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Posted: 2/25/2009 12:11:44 PM EDT


We made this last fall from some of our apples ,some of the neighbors apples and some we got from
a $3 box at the fruit stand, we juiced them in the juicer shown and fed the pulp to the chickens,
I just racked it this AM from the 5 gallon carboy, the cloudy jug is the dregs,I will rack it again in a few weeks, the other
three gallons are ready to consume.

It is dry and very light flavored but has quite a kick.

here is a tutorial I found on the web. http://www.wikihow.com/Brew-Cheap-Wine

not quite how I do it but close enough.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 12:57:20 PM EDT
You mean hard cider, right?

I have some working right now. 5 gallon carboy.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 1:04:02 PM EDT
very hard cider I added enough sugar to make it 12%, I like it dry ,
if I try to make it higher in alcohol it is too sweet for my taste.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 1:04:32 PM EDT
"Kick" always seems to enter the conversation with homemade wine, doesn't it?

I bet it tastes damn good. Is it carbonated at all or more wine-like?
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 3:51:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2009 4:10:17 PM EDT by georgiarebel6165]
Cool stuff! How do you make apple cider without being alcoholic?

Here's a link to a guy who provides videos for easy home brew of beer and wine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAJKWCdaPq4&feature=channel_page
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 3:58:56 PM EDT
That looks awsome...
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 8:06:55 PM EDT
Is it any good? It looks pretty tempting.
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 8:40:15 PM EDT
Looks Great!

I have a 6 gallon batch of mead that has already fallen out (clarified), you reminded me that I need to start its second fermentation with a yeast that has a higher alcohol tolerance. We like ours strong

For anyone curious about making mead, here is a posting that I published on Tpass.

(Dec 08, 2008)
I brewed another batch tonight, and I made sure that I took some pictures of the process. Do remember that the brewing part is only half of the process, bottling comes later and it harder and more messy than the actual brewing. Bottling comes 6-12 months later.

Above all, the biggest rule is "sterile", everything that comes into contact with the wort after it is cooled needs to be sterile. If this is not the case, it very well may screw up the entire batch! Chlorine is your friend and worst enemy.. Your friend to sterilize and your enemy if you don't remove all traces of it with fresh water.

One thing that I have to say from the get go is that having the right equipment to perfrom the job makes it a lot easier.. I used to brew the wort in only a 2 gallon pot, it made for a lot of guesswork when it came to adding extra water to the carboy prior to the wort being added. Then, I went and bought this.. Holds 9 gallons so I can do a "full wort boil" (even though for mead it is only a simmer).


Ok, to start with we have 15 lbs of honey form a local apiary, they gave it to us really cheap on the auspice that they get a bottle or two of the finished product (no problem, they will probably get 4).



After the honey, water is added to make up the volume that you need to fill the carboy (fermenting jug).

There are several other ingredients that need to be added as well to make sure that all goes well during the fermentation process.



Ingredients that were used this batch:

15 lbs honey
Acid Blend
Gypsum
Irish Moss
Water, enough to bring the total volume to 6 gallons.

City water folks take note! You have chlorine in your water! This will destroy the process unless you boil it out.

Forgot the yeast energizer this run , it is recommended.

Heat the wort to 190F slowly.



Foam and the like will start to show up on the surface, this is not a problem. When the Irish moss is added it will cause all the solids to come to the surface. Image shows what the wort looks like before Irish moss is added.




After the Irish moss is added all the solids will show up on the surface and need to be skimmed off using a fine strainer. The more that you can remove the better. The next picture shows the solids that have come to the surface.



The solids are skimmed off the wort carefully, the more that you disturb the surface the more of the solids that will dive back into the wort. In this case we used a coffee strainer that was made of fine brass screen.

Once the wort has been skimmed, it needs to be cooled as quickly as possible to about 90F, this is a good temp for the yeast to be added. For this batch I used White Labs yeast.



Cooling the wort quickly is the best way to do it. I have seen many different commercial solutions for this that are aimed at the typical home brewer, all are very expensive...

Myself, I decided that I could do it on my own.. A couple years back I made the contraption shown below.. Funny how they cost $100 when it only took me about $20 in materials an a little time..



Anyways, here is it in action.. It only took less than 20 minutes to cool the wort from 190F to 90F using this method.



After the wort is cooled, it is time to pitch the yeast and transfer it to the carboy where it will ferment for approx. 6-9 months (YMMV, fermenting action needs to stop, and the brew needs to "fall out" aka, clear).



Now that it is in the carboy, the only thing that we can do is sit and wait.. The results will not come for months..



Actual Brew Log follows:

15lb Honey
17:00 Added water, full wort simmer in a new pot.
18:00 Reached 160F
- added 4 tsp acid blend
- added 2 tsp gypsum

18:20 186F
- added 3.5 tsp Irish Moss

18:30 Reached 190F
Solids rose shortly after adding Irish Moss.

19:00 start skimming solids off the top of wort.

19:20 wort cooled to 88F using the cooler, yeast pitched while transferring to carboy.

19:30 In the carboy, beginning SG not recorded due to a mental malfunction (not enough wort transferred to the graduated cylinder to make a reading).

Hope this helps everyone interested in brewing.

c0
____________________________
Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Tpass.org
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 8:51:57 PM EDT
Out of curiosity why does the fermentation take so long? Is it the honey or is it just that quality takes time?
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 8:53:28 PM EDT
Wikihow says a couple of weeks, your write up says months; is that because your batch is bigger?
Link Posted: 2/25/2009 9:14:49 PM EDT
I think that it all depends on what you are fermenting. In my case there is an enormous amount of sugar that needs to be processed by the yeast (15lbs of honey).

All of the past batches that I have done take between 6 months and a year for the fermentation to complete. It is important to note that I use two different stages of yeast, the second fermentation is done with champagne yeast due to its higher tolerance to the alcohol levels.

The batch that I currently have running has surprised me in the fact that it has fell out in two months, but it is still slowly bubbling through the airlock which means that the yeast is still active and processing the sugar into alcohol.

Maybe it is the result of me constantly refining my methods as a reasoning on why it went clear so quickly, guess I will find out when I brew the next batch.

Brewing is as much an art as it is a science.

c0
____________________________
Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Tpass.org
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 5:34:12 PM EDT
What kind yeast do you guys use and where do you get it? Online or a local store?
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 5:56:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2009 6:09:57 PM EDT by MrHunterAZ]
Originally Posted By Teague:
What kind yeast do you guys use and where do you get it? Online or a local store?


I use Safale - 04 yeast

It is a light English Ale yeast that does not impart a heavy "yeasty" flavor like many other yeast do. Bought it at a local brewery store.

I also use an AWESOME recipe that is supposed to be the uber gold medal, so says the local brew master, which I agree with.

3 Gallons Organic Apple Cider
2 Gallons Organic Apple Juice
4 Cans Organic Concentrated Apple Juice
Safale-04 Yeast

Mix and ferment for 1 week and then siphon off the brew (to leave behind the dead yeast that has settled at the bottom that can impart a bad flavor as they decay) and let ferment some more for 2-3 weeks until clear. Then siphon off the mixture again and let age for 6 months (if desired).

Now from my research I have found that adding sugar is a big no no in high end brewing. From what I have been told it makes the yeast go after the sugar (glucose) and leave the more complex molecules (including fructose) alone so you basically get alcoholic apple juice vs an apple wine. You can really taste a difference in the final product between a sugar added wine and a pure wine.

In addition to that a good yeast is ubber important, bread yeast imparts a very heavy rotten fruit flavor where a good light ale yeast or the like taste a hell of alot better.

When deciding the time of aging and fermenting you have to decide what you want from your product. Are you trying to make alcohol, ethanol, and thats it? Well then the fermentation process can be done within a few days... If you want a more complex and rounded flavor then it takes time. It also HIGHLY depends upon the strain of yeast you are using. Some ferment fast, others slow, some form complex flavors, some form simple and light flavors.
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 6:45:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/14/2009 7:09:32 PM EDT by Colby]
I have 2, 1-gallon batches of mead going right now. These are the first batches I've ever made, and they aren't nearly as intimidating as some of the more traditional recipes. The recipe I used was from gotmead.com and is called Joe's Ancient Orange. I have no idea how it will turn out at this point, but it is supposed to be relatively fool-proof. I'll find out sometime around next Thanksgiving.

This summer, I intend to make a big batch of hard lemonade, and a small batch of lemoncello.
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 7:01:37 PM EDT
Make quite a bit of mead myself and it is a lot easier to make than beer. I've found the secret to truly great mead is patience, after a couple years it is usually outstanding.
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 9:35:09 PM EDT
I use White Labs Sweet Mead for the first fermentation run, then follow it with Lavlin Champagne yeast. Both are usually available at your local home brew supply.

c0
____________________________
Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Tpass.org
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 9:43:41 PM EDT
This thread is relevant to my interests
Link Posted: 3/13/2009 10:32:33 PM EDT
NIce job! I have been doing the hard cider using organic apple cider and a champagne yeast. It takes about two weeks to complete. After that, add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the mix and rack it into a clean 2 liter pepsi bottle and cap it. After two weeks you will get a decent bubbly cider. If you leave it longer, the bubbles get better, but it is a fine line between blowing up a bottle and having nice bubbles. Doing it this way makes a dry, sweet drink. It is still a bit like cider.

Whatever you do, keep the stuff out of the light, or you end up with a sixgun brew. That is where you point a gun at your buddy's head until he finishes his glass, then you give him the gun and he does the same to you.
Link Posted: 3/14/2009 11:24:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/14/2009 4:15:53 PM EDT
I have just started making kit wine and wanted to buy a book for tips and guidance; I blindly bought "The Joy of Home Winemaking" by Terry Garey from Amazon. While it was not exactly what I was looking for as it does not address kits, it does tell you how to make wine from scratch with supplements from brew supply houses or stuff you can get from non-specialty stores. If you can ignore some of the liberal lingo, it is actually a good book if you want to make wines that way. It is a good addition to the SHTF library.
Link Posted: 3/14/2009 4:29:22 PM EDT
Excellent work I need to start a batch of something and am considering a batch of hard cider and probably some mead after that.
Link Posted: 3/14/2009 5:05:58 PM EDT
First post! I've been lurking here for a while, but this post has enough interest that I want to throw out a few books to read. I've been brewing for 14 years, and have dabbled with ciders, wines and meads as well as a lot of beer during that time.

If you're interested in brewing beer, I can't recommend Charlie Papizian's, The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing I guarantee that this book has gotten more people started homebrewing than any other. It has some old advice, and minor errors, but the general premise is correct. You can't go wrong if you follow any of the directions or recipes in that book. Another recommended author is Jim Palmer, who has a free book online How to Brew

For mead, pick up Ken Schramm's, The Compleat Mead Maker. He lives local to me, and without a doubt makes the best meads that I've ever had. If you live near Royal Oak, MI, B. Nektar Meadery is working with Ken to re-create his Heart of Darkness mead for release sometime later this year. It is UNBELIEVABLE! Brad at B. Nektar is also a great source of info on meadmaking.

Wine, I don't know any good books, I've just applied the experience that I've gotten over the years!

Check out the American Homebrewer's Association, as well as the Home Brewer's Digest (www.hbd.org) for more information.

Happy brewing! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message, or I'll chime in if I see a posting.

K
Link Posted: 3/14/2009 6:29:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MrHunterAZ:

I also use an AWESOME recipe that is supposed to be the uber gold medal, so says the local brew master, which I agree with.

3 Gallons Organic Apple Cider
2 Gallons Organic Apple Juice
4 Cans Organic Concentrated Apple Juice
Safale-04 Yeast



I'm going to give that a try soon. Sounds excellent. All 4 of my carbouys are tied up right now.

Link Posted: 3/14/2009 6:35:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Number21:
I have just started making kit wine and wanted to buy a book for tips and guidance; I blindly bought "The Joy of Home Winemaking" by Terry Garey from Amazon. While it was not exactly what I was looking for as it does not address kits, it does tell you how to make wine from scratch with supplements from brew supply houses or stuff you can get from non-specialty stores. If you can ignore some of the liberal lingo, it is actually a good book if you want to make wines that way. It is a good addition to the SHTF library.


This is a good site and forum.
winepress

What I have found for kits only for the reds is a couple boxes of sunmaid Currants run through a chopper and put in a mesh bag add a ton of body and flavor. You add them during primary fermentation. You have to weigh them down. I use a coffee mug.

The best white wine kit IMO is Mezza Luna white.

1 other thing I do a bit differently is instead of topping off with water I top off with a similiar wine. Much better flavor.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 4:46:18 PM EDT
A couple questions: (I followed the tutorial linked in the OP)
-After the initial 2 weeks I strained it and transferred it to another container. It does not smell pleasant, but I was told it's supposed to smell like that until it's done. Is that right?
-I used coffee filters to strain it, it seemed to take longer then it should have. What do you guys use?
-Some kits have been posted, do you guys recommend buying kits or building your equipment piece by piece?

Thanks, and keep the recipes coming.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 6:51:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Teague:
A couple questions: (I followed the tutorial linked in the OP)
-After the initial 2 weeks I strained it and transferred it to another container. It does not smell pleasant, but I was told it's supposed to smell like that until it's done. Is that right?
-I used coffee filters to strain it, it seemed to take longer then it should have. What do you guys use?
-Some kits have been posted, do you guys recommend buying kits or building your equipment piece by piece?

Thanks, and keep the recipes coming.


What does it smell like? Yeast, you're OK. Vinegar, you're not. Sulfur, probably OK (some yeasts give off a lot of sulpher when they're fermenting.)

I've never strained a wine through any filter. I just wait for it to drop clear, then siphon off of the dregs.

My first brewing adventure, I bought a kit w/ 2 five gallon carboys (glass jugs), a bottling bucket, book, bottles, caps, capper, etc. After numerous brews, I built my own brewery for my senior design project in college. Buy the kit, and learn. Then decide if you want to get crazy and make improvements from the kit.

To make good beer/wine, all you need is a plastic bucket (clean and food grade), some siphon hose, a large stock pot, and that's about it. It really is a simple process. If you want to make beer from the grain (ie, not extract that you buy from the brew store) you need a bit more equipment, but not much.

K
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 10:06:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kmmuellr:
What does it smell like? Yeast, you're OK. Vinegar, you're not. Sulfur, probably OK (some yeasts give off a lot of sulpher when they're fermenting.)

I've never strained a wine through any filter. I just wait for it to drop clear, then siphon off of the dregs.
K


-It was a yeast smell, so good.
-I didn't have any tube to siphon, so I had to filter to get the sediments at the bottom out.
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