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Dutch Winemaker
Nov 5, 2006
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In many US and British recipes for winemaking concentrated juice is used.

Now over here in Holland I never found any concentrated juice in the shops.
Well winemaking shops (some of them, not all) had concentrated grape juice. But juices like Welch's I could never find over here.
Even not when I asked the staff at the groceries. Most of them had never seen it.

So last week I did a bit of googling and to my surprise I found it. It is even widely sold over here. But the shops over here sell it under a different name.

We call it Diksap or Dixap. The last one is the original brand name of the first manufacturer here in the Netherlands.
I was really embarrassed as I have drank it many times dilluted as a refreshing non-alcoholic drink in the summer.

But it is sold at the baby-food departments in the shops, so no wonder I could never find it.....

A whole new world of winemaking opens up........

I made a base recipe and put it on my web-log.
It needs some tweaking but it will get you started.

You will find it at www.wijnmaker.web-log.nl
at the 27 oktober entry.

Fermenting with Raisins

Luc, instead of using yeast packets to ferment, I have tried using raisins.
They seem to be working well as a fermentor for some reason, as long as I stir them daily in the must to keep them from becoming moldy. Have you tried this and would you know what sort of yeast is on raisins? Is it a good yeast for winemaking? So far the must is smelling richer and sweeter than what I get with the yeast packets from the grocery store.

Two Biscuit
Kansas City
Many questions com e to mind.

First what raisins are you using, black or white.
Then are they normal or seedless and which brand.

Next are the raisins treated with sulphite ??
Look at the packaging...

Normally raisins are treated with sulphites to prevent any wild yeast or mold to start growing during transport and shelf life.
So this must be a really strong yeast stain if they survive all the handling and sulphite.

Have you ever made bread with your own yeast ???
It starts with a spoon of wheat mixed with water and stirred well, next day add another spoon with wheat and a spoon of water and stirr well. Next day do the same and add a teenie bit of sugar. Repeat this for a week and you will have a healthy yeast colony for baking bread.
I do this every week.

What am I trying to say is that it might not be the yeast on the raisins but the yeast that float in the air that might have contaminated your must and started fermenting.....

Now practically speaking there is no way you can know upfront if this going to turn out well.
The yeast may produce off-flavors or off-smell. And they can stop fermenting at 5% or at 8%.
They can also provide you with the best wine ever made.

Wild yeast are unpredictable and the only thing you can hope for is that things go well.
That is why no professional winemaker will trust his harvest and therefore income to wild yeast. They can not afford to loose their income.

So it might turn out well and I would not worry to much about it, but I would measure my must regularly to see if alcohol percentage really stays going up until the desired level. I would also smell regularly for off odors.

Then you state:
'than what I get with the yeast packets from the grocery store. '

I presume there is no local home brew show where you can buy regular wine yeast.
From the line above I presume you are using bakers yeast.

Bakers yeast will work for winemaking (like people have done for centuries) but have the same problem as with wild yeast.
An occasional batch may turn bad.

There is however a distinct difference in flavor and taste in wine made with bakers yeast and wine made with wine yeast.
Try it, you might be surprised.


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