Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wine Batch #2 White Grape Juice Wine

In addition to my gardening, I have started fermenting my own alcohol in the closet of my apartment. The bucket you see at the top of the page is my second batch of wine. My first batch I did back when I was home for Thanksgiving and Winter break. I made a 2 gallon batch using concentrated white grape juice and bread yeast. Personally, I think that first batch was quite successful, the wine tasted pretty good for something that sat in the closet for 3 weeks. Now that I have stopped at a homebrew shop, I have picked up better supplies.

Wine fermenter

For my 2nd batch, I doubled the volume my intial batch, using this recipe:

 White Wine from Concentrate (Using Niagara Grape Juice)

  • 8 cans Welsh's Concentrated White Juice
  • A handful of raisins
  • 4 lbs white sugar
  • Lalvin EC 1118 yeast
  • Water to top off at 4 gallons
The initial gravity reading (specific gravity measurement with a hydrometer (specific gravity is the density of the fluid divided by the density of water for those who didn't know)) was 1.090. When its done, it'll be closer to 1.000, giving an alcohol by volume between 9% and 12%. It'll sit in the closet for about another week before I transfer it to the secondary fermenter.

Update 1/29: 

Fermentation stopped a few days ago, so I decided it was time to rack. After sanitizing everything, I opened the lid and snatched a small amount for a gravity reading. Slightly less than 0.990! This means the batch is about 13.7% by volume. I sampled a little for myself and it tasted like my first batch, only less yeasty. It was very dry, but I enjoyed the flavor. The wine is now in the secondary fermenter and will sit there for about another week or 2.

Update 2/6:

Secondary fermentation is done, and I have bottled half (10 bottles) of the wine so far. I will bottle the rest once I get some more corks. Compared to before, the wine is MUCH more clear. The flavor is not as strong as it was in its crude, uncleared form, but it is much more refined. It tastes a bit like chardonnay. My next batch shall be a red wine, but until I begin that, I have this wine to enjoy.

Wine clarity
You can clearly see the difference
I let one of the bottles age for about 9 months and was impressed with how well it aged.
Wine image from a magazine
Author's note: I have been erroneously been calling this wine chardonnay when it has not been made from chardonnay grapes. The juice I used (Niagara) is a completely different species than the chardonnay grape. Winemaking class teaches you these important distinctions.

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