UnderGround Forums
 

Food & Wine Ground >> Ready To Make First Batch of Fruit Wine


9/6/09 2:04 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 11910
 
 I made my own beer a few years ago and it came out well. I'm gonna try my first wine in a couple of weeks here. I had most of the equipment from the beer making so that helps. I'll post picks as I go along.

I plan on making gallons and gallons of different wines once I get this initial batch done. It's kind of a practice run. But, I live in the desert here. No basement. We don't have lots of room for a "wine fridge" much less a place to put it. What are your suggestions for storing carboys and bottles of wine as they go through their aging process?
9/8/09 11:19 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
alpo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 45397
You can buy a large chest freezer with an external temperature controller.  This is probably the best way to do it, but it will set you back a few hundred dollars. Figure $200 for the freezer on Craigslist and $70 for the controller.  You can fit maybe 4 carboys in a big freezer.  Pros: precision temperature control, no maintenance, can put it anywhere.  Cons: up front cost, can use a lot of electricity

There is a cheaper option and that is a swamp cooler.  You basically just put the carboy into a large bucket (or other water tight container) of some kind, fill the bucket up with water, put a small t-shirt over the carboy and keep a fan pointed at it.  The water is pulled into the shirt via capillary action and it evaporates, taking heat with it.  I personally use these for beer fermentation and they drop the temp by about 10-13 degrees.  However, I am only keeping them in there for 2-3 weeks, so I don't have a need for more than one or two carboys at a time.  The main issue with them is the temperature control is relative to the ambient room temperature.  If it is 74 F in the house, the carboy will be 63 F or something like that.  If it is 80 F, then it will be 69 F and so on.  To some degree, you can control the temperature by changing the fan speed and thus the rate of evaporation, but it is still not very precise.  For beer fermentation, I only need it from about 60 F to 68 F, so the range is pretty big and swamp coolers work fine for me.  Pros: low up front cost.  Cons: Unsightly, probably takes up more room than a freezer, temp control not very precise, can't keep it in a garage or outside, have to refill water reservoirs every week or so. 

It is important to note that fermentation actually creates heat, especially in the beginning.  So, if you just put a carboy in a room that is 72 degrees, the fermenting liquid will not be 72 degrees.  In beer making, it can raise by as much as 10 degrees.  I don't know that much about wine making, but I assume the temperature doesn't increase nearly that much since the fermenting time is much longer, but it would theoretically be elevated by some amount.  You would have to do the research to see if it is significant or not. 
9/8/09 11:25 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
alpo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 45398
It may be worth mentioning that I have seen people make large homemade fermentation chambers out of mini fridges, plywood and panel insulation.  If you have a mini fridge laying around, you can rip the door off and build a giant insulated box, as big as you want, and connect the fridge to the box and of course, install some hinges and seal it up well.  You will also still need a temperature controller since the fridge will be too cold by itself.  (the temp controller has a thermostat probe and will turn the fridge on and off to maintain a preset target temperature).
9/8/09 11:47 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
alpo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 45399
Here is one of my swamp coolers

Photobucket


Here is the temperature controller for my outdoor kegerator.  It turns the whole power strip on and off.  You can see the freezer plugged into it there.  The thinner grey wire is the temperature probe. 

Photobucket

The probe just sort of hangs down in the inside.


Photobucket
9/8/09 7:45 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 11937
 Good stuff alpo. I'mm thinking about an old fridge.
9/8/09 7:51 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
alpo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 45429
an old fridge will work, but of course it will only hold one carboy.  And you'll still need a temp controller.
9/13/09 2:06 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
meow mix
36 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/19/05
Posts: 10828
cycklops -  Good stuff alpo. I'mm thinking about an old fridge.
Maybe it's time to upgrade our fridge...  xoxo
 
9/13/09 2:59 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 11991
 What are you doing over here? This is the Food and Wine Ground, not the Tuna Helper and Cold Cereal Ground.
9/13/09 3:00 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
meow mix
36 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/19/05
Posts: 10829
 I;m going to force myself into labor just to inconvenience you.
9/23/09 10:44 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 12069
 Alright. I put it all together on 9/19 and added the yeast on 9/20. It is now fermenting with an airlock in place. This is just a trial gallon so I get the hang of things etc. I'll rack it in a few weeks.
10/28/09 1:31 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 12400
 The house has been pretty warm so the fermentation moved quite rapidly. I racked it and let that sit for a bit. I noticed no fermentation after a month so I bottled it. We'll see what happens in 6 months or so.
10/28/09 2:16 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
alpo
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 46615
You measured the gravity, right?  Just because there's no movement in the airlock doesn't mean it's finished fermenting...
10/28/09 2:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
cycklops
239 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/26/03
Posts: 12405
 This is true however I didn't measure the PA. This particular recipe was the mosat basic you could do. It didn't even require an air lock, just plastic wrap and a rubber band. So far so good.

The recipe was like "tap the bottle a bit and look for little bubbles." Bottles have been keeping thus far.
10/29/09 12:50 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Hiznaturegirl
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 10/14/09
Posts: 37
Really neat! Sounds good.
11/3/09 10:20 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
shibbytastic
37 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/22/05
Posts: 4303
I have 5 gallons of cider going in the closet right now, plan on putting up 5 more over the weekend. I'm thinking about carbonating a couple of gallons just for comparison.

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.