Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hey I made Wine again -- Apple Cherry Wine

It's ready to go
What do winemakers do while they wait for their wine to ferment? They have a beer of course. I decided it was time to use those concentrated juice mixes I had in the freezer. The brew closet was looking a bit empty and needed something in it for the winter break.


Apple-Cherry Wine (from concentrate)

2 cans Apple Cherry juice concentrate
2.5 cups sugar
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet Lalvin EC 1118 yeast
Water to make 1 gallon

Supplies and sanitation
Sanitation is always the first and most important step to any homebrew project, never forget that. For this brew, I opted to use some of my champagne yeast as I still had a few packets in my fridge. Plus it will ferment the juice nice and dry, even with all the sugar that is added in.
One of the cheapest yeasts you can buy
I waited for the juice to mostly thaw before adding it to my carboy. The bung I bought didn't fit any of the glass ones I had, but it fit into the plastic jug I had lying around. I'll make a note to buy bungs that fit my glass jugs.
I might have tried adding the juice too soon
Even though some frozen juice got caught in the funnel I used to add it into the jug, The water needed to dilute the concentrate thawed it out.

To prepare the yeast for fermentation, it needed to be rehydrated in warm water for about 15 minutes. I was contemplating only using part of a packet, but I decided that a whole packet wouldn't be harmful when I read that it was made for 1-5 gallon batches. I could have sworn that these packets were made for 5-22 gallon batches, but maybe that was the beer yeast.
Little yeast cells running
They spread and sink away
Once all the juice was added in, I ran the gravity of it. My first measurement gave 1.040, not high enough. 1 cup of sugar brought that up to 1.060, still not high enough. 1.5 more cups of sugar brought that up to 1.086, high enough to get around 10% -12% ABV, maybe even higher depending on how dry the wine gets.
Now all the juice is added
Add in sugar
For those wondering how I know my ABVs -- this is a hydrometer
Simple as that. The jug needs a few good shakes to oxygenate and incorporate all the sugar before yeast is added. Once yeast is added, let the jug sit in primary for at least 2 weeks before racking it and letting it age. I should let this one age for about 6 months, so it will be ready when I graduate in June. Will this wine taste as good as Napa Valley vineyard quality wine? Probably not, but it was cheap to make.
All alone in the closet, without any signs saying it isn't meth
PART 2: Bottling

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