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Open Wine Thread

FeralLiberal's picture

Well, the raspberry wine won't be ready for the second racking for another week, and I just racked the apple wine yesterday, so while there's a bit of a lull, I thought I ask if any of you are making wine, or have made wine, or are thinking about making wine. So what have you got fermenting? What would you like to try? I'll be around for the rest of the weekend, so let's talk wine and winemaking.

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FeralLiberal's picture
Submitted by FeralLiberal on

Is no one else making wine these days? Presently, I have Red Currant, Mulberry, Red Raspberry, Concord Grape and Apple in glass. I've got Black Raspberries and wild grapes ready to go into fermentation but I'll either need to get some more carboys or wait until early Dec. when I bottle the currant before I can start that. I also expect to be getting cranberries in a couple of weeks, so there's lots of wine to be made yet.

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I just started really drinking this summer. I will make wine next year.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I've got 8.5 Gallons of my famous, award winning "Bloomer-Dropper" cyser festering in the basement.

7 Gallons of fresh-pressed wild apple juice from the trees in my woods.
15 lb of pumpkin honey.
Sweet mead yeast.

Ferment at 65 degrees. It takes several months to attenuate. Temperature is important. Any higher and it dries out too much and makes fusal alcohols.

It makes a delicate, almost Champaign-like drink that is at about 14% A.B.V and just slides down your throat. It ought to be classified as a date-rape drug.....I generally keg it and force-carbonate for a nice sparkle.

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Pumpkin honey is from a local beekeeper that parks some hives in a pumpkin field. My second favorite is purple loosestrife honey. Buckwheat works, but is a little coarse for the best product. BTW...A little apiarist trade secret... Any honey marked "wildflower" is from an unknown source and is just mutt honey.

I prefer the sweet mead yeast to Champagne yeast as the cyser doesn't dry out as much and has some apple character left. That can happen with sweet mead yeast as well. Cyser is about impossible to predict attenuation time or flavor.

What the pro's do is to let the product dry out, then potassium sorbate it to kill the yeast and back-blend concentrated apple juice to get the flavor they want.

I usually let it be what it will be. Fermenting at 65 helps a lot. After I keg the cyser it is always cold, so there isn't a problem with continuing fermentation.

Blending a bit of concentrated tart cherry juice into the finished cyser makes a really nice "Cherry Bloomer-Dropper".

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5 gallons of Honey Pot Hill cider
5 pounds of local honey
Champagne yeast

It takes a couple weeks in the primary fermentation and at least 3 more before bottling.

I prime it with honey and bottle in 22 ounce bottles. No one has yet finished 2 bottles without a nap. 1 is usually enough to slow you down.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I live in S-Central WI and Loosestrife is definitely invasive and also makes really fine honey.

I have found that the more different varieties of apples, both domestic and wild, that I press into my cyser, the better the product is.

I also stay clear of pasteurized commercial juice as heating sets the pectin and makes for a cloudy product. The cloudiness eventually mostly settles out, but it takes months. Pectinase enzyme helps, but doesn't do the job entirely. If I use commercial juice, I go with UV sterilized juice, as it doesn't cloud up. It is hard to find, though...

FeralLiberal's picture
Submitted by FeralLiberal on

I squeeze out cider too, for general purposes (and making apple molassas) and agree that a blend is usually better. But my wine from a single tree has a definite varietal characteristic that I particularly like.