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Rice_Guy

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Picked the first raspberries tonight.
Cleaning the the freezer last week still I have 12 Kg of raspberry left. I see thawing them (emptying freezer for new crop) and trying a batch with a tannic crab apple. ,,, which gets that out of the freezer too.
 

DizzyIzzy

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Picked Blueberries all weekend. Been freezing about 3 lbs of blackberries every 3rd day or so. (big sweet thornless--primocane blackberries).
So started berry wine must last night. 12lb blackberries and 9 1/2 lbs blueberries. 8.lb cane syrup made last winter. Check S.G. tonight to see if any more sugar needed. my standard 5 gallon recipe for berry wine.
Figs getting close to ripe... grapes getting bigger and passionfruit falling from vines for the first time. Cant wait to try my hand at passionfruit wine.
I am jealous of your access to all those wonderful fruits. Our local Amish strawberries didn't do well this year because of the frost, but I am looking forward to locally-grown freestone peaches next month. I will label the bottles "Pandemic Peach" LOL.........................Dizzy
 

NoQuarter

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I spent years foraging in the woods for wild berries, plums, muscadines etc...
my grand-dad told me the best time to plant a fruit tree is 5 years ago....
The second best time was now.
I started buying berry bushes and little fruit tree saplings. I even grow sugarcane now.
If I could grow bottles and cork I would really be self sufficient.
Good idea on the name. I might have to go with "corona berry"
 

Yooper🍷

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WE Merlot 2016, Sangiovese 2018, Nebbiola 2018, Valpola 2018, Nero D’ Avalo 2019, Rossi Ardente 2019, Pinot Grigio 2019, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Rosso Ardente (turned it into a port 2019, Brunello 2019, Amarone 2020, Pinot Noir 2020, Italian Zinfandel 202043386B27-2F56-47F5-99F8-36ADACF6279A.jpeg
 

PandemoniumWines

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Started a pineapple mandarin tonight. I hear horror stories about both so this shall be interesting! I make a pretty bangin’ mango so I think I’ll muddle through okay.
 

PhilDarby

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I have been experimenting with a bit of a reverse engineered gin and tonic.

The yeast is a 48 hour yeast (uk 48 was the one I have used, but, it doesnt really matter which one you use).

The idea is to hit a decent abv so that some tonic water can be added when its done to bring the abv down to around 12.5 abv. from the approx 15 to 16 abv of the finished drink (allowing 20 to 25 % tonic water to be added) this is to make it a bit sparkling and make it feel a bit like a real g and t whilst drinking it, at the end.

So why g and t, well the way i figure it is that juniper berries are both anti viral and anti bacterial and tonic water contains quinine, which is also anti viral (and is used to treat malaria amongst other things) besides that i just fancied making something along those lines, because, i fancied drinking / making some.

Its basically a lock down / lock in, gin and tonic, kind of a drink.

I have basically winged this and made it up as i went along, but, it has turned out surprisingly well, up to now.

so, the first thing i sourced was some essential juniper oil (from ebay) I already had the yeast.

I kind of googled a little bit about gin, to figure out what might, or, might not go with it and decided on a pink colour despite the fact officinados prefer a clear gin (this was influenced at least in part due to finding some red dried hibiscus flowers locally at the super market, which, i have previously used in wine making) then proceeded to hunt for stuff locally to mix in the batch (mostly in small amounts) this isnt getting distilled and i kind of want a subtle or semi subtle complexed kind of flavour.

The basic recipe i have used goes like this my fermenting bucket holds 20 litres, into which I have added ;-

30 drops (about 1.5 mls of juniper essential oil) this might need tweaking later on ie more might need adding later on (sourced from ebay)

The rest of the stuff was winged (ie) guessed, based on personal hunch, after a bit of a google search and personal experience. The quantities are deliberately small as this is aimed at tasting a bit like a spirit and a mixer, not really like a wine as such.

I am aiming for a dry gin kind of flavour as well, in the final product.

Contents additional to juniper oil ;-

mixed orange skin (some sweet some bitter) and some pink grapefruit dried skin around 1/3 rd to 1/2 of a cup full by volume (total approx 1/3rd orange 2/3rd dried pink grapefruit), of mixed skins, with the white rind still left on (it seems to add tanins and a bit of bite). dried in the fridge over a few weeks and left over from eating them originally (the eco friendly option) some go a bit mouldy, so, they get binned, but, about half, dry fine doing this.

around 1/2 of a cup full of dried hibiscus flower (red, found locally at the local shops (cheaply)) estimated approx 30 grams by weight for the pinkish colour and slight peachy flavours

a large pinch of ground dried cinnamon (approx 1/3 rd of a teaspoon) found locally (for bite) commonly found in commercial gins

approx 1/3 rd of a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs containing thyme, marjoram, origano, parsley, sage and bazil (for a bit more complexity) I already had this in for cooking reasons, so, decided to add a bit.

a tiny pinch (just that ie between my fingers) of dried chilly powder found locally (for a bit of a bite in the after taste) weird i know but i have done this before and it gives a bit of kick to drinks (it has to be a tiny very subtle barely detectable amount)

a tiny pinch (just that ie between my fingers) of dried ginger powder found locally (which i already had in) for more complexity (needs to be barely percievable and not an obvious addition)

6 drops of dr oetker vanilla essence (which i already had at home) this is a very nice flavour and adds complexity (i use this in quite a lot of my home brews in tiny amounts)

4 x 2/3 teaspoons of porridge oats x 1 per 5 litres (for improved mouth feel)

approx 1/2 cup of breakfast cerial containing wheat (anything from wheetos to wheetabix, what ever you have close to hand, as long as it is mostly or totally wheat) (for the flavour (my own tweak i use this quite a lot) intended to be subtle, but, improves after taste in the mouth, giving a dry spirit kind of a flavour in the after taste

3/4 of a sliced yellow banana complete with the skin (for the amylaze and some mouth feel) it doesnt really add much in the way of flavour, but, the batch looked like it had a bit of a starch haze forming, so, I added some, as a precaution. possibly from the cerial`s if it was forming a haze

I think that covers the contents.

Method, add all the contents to the bucket.

5.1kg of sugar was added and dissolved in water up to the 17.5 liter mark on the bucket.

It was then treated with campden tablets and left for 36 hours (then stirred a bit to release the sulphates).

The yeast was then added, strictly speaking turbo yeast does not need the additional nutrients and stuff (which makes it ideal for this kind of experiment).

It got off to a flying start and is now on day 7, at 20 degrees celcius.

Although it is still vigerously bubbling in the airlock I moved onto the next phase last night and added tonic water and lemonade (barrs lemonade, because, it was what i had in) in the ratio of 800 mls tonic water to 200 mls lemonade and topped the bucket up to the 20 litre mark (ie) filled the bucket up.

It is still fermenting well and the preservatives in the tonic water and lemonade have not seemingly impaired the ferment, which was why i added them late on (just in case, it did).

Initial tasting using a small spoon seem to confirm it is going very well and there is not much sugar taste left despite actively bubbling, it does taste as i had hoped it would.

I estimate this will be around 15 to 16 abv when finally done and am hoping for a sly tasting session on tuesday to confirm if it is ok, or, not, i have a friend coming around for a second opinion tuesday and possibly some tweaking, but, judging by initial tasting by myself I am very happy the way this is going.

I think by tuesday it will be fairly much fermented, so, will just need to be left to clear up then, it is a very nice pink colour but obviousy still cloudy.

comments, while it was more active in fermenting the juniper oils where not as apparent in the flavour, it has reared its head more as the ferment has progressed and particularly after the addition of the tonic water and lemonade last night, it does in fact have a definate gin kind of flavour.

I may need to add more juniper oil later on to tweak the flavour, but, it definately has a gin kind of feel / taste about it.

As mentioned above it is meant to be drunk with some tonic water at around 15 to 25 % (25 % being the maximum, for around 12 abv, which, is close (by abv) to a 1/3 rd gin 2/3 rd tonic water mix, which would come out around 12.5 abv).

Thats my latest experimental drink, I have been making / messing around with.
 
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PhilDarby

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I have been experimenting with a bit of a reverse engineered gin and tonic.

The yeast is a 48 hour yeast (uk 48 was the one I have used, but, it doesnt really matter which one you use).

The idea is to hit a decent abv so that some tonic water can be added when its done to bring the abv down to around 12.5 abv. from the approx 15 to 16 abv of the finished drink (allowing 20 to 25 % tonic water to be added) this is to make it a bit sparkling and make it feel a bit like a real g and t whilst drinking it, at the end.

So why g and t, well the way i figure it is that juniper berries are both anti viral and anti bacterial and tonic water contains quinine, which is also anti viral (and is used to treat malaria amongst other things) besides that i just fancied making something along those lines, because, i fancied drinking / making some.

Its basically a lock down / lock in, gin and tonic, kind of a drink.

I have basically winged this and made it up as i went along, but, it has turned out surprisingly well, up to now.

so, the first thing i sourced was some essential juniper oil (from ebay) I already had the yeast.

I kind of googled a little bit about gin, to figure out what might, or, might not go with it and decided on a pink colour despite the fact officinados prefer a clear gin (this was influenced at least in part due to finding some red dried hibiscus flowers locally at the super market, which, i have previously used in wine making) then proceeded to hunt for stuff locally to mix in the batch (mostly in small amounts) this isnt getting distilled and i kind of want a subtle or semi subtle complexed kind of flavour.

The basic recipe i have used goes like this my fermenting bucket holds 20 litres, into which I have added ;-

30 drops (about 1.5 mls of juniper essential oil) this might need tweaking later on ie more might need adding later on (sourced from ebay)

The rest of the stuff was winged (ie) guessed, based on personal hunch, after a bit of a google search and personal experience. The quantities are deliberately small as this is aimed at tasting a bit like a spirit and a mixer, not really like a wine as such.

I am aiming for a dry gin kind of flavour as well, in the final product.

Contents additional to juniper oil ;-

mixed orange skin (some sweet some bitter) and some pink grapefruit dried skin around 1/3 rd to 1/2 of a cup full by volume (total approx 1/3rd orange 2/3rd dried pink grapefruit), of mixed skins, with the white rind still left on (it seems to add tanins and a bit of bite). dried in the fridge over a few weeks and left over from eating them originally (the eco friendly option) some go a bit mouldy, so, they get binned, but, about half, dry fine doing this.

around 1/2 of a cup full of dried hibiscus flower (red, found locally at the local shops (cheaply)) estimated approx 30 grams by weight for the pinkish colour and slight peachy flavours

a large pinch of ground dried cinnamon (approx 1/3 rd of a teaspoon) found locally (for bite) commonly found in commercial gins

approx 1/3 rd of a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs containing thyme, marjoram, origano, parsley, sage and bazil (for a bit more complexity) I already had this in for cooking reasons, so, decided to add a bit.

a tiny pinch (just that ie between my fingers) of dried chilly powder found locally (for a bit of a bite in the after taste) weird i know but i have done this before and it gives a bit of kick to drinks (it has to be a tiny very subtle barely detectable amount)

a tiny pinch (just that ie between my fingers) of dried ginger powder found locally (which i already had in) for more complexity (needs to be barely percievable and not an obvious addition)

6 drops of dr oetker vanilla essence (which i already had at home) this is a very nice flavour and adds complexity (i use this in quite a lot of my home brews in tiny amounts)

4 x 2/3 teaspoons of porridge oats x 1 per 5 litres (for improved mouth feel)

approx 1/2 cup of breakfast cerial containing wheat (anything from wheetos to wheetabix, what ever you have close to hand, as long as it is mostly or totally wheat) (for the flavour (my own tweak i use this quite a lot) intended to be subtle, but, improves after taste in the mouth, giving a dry spirit kind of a flavour in the after taste

3/4 of a sliced yellow banana complete with the skin (for the amylaze and some mouth feel) it doesnt really add much in the way of flavour, but, the batch looked like it had a bit of a starch haze forming, so, I added some, as a precaution. possibly from the cerial`s if it was forming a haze

I think that covers the contents.

Method, add all the contents to the bucket.

5.1kg of sugar was added and dissolved in water up to the 17.5 liter mark on the bucket.

It was then treated with campden tablets and left for 36 hours (then stirred a bit to release the sulphates).

The yeast was then added, strictly speaking turbo yeast does not need the additional nutrients and stuff (which makes it ideal for this kind of experiment).

It got off to a flying start and is now on day 7, at 20 degrees celcius.

Although it is still vigerously bubbling in the airlock I moved onto the next phase last night and added tonic water and lemonade (barrs lemonade, because, it was what i had in) in the ratio of 800 mls tonic water to 200 mls lemonade and topped the bucket up to the 20 litre mark (ie) filled the bucket up.

It is still fermenting well and the preservatives in the tonic water and lemonade have not seemingly impaired the ferment, which was why i added them late on (just in case, it did).

Initial tasting using a small spoon seem to confirm it is going very well and there is not much sugar taste left despite actively bubbling, it does taste as i had hoped it would.

I estimate this will be around 15 to 16 abv when finally done and am hoping for a sly tasting session on tuesday to confirm if it is ok, or, not, i have a friend coming around for a second opinion tuesday and possibly some tweaking, but, judging by initial tasting by myself I am very happy the way this is going.

I think by tuesday it will be fairly much fermented, so, will just need to be left to clear up then, it is a very nice pink colour but obviousy still cloudy.

comments, while it was more active in fermenting the juniper oils where not as apparent in the flavour, it has reared its head more as the ferment has progressed and particularly after the addition of the tonic water and lemonade last night, it does in fact have a definate gin kind of flavour.

I may need to add more juniper oil later on to tweak the flavour, but, it definately has a gin kind of feel / taste about it.

As mentioned above it is meant to be drunk with some tonic water at around 15 to 25 % (25 % being the maximum, for around 12 abv, which, is close (by abv) to a 1/3 rd gin 2/3 rd tonic water mix, which would come out around 12.5 abv).

Thats my latest experimental drink, I have been making / messing around with.
Gin appears to be mostly about mixed botanicals, as long as the juniper berries are the most up front flavour, so, that is basically my intended route for final flavour tweaking.

Some of the stuff I have thrown in are well known in commercial gin and some i just winged (guessed).

It might need fine tweaking at the end, to get a nice flavour, but, as it stands there is no lack of flavour.

I am debating on a bit more pink grapefruit skins for one tweak.
 
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wine newbee

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Ok I'll start this .I would love to know what everyone is making or have made .It amazes me what people make wine with from scratch .Also those of you making beer list those also since it's part of the site .
I'm sorta new (just began last year), so my list is short and maybe pedestrian --

mead, blueberry melamel (i.e., mead infused with blueberries), mixed-muscadine wine, Noble muscadine wine, and soon I begin ... paw paw wine.
 

winemaker81

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Earlier this year I made and bottled a Pinot Noir kit for my niece. In progress are Winexpert Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and Australian Chardonnay. These are new WE kits, so we'll see how they turn out.

I purchased 16 lugs of West Coast USA grapes, which I fermented in 4 batches:
  • Merlot 1 with American fermentation oak
  • Merlot 2 with French fermentation oak
  • Zinfandel with American fermentation oak
  • Vinifera blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot) with French fermentation oak
According to what I read, the type of fermentation oak doesn't make any difference. However, the two Merlot are distinctly different. My original intent was a single field blend; however, post fermentation I changed my mind, so there are 2 field blends in separate barrels plus I reserved a small amount of the varietals for later comparison:
  • 15 gallons free run wine: 67% Merlot, 33% Vinifera blend in 54 liter barrel
  • 18 gallons pressed wine: 40% Merlot, 40% Zinfandel, 20% Vinifera blend in 54 liter barrel
  • 1+ gallon Merlot 1
  • 1+ gallon Merlot 2
  • 1+ gallon Zinfandel
  • 1+ gallon Vinifera blend
6 gallons Sauvignon Blanc, which was an unplanned purchase -- someone backed out of a 50 gallon barrel buy so I snagged what was available.

If the above wasn't complicated enough, I made a second run wine from the reds, which is 50% Merlot, 25% Zinfandel, and 25% Vinifera blend.
 

winemaker81

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I'm sorta new (just began last year), so my list is short and maybe pedestrian
Pedestrian? If anything, your wine list is more interesting than most. My list is actually rather typical .... not that it honestly matters. If each of us is satisfied with our results? Hey! We're good!

Never had pawpaw wine, nor heard of anyone making it. I checked -- there are several large growers within 25 miles of me. I'm always looking for something new to try ....
 

bobofthenorth

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I did the wine thing years ago and then life got in the way and I gave all my gear to an adult son. This spring I decided to start up again and haunted FB marketplace & Kijiji until I had more rigging than I thought I would ever use for a fraction of what I paid for stuff last time around. Today I bottled my first kit wine - a WinExpert Washington Classic Riesling. I've got a W.E. Stag Leap Merlot in a carboy on oak where it will likely stay for at least a year before I bottle it. I also did a 1st rack on some Dragon Blood this morning then cold crashed it in my porch where temps hit -15 last night and did a 2nd racking and degas late this afternoon. I put the fruit loose in the fermenter so I had a bit of a mess but its all good now. I've got a batch of hard cider that's still bubbling pretty aggressively and I'm getting a batch of Skeeter Piss started. My W.E. store is a 3 hour drive away from me or I'd have a couple more W.E. kits on the go too.

We don't drink much white wine but that W.E. Riesling might change that. I'll definitely do more of those. We kept a boat on Vancouver Island for several years and while we were on the boat we got used to making wine at one of those places where you give them your credit card and then come back 6 months later to bottle your wine. The store we used made exclusively W.E. kits and we fell in love with the Stag Leap Merlot. We spent many a pleasant evening anchored getting potted on that wine. We've got a couple of Hobie Kayaks with the Mirage drives so I could go cruising around the anchorage with a glass of wine and have my hands free for drinking.
 

Bossbaby

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5gal elderberry, 2gal BlackBerry/elderberry, 2gal mixed berry, 1 gal pumpkin, 2 gal peach, 5 gal w.e. cab sauv, 5 gal w.e. shiraz. looking at doing a w.e. white wine soon not sure which one yet.. if there is anything positive about Covid is it makes more time to play in the wine room..😉
 

winemaker81

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@Bossbaby, what do you like in whites? I have a WE Australian Chardonnay in production, which is lightly oaked and should be satisfying to a range of tastes.

In 2018 I made a RJS Verdicchio, which was crisp and vibrant like a Vouvray as a young wine, but mellowed into a great complement for whitefish, seafood, and chicken. I'll make this one again. It's been drinkable since 6 months in the bottle, changes regularly, and never disappoints.
 
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First batcher here, I’m making a medium bodied red wine from ABC kits. I forget what verietel I think its a cabernet but ive been so consumed with the “making”process that ive forgotten. just did my first ever racking the other day going to let it age now and i will be starting another batch of something anything!
So excited to learn this side of wine.
 

Rembee

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Presently making 6 gallons of Skeeter Pee, 1 gallon of apple cinnamon back sweetened with brown sugar and 2 gallons of what I call my musberry wine...5 lbs of noble muscadine's and 6 lbs of blueberries with 8ozs of black steeped tea, 40 freshly cracked peppercorns and 4oz of raisins.
I grow my own blueberries and muscadines.
 

Rembee

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I'm trying to guess what that tastes like -- the peppercorns was unexpected. It sounds interesting.
They give a slight bite as an after tone on the back of the tongue. The peppercorns actually pair very well with the acidity of the black tea and the some what of a plum taste from the raisins. Initial the aroma and fore ground taste is a blend of the muscadine/blueberries. Then the astringency of the black tea like a tannin taste, hints the sides of your mouth.
You can also smell a hint of the peppercorns hidden in the back ground of a very pleasant aroma of the berries.
I ever so lightly crack the peppercorns between 2 spoons as not to crush them to much. Then add them after the first racking and I will let them sit for at least a month.
 

Rembee

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Over the years my wife and I have found that 20 peppercorns per gallon of must is just right for our taste. I only add them to my muscadine and blueberry wines. They are not over powering and add just enough of a bite and complexity that will make you think....hmmm what is that?
Originally being from the New Orleans area I love to experiment with different spices and come up with a twist to my wine recipes. It's part of the fun and experience of what we do is it not? Lol
 
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