My Home Wine Making
As some of you may know, I enjoy another hobby of wine making. After putting on 7 gallons of wine today (it will make about 36 bottles) I thought I'd just go a little in depth as to the process and what all is involved in case anyone else would be interested in doing this!
Batch 1: Apfelwein
I fell in love with this in Germany a few years ago, and when I got back to the states I started making my own...this got me into the hobby!
1 5 Gallon Carboy (reusable)-$30
10 Gallons 100% Apple Juice- $20
2 Pounds Dextrose-$3
1 Packet Montrachet Wine Yeast- $0.30
I put on 5 gallons today.
I mix 10 1/2 gallons of 100% apple juice (no preservatives is important!) with .2 pounds of dextrose confectioners sugar added to each bottle. Next, I pour it all into a sterilized 5 gallon glass carboy and add 1 packet activated Montrachet Wine yeast (1 Packet can be used for up to a 6 gallon mix).
I put an airlock on it and allow it to sit for about 3 months. It is fine after 1, but apfelwein is traditionally pretty dry and the longer it sits, the more sugar is converted to alcohol. After 3 months it is approximately 14% alcohol won't go up much from there.
After 3 months I siphon off the wine into wine bottles (I buy them for $2 or so, but they are reusable and you can use recycled store bottles or even gallon jugs...just STERILIZE THEM).
Makes 24 bottles of wine.
Then I put on 1 gallon each of Red Grape Wine and Grape Raspberry Wine
2 Gallons Distilled Water (Store bought for the sterile containers!)-$1.40
2 Cans Each of Grape and Grape/Raspberry 100% Juice concentrate
2.5 Pounds Sugar- Cheap (Not special sugar)
1 Packet Red Wine Yeast-$0.30
1 Packet Yeast Nutrient-$1.00
For each flavor I boil a quart of distilled water on the stove, then mix in 1.25 lbs sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat, mix in 2-12oz containers 100% juice concentrate and yeast(no preservatives!). Next I funnel this back into the sterile empty gallon container. Add water to make 1 gallon. After it is cooled to room temperature I mix in a half pack of activated red wine yeast. Put a balloon over the top and poke 5 tiny holes in the thick part of the balloon..this allows CO2 to escape from the yeast while not letting germs in. Allow to sit for 4-6 weeks, then siphon off into bottles! Makes 5 bottles per gallon.
After you siphon off the liquid, you can reuse the yeast left behind if you immediately start a new batch of wine!
You only need yeast nutrient if you use distilled water, the yeast needs some of the chemicals that are dissolved in tap water to reproduce!
I will add some pictures soon and hope to inspire some people to try this! Feel free to ask any questions about the process/finished product that you would like!
-My 5 gallons of apfelwein bubbling away already!
Last edited by Vbkid; 11-06-2011 at 09:16 PM.
Just got home, happy to see my smaller gallon batches are fermenting already!
Originally Posted by Vbkid
That was one of my hobbies when I was a young man: Making apfelwein (apple wine) from apples, water, sugar and wine yeast.
It's fun if it works, and I can verify: It's not very complicated.
My wine production was a lot more work, as I didn't start with "apple juice", I started with apples. Our family had a household steam juice extractor and the first step was to get apple juice from the apples.
Or the apples had just been cut into small pieces, mixed with some initial sugar, water and wine yeast for a "mash" for three days and then the mash had been pressed through cotton cloth to get a fruity brewing soup.
The Hessians in Germany have a traditional apfelwein called "Ebbelwoi" (pronounced something like "apple-woy". This one is acidic indeed. But if you do your own wine from fruits, you are not bound to traditional recipes common in local areas, you can do what you like: When using different types of wine yeast and different amounts of sugar, you can brew different types of apple wine: low alcohol and dry or high alcohol and sweet.
Originally Posted by Vbkid
Heavy, sweet wines with high alcohol need much longer to brew than only a few months. When I do so, I'd calculate from early October starting with brewing until mid of May for the wine ready for bottling. During that time I also siphon the clear wine several times from the discharging yeast at the bottom of the container, so that I have complete crystal clear wine in the end.
Another speciality of mine was wine from rose hips: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_hip
Originally Posted by Vbkid
I always used the big fleshy ones from Rosa rugosa (beach rose). That's even more work as you have to collect and cut the rose hips first. And if you offer such wine from rose hips, nobody is able to guess what type of fruit is in the wine.
I never knew that in the U.S. someone would say the German word apfelwein instead of apple wine.
Did you ever try different fruits than apples and grapes? I think I also tried with pears and redcurrants, but those wines were not half as tasty and good as the wines from apples and rose hips.
I am just starting to branch out, and not quite ready to try my hand at using fresh fruit. However, I plan on ordering some unique juice concentrates like blackberry and such for my next few batches!
Looks good vbk! I'm brewing some apple cider atm from crushed apples. Just replace the wine yeast with beer yeast.
Vb, you need to pipe that precious CO2 into your cp racks
or at least put the carboy in same room LOL
(just teasing... ummmm maybe LOL)
Hmm, I hadn't thought of that! It would be easy enough to put a few gallons on the bottom shelf of my rack once I get everything sealed up...doubt it would make too much of a difference, but definitely can't hurt!