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Old 30-11-2017, 05:24 PM   #1
jojorose
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Default The old ways

Hi all

I have this year started brewing again wine and beer after a thirty year break.
Previously we did not make wine from carton juices, nor did we use any fancy gadgets. Everything was matured for a year or more.

So ive made a lot of wine this year. I have obviously forgotton a lot of what i used to know but do i really need to take abv readings? I just used to leave until no action on the old air bubbly thing and then rack and leave for a long long time.

I see now that some people are using finings, should i be doing this?
I also see that wine is being drunk a lot earlier than i was used to?
Bottling.... in a box i recently purchased from an ex winemaker there were some very strange bottle tops white plastic with a tiny red (lets call it chimney) on top. Am i supposed to use these instead of corks?
As for corking, is it ok to reuse screw top wine bottles?

Im sure some of you will groan when you read this and i apologise in advance but nevertheless i still would like to know if everyone treats the process of wine making as a serious chemistry activity or whether some of you just do it a more casual way?
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On the rack: Ribena, mixed juice, tea wine, Blackberry. peach, carrot, blackberry and raisin, pear.
Fermenting: Apple cider and black stout/raisin wine
Waiting in the barrel. Coopers Irish Stout.
Drunk: Geordie Yorkshire Bitter. Tom Caxtons Best Bitter, BlackCherry Youngs wine kit
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Old 30-11-2017, 05:50 PM   #2
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Im sure some of you will groan when you read this and i apologise in advance but nevertheless i still would like to know if everyone treats the process of wine making as a serious chemistry activity or whether some of you just do it a more casual way?
I would love to make proper wine but i do not have the room to ferment and store it for 12 months while it clears and matures.

Quote:
I see now that some people are using finings, should i be doing this?
It depends if you have time to leave it to do it naturally finings will clear a wine in 48 hours so i guess its down to how soon you want it to be clear.

Quote:
I also see that wine is being drunk a lot earlier than i was used to?
With kits and especially supermarket juice wines ageing doesn't really improve it so people drink it within weeks of it being bottled.

Quote:
Bottling.... in a box i recently purchased from an ex winemaker there were some very strange bottle tops white plastic with a tiny red (lets call it chimney) on top. Am i supposed to use these instead of corks?
I do not know what these are i use Novotwist screw caps which can be used many times over. (there is a thread about them on the forum)

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As for corking, is it ok to reuse screw top wine bottles?
Some members say they are much thinner walled so you risk breaking them as above i use novotwist caps, read more here - http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/sh...ad.php?t=56326

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Old 30-11-2017, 06:00 PM   #3
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Are the novotwist tops one use only?
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On the rack: Ribena, mixed juice, tea wine, Blackberry. peach, carrot, blackberry and raisin, pear.
Fermenting: Apple cider and black stout/raisin wine
Waiting in the barrel. Coopers Irish Stout.
Drunk: Geordie Yorkshire Bitter. Tom Caxtons Best Bitter, BlackCherry Youngs wine kit
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Old 30-11-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
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Hello Jo, I think many of us are casual about our home winemaking. I never use a hydrometer (I estimate sugar levels according to typical fruit sugar content), never use finings (the wine clears naturally), bottle in 2 litre pets (empty plastic water bottles from the supermarket), and bottle in screw top glass bottles (recovered from a recycling bin) when I want to impress.

Also, I have found that 'clean' equipment is important but that it is not necessary to sterilize anything if you 'hit' the must soon with a big active yeast starter solution.

Unless a person has obsessive-compulsive tendencies looking for an outlet, excellent wine can be made with minimal fuss.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jojorose View Post
Are the novotwist tops one use only?

No, I have been using mine regularly since 2015 and they are still airtight.

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Old 03-12-2017, 07:25 PM   #6
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I started making wine last year after a break of 20 years. I find a recipe on google that I like the look of and go with that. I have a hydrometer but really cant be bothered using it. I ferment until the bubbles are over a minute apart, rack and clear.
Yes I have made some mistakes but have only thrown a crappy cider away.
Everything else has been good, better or saved by blending.

I look at it this way. 100 or more years ago people made and stored their wine in earthenware demijohns, and it worked.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:04 PM   #7
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Aqualung : Thats what I thought. And Campden tablets. Some recipes seem to be bunging them in willy nilly. What are your views on this?
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On the rack: Ribena, mixed juice, tea wine, Blackberry. peach, carrot, blackberry and raisin, pear.
Fermenting: Apple cider and black stout/raisin wine
Waiting in the barrel. Coopers Irish Stout.
Drunk: Geordie Yorkshire Bitter. Tom Caxtons Best Bitter, BlackCherry Youngs wine kit
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #8
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I use one campden tablet per gallon to make sure the fermentation has finished if I want it to clear quickly. Otherwise I put it in the garage on the cold concrete floor and leave it.
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