Wine Making -- 1985

Background and General Notes

September 2006

In the early years I did all non-grape wines. During this time I was a college student with limited funds so I made wine from things that were free (we picked it!) or relatively cheap. In later years I migrated to grape wines as my budget for such things increased, and as my palate for wines changed.

Note that my wine making notes are quite sparse ... although considering that I wrote everything in a 3"x6" looseleaf notebook, that's totally surprising ...


Wines Made in 1985

Wine

Started

Bottled

Yield

Welch's Grape Juice Wine

01 Feb 1985

06 Aug 1985

25 Bottles

CranRaspberry Wine

13 May 1985

19 May 1986

5 bottles

Rhubarb Wine

01 Jun 1985

17 Aug 1985

28 bottles

Peach Wine

03 Jun 1985

17 May 1986

5 bottles

Blackberry Wine

17 Aug 1985

25 Aug 1986

24 bottles

Total Made:

 

 

87 bottles


Welch's Grape Juice Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

seven 12oz cans Welch's grape juice

Water

4-1/2 gallons

Sugar

18-1/2 cups

Citric Acid

2 tsp

Yeast Energizer

2 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

2 tsp

Yeast

Red Star Flor Sherry

Winemaking Actions

Tasks

Date

SG

Started

01 Feb 1985

1.100

Racked

02 Apr 1985

1.030

Energized

24 Apr 1985

1.030

Energized

19 May 1985

1.030

Racked

24 May 1985

1.024

1 cup chopped raisins added

30 May 1985

1.024

Racked

23 Jun 1985

1.020

Racked

09 Jul 1985

1.018

Bottled

06 Aug 1985

1.014

Final Notes

Yield

25 bottles

Afterthoughts

I later noticed that ANYTHING made from any type of processed concentrate (e.g., containing preservatives) didn't want to ferment out dry. Chances are this is probably just as well ... a bit of sugar (or in this case a LOT of sugar) hides a lot of flaws. BTW -- this recipe is my own invention. While I've seen a LOT of Welches recipes on the net in recent years, this one predated the WWW by 10 years. I came up with the idea at a time of year when there was nothing to make wine from, and did it. :-)

This wine was surprisingly drinkable. Given the source material, I'm still surprised, although given that my drinking buddies of the time would probaby have drank urine if I had fermented it, I shouldn't be ...


CranRaspberry Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

two 1-1/2 quart bottles Ocean Spray CranRaspberry

Water

2 quarts

Sugar

4 cups

Citric Acid

1/2 tsp

Yeast Energizer

1/2 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

1/2 tsp

Yeast

Red Star Flor Sherry

Winemaking Actions

Task

Date

SG

Started

13 May 1985

1.105

Racked

24 May 1985

1.082

Racked

30 May 1985

1.075

Racked

23 Jun 1985

1.060

Racked

09 Jul 1985

1.052

Racked

22 Aug 1985

1.052

Racked

16 May 1986

1.014

Bottled

19 May 1986

--

Final Notes

Yield

5 bottles

Afterthoughts

This started perking along quite well, and then just quit. I figured that it had to due with whatever preservatives were in the juice, stuck it in a corner and forgot about for more than 6 months. I was going to toss it, but checked the SG anyway and tasted it. This was an early lesson that making less than 5 gallons of any batch is a waste of time!

While quite sweet, this wine was a real pleaser. Five bottles didn't last long ...


Rhubarb Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

12# rhubarb

Water

5 gallons

Sugar

24 cups

Campden

5

Citric Acid

2-1/2 tsp

Yeast Energizer

1 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

2-1/2 tsp

Yeast

Red Star Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Task

Date

SG

Started

01 Jun 1985

1.084

Yeast added

03 Jun 1985

1.084

Strained

10 Jun 1985

1.030

Racked

23 Jun 1985

0.990

Racked

17 Aug 1985

0.988

Bottled

17 Aug 1985

--

Final Notes

Yield

28 bottles

Afterthoughts

I think this wine convinced me to not make rhubarb wine any more. It came out ok, but compared to most everything else I made during this period it was marginal.


Peach Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

2-1/2# peaches

Water

1 gallon

Sugar

6 cups

Citric Acid

1 tsp

Yeast Energizer

1 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

1 tsp

Yeast

Red Star Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Task

Date

SG

Started

03 Jun 1985

1.100

Strained

06 Jun 1985

1.030

Racked

23 Jun 1985

0.989

Racked

09 Jul 1985

0.988

Bottled

22 Aug 1985

--

Unbottled + clarified

05 Apr 1986

--

Rebottled

17 May 1986

--

Final Notes

Yield

5 bottles

Afterthoughts

This one didn't come out good. It had a musty flavor that made me appreciate that I only had 5 bottles. Note that during this time period I drank anything I made that would go down and stay down. I opened bottles of this after opening 2 or 3 other bottles ... and still had to pick non-discriminating drinkers. ROFL!


Blackberry Wine

Ingredients

Fruit

10# blackberries

Water

3-1/2 gallons

Sugar

10#

Campden

6

Pectic Enzyme

2 tsp

Yeast Energizer

2 tsp

Yeast Nutrient

2 tsp

Yeast

Red Star Epernay II

Winemaking Actions

Task

Date

SG

Started

17 Aug 1985

1.084

Yeast added

19 Aug 1985

1.084

Strained

25 Aug 1985

0.990

2# sugar added

15 Oct 1985

1.030

Racked

25 Nov 1985

1.024

Racked

14 Feb 1986

1.020

Racked

04 Apr 1986

1.014

Racked

16 May 1986

1.012

Racked

29 May 1986

1.012

Racked

10 Jun 1986

1.010

Diluted w/88oz 0.991 blackberry wine

10 Jun 1986

1.010

Clarified

23 Jun 1986

1.008

Racked

15 Aug 1986

1.008

Bottled

25 Aug 1986

--

Final Notes

Yield

24 bottles

Afterthoughts

This was one of those that just did NOT want to ferment out. I finally diluted it with a bone-dry blackberry (can't recall if that was the previous year's or if I had made 2 batches this year).

This one came out a bit too sweet, but that's still better than the alternative: bone-dry blackberry has a nasty, sharp flavor that just a bit of sugar eliminates.