sorbate in it.
please explain a little more about the sulfite and sorbate, i've been readin' everything i can get my hands on, but it's a little confusin'. i picked up a lot of equipment in a nice store in tulsa yesterday, i need to make a list before i go back. any help is appreciated.
Your initial post post indicates that you want to avoid chemicals. Therefore I wonder why you want to know about sulphite & sorbate. But here goes....

Potassium or sodium metabisulphite (aka K-meta & Na-meta). Three uses in wine making. First to sanitize equipment. Second to shock wild yeasts & bacteria in a must prior to adding a wine yeast. Third, added after fermentation as an anti-oxidant to help provide shelf life for the finished wine.

Potassium sorbate. Added after fermentation is complete to prevent re-ferementation. Many people consider it unnesessary unless sweetening the wine.

now that is some good information. regardless of method (simple or advanced), sanitation is paramount. and while i've never had a blown bottle or cork, the employment of sorbate must be considered. i'd like nothin' more than to continue operating in the simplest and laziest mode possible, however, nearly all the recipes i find that i'd like to try are at the 'next level.' i've resigned myself to the fact that i've gotta learn those techniques, that is why i sought out the wine maker's supply shop and bought a lot of equipment. someday soon i'm gonna have a LOT of grapes and fruit, and i guess i'll bring myself out of the stone age with a bit more sophisticated type of endeavor. thanks for the help, i welcome any and all to toss out what they've got to add.
The old traditional ways do ofcourse work but there's been so much improvement in the last 50 or so years with techniques employed and simple chemical additives that make home wine making somthing you can count on rather than a hit or miss with the old methods.
Like anything else, the more you learn the better and easier things get.

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