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Topic: small batch winemaking  (Read 6774 times)
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« on: June 17, 2010 12:15:25 PM »

Hello, hi everyone. This is my first post. I've been lurking.

Maybe this isn't exactly food, but it's ingestable, and I wanted to share so here it is.

I've been making wine in one gallon batches, one gallon every month, since February (still have to make the June batch, cherries maybe, I missed out on the roses cause I was lazy)

Here are the four wines I have going:

In order of oldest to newest:
Pumpkin, tamarind, rhubarb, passion fruit

They are all clearing really nicely, but I still don't have the faintest idea whether or not they taste good. Gotta wait a year or so to find out. Hopefully they're alright, cause I guess by then I'll have 12.  Smiley

The pumpkin is the prettiest, I used brown sugar and it turned a great color.

I've been using effectively the same recipe, just with different fruits and different sugars, it's about 2lbs sweetener (brown sugar for the pumpkin, agave for the passion fruit, regular evaporated cane juice for the other two) some tannin (I've used a whole bunch of raisins, but I didn't like feeling like I wasted all those raisins, and black tea), fruit in varying amounts (only 2c passion fruit or tamarind, but they're potent fruits, 6c rhubarb or pumpkin) and a package of wine yeast. And a lot of sterilizing. Lots of sterilizing.

Boil water, add sugar, pour over fruit in a bucket, add tannin, acid of some kind (hard to say how much really I needed, since the fruits I used had wildly varying amounts of acid naturally), some yeast nutrient and energizer just to be on the safe side, and add yeast after it cools.

It's been really fun, hopefully they all turn out well, in 2011... Smiley

Thank you for looking. Smiley
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010 12:33:50 PM »

the pumpkin wine looks delicious! I know nothing about wine brewing but that is a really neat idea.

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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010 12:41:50 PM »

What a great idea -- a gallon of wine per month.  And of all different flavors Shocked 

Looking good!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010 12:52:32 PM »

Cool beans! Now I want to make wine. I wonder if my friend will be ok with making it in our place once I move? And the pumpkin sounds amazing! And so does the tamarind one.

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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010 12:54:40 PM »

Bravo!!  I love it when people make their own stuff!  Sure, it's cheaper to buy jam/quilts/wine/etc. from Walmart, but the quality and taste...dreadful!  Not to mention you know what is really being put INTO it, too!  I also like the fact that you did some fruit that you don't normally see on the shelves.  Variety is the spice of life!

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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010 12:55:38 PM »

Neat!  I can't wait to find out how this comes out!  My husband brews his own beer, and has made hard cider before, but we haven't tried making wine yet....

« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010 01:34:35 PM »

Heh, I actually wanted to make beer, which is what started this whole year long project. I kept hearing from people that beer is harder than wine, and that there isn't any point in making less than 5 gallons of beer, and that seemed like a pretty heavy investment, for the ingredients and the equipment.

There's lots of recipes out there for one gallon wine though, and I work in the produce department of a food coop, so I get all the damaged food I want! Cheesy That's how I ended up with tamarind and passion fruit, and pumpkin for that matter. The rhubarb came from the back yard.

So it was pretty cheap, just sugar and little things, and the equipment was easy too, big pots and gallon jugs, which are pretty standard equipment in our house.

I know now that I could make a gallon of beer if I wanted to and naysayers can be damned. Smiley But I'm still really glad I'm doing this, it's been a real education in fermenting.
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010 01:45:10 PM »

This sounds fantastic. I may have to attempt to try to do this. I've always wanted to make wine.
Thank you for the instructions. The pumpkin one sounds really good.

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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010 02:15:17 PM »

That is so cool!  A friend of mine and I tried brewing mead one time.  It didn't end well at all.  I would totally be willing to try again, though.  You have to post an update once you find out how they taste!

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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010 02:29:18 PM »

Nice work! Good clarity on the pumpkin.

Did you put any spices in the pumpkin wine? (My brain keeps thinking of pumpkin juice at Hogwarts if you speak HP. Wink )

I think when it comes to brewing beer vs. wine, it depends on perspective. Both require a certain level of sanitation to ensure that you don't contaminate your beverage. Wine is easier in setting up but takes longer to ferment to the point that it's drinkable. Beer, meads, melomels and cysers (i.e. "meads" made with fruit juices, not just honey) are more tedious from the beginning but can produce a something drinkable in a much shorter amount of time.

Regardless, most all home brewing involves an investment in time and space over the long term. Oh, and paper towels and mops if something goes wrong along the way. Wink

Oh the story of an old boyfriend who had a batch of his mead explode in my closet...yeah, those were the days. LOL!
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