Sultana wine

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tonyhibbett

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Due to the shortage of white grape juice and the low cost of 'value' sultanas, I looked up the recipe for raisin wine in 'First Steps...' This is an absurd recipe. 3.5 kilos of raisins for a gallon of wine? This is the equivalent of 2.5 kilos of sugar! Plus a tablespoon of citric acid. That's at least 10 grams. All that is required for a gallon of dry white table wine at 12% abv is 1.5 kilos of sultanas with no acid or yeast nutrient, or sugar. Cost £2.52.
 

Chippy_Tea

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That sounds like something I would like to try having never made anything other than juice wines and kits, could you post the method used?
 

Chippy_Tea

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I found your post in another thread -

Quite simple. My plan is:

To 4 litres of hot water in a bucket add 2 kg of chopped/minced sultanas (5 x 400g packs from Aldi for £5). Use a large food processor. When cool, add yeast. 5 grams of oak chips optional. Take a reading. 1090 is fine. It may be lower because not all of the sugar may have been extracted at this stage. After 5 days of stirring, strain with fine mesh bag, extracting as much liquid as possible. This should remove about a kilo of solids, leaving about 5 litres of must. Transfer this to dj and fit airlock. Initially there will be a thick layer of sediment, which will gradually settle. When the sg is down to about 1010, rack and allow to ferment to dry, 1095 or less, hopefully. (If fermentation stops prematurely, rack and add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient).
Rack again, degas and apply finings. 'Clear It' works very well. If the first dose doesn't quite do the job, a second dose may be required. It may taste a little harsh at this stage. If not, drink it, otherwise leave in jar with a crushed campden tab for a week in a cool place then bottle it, and date the labels. Put 1 bottle in fridge and sample next day. If still harsh, store bottles in wine rack and leave for a month, or 2, or 6...
It's supposed to resemble chardonnay.
 

tonyhibbett

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That needs amending! In fact 1.25 kg is better, because if you add 50 g of sugar to 250 g of sultanas in the food processor you get a dryer, less sticky result. This also brings the cost down to £2 if you buy Tesco value brand. I will start a batch today.
 

tonyhibbett

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So here it is:
1.25 kg sultanas
250 g sugar
Water to 5 litres
Yeast

Add 250 g sultanas + 50 g sugar to food processor and chop for 30 seconds on single speed. Any longer will pulverise the fruit, which will result in a lot of fine sediment to be dealt with.
Put the mixture in a 2 gallon bucket and repeat. This is the equivalent of crushing fresh grapes, to break the skins.
Top up to 3 litres with boiling water. This is a good time to add a handful of dried elderflowers to improve the bouquet. Stir to distribute solids and dissolve sugar, then leave to cool down. Top up to 5 litres with water.
At this stage the sg was 1090 and the pH 3.7. This will make a rather bland wine at 12% abv. I prefer dry white wine at pH 3.3, so I added 6 g of tartaric acid. I also added a teaspoon of pectolase to help flavour extraction, and also added bentonite which reduces frothing and produces a firmer layer of sediment. I also added a teaspoon of tannin. Pressed fresh white grape juice picks up some tannin from the pips and stems, so dried seedless grapes will be somewhat deficient in this respect.
Add the yeast while the liquid is still warm (not hot), cover and leave. Within 48 hours a thick layer of pulp will have risen to the surface. Stir this back in. On the third day, strain to remove the large solids.
On the 4th day fine pulp particles with produce a lot of froth. Skim this off with a fine sieve and leave for another day. Skim again if required then pour the liquid into a demijohn. At this point a handful of oak chips can be added. A fairly thick layer of sediment will develop, which should not be disturbed until fermentation is almost complete.
 

tonyhibbett

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The main problem would be the lack of a food processor. I picked up a Kenwood Gourmet at a boot fair for £5 for the sole purpose of mincing dried grapes, as the machine I had was rather too small. A manual mincer would work very well, but the capacity is very small.
 

tonyhibbett

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With all the little extras, plus fining, the total cost is more like £3, but thats still pretty cheap for wine made from the equivalent of 83% grape juice.
At this stage, fermentation is well under way and there is none of the characteristic sultana flavour. The pulp is pretty tasteless, so I decided to treat it as crushed fresh grape, straining and squeezing out as much liquid as possible. This left 500 g of pulp, which means 60% extraction, which is pretty good.
This leaves 1 gallon of must, which easily fitted into a demijohn, where I can observe what happens to the remaining fine pulp particles.
 

tonyhibbett

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The pulp is settling nicely on the bottom, about half an inch thick.
Now the brewing bucket is empty, I thought I would try using raisins, for the sake of comparison. They cost more but on a 3 for 2 basis, Tesco Californian raisins are £2 per kilo, compared with value Turkish sultanas at £1.68.
This time I will use a slightly different approach, more like processing fresh grapes. This means that yeast is only introduced after straining and pressing, allowing the fine pulp to settle, then racking. Prolonged fermentation with pulp degrades the flavour of white wine.
Incidentally on a visit to Wilco to pick up half price Harris filter pads (£3 for a pack of 6) I spotted a 300 ml electric food chopper for just £10.
 

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In the second para of your 12:09 post you say "put the mixture in a bucket and repeat". I can't figure out what repeat means :hmm:

My red wine made from tesco fresh red grape juice is really slowing down fermenting wise - really tiny bubbles coming up and the airlock bubbles about every 15 mins. So I'm looking for a new brew to kick off. Your sultana wine is tempting. We've got a blender, not a food processor, would this work do you think ?
 

tonyhibbett

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By repeat, I mean put the next batch of sultanas and sugar in the processor and so on until all done. You can't do it all in one go.
A blender is for liquidising, not chopping. You could mix the fruit with hot water and make a purée. This would produce lots of fine pulp which cannot be strained. Leave this to settle for at least 24 hours in a demijohn, then rack before adding the yeast. Alternatively, ask around. I'm sure there are plenty of food processors around which are little, if ever, used.
 

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Raisin or sultana wine is one of the staples of old `country wine' books. In fact a lot of the recipes call for adding raisins, presumably to give a bit more body to the finished wine.
Just don't expect your sultana wine to taste anything like wine made from grapes - sultanas are not grapes. Eat some, then eat some grapes - they're not the same (even if sultanas are dried grapes; they undergo a lot of chemical changes during the drying process, especially if sun-dried)
My auntie Lilian used to make absolutely gorgeous raisin wine, also tea wine. And I've never managed to make either that was even remotely drinkable.:lol:
 

tonyhibbett

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I attempted to remove the inch thick layer of sediment, but it is still far too unstable. Nonetheless it is now down to half an inch, which I will leave for the time being, as much of it is the yeast colony. The colour is a dirty amber, but this is already starting to lighten at the top.
 

Twostage

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By repeat, I mean put the next batch of sultanas and sugar in the processor and so on until all done. You can't do it all in one go.
A blender is for liquidising, not chopping. You could mix the fruit with hot water and make a purée. This would produce lots of fine pulp which cannot be strained. Leave this to settle for at least 24 hours in a demijohn, then rack before adding the yeast. Alternatively, ask around. I'm sure there are plenty of food processors around which are little, if ever, used.
Got it. I was seeing the 250g sugar in the ingredients and thinking that was the sultanas. Tired eyes :roll:

So I need a slicer thing.
 

tonyhibbett

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I racked off the remaining pulp sediment, which is now much more stable. However it is now clear that I will not get 6 full screw cap wine bottles full in the end. 1.5 kilos of sultanas, plus 50 g more sugar and an extra 500 ml of water would have been better. I'ts too late for that so 170 g of sugar, topped up to 500 ml of water will do the trick. This will maintain the alcohol content. A better option would be 250 ml of white grape juice concentrate instead of the sugar to maintain flavour quality, but this adds £3 to the cost. A good compromise would be a 340 g jar of Tesco value honey instead.
While I agree that a sultana is not the same as a fresh grape, the same holds true of concentrate and juice from concentrate. As I said earlier, the characteristic sultana flavour has disappeared. Looking at an old raisin wine recipe, which used 3.5 kilos per gallon, that flavour would be pronounced and the resulting wine would be inevitably very sweet.
High quality wines like Sauternes are made from grapes which have partially dried out due to the action of botrytis.
 

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I made this ginger wine recipe recipe which is effectively a sweeter white wine made from raisins with a hint of ginger to it and from everything I've made so far it is by far the best, really phenomenal stuff. Me and Mrs Salad absolutely love it and I intend to do a second batch this weekend, I only hope I can do it exactly as per the first batch.

It calls for either 500g of raisins or 200ml of white grape concentrate . . . . well I went for the raisins and was not disappointed.

Can't recommend it enough!!
 

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Got the slicer in the form of a food processor which I've been meaning to get for ages. It was reduced to clear at Tesco.

I was thinking of modifying the method slightly - chopping the sultanas and missing out the sugar at first. Reason being I was thinking of osmosis. If I mix the sultanas with hot water alone then more of the water should be drawn into the fruit. Leave for a while (not sure what a while is yet), strain the fruit out and mix the strained fruit with the sugar. The sugar will then suck the juice out of the fruit and hopefully form a syrup. Then shove them all back into the bucket and continue.
 

tonyhibbett

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500 g of raisins is the equivalent of 500 ml of concentrate, providing the fruit is chopped, to release the sugar, etc.
The reason for adding some sugar before processing is to create a dryer, less sticky substance. I have tried it without the sugar and much prefer it with.
The dry extraction method was recommended to extract flavour (not sugar) from rhubarb without extracting toxic oxalic acid. It's actually a waste of time since the oxalic acid is only in the leaves! I'm not sure the principle of using osmosis to extract sugar by using sugar makes sense, but I may well have misunderstood. On the other hand, carbonic maceration does, although I have never felt the need to try it and in any case it's best used for red wine. It might be worth a try, if it reduces the amount of pulp, which I have to admit, is the bugbear of my current (no pun intended!) approach.
Good luck with the new food processor. I can get a mincer attachment for my Kenwood Gourmet, but this costs £27. I might try the coarse slicer, since I only need to break the skins.
Meanwhile, to increase the bulk of the current batch, I actually used a curious product called grape molasses, which I picked at reduced price in the Tesco world food section. I assumed it's white grape concentrate, but darker. I can't read arabic, but it could be grape flavoured sugar cane molasses. It has darkened the brew and may well affect the flavour, but as this is a fairly cheap experimental brew, it's a risk worth taking.
 

tonyhibbett

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So, on with the show... Raisin wine:
1.5 kg Tesco Californian raisins
300 g sugar
Water to 5 litres
Yeast

Combine 250 g raisins with 50 g sugar and chop in food processor for only 15 seconds at normal speed. Empty into 2 gallon bucket and repeat until all processed. Add boiling water to 5 litres, optionally adding elderflowers beforehand. Stir thoroughly and leave until still warm (30 c). The pH at this stage is 3.5 and need not be adjusted. The sg will be high, 1.103, to allow for dilution after straining and initial racking, to maintain 5 litres volume. Pectolase and bentonite can be optionally added now.
Leave for 24 hours then strain through fine mesh bag, or muslin, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. A small fruit press is ideal, but not essential with this quantity. Discard the pressed pulp and pour the liquid into a demijohn and leave for 24 hours to allow the fine pulp to settle. Siphon off the clearer liquid from the sediment into the bucket and add the yeast. Leave this in a warm place, covered, for 24 hours. Top this up to 5 litres. Discard the sediment from the demijohn and fill it with the contents of the bucket, optionally adding a handful of oak chips, then fit an airlock and allow to ferment in a warm place. When fermentation has slowed down, siphon off from the sediment and allow fermentation to complete in a slightly cooler spot.
Once fermentation has finished, move the demijohn to a cold dark place and leave until clear. Then leave, with the sediment, for a month. Siphon off from the sediment, bottle and leave for a month before sampling.
This method closely follows true white wine production, while omitting the time, effort and expense of establishing a vineyard, pruning, spraying, feeding, harvesting, pruning, crushing, de-stemming and pressing grapes. Also, unlike kits, it incorporates a very high proportion of grape with a minimum amount of added sugar and at a fraction of the cost, around 60p per bottle.
 

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The osmosis thing was to extract flavour rather than sugar. Basically bloat them with water, let it absorb the flavours and then suck the water back out. I realise that we are talking about chunks of fruit rather than whole grapes but I think there is still something for the water to get in to.

I get the sugar makes it less sticky point, maybe there is a hybrid.

Slightly OT, I've had a tesco red grape wine fermenting in a DJ at around 20 degrees since the 7th March and it has finally stopped. My thoughts are to just stick it out in the shed for a few weeks or rack it into another DJ and put that in the shed. Would leaving it in the same DJ add anything ?
 
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