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mstrick96

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My first attempt at "grocery store" winemaking has been a success! At least as far as I am concerned.

I used the approach and recipe as described by "Paw Paw" on YouTube and all I wanted was something that wasn't undrinkable. It actually turned out pretty good. At least it's comparable to the less expensive wines.

The SG started around 1.1 and my finished ABV ranges 13% to 14%. Using Paw Paw's recipe, there is still some residual sweetness with a little tartness. Just about right. My wife even likes it!

I now have a copy of and have read through Jack Keller's book "Home Winemaking" and my next attempt will more closely follow his recipe for apple wine, with the exception that I'll start with Organic Apple Juice instead of the Ocean Spray juice. I have the ingredients I need on order and will pick up a food safe bucket to use as the primary fermentation vessel. Keller's book has some fascinating recipes and I especially like that they are all for one-gallon batches. I think that amount will work well for me.

I think that Paw Paw is to winemaking as Bob Ross was to oil painting! Not very sophisticated but produces an acceptable product. Paw Paw showed me that it is possible to produce an acceptable product very simply! From here, I'll study Keller to find out how to improve my winemaking the same way I've improved my art from the Bob Ross stage. (With my art, I'm now getting portrait commissions and am winning awards.)

Thanks, everyone, for the help and encouragement!
 

BigDaveK

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My first attempt at "grocery store" winemaking has been a success! At least as far as I am concerned.

And that's all that matters. Good for you!

I now have a copy of and have read through Jack Keller's book "Home Winemaking" and my next attempt will more closely follow his recipe for apple wine, with the exception that I'll start with Organic Apple Juice instead of the Ocean Spray juice. I have the ingredients I need on order and will pick up a food safe bucket to use as the primary fermentation vessel. Keller's book has some fascinating recipes and I especially like that they are all for one-gallon batches. I think that amount will work well for me.

I seem to be concentrating on country and unusual wines. Keller is certainly a good source for unusual. I just did his cabbage wine but I used red cabbage. One suggestion - I think everyone here admires Keller but most up the quantity of fruit (or vegetable) to make the wine just a little bit better.
 

mstrick96

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@BigDaveK, thanks! I'll remember that.

I'm in Georgia and we have wonderful peaches and apples. Peaches will be coming in soon and then apples in the Fall. Those will probably be my first attempts at starting directly from fruit instead of juices.

The wineries around me produce some wonderful muscadine and scuppernong wines!

Speaking of Georgia, I wonder what a Vidalia Onion wine would taste like?? Those onions are sweet enough to eat raw like an apple!!!
 

BigDaveK

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@BigDaveK, thanks! I'll remember that.

I'm in Georgia and we have wonderful peaches and apples. Peaches will be coming in soon and then apples in the Fall. Those will probably be my first attempts at starting directly from fruit instead of juices.

The wineries around me produce some wonderful muscadine and scuppernong wines!

Speaking of Georgia, I wonder what a Vidalia Onion wine would taste like?? Those onions are sweet enough to eat raw like an apple!!!
I made apple wine last year. There's a couple ways to do it. I have trees so I did 100% juice. You'll like apple!

Oh, boy...onion is on my list this year! I'm growing from seed for the first time. Been disappointed in sets that I've bought in the past. A half way decent harvest means wine!

And I've grown garlic for years so this year that's on the list. As a cooking wine. I said like the unusual!
 

mstrick96

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BigDaveK, I'm not sure where you are, but a genuine Vidalia Onion is incredible! You might want to find some for your onion wine! They are incredible!
 

BigDaveK

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BigDaveK, I'm not sure where you are, but a genuine Vidalia Onion is incredible! You might want to find some for your onion wine! They are incredible!

Oh, yes, believe me, a genuine Vidalia will definitely be considered. I'm growing Texas Early Grano which is described as a Vidalia-type and can be eaten like an apple. We'll see how Mother Nature treats me this year.
 
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Speaking of Georgia, I wonder what a Vidalia Onion wine would taste like?? Those onions are sweet enough to eat raw like an apple!!!
Please DO NOT give @BigDaveK any ideas!!! He'll be making dirt wine if anyone gives him the idea!
🤣

I have a recipe for garlic wine -- it's not a drinking wine, it's for cooking. If a gallon of Vidalia wine doesn't work out, taste-wise, I'm sure it will work for cooking.
 

BigDaveK

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Please DO NOT give @BigDaveK any ideas!!! He'll be making dirt wine if anyone gives him the idea!
🤣

I have a recipe for garlic wine -- it's not a drinking wine, it's for cooking. If a gallon of Vidalia wine doesn't work out, taste-wise, I'm sure it will work for cooking.
This is a little out there -
I keep a list of wines I want to try. I'm at that age - write it down or it's gone. Just counted, I'm at 24.

And that doesn't include mead!!!! Went to Costco today - 20 lbs of honey. Did I really think I would only make one mead?!?!? That's crazy talk.
 

mstrick96

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The Teasa sweet onions should be pretty close to a Vidalia. The growers claim that the unique soil and weather conditions in teh Vidalia region of Georgia produce the best onions. I think the Texas Early Grano is one of the varieties grown in Vidalia.

One thing I've observed however, is that not all "Vidalia" onions taste the same. It seems to be best to actually go to Vidalia to find the best onions.
 

BigDaveK

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I used to eat onion sandwiches. Italian bread, butter, onion slices, (not Vidalia) and salt and pepper. Yum. )
That sounds good!
One of my old world favorites is rye bread, green onions, and paprika szalonna. OMG!!!! I make it now and then - it's boiled pork belly covered with paprika and refrigerated overnight. Wow!
 

BigDaveK

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The Teasa sweet onions should be pretty close to a Vidalia. The growers claim that the unique soil and weather conditions in teh Vidalia region of Georgia produce the best onions. I think the Texas Early Grano is one of the varieties grown in Vidalia.

One thing I've observed however, is that not all "Vidalia" onions taste the same. It seems to be best to actually go to Vidalia to find the best onions.
I know exactly what you mean. Seems they're pretty loose with regulations nowadays. I almost think if it ships THROUGH Georgia it can be called "Vidalia". Crazy.

I just read that as long as meat doesn't get below 27 F it can still be sold as "never frozen".
 

mikewatkins727

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Please DO NOT give @BigDaveK any ideas!!! He'll be making dirt wine if anyone gives him the idea!
🤣

I have a recipe for garlic wine -- it's not a drinking wine, it's for cooking. If a gallon of Vidalia wine doesn't work out, taste-wise, I'm sure it will work for cooking.
@winemaker81 please note. Do NOT do garlic wine anywhere where the fumes will get into living quarters. I have been barred from garlic wine fermenting indoors. Period.

The house smelled like a garbage dump for more than a month.
 

SueMc

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I'm growing from seed for the first time. Been disappointed in sets that I've bought in the past.

Off track but just wanted to say that I planted onion seeds this year from 2011, just broadcast in a tray and it looks like they all came up! I was going to throw some old onion seeds away since they supposedly only last one or two years but planted instead. Another variety not as old didn’t germinated at all but I’ve learned not to automatically throw old seeds away.
 
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@winemaker81 please note. Do NOT do garlic wine anywhere where the fumes will get into living quarters. I have been barred from garlic wine fermenting indoors. Period.

The house smelled like a garbage dump for more than a month.
I'll keep this in mind if I want my wife to leave me! 🤣

Seriously, thanks for the warning.
 

Steve Wargo

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Just what I need. More wine ideas! lol Seriously, if one adds garlic, is it during the primary or secondary fermentation, or during the aging stages? Has anyone added a garlic clove inside a bottle of wine just before corking it? I've gifted wine as cooking wine, along with recommendations. A few people said that it tasted too good so they drank it. Hopefully, the garlic will encourage them to use it for cooking. Fingers crossed.
 
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Seriously, if one adds garlic, is it during the primary or secondary fermentation, or during the aging stages?
The recipe I have is for full garlic wine, as in it's the fruit. I suppose you can put a clove or two in a bottle, but I have no idea what the shelf life is.

Personally, "cooking wine" means I open the bottle when cooking. Some goes in me, and some might go in the food .......
 
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Steve Wargo

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The recipe I have is for full garlic wine, as in it's the fruit. I supposed you can put a clove or two in a bottle, but I have no idea what the shelf life is.

Personally, "cooking wine" means I open the bottle when cooking. Some goes in me, and some might go in the food .......
Thanks for the reply. Interesting that the garlic is the "fruit" that is fermented. I haven't tried any kind of garlic fermentation. If you are ok with it, I am interested in the recipe. Also any tips for clearing it, though I'm thinking that might not matter. Any pointers are appreciated. P.S. I do agree with your definition of a cooking wine lol.
 

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