Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Blackberry Wine

2017 Blackberry Wine

I saw the blackberries on sale after Christmas for just 0.77 for a six ounce pack. Good prices, and they looked OK. When I tasted them, I wasn't impressed, so I dramatically reduced the amount of water trying to concentrate the flavor.

The 2016 wine isn't that flavorful, so that is a factor too. I am going to try to sweeten it.

6 lb water 12.5 lb blackberries from Mexico; Nature’s Partner by Giumarra International, Los Angeles
5 lb sugar
½ lemon - juice only
4 g pectic enzyme
4 g yeast energizer
1 Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast

I adjusted the sugar content to 24.8 which should make a fairly strong 15% wine. I think a wine like this should be strong. 

Below is the photo I took so that I could paint a label. I decided it would be too hard to paint, and I am going to use the photo. I will eventually try to paint it though. Looks hard.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

I find Cabernet Sauvignon a variable wine: sometimes good and sometimes just OK.  The grapes at the grape dealer were tasty, and so here we are.

Cabernet Sauvignon Recipe

108 lb Merlot grapes
Pressed grape skins from 72 lb of Cabernet Sauvignon
4 g pectic enzyme
11 g Yeast Energizer
packets of Red Star Montrachet

The grapes were sweet and I did not add sugar. It should make 13.5% alcohol. 

I squeezed the grapes and let them ferment for 7 days, and then pressed. The fermentation was pretty fast. 

The yield was 34 liters. 

2016 Malbec

The 2016 Melbec needs to begin with a nod to the 2012 Melbec, which being born in disaster and floundering over many years, finally turned out to be excellent. The new 2016 Melbec will be made with quality grapes rather than a weak juice from Chile & supplemented with fruit from the produce department.

I picked the Melbec because it had the best flavor of the grapes in the cooler at my grape distributor. The grapes were both juicy and sweet at 25.2 Brix for 13.2% alcohol which is fine.

The grapes were so juicy that the crates kept leaking juice on the floor.

2016 Melbec recipe

144 lb Melbec grapes (Coliveta, Stockton CA)
12 g yeast energizer
4 g pectic enzyme
2 packs Red Star Montrachet

The fermentation was very fast, and it was ready to press in just 4 days. Once it was in the carboy it hardly bubbled.

I got 38 liters, so pretty good.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Riesling

I got to the grape dealer early this year, and they had Riesling in stock. Other years they have been sold out.

These grapes were very juicy --so juicy that the crates left a trail of grape juice when I carried them down the basement. As you might expect with juicy grapes the sugar level was low at 18 degrees Brix, which will make 9% alcohol. On the low side for me. Other years I would add sugar to get to 12%, but having been chastised by Grace, my son's girlfriend, for making only over-strong wines, I decided to leave this alone this year. Rieslings are often on the weak side. This Riesling will be finished dry.

I also did not kill the natural yeast with sulfite so that my wife might potentially drink it. Being more natural this year, I hope I don't regret it.

Riesling Grape Recipe

144 lb Riesling wine grapes (Pia; Madera, California)
10 g pectic enzyme
16 g yeast energizer
1 Pack Red Star Premier Cuvee

Other years I have added oranges or orange peel, but not this year. In the past I have added potassium carbonate as well. I will watch the pH, or perhaps taste it after the initial ferment.

I let the grapes warm to room temperature, crushed them (about 90 minutes), then pressed them. I added the additives. The fermentation was rapid with vigorous fermentation within a few hours.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

2016 Raspberry Wine

I was so happy with last year's raspberry wine that I had to try it again. I really liked the aroma, and it blends so well with white grape wine

2016 Raspberry Wine Recipe

12.5 lb water
12.75 lb raspberries (Driscoll's, Watsonsville CA)
3 lb blackberries (Natureripe, Martinez GA)
7 lb sugar
1 lime - juice only
5 g pectic enzyme
5 g yeast energizer
1 Premier Curvee

I put the berries in the blender to make a puree. Dissolved the sugar in water, added it to the puree, and then checked the sugar content by refractive index. It came back at 30.4 brix which makes 16.5% alcohol. I added water down to 13.5% to give the recipe above. It produced 4.5 gallon of must.


January 2017 Update
The wine wasn't fruity enough, and I thought it was too heavy as well.

I decided to try to sweeten it. I added another 4.5 pounds of sugar to the 15 L of wine that I had. I also added 2 teaspoons of potassium sorbate. Hopefully the sorbate will prevent further fermentation.

Initially, the new sweet version seems much fruiter. I don't know why that is, but it is much better. The bitter off-flavors seem to be gone as well.

Wife Jenny is very pleased with the taste of it that I gave her.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Banana Wine Recipe

I've never made Banana Wine, but I thought I'd put the recipe here in case I ever needed it. This is from  Phillip Pierrard on Facebook.

3-1/2 lb. bananas 
1 lb. chopped golden raisins 
2 lb. granulated sugar 
1-1/4 tsp. acid blend 
1 tsp. pectic enzyme 
1/4 tsp. grape tannin 
1 gallon water 
wine yeast

Slice bananas into thin discs, leaving skins on fruit. 
Put into grain-bag, tie top, and place in 6 pints water. 
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. 
Remove grain-bag to bowl to catch drippings while pouring liquor over sugar in primary fermentation vessel and stirring well to dissolve sugar
.Add acid blend, pectic enzyme and tannin, stirring again. 
When grain-bag cools, squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible and add liquid and drippings to liquor, discarding pulp. 
When liquor cools to 70 degrees fahrenheit, add yeast and nutrient.
Cover and set in warm place for seven days, stirring daily. 
Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit airlock, and move to cooler place, leaving undisturbed for two months. 
Siphon off sediment, add chopped raisins, and add water to bring to one gallon. 
Ferment another four months. 
Rack and allow to clear. 
Rack again and bottle. 
May taste after six months, but matures at two years. 

[Adapted from passed-on recipe, source unknown, taken from Jack Keller's site]