Wild Grape Wine Questions

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SeniorHobby

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Thanks VinesnBines,
After I posted the question I found the original recipe and noticed the process. I followed the recipe given but didn't check the sg when I started (beginning wine maker yet). I will check it to see where I am at. I did just shake the carboy and it had lots of bubbling going on so I think I am ok. I will let you know how it goes!
 

VinesnBines

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Keep on shaking! Just take a reading now and go from there. I love this stuff; cross between wine and beer. I brew beer too so have to remember that not everyone has a handle on beer processes.

I just beer get done. Sometimes I take a reading of SG but beer will tell me when it is done. Krausen will fall and the beer clears, then I bottle or keg.
 

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Keep on shaking! Just take a reading now and go from there. I love this stuff; cross between wine and beer. I brew beer too so have to remember that not everyone has a handle on beer process.
Great, I was hoping when I was shaking it that I was doing the right thing. After reading the recipe I saw that they recommended putting in a bottling bucket. I don't have one of those. I was wondering if this can be used for the carbonation process. I don't have a keg either. Can you give me an idea of what is a good keg type. I am pondering the carbonation thing and a little hesitant because of the explosion possibilities! I do like the possibilities of the lemonade recipe for other flavors!
 

VinesnBines

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Just bottle it like wine if you choose. I have a beer kegging system and keg in corny kegs. The system can be a bit pricy. Lo Basico Ball Lock Keg System (USED KEG) Adding the CO2 tank (empty) adds about $82 so a keg system is about $200. Unless you plan to keg wine or beer; probably not a good purchase.

No concerns of explosions with carbonation; getting the keg to seal can be a pain as can be leaks around fittings and the regulator. But when it all goes well, kegging is great! I use a lot of keg lube and new gaskets.
 

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Just bottle it like wine if you choose. I have a beer kegging system and keg in corny kegs. The system can be a bit pricy. Lo Basico Ball Lock Keg System (USED KEG) Adding the CO2 tank (empty) adds about $82 so a keg system is about $200. Unless you plan to keg wine or beer; probably not a good purchase.

No concerns of explosions with carbonation; getting the keg to seal can be a pain as can be leaks around fittings and the regulator. But when it all goes well, kegging is great! I use a lot of keg lube and new gaskets.
Thanks,
That is the answer I was looking for. It can get quite costly if you want to go "all in" with this whole process. A few more questions, do I need to bottle it? If this is something that will be used up rather quickly (not by me only! HaHa) would it be fine to leave it in a carboy? If I do bottle it, skip the carbonation part?
As long as I have a listening ear, do you have your own grapes? I am seriously thinking about planting some grapes this year. Background; I live in Minnesota on heavy black soil with lots of clay interspersed. It is quite windy where I live but that doesn't stop the mold from coming out as my tomato plants do get it every year. I give them a complete haircut (except for a few on top) of leaves about three times a year just to keep the mold out. I am thinking about planting the vines on the South side of an evergreen grove I have. This area gets extreme South sun and is about the driest part of my yard as well it gets good air circulation (evergreens are trimmed up to about 10 ft). Do you think the evergreens might contribute to an environment that might be too acidic for grape plants?
 

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Thanks,
That is the answer I was looking for. It can get quite costly if you want to go "all in" with this whole process. A few more questions, do I need to bottle it? If this is something that will be used up rather quickly (not by me only! HaHa) would it be fine to leave it in a carboy? If I do bottle it, skip the carbonation part?
As long as I have a listening ear, do you have your own grapes? I am seriously thinking about planting some grapes this year. Background; I live in Minnesota on heavy black soil with lots of clay interspersed. It is quite windy where I live but that doesn't stop the mold from coming out as my tomato plants do get it every year. I give them a complete haircut (except for a few on top) of leaves about three times a year just to keep the mold out. I am thinking about planting the vines on the South side of an evergreen grove I have. This area gets extreme South sun and is about the driest part of my yard as well it gets good air circulation (evergreens are trimmed up to about 10 ft). Do you think the evergreens might contribute to an environment that might be too acidic for grape plants?
Hi Again,
I am sitting on about 10 gallons of wild grape wine that is a little acidic. I am reading about MLF and think that I am going to try it. The book I'm reading talks about Malic & Lactic Acid test strips so you know what you are dealing with. I checked Midwest Wine Supply Store and they just carry a acid testing kit. Do you use acid testing strips and if so, what brand & where can I find them.
Thanks,
Senior Hobby
 

VinesnBines

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Thanks,
That is the answer I was looking for. It can get quite costly if you want to go "all in" with this whole process. A few more questions, do I need to bottle it? If this is something that will be used up rather quickly (not by me only! HaHa) would it be fine to leave it in a carboy? If I do bottle it, skip the carbonation part?
As long as I have a listening ear, do you have your own grapes? I am seriously thinking about planting some grapes this year. Background; I live in Minnesota on heavy black soil with lots of clay interspersed. It is quite windy where I live but that doesn't stop the mold from coming out as my tomato plants do get it every year. I give them a complete haircut (except for a few on top) of leaves about three times a year just to keep the mold out. I am thinking about planting the vines on the South side of an evergreen grove I have. This area gets extreme South sun and is about the driest part of my yard as well it gets good air circulation (evergreens are trimmed up to about 10 ft). Do you think the evergreens might contribute to an environment that might be too acidic for grape plants?
It is a quick drinker but also lower in alcohol so oxygen will be more damaging. I've never kept it in a carboy more than a couple weeks so I have no idea what will happen. If you were planning a party, I'd say skip the bottles and drink it up. I still think you would prefer to stick in some kind of bottle for storage. Use the sorbate and forget carbonation. Mix it with Sprite or Ginger ale if you want a fizz.

I do have a vineyard in the mountains of Virgina. You probably should start a new thread with questions because there are several Minnesota growers in the Forum and several U Minn cultivars that will work on your site. Evergreens are no problem for grapes, just don't let the pines shade the grapes. Grapes like sun.
 

ChuckD

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Check your fermentation with a hydrometer. It should have started about 1.040 - 1.050 and ferment in one to two weeks to dry. .998 or thereabouts. It will start to clear as it hits 1.000 or lower. Keep it under airlock because it is lower alcohol; more like beer than wine.

As soon as it is dry, in a large sauce pan, add between 4 to 8 cups cane sugar (I use 4 but you should add 4 to the whole batch then taste; add more if necessary for your taste), 2 cans lemonade concentrate, and 3 cups water and, stirring continuously, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and dissolve 3.5 teaspoons of potassium sorbate. Add lemonade/sugar/sorbate solution to a 7 gal bottling bucket. Rack the fermented lemonade from your carboy into bottling bucket with the sorbate solution, stirring thoroughly.

You can bottle in beer or wine bottles, or you can keg. Even with the sorbate, you will probably get a little bit of carbonation as it sits, but it is usually not enough to pop a cork. I usually keg, and force carbonate.

It is ready to drink on bottling day.

Here is the original recipe: Full Hard Lemonade recipe
I started one on Saturday but it’s in a primary bucket in a 75 degree room and fizzing like mad. I missed the part about fermenting in the carboy. Should I rack it into a carboy before it hits “dry”?
 
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A few more questions, do I need to bottle it? If this is something that will be used up rather quickly (not by me only! HaHa) would it be fine to leave it in a carboy? If I do bottle it, skip the carbonation part?
If you have them, you can bottle in gallon jugs, as you may use a gallon up fast enough to avoid oxidation. Also, once opened for consumption, keep the jug in the fridge to slow oxidation.

I buy Carlo Rossi Burgundy and Chablis in 4 liter bottles. I decant the jug into five 750 ml and one 375 ml, and use them for cooking. The wine is $17, a new jug is $10, so the wine is $1.25 per 750.
 

VinesnBines

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I started one on Saturday but it’s in a primary bucket in a 75 degree room and fizzing like mad. I missed the part about fermenting in the carboy. Should I rack it into a carboy before it hits “dry”?
You probably are fine but if you have a lid for the bucket, you might pop it down with an airlock. Don't let it stay out of airlock after it finishes fermentation. I've just always fermented under airlock.
 

ChuckD

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You probably are fine but if you have a lid for the bucket, you might pop it down with an airlock. Don't let it stay out of airlock after it finishes fermentation. I've just always fermented under airlock.
It’s going fast. I’ll transfer it before it hits 1.010 or so.

I also noted that the recipe doesn’t include k-meta. I didn’t add it to the “must” since I figured there’s no real fruit so shouldn’t have any wild yeast to kill off. What about pre-bottling? I would think the standard dose would be beneficial.
 
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VinesnBines

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No kmeta. This is a beer rather than wine. Not a long storage beverage. It won't last long enough for you to worry about oxidation or long storage. It will go down fast. Let me know if I am wrong.
 

ChuckD

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No kmeta. This is a beer rather than wine. Not a long storage beverage. It won't last long enough for you to worry about oxidation or long storage. It will go down fast. Let me know if I am wrong.
Me thinks you will be right. It’s at 1.024 tonight and if I degassed it and put it on ice it would be very drinkable as-is!
 

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Me thinks you will be right. It’s at 1.024 tonight and if I degassed it and put it on ice it would be very drinkable as-is!
Hello ChuckD,
I think I am just a step ahead of you with the Skeeter Pee recipe. I tested mine today and the sg is at 1.0 so it won't be long. I am seeing a buildup on the bottom so I will probably be racking as soon as it's done fermenting. Does anybody know an approximate number of times to rack, or just follow the norm, watch the lees?
 

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Hello ChuckD,
I think I am just a step ahead of you with the Skeeter Pee recipe. I tested mine today and the sg is at 1.0 so it won't be long. I am seeing a buildup on the bottom so I will probably be racking as soon as it's done fermenting. Does anybody know an approximate number of times to rack, or just follow the norm, watch the lees?
From what I have read you rack it once after fermentation is complete, let it clear, then stabilize, sweeten and bottle.
 

VinesnBines

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You don't rack my hard lemonade. It clears in primary. The beauty of my recipe is it is easy and fast. No extra steps are necessary, no k-meta, no stabilization. It is a malted lemon drink with no more than 7% AVB. Too much racking or O2 can make it funky though with the lemon flavor, you probably wouldn't notice.
Check the original recipe: Full Hard Lemonade recipe
 

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You don't rack my hard lemonade. It clears in primary. The beauty of my recipe is it is easy and fast. No extra steps are necessary, no k-meta, no stabilization. It is a malted lemon drink with no more than 7% AVB. Too much racking or O2 can make it funky though with the lemon flavor, you probably wouldn't notice.
Check the original recipe: Full Hard Lemonade recipe
Thanks!
I'll just keep watching it then!!
 

ChuckD

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Of course when I copied the recipe I didn’t include the part about doing all the fermentation in a carboy. I don’t trust it sitting in a bucket long enough to clear, Even with a sealing lid, so I’ll be racking mine to a carboy tonight.
 
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