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Old 06-02-2010, 07:49 PM   #1
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Strawberry Wine

Without having grandparents around anymore, I've decided to remember my grandfather by making wine. My grandfather made the BEST blackberry wine I've ever had. To learn the basics, I'm attempting to make Strawberry Wine. It's my first time making wine and I'm pretty excited about the adventure.

I bought a basic wine-making kit (specifically for fruit wine) from HomeBrewers.com. I likely paid too much for the kit, but it had everything that seemed to pop up in wine-making recipes. It also contained a few things that never popped up in any recipe I've seen so far. (Yeast energizer and Yeast nutrient. I have no idea what these things are or what they do.)

I asked Frank to kill eight pounds of strawberries (which I think will be enough to make 3 gallons of wine.) He used his kitchen-aid (aka Lucille) with the fruit and vegetable strainer. I poured the goop (must) through the nylon fruit bag and lightly knotted it. The color was beautiful!

Added the water, acid blend, tannin, pectic enzyme, camden tablets, and sugar. The tannin added was just a small amount, but changed the color a bit. I also added yeast energizer...since it was in the kit. From what I read, it seemed useful so...I had it and so it went in too.

I used OJ, sugar, and yeast as the starter. I had read a lot on yeast and settled on a type of yeast sold south of town rather than use the yeast that came in the kit. It was active enough to blow the top off of the container that I used to start it.

Now, I'm waiting. Here are some struggles that I've encountered so far:
  • How do I get an accurate read on the hydrometer? I've tried, but cannot get to eye level to read it.
  • When my starter blew the lid off, I lost some of the mixture. Will this be a problem? I would guess I've lost perhaps 1/4 of a cup out of 1.5 cups.
I'd love to hear from other novice wine-makers! Suggestions and/or comments are definitely welcome.

~Kathleen
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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Don't know about making wine Kathleen all I know is you better stop calling her "aka Lucille" ever see Chucky movies??? Just saying!!!
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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I made kiwi wine a few years back ( had 900 kiwis, and didnt know what else to do with so many). I forgot what i did, so technically i cant give advice. But, what i can say is it was a great experience, and a lot of fun. Im thinking of making another kind of wine this year, just not sure what yet. I do remember i got a lot of advice from the local wine and beer supply store. the guys who worked there were very helpful. If i remember anything, ill let u know.

larry
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Mimi, what Lucille did to those strawberries....all I can say is Chuckie flashbacks could have easily appeared. :)

Larry, I can't wait to hear what you decide to make.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:01 PM   #5
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I just completed my first racking of the wine. The color has stayed very nice, but it is cloudy. I have a hydrometer but cannot seem to get an accurate reading. In seven days, the hydrometer seemed to bottom out.

In racking into a secondary fermentor, I had about a gallon left over. The bubbling has slowed dramatically and the fizzing when I stir is minimal. I'm unsure what to expect so am rather flying blind.

~Kathleen
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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I just remember the the first week or two were kind of exciting. After that, it was a waiting game. i did it back in 2007. I can remember that the best part was bottling up the wine. I got this big bottle corker. My kids ( and me ) had a blast). But, stupid me brought everything outside to wash out when i was done. Filled with water. Got lazy. Winter came, and my 5 gallon glass jars and my plastic container ( forgot the technical names) all broke and cracked. So i would have to reinvest if i choose to do it again
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:05 AM   #7
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No experience with wine as well. The last time I tasted a strawberry wine created by my friend, it was really awful. Didn't taste as good as the strawberry wine that I tasted in shops. And that's the last time he tried.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
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Im not much of a wine drinker, but I do enjoy cooking with it. So, after I made my kiwi wine, I really had nothing to compare it to. To me, it tasted like wine. And since i really dont like wine all that much, i thought it wasnt all that great. A month later M y wife and I went to a food and wine show. I went up to a vendor and asked to try his best wines, figuring I could now compare my homemade stuff to among the best. Honestly, I couldnt tell the difference, it all tasted the same to me . A month after that, I was invited to my parents house for a holiday dinner. Of course, I brought my wine. The consensus was, that my wine tasted like crap, so I guess I had to believe them . I still use it to cook, and in my opinion tastes good as a cooking wine. But, I have about 20 bottles of it in my basement.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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Ironically, I'm not a big wine-drinker either. Most of my friends like wine though and I will love to cook with it. I want it to turn out so badly. My grandfather made wine. No one else in the family does. It's really in memory of Grandpa. I would feel better if it blurped just once though!

~Kathleen
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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Strawberry Wine - Update!

I just racked the wine after noticing the airlock was totally void of bubbles. The wine in the carboy seemed fairly clear with the exception of about 2-3 inches of dense sediment on the bottom. I had to try the wine even though it is still not ready for bottling. The color in the glass was simply lovely. It seems to have faded a bit from when I started, but stayed true enough to please me. In tasting, the wine was very dry. I added about 1.5 cups of sugar to sweeten it a bit. Now it sets for another month or so before bottling.

I wish I could get a reading on the hydrometer but, since I only made three gallons...and it is really more like 2.5...I hit bottom before I get a reading. The alcohol content at this stage was enough to put a strawberry blush on my cheeks though.

~Kathleen
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