to dump or not to dump?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

hlbradley

Junior
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
So, my first batch of wine is watermelon. After three months, having been racked for the second time, it tastes odd. rather yeasty even though it looks pretty clear. My blackberry actually tastes like a decent red after a month so i am wondering if i just need to be patient and let the watermelon age to see if it changes or dump it and start something new. I need experienced opinions.
 

Wade E

Premium
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
33,224
Reaction score
279
if its clear then bottle it if you need the carboy or just add sulfite after every 3 months and let it sit longer. Ive made wines that were horrible and were tempted to dump but glad I didnt cause 6 months more did it great justice.
 

MN-winer

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
294
Reaction score
0
I would never just dump a wine unless it was clearly spoiled. Many wines I've made were yeasty in the beginning but after aging that went away. Have you sulfited and sorbated it yet? I think most who respond to questions would need to know more of the recipe, and the timings of the rackings to really help. Maybe it was on the gross lees for too long. Time may heal this one.
 

non-grapenut

Fruit Fears Me
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
400
Reaction score
4
So, my first batch of wine is watermelon. After three months, having been racked for the second time, it tastes odd. rather yeasty even though it looks pretty clear. My blackberry actually tastes like a decent red after a month so i am wondering if i just need to be patient and let the watermelon age to see if it changes or dump it and start something new. I need experienced opinions.
Watermelon is one of the most difficult fruit wines to make due to it's lack of nutrients (watermelon is, what, 90% water, I think?) If you pull this one off, all the rest will be a cake walk for you, hlbradley!
 

hlbradley

Junior
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
I fllowed Jack Kellers recommendations recipe wise. Fermentation was beautiful and had finished very quickly, I used a starter to make sure it started fast. I racked it off the lees after 1 month. second racking 2 mos later. I did use Montrachet yeast instead of champagne yeast and wonder if that would cause a problem. I have not sulfited or sorbated. Would that help?

My instinct was to give it time but since i am very new to this I have no idea when something is going to improve or is just bad!!

SHould i continue to let it batch age or go ahead and bottle soon?
 

non-grapenut

Fruit Fears Me
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
400
Reaction score
4
I fllowed Jack Kellers recommendations recipe wise. Fermentation was beautiful and had finished very quickly, I used a starter to make sure it started fast. I racked it off the lees after 1 month. second racking 2 mos later. I did use Montrachet yeast instead of champagne yeast and wonder if that would cause a problem. I have not sulfited or sorbated. Would that help?

My instinct was to give it time but since i am very new to this I have no idea when something is going to improve or is just bad!!

SHould i continue to let it batch age or go ahead and bottle soon?
When you say "bad" do you mean a bad odor, or is it just yeasty? If it's the latter, it's time that you need. Reracking with sorbate and/or campden may help with killing some yeast off, but let it sit for awhile again after that.
 

hlbradley

Junior
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Yeah, I read that watermelon was difficult. It was the cheap in season fruit though so i went for it!

By bad I mean yeasty. If I taste or even smell it, it ruins beer for me! It brings out the yeastiness in beer afterwards. Thats the best way to describe it. I will try campden and see what that does and I will be patient. It is so helpful to have experienced advice!!

I am thinking about a peach next....

thanks for your advice!!
 

non-grapenut

Fruit Fears Me
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
400
Reaction score
4
Yeah, I read that watermelon was difficult. It was the cheap in season fruit though so i went for it!

By bad I mean yeasty. If I taste or even smell it, it ruins beer for me! It brings out the yeastiness in beer afterwards. Thats the best way to describe it. I will try campden and see what that does and I will be patient. It is so helpful to have experienced advice!!

I am thinking about a peach next....

thanks for your advice!!
Don't forget your pectic enzyme with Peach...even with this step, I still have issues trying to clear my Peach wines. Be patient on the watermelon, then, and make sure to let it sit a bit before trying it again.
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
60
Peach will work well. I had pretty good luck with mine. Use 4-5# per gallon, I pitted and quartered them and froze them hard(we can do that in Alaska!):), thawed and put them in a straining bag, smashed em up a little, adding boiling water to cover a couple minutes, topped off with water and additives( Ithnk I used a bit of white grape concentrate), and it ferment well, cleared pretty easily, and had a good flavor. STartted at 1.085. Use the pectin and make sure you push that bag under the liquid at least once a day, twice is better.

No need to squeeze the bag during the primary.
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
60
HL, be sure to read the labels carefully, whether you use frozen concentrate or pre mixed juice. You don't want to see any preservatives, sulfite, sorbate, or benzoate. Abscorbic or citric acid is okay. Look for 100% juice, not juice cocktail.

If you go with frozen concentrate the general rule is to use 3 cans and add enough water to make one gallon. Then add the sugar to that. The sugar will add volume so you actually end up with a bit more than a gallon.

Don't limit yourself to grape, apple, and cranberry. There are some nice juices out there and they will all ferment! Dole makes some nice blends,Strawberry/Pineapple/Mango, etc.

Good luck.

Troy
:b
 

hlbradley

Junior
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
that is exactly what I needed to know!! THank you so much!! I am printing to put this in my recipes right now!!!!

You all have been so helpful! Thanks!!!!!
 

arcticsid

Arctic Contributor
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
60
Heres a good general recipe Wade posted in the recipe section:
http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3515

This will work for any frozen concentrate, of course if you use pre mixed juice, eliminate the juice and water. Use one gallon of mixed juice and follow the rest of the recipe. I notice no sugar is listed. Guess thats up to you, only your hydrometer will know for sure. I would think about 2 cups of sugar for this. If you start higher than 1.090 you are risking the alcohol overpowering the flavor of the juice, thats not necessarily a bad thing, but thats up to you.

Our local Fred Meyers has 64 oz. asst. Tree Top and Ocean Spray juice. 3/$4.00. Do the math, thats pretty inexpensive wine!!:D

Happy Brewing. Be patient, nothing fast about this winemaking stuff.

Troy
:b
 
Last edited:
Top