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Strawberry Wine

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rymily

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We are working on our first batch of wine using the Joy of Home Winemaking as our guide.

Recipe:
24 lbs. strawberries (frozen)
12 lbs. honey
6 teaspoons acid blend
3/4 teaspoon tannin
6 teaspoons yeast nutrient
6 Campden tables
3 teasponns pectic enzyme
1 package Montrachet yeast
5.25 gallons water

We started this on Oct. 26 and switched it to the secondary fermeter on November 7. When we went to put into the secondary fermenter we added about another 1/2 gallon of water and 1 lb. honey to top off the carboy. It currently is tasting a little acidic and not very sweet. We would like it to be a sweet wine. . . is there anything we can do at this point in the process to sweeten? Will it sweeten over time?
 

Sacalait

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After it has finished fermenting and has settled out rack it off the sediment. After racking add potasium metabasulfite and potasium sorbate then you can sweeten it to taste without the fear of refermentation.
 

rymily

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One other quick question. We have already racked the one once, removing all the dead yeast and sediment. Does this mean it's done fermenting? Should we sweeten it now to taste? Thanks so much for your help! :)
 

Sacalait

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To be sure, take a hydrometer reading. If the hydrometer indicates a reading of .996 or lower the wine is finished fermenting. If you don't have a hydrometer wait until the wine has cleared completely and then you should be ready to add sulfite and sorbate after racking.
 
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Bblanche

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Mmmhh - that sounds good! That will be the first wine i gonna do myself. Eventhough im not a person that loves sweet wine but still my kids (23 and 25 years old) do - so i guess i gonna make them happy with this wine
 

Luc

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Bblanche,

If you make a larger batch like 10 gallons you can let it
ferment to dry and then split the batch.
You can the bottle half the batch and sweeten the
other half.
Strawberry wine is good as a dry wine and as a sweet one.
I have made it both ways and both came out great.

Luc
 
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Bblanche

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Thank you! That sound awesome - so all of us can - hopefully - enjoy my experiment ;)
Yesterday i got all the ingrediences and now I will start and tell you about my experiences!
 

bigorange82

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This sounds incredibly delicious, and I think Im going to use this recipe next, thanks!
 

rymily

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Thanks everyone for your advice, it is much appreciated! We're going to test with the hydrometer today or tomorrow. What's the best way to get the wine out of the carboy for testing?
 
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Bblanche

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So I tryed it out and it was really easier than expected! I'm kids where fastinated and didn't believe I did it by myself. So i gave that the recipe and they will try it out too. So thanks again Luc, I did it as you told me and it was perfect!
 

TheTooth

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Congrats, Bblanche!

If you want to further impress your kids, you can break out the technical terms and tell them that you made a Melomel (a type of mead). Honey wine (mead) with fruit is a melomel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead
 

rymily

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We siphoned some wine from the carboy into a glass yesterday and tested it with the hydrometer. It measured just at or below the 1.000 mark on the hydrometer. I'm assuming this means we need to give it some more time? This seems to be the same measure as when we put it into the secondary fermerter. It's tasting a little like dry strawberry Champaign with a very bad/sour after taste. It smells alright though. . .

We actually forgot to get the original PA reading from the hydrometer before we added the yeast. Does anyone know about how much alcohol a wine like this might have?
 

TheTooth

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If you are under the 1.000 mark on the hydrometer, and it hasn't changed since you moved it to the secondary, you are pretty much done with fermentation.

As far as alcohol content is concerned, I can't really tell you how much is in your wine without a starting gravity reading. I can try to guess, though:

12lbs of honey in 5.5 gallons of water will probably net you around a 1.075-ish starting gravity. The honey alone will net you about 10% abv. I have no idea what you are getting from the strawberries, though... so that's the wild card.

Most yeast will die before you get into the high 'teens, so you're probably somewhere between 10% and 18% alcohol, but I don't know exactly where. Sorry that I can't be more specific than that.

Anyone have any idea what sg you'd get with 24lbs of strawberries in 5.5 gallons of water?

edited: Original honey calculations weren't quite right.
 
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oldwino

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Isn't any answer to that unless you know what the Brix of the strawberries were when they were put into the primary with the water.
 

Wade E

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Like posted above the answer to that can vary so much as the brix of any fruit can vary quite considerably depending on where they are picked, how much water the plant was given and how big the plant is.
 

Benjo's Mom

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This sounds great! I have 3-4 lbs. of strawberries in the freezer and wanted to make a batch of strawberry wine next, but had never seen a recipe using honey. This looks very interesting and I cannot wait to get it started:)
 

rymily

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Is it done yet?

We've tested our wine again with the hydrometer. . the reading is still right around 1.000. Does this mean it's done fermenting? We tasted it again and it's alright. . . dry. . . with a sour after taste. Any thoughts? Should we finish it and add some sugar? Will this get rid of the after taste?

Thanks again!
 

rymily

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Acid?

We just tested our wine with an Acid test kit. . and it looks like we're at 0.75 or 0.80. The box said fruit wines should be at 0.60. Could this be why the wine tastes a little sour? Is there a way to reduce the acid in the wine?

Also - our bung fell into our carboy! Can we just leave this in there or do we have to get a whole new carboy. . . we can't seem to get it out.
 

Racer

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I just looked back at your old posts.Your wine has been at 1.000 for a month now. It looks to me like it's done fermenting.Dont be so quick to judge a new wine on taste already co2 trapped in the wine will effect how it tastes. Get your wine good and clear patience and time will help with that.

As far as the bung in the carboy goes have you tried bending a wire coat hanger so it will pass thru to hole and pulling it out? And as a suggestion take that old one with you to your LHBS and get the next larger size so that doesnt happen again to you.(don't feel too bad about it I've done that once or twice before too).
 
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