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 Post subject: Homemade Wine
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:36 am 
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Location: Zone 5B Pennsylvania
I didn’t get around to making my wine this fall and I miss it particularly around the holidays. I was wondering if Wine Making would be a good forum for off gardening season discussion. It might also be a good item for regional plant swaps? :twisted:

John

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:12 am 
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I'd say start with some topics in fruit describing what you do in your vineyard. Take it from there with the processing, etc. I used to grow grapes and make wine (and beer). It was fun!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:54 am 
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My husband makes prickly pear fruit wine. It is so good. When it is new, it is this bright pink color. It tastes young and fresh. When it ages, it gets a more complex flavor and it turns a deep, rich, clear red/purple color. I prefer the young wine myself. It is very sweet, so it goes well as an after dinner drink.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:25 pm 
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I don’t have a vineyard I have only used wine kits. They have been pretty decent though. My mother use to make elderberry, marigold, dandelion and concord. They had a good flavor but to sweet for me. Maybe someone will share there favorite recipes and comment on there attributes.

John :roll:

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 Post subject: cool
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:14 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
I once made some opuntia wine with a friend, it tasted very much like cough syrup. It did have a pleasing pinkish red color to it though. I freeze distilled it in the hopes that reducing the volume would make it go quicker. I think it went bad after a few years and got thrown out. That or I drank it all and lost all recollection of doing so somehow... I think there's quite a variety of opuntia fruit, we just used a couple pails full we collected from a heavilly fruited specimen in the UCDavis arboretum.

Other than that I haven't made wines, however I have been brewing beer since last fall and have 7 5g batches under my belt. I'm pretty much self sufficient on beer now, and only shipping about 12 pounds of stuff and re-using the bottles, rather than shipping 5 boxes of beer is certainly good for the earth as well. I just got a couple soda kegs (already had a CO2 tank for my aquarium), so soon my place will be quite suited for festivities. Brewing beer also produces a large amount of organic wastes that are awesome in the compost.

I have some barley growing in my yard in the margins between the landscaped area and the wild - more for fun than to brew with, and when hop rhizomes come on sale (another month or so) I'll put in a couple varieties of hop. There's a hop shortage right now because of the price of other crops luring farmers away from hops last year combined with a warehouse full of hops burning down (must have smelled pretty good). So now hops is going for 2-4$ per ounce. My brewing friends are hoping that I grow several pounds of hop, I'll try but I hear hops are somewhat temperamental, and may take a season to fill in before decent harvests. Presumably the hop supply crunch would be resolved by then.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:35 pm 
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I tried making beer years ago but it never came out the same. Sometimes it was great and sometimes it was wrought gut. I did everything the same even with a thermo wrap on the vat and an aquarium heater to keep the temperature proper. I finally gave up. My experience with wine has been good so far (knock on wood) .

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:51 pm 
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I use to make wine...then DH lost the book with my recipe. I was using an old fashion recipe that only used fruit, sugar and water. A lot of people would ask for my wine. Needless to say DH's name is now mud when the talk of wine comes up.

I would love to hear how others make wine.

Foxy.


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 Post subject: Making beer
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:36 pm 
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Supposedly home beer brewing has come a long way in the last 10 years or so, in particular there is a wide variety of yeast strains available to make anything from a funky Belgian hefeweizen to a crisp and clean California steam.

I don't actively control the temperature of my wort, but rather put it in a location in the house/garage where the temperature is right for the variety of yeast I'm using. Beer also needs a few months to mature, despite most kits and recipes saying you can drink it a week after bottling. Unlike most commercial beers, homebrew is still alive in the bottle and will continue to metabolize and evolve until it's drank. I know some of my brew buddies have trouble keeping it around long enough to age. I always suggest they brew bigger batches so they can get ahead of themselves.

It's amazing what brewing beer does for your appreciation of beer. After smelling and tasting all the ingredients and intermediate steps in the brewing process beer no longer tastes like 'beer' to me, and instead tastes like a complex combination of hops, malt, caramel, yeast, carbonation... I got a case of Sam Adams and it tasted totally different to me. It was sort of like hearing a song in Spanish and just appreciating it for the beat, then learning Spanish and hearing that same song again and appreciating it for it's full depth.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Quote:
I once made some opuntia wine with a friend, it tasted very much like cough syrup. It did have a pleasing pinkish red color to it though.



My husband used opuntia phaeacantha (I believe). He used raisins and added extra tannic acid to keep the syrup flavor away.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:09 pm 
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foxykitten350234 wrote:
I use to make wine...then DH lost the book with my recipe. I was using an old fashion recipe that only used fruit, sugar and water. A lot of people would ask for my wine. Needless to say DH's name is now mud when the talk of wine comes up.

I would love to hear how others make wine.

Foxy.


What kind of fruit did you use? My DH has a locally written book that has those kinds of recipes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:56 pm 
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Quote:
What kind of fruit did you use? My DH has a locally written book that has those kinds of recipes.


Mostly blueberry although once in a while I would dabble in strawberry and a mix of the two.

Foxy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:18 am 
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If you make your wine from a kit it will cost you about $10 per gallon for good wine. I have 5 apple trees and was wondering about making apple wine and some apple jack. :oops:

Kmerrifi wrote:
What kind of fruit did you use? My DH has a locally written book that has those kinds of recipes.


Would your DH have a recipe for apple wine?

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Quote:
Would your DH have a recipe for apple wine?



I'll ask when he gets home. I bet he does.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:30 pm 
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My husband does have a recipe for apple wine, but it did not turn out very nice. It did not have enough flavor. I'm sorry.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:09 pm 
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I did a Google search on wine recipes, like they say you can make wine out of old army socks if you want too. I’ll pass on that but this fall I think I will make apple wine and try some tomato wine I’ll have tons of both. If anybody has tried tomato wine I would sure like to hear about it.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:46 am 
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While digging back through my memory files I dug up a brief memory of trying to make apple wine. I don't remember what went wrong, but I do remember it went way wrong :oops:

Never heard of tomato wine. It sounds interesting. I wouldn't mind hearing about it myself.

Foxy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Here are a few wine recipies for anybody interested.

John

http://scorpius.spaceports.com/~goodwine/winerecipes.htm

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