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"Making Wine"

Always Wine'n

The goal of this page is to share some recipes for making wine that I have tried, to let you know what worked and what didn't. This is not a technical page so if you are looking for that kind of information your search is not ended. I will however, list ingredients and tell you in plain English what process I used and how the wine turned out. Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoy the visit! Boozer!

A Toast to Wine

Forsake not an old friend,
for the new is not comparable to him.
A new friend is as new wine:
when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
-Ecclesiastes 9:10

"Making Wine"

Wine can be made from many different items, I have seen recipes for "pea Pod" wine and "carrot" wine is very popular. Use your imagination and don't be afraid to make mistakes in ingredients, you just may come across a winner!

As with beer and wine both. Care (extreme care) must be given to sanitation. The rule of thumb is "if it touches the wine, it must be sanitized". It is easy to relax and "Cheat" when taking a sample for Hydrometer readings, etc., but don't risk it. It is not worth having an off tasting beverage, just to save one or two minutes in the kitchen.

I have seen pages on the Internet that tell you to boil fresh or frozen fruit to extract the juice. I am not going to tell you not too....but....I have had terrible results by doing this and have talked to others that have had the same experience as myself. So your saying "what do you do then?" I try to freeze any fruit before I use it. It is not only convenient to save some fruit for making wines in the winter months but it helps break down the fruit and allow easier juice removal.

Have a good wine recipe you would like to share? Send it in and put "wine recipe" in the message box of the E-mail. Write the recipe like you would like it to be seen on this page and I will convert it to html. Happy wine making, DaBoozer!

The Recipes

RHUBARB WINE

2 1/2 Gallons

  • 10 pounds Rhubarb
  • 2 gallons water
  • 7 pounds granulated sugar
  • 1 pound raisins
  • 3 medium lemons
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 package wine yeast

Wash and chop rhubarb into 1 inch pieces and add to fermentation vessel. Boil water and pour it over cut rhubarb. Crush rhubarb until it is mashed. Let stand for 7 days, mash each day. Press fruit to remove juice. Add juice to secondary fermentation vessel. Disolve sugar in juice and heat. Cut up raisins into little pieces and add to mixture. Wash and slice the lemons and orange, add to vessel. Disolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and add to vessel. Fermentation takes approx 2 weeks. Allow to settle and clear. Bottle and cork when clear. Allow to age for a minimum of 1 year. The longer the better. (This is the hardest part, but patience pays tremendous dividends)

RASPBERRY CURRENT WINE

1 Gallon

  • 3 1/2 lbs raspberries
  • 3 1/2 lbs currants
  • 8 lbs sugar
  • 1 Package wine yeast
  • 1 tsp. nutrient (optional but helps yeast to work quicker and more thoroughly)
  • 2 campden tablets (optional but helps to clear wines quicker)

Blend fruits using a food processor. Boil pulp in enough water to cover for 2 hours. Strain pulp and add to extracted juice. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast, sugar, nutrients, and campden tablets.

Cover loosely and protect from insects. Stir daily, skimming off foam, for 1 week. Let stand another 2 weeks then siphon into another container. (When siphoning, do not siphon the sludge from the bottom of container.) Continue standing and siphoning process every 2 to 4 weeks until wine is clear.

Bottle and let stand a couple months for best flavor. This wine is good when bottled but, as in all wines, improves with age.

CRAB APPLE WINE

4 to 5 Gallons (depends on how it clears)

This batch started at almost 6 gallons. It is just started and I hope to get about 20 bottles when I am done.
  • 16 pounds Crab Apples (stems removed and cut into quarters)
  • 2 cans frozen grape juice concentrate
  • 3 gallons water
  • 6 pounds sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pectin
  • 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 1 to 2 packages champagne yeast

I was not ready to make this wine when the fruit was ripe so I froze it for later use. All ingredients other than the yeast and nutrient were added to the fermentation vessel. I boiled the water before adding it and poured it over the fruit at boiling temperature. The fruit will need crushed and the juice extracted. I have not gotten that far yet. Normally you should mash the fruit for about a week and then collect all of the liquid in a boiling pot. Boil this and allow to cool. I usually start in plastic and rack to glass. When the juice mixture reaches pitching temperature add yeast and nutrient.

12/2/98 Update: Well it has been a couple of months since the top part of this was written. I am learning as I go. I found that if you freeze the fruit it is much easier to work with. After the first week of stirring just the fruit and water, I crushed the Crab Apples and got as much juice as I could. I ended up with about 3 gallons of juice and water mixture after I added the rest of the ingredients. I used some champagne yeast and a little nutrient and we were rolling. Like I said that was a couple of months ago. The wine is aging in a five gallon carboy right now. I plan on bottling this weekend. Oh yes, I tried it at bottling time and it is GOOD. I can hardly wait for about three months to see how it is going to age.

PLUM WINE

5 Gallons

I was forced to clean out the freezer so got this one started and look forward to reporting its progress!

Special thanks for the plums to John, Cheryl, Sammie, and Katie!

  • 12 pounds frozen plums
  • 2 cans frozen grape juice concentrate
  • 3 gallons water
  • 10 pounds sugar
  • 2 tea bags
  • 2 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 2 packages cuvee yeast

The plums were brought in from the freezer and allowed to thaw. I then boiled the water and poured it over the fruit in a plastic carboy. The sugar and tea bags were then added. The mixture was left to cool over night. I covered the carboy and sealed it with a fermentation lock. In the morning the yeast was started and added. Temperature of the must was 78 degrees F. Yeast was started in 80 degree water with yeast nutrient added. Fermentation was going well within 24 hours.

CHOKE CHERRY WINE

2 Gallons

Brew Start Date: 1/1/99

Big Thank-you to my sister and her hubby as well as Icabod and Tooney for the Choke Cherries!!
  • 4 Pounds Choke Cherries
  • 2 Pounds raisins
  • Juice from 1 Orange
  • 5 pounds sugar
  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 Camden tabs
  • 1 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • 1 packages yeast (Premium Cuvee)

I am trying a different approach with this one. I want to make a sweeter wine so I am going to bump up the alcohol content eventually. I started by crushing the choke cherries. I used a potato masher and it seemed to work well. Make sure not to crush the pits as they are extremely bitter. I used the food processor on the raisins. These were added to a 2.8 gallon glass carboy (a Christmas present compliments of the pickers). I boiled the water and the sugar to dissolve the sugar and make it more easily fermentable. This water and sugar mix was allowed to cool to 80 degrees and then added to the fruit along with the Camden. I let this sit for 2 days and then added the yeast which was started in the yeast starter at 80 degrees. Things are looking good so far. More as things settle down.

Updated 1/5/99
Email: Kevin White