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Ratio of (bread)yeast to table sugar to juice for home made wine

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Ronin63

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Good day everyone! I am currently (and temporarily) working in a country where alcohol is illegal, so i'm attempting to make some home made wine. I am using 1 litre boxes of preservative free grape juice, and the only yeast available is bread yeast.

What would you recommend of ratios of bread yeast to table sugar per litre of juice?

Thank you all!!
 

BernardSmith

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Hi Ronin63 - and welcome.
I don't know that there is a good ratio of bread yeast per "volume" of anything as much as there is a good rule of thumb for the number of viable yeast cells to specific gravity (which is a factor that takes into account the amount of sugar and the volume) but I would propose that if you need to use bread yeast then a tablespoon of yeast is probably good enough if the gravity of the juice is around 1.050...(you really cannot over-pitch but you can under-pitch and under-pitching allows competing microbes to out-compete , and best the yeast you are adding) If the gravity is significantly higher then I might allow the yeast to prove (become active and multiply) before you add them to the must. But there are online calculators (for wort rather than must) offered by Brewer's Friend that you might check out though I am not sure that you will have all the input data you might need if you are using bread yeast.
That said, be careful. Societies that view the use of alcohol as taboo don't take kindly to "strangers" flouting their rules.
 

G259

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I totally agree with the last few sentences (above), that was my first thought reading Ronin's post. Unless you will be doing it in the embassy, you have to abide by the local laws, unless you want your foot chopped off or something (yikes)!
 

Ronin63

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Well, i do live on a compound, and they tend to leave us alone. It's when you leave the compound, and get caught drinking,,that's when you should be worried.
Anyways,,maybe i should clarify my request a little bit. I have 5 litres of preservative free grape juice. What do you think would be the appropriated quantity of bread yeast and white table sugar?
 

cmason1957

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I think, if it were me and I didn't have a hydrometer to measure anything, I'd pitch the yeast straight into the juice, put a ballon with a pinhole in it or something like that. Let it go for a couple of days, then add about 8 ounces and see how long it would ferment that. I came up with the 8 ounces guessing that the grapes are about 1.060 starting SG and hopefully the bread yeast can eat that much sugar. It's really a guess. You might want to take some bread yeast, add some water, heat to above 120 or so. Let cool, add in place of some of your initial water, this might help the bread yeast and act as some nutrient.
 

BernardSmith

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But if the grape juice is commercially made it may provide the sugar content of drink. From that it should be possible to calculate the gravity and from there its should be possible to suggest how much sugar to add to keep the whole thing balanced and fermentable with bread yeast..
 

Intheswamp

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Do you have...

Your primary fermenting vessel (2-gallon or larger bucket) ready?
Clean towel to cover the opening of the bucket and something to secure it around the edges?
Large spoon or something to stir (twice a day for the first 3-4 days) the must with?
1-gallon glass jugs and bottles of different sizes ready?
Plastic tubing (5 or 6 feet) to siphon from primary (bucket) to secondary (glass jugs)?
Something to use as an airlock? (balloon, commercial airlock, finger from a nitrile/rubber glove?)

Those, I think, are the bare, bare bones of equipment that you need. You could probably get by without the tubing...slowly pour from bucket into jugs avoiding splashing it (tilt the empy jug and let the wine run down the side of the jug rather than simply splash straight down to the bottom).

You need to be sure everything is really clean. REALLY CLEAN. Standard procedure is to sanitize everything. Without a good, known sanitizing solution then boil or use very hot water on everything that won't melt. Never use Clorox nor vinegar to clean with.

Now, my newbie thoughts on the recipe...

My WAG (with a little tinkering with FermCalc involved) would be to add a pound of sugar to this...heat a couple of pints of juice and dissolve the sugar in it. Let it cool back down a bit and add it to the rest of the juice.

About the same time that you're dissolving the sugar put a 1/2 cup of slightly warm (around 100F or so, too hot and you kill the yeast) in a cup and with a tablespoon of sugar. Add 3-6 teaspoons of yeast (a packet or two) to the cup and stir it a bit. Give 10 minutes or so and see if it starts foaming. If no foam, wait a little longer. Once foaming add a little of the room temp juice to it. Once the juice and the yeast are about the same temperature (within 10 degrees F) put the yeast in the bucket with the rest of the juice. Or forget the rest of this paragraph and sprinkle the amounts of yeast mentioned across the top of the juice.

If the juice and sugar amounts work out where the yeast ferments it all down then the resulting wine should be around 10% ABV. If the yeast dies short of fermenting all the sugar I guess you'll end up with a sweeter wine with a lower ABV%.

These are just my ideas...lots of smarter people here in the forum. ;)

Best wishes,
Ed
 

G259

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I have never used bread yeast, and don't know what the alcohol tolerance is. I like my wine with a higher %, but if that is the reason why only 10%, then go with it. If not, I would add another 1/4 to a 1/3 of a pound to it, but that's me. And again, I don't know the alcohol tolerance of bread yeast.
 

G259

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Also, you might add a cup of chopped raisins, and a cup of strong black tea. This provides some nutrients and tannin to the wine. Also, the adding the green layer from under the skin of a papaya (if available), will help it clear faster, a substitute for pectic enzyme. These are all suggestions, there is no one way to make wine! Use what you can, and omit the other ideas.
 
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Intheswamp

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I've seen folks state from 5% on up to around 12% ABV%'s. For some reason I feel that I've read more comments of it falling around the 10% range. But I'm sure it depends on the bread yeast that is used...packets, bulk package, brands, age, etc.,. @cmason1957 mentioned a good idea about making some yeast nutrient by heating some of the yeast (if the OP has some extra)...not a bad idea at all.
 

Ronin63

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Hey! Now we're talkin'! That's some great advice!! Big kudos to "intheswamp"!!!
 

egreaves

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I would like to share my experience with the use of Papaya in the making of mango wine. I live in Venezuela and the supply of anything for home wine making is very difficult. This is my second attempt. In the first, the problem was that the mango after being liquefied in a blender never clarified. After fermenting it was impossible to filter into a clear liquid.

Now I have a huge mango crop from two trees and tried again. The discovery, in this page, of the use of Papaya enzyme has been the solution. I used green (Unripe) papaya which after removing the green skin, leaves a very light green fruit which is practically tasteless. I liquefied about 10 grams of papaya for each osterizer full of pulp and enough boiled water to fluidize the fruit.

The result was astonishing: the juice with papaya had a clear liquid below by the next morning compared to one without papaya which was completely yellow. I have photo to show the effect the next morning. This second attempt started furiously to ferment without the use of any added yeast and blew out the air lock after about 2 hours.
 

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winemanden

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I've seen folks state from 5% on up to around 12% ABV%'s. For some reason I feel that I've read more comments of it falling around the 10% range. But I'm sure it depends on the bread yeast that is used...packets, bulk package, brands, age, etc.,. @cmason1957 mentioned a good idea about making some yeast nutrient by heating some of the yeast (if the OP has some extra)...not a bad idea at all.
Lots of people say you can't get the ABV using bread yeast. That's rubbish. Back in the day, way back last mid century, folks in the UK made very strong wine using bread yeast. That was the only yeast there was in those days, wine yeasts just weren't available, I used it myself when I first started. I made good wines then, but I make better wines now (I think) using various wine yeasts. Good idea about making nutrient. We didn't know anything about it in those days.:slp
 

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