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slow learner

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hi everyone. The mulberry tree in my backyard inspired me to start making wine. :)

I'm here because I don't know anyone that makes wine at home, and I'd like to chat with folks about the basics of fruit wine-making. My problem is that I'm on a budget, and not very organized, so I don't have a kit with an instruction booklet guiding me along. i have a foodsafe pail, a foodsafe garbage can, and I'm looking for the cheapest 5 or 7 gallon water-cooler jugs available.

As for recipes, I've heard everything from "crush berries with water and let them rot for a few weeks" to procedures involving multiple rackings and measurements, etc etc. What do you all think is the most straightforward way to make fruit wine? Is a secondary fermentation vessel necessary or can wine be bottled directly after fermentation stops (maybe w/ saran wrap instead of a cork?)? Is it true that you can make wine with natural yeasts that are already in the berries?

can you tell how a wine will finish before it has aged?

thanks for your time. I look forward to learning from all of you.
 
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WildSeedGrrrl

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Hi Slow learner,
Welcome aboard!

Wish you the best and I konw you'll get lots of good advice from the longtimers. I saw that you have a mulberry tree. we have one in our backyard but up until this year I never paid any attentoin to it because I wasn't making wine. How do you gather them and when? My neightbor and I were thinking we could rig up a sheet to catch them when they fall.

WSG
 

manku007

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Hello Slow Learner, (Welcome to the Forum)

I m also new to this wine making work, but as far as I know from read topic from this forum and other sites, I think I can solve some of ur question. (may be I can be wrong)

The very simple way is to make wine with fruit juices, as far as I know in this u dont have to do the second fermentation. Put all the stuff in a jar and wait for it for about 1-2 weeks after the fermentation is finished, seperate ur wine in a new jar leaving the sediments behind. That is all I know till now.

Yes u can also use the natural yeast that means grapes itself has yeast what u have to do is just put all the solution in a jar and wait untill the fermentation is completed after that filter or seperate the wine, I think u have to do second fermentation in this method.

I think u should start with a juice wine making because it is simple and good for a beginner like u.(me too)

Check my photos in gallery, I think they can gave u an idea .... :D

Admin & Mods plz correct me if I m wrong .....

bye bye take care .... Hope that helps u 1% :b
 

Ceegar

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hi everyone. The mulberry tree in my backyard inspired me to start making wine. :)

I'm here because I don't know anyone that makes wine at home, and I'd like to chat with folks about the basics of fruit wine-making. My problem is that I'm on a budget, and not very organized, so I don't have a kit with an instruction booklet guiding me along. i have a foodsafe pail, a foodsafe garbage can, and I'm looking for the cheapest 5 or 7 gallon water-cooler jugs available.

As for recipes, I've heard everything from "crush berries with water and let them rot for a few weeks" to procedures involving multiple rackings and measurements, etc etc. What do you all think is the most straightforward way to make fruit wine? Is a secondary fermentation vessel necessary or can wine be bottled directly after fermentation stops (maybe w/ saran wrap instead of a cork?)? Is it true that you can make wine with natural yeasts that are already in the berries?

can you tell how a wine will finish before it has aged?

thanks for your time. I look forward to learning from all of you.
I'm the farthest person here that should be giving advice as I am just a beginner too, but I'm here and I like to talk so I'll add my 2 cents :h.

Here are a couple of recipes you could follow if you choose to
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request135.asp

As for your mulberries go - you should only use the ripest of the berries, even being overripe is way better than not being completely ripe. If it were me I would use a straining bag to place your berries in the primary while the fermentation is taking place. I like to crush them up while in the bag in the primary, boil the water and sugar then pour it over the berries.

I don't know how you're going to achieve a decent wine without using some of the basic tools and techniques, maybe some of the more experienced folks here will have other alternatives for you outside the norm. You will probably lose all your wine of you try to do the whole thing in the primary - and I think it would be impossible to make a drinkable wine without racking the wine off all the sediment that will get created during fermentation. And trying to bottle out of the primary without racking will get you nothing but cloudy, yucky looking (and probably tasting) wine.

Midwest Suppliers sells complete kits that are fairly inexpensive and it will come with everything you will need to make wine - even the corks and hand corker. Since you're just getting started you may want to experiment with a 1 Gal batch at first till you get your feet wet - therefore you would need to purchase a gal jug or 2.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdBySubCat.aspx?SubCat=11177&fd=1

Hope this helps a bit. These folks are real helpful and knowledgable so good advice will soon follow. In the meantime the online book in the Beginners forum is pretty good that will cover all the basics for you and is a good read for those just starting out.
Good luck.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3394
 
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Wade E

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First thing you should do is gather all the berries that you can and freeze them as the action of freezing them actually busts them open which makes them give up their juice much better so youll get a better wine. I wont get into the plastic water bottle versus glass cause its been beaten to death with no solid evidence against plastic but I do prefer glass myself Cause i can taste the difference myself. Here is a recipe and there are going to be things in there that you really should get like sulfites for sanitizing and to prevent your fifnished product from going bad. Pectic enzyme for helping your fruit break down and to prevent a haze caused by the pectin in your fruit. You can substitute the acid blend with some juice from a lemon for acid. You really should invest in a hydromter if you're going to make wine!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!! Clck on the link below for a recipe for Mullberry wine.
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3498
 

St Allie

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Hello slowlearner and welcome,

When are the mulberry berries ready to pick?.. How long have you got to get your equipment together? You can ferment out in the primary bucket, however you are going to need a lid and airlock on it. For storage til your wine clears you need something more like a bottle with a small airspace above your wine. I'm using the plastic water jugs for that too, much cheaper to get your hands on than the glass carboys, although I am slowly collecting the glass ones too.

Allie
 

Tom

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Hey Slow Learner,
1st Welcome to our group where all your questions WILL be answered.
2nd, I am always curious as to how people found this group. Can you enlighten us?
Where are you from..
 

slow learner

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thanks for all the responses!

hi tom. I'm from columbus, OH, and this site is the first google hit for "wine making forum" (but not "winemaking forum"). I'm a college student who is tired of telling himself that he'll get around to everything he wants to do as soon as he graduates. that's why I started this wine project a week before finals this spring [I still finished well in school :) ] Also, I'm under the impression that good fruit wines take at least one year to age so, if my first batches go well, I'll have something besides a keg to drink when I graduate.

>when are the mulberries ready to pick?
they're almost gone. most of them are fermenting into my vegetable garden, but I caught maybe 10 or 15 lbs of them. those are crushed and bubbling in my trash bucket with at least as many strawberries and blackberries. The berries fall over the course of late may to late june. If left outside the ripe fallen berries will start to mold quickly, so it's better (and more fun) to find a friend who's willing to bang on the tree branches and shake out lots of berries at once.

>the action of freezing them actually busts them open
that's perfect. I will definitely do that from now on. I'll start hunting for a bigger freezer...

speaking of freezers, do you all think my freezer might make a decent secondary fermenter? it's top opening, sealed, and probably foodsafe. I could just drill a hole in the lid and make a little airlock for the pressure. I've been trying to get myself to fix the thing but this might be easier :)

>And trying to bottle out of the primary without racking will get you nothing but cloudy, yucky looking (and probably tasting) wine.
so my secondary "fermentation" is really just a period where I let my wine sit and clear without needing to touch the armies of dead yeast at the bottom of my bucket? Gotcha, I'll pick up those jugs and have them ready for the end of fermentation. I know I'm supposed to have as little air as possible in the secondary fermenter, so if one of my jugs is a little low is it a good idea to top up with fruit juice? should I drop a bunch of marbles into the jug to displace the liquid?

>boil the water and sugar then pour it over the berries
that's been my method of choice. In fact, the only water I've added to my 15+ gallons has been boiling (plus a gallon or two of sugar water). the rest is all fruit juice. I assume that it's a bad idea to pour boiling water on my must because it will kill the yeast correct? I've been dealing with a bit of a mold problem by just tapping the must down and trying not to splash on the walls of the barrel. should I sanitize again and then restart fermentation? what about fruit flies (they can sneak under the lid)? will they get sick of my fruits once they start getting drunk off of it?

I hope nobody tries to answer all of these questions in one go. I might feel guilty if that happened. I'll go buy a hydrometer and come back later.

Thanks again!
 

Ceegar

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if my first batches go well, I'll have something besides a keg to drink when I graduate.
Ahh, a college student. My second oldest boy just graduated from Cornell last month. We might one day see where he has created a new grape varietal, who knows. Keep up with the studies. Alcohol+School studies*doing it a lot = bad grades!!


speaking of freezers, do you all think my freezer might make a decent secondary fermenter?
This would be a mod on a freezer I'd love to see. I don't think there's any way possible, unless you're thinking of something totally different than what I think you are.


so my secondary "fermentation" is really just a period where I let my wine sit and clear without needing to touch the armies of dead yeast at the bottom of my bucket?

so if one of my jugs is a little low is it a good idea to top up with fruit juice? should I drop a bunch of marbles into the jug to displace the liquid?
Usually once your primary fermentation reaches a certain point, but before it's finished, you rack the wine off the lees into a secondary vessel to carry out the remainder of the fermentation process. Once it has completed fermentation I have been racking my wine again into another vessel and it is there where I let it clear, and usually another racking will be in order once it has completely cleared. Others may have a different practice. Some wines require you to clear it with the sediment in the vessel.

Yes, marbles are a great idea.


I assume that it's a bad idea to pour boiling water on my must because it will kill the yeast correct?
First of all if you have pitched your yeast and you have fermentation taking place then it is no longer called must - it is now offically called wine.

And yes, that is a very bad idea - this is done before pitching the yeast and letting the must cool to room temperature first before pitching the yeast.


I've been dealing with a bit of a mold problem by just tapping the must down and trying not to splash on the walls of the barrel. should I sanitize again and then restart fermentation?

what about fruit flies (they can sneak under the lid)? will they get sick of my fruits once they start getting drunk off of it?
Usually sanitizing is done before fermentation, both the must and the primary bucket and anything else that will be touching your eventual wine. I will sanitize before, and I will also do my racking onto a meta solution (I use campden tabs crushed - 1 tab per gallon) Unless your fermentation gets stuck there won't be any need to restart it - it will keep going until the wine reaches the yeast's alcohol tolerance threshold or it ferments out dry.

Like I said, I'm a newbie too, but these are some of the things I've learned and I hope what I have told you is pretty accurate for the most part - if it isn't I'm doing it wrong!!! :D
 

Wade E

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Always keep some kind of cloth or something to keep fruut flies away from your wine or you will end up with veinegar as fruit flies carry acetobacter which is what causes wine to turn into vinegar.
 

slow learner

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Thanks Ceegar, that helps a lot. I'll let you know if I can put my freezer to use :)

Wade, the fruit flies are gone, and everything smells fine. Should I still be worried about acetobacter? is there some precaution I should take or will it be enough to rack into a small amount of sodium metabisulphite?

thanks again for the help, everyone.

cheers!:b
 

Nubz

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2nd, I am always curious as to how people found this group. Can you enlighten us?
Where are you from..
as for me i found this place by searching google for "wine making forum" 3rd result on the page
 
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