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Old 09-03-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Making my own Apple Wine, any tips/suggestions?

About a decade ago, I had the mother load of kiwi crops. ( 800+). I did everything I could possibly think of doing with them and still had hundreds left over. I went to the local wine and beer making supply guy and asked how to make a kiwi wine. He hooked me up with all the ingredients and supplies I needed.

Although it came out like crap, it was a fun process. I dont drink wine, but I do enjoy cooking with it, so I did ultimately use it all up.

Fast forward to present day, I just went apple picking and have my share of apples. I made fresh cider , gave a bunch to my daughter, made baked apples, and kept some for eating. I got the wine making urge again, so Im going to give it a shot ( with low expectations).

So, for any of you wine makers out there, any suggestions from personal experience, or good sites to use as a source, before I start the process ??

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Old 09-03-2019, 06:43 PM   #2
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First, you juice the Apples?


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Old 09-04-2019, 02:11 AM   #3
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I'm a little disappointed you haven't gotten more replies. I read this with interest yesterday morning but don't feel I've much to contribute. My homemade apple wine wasn't much better than prison fare. It was made with common grocery store apple juice, table sugar, and either ordinary instant yeast or distillers yeast. I had a log with details from each little batch but can't find it now. Expect a more serious effort would use a better yeast, maybe champagne yeast, and a sugar source that contributed more to flavor. Without adding sugar to the juice I think you'd be limited to 5 or 6% alcohol. With distillers yeast, a gift from a forgotten acquaintance, I think I was at about 12 or 13%. Memory is pretty fuzzy, betwixt advancing age and more than a passing acquaintance with homemade adult beverages.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:32 AM   #4
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There used to be a local beer and wine making supply store near me, and I'd chew the guys ear off about everything. Unfortunately , they closed a few years back so I have no one I can go to directly with experience .

Ive found a few things online, but was hoping someone with real life experience ( good, bad or ugly) can give advice one way or another , without going in blind.

I have all the physical equipment. Just need to update the yeast, enzymes and all that good stuff. Although I have it, im sure its dated by by now.

Worst case scenario is I just fly by the seat of my pants, and if it comes out like crap, just lost a little time and a few bucks.

Being 3:32am, and nothing to do, I think Im just going to go for it.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:35 AM   #5
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After making the cider, the cider press I have is inefficient, so there is a lot of left over, ground up apples that , if had professional equipment could be juiced more, but as it is, probably about 1/4 - 1/5 of the apples bits are left over. Usually I feed it to the chickens or compost it. I figured, with that much left over, a little extra expense, and just the thrill of trying something new, Id use the apple cider byproduct to make the wine. Once again, I have no high expectations, as the stuff was going to the trash anyway and I have most the wine making stuff on hand.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:30 PM   #6
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My grandfather used to make apple wine. I wish I was paying more attention. I have 2 apple trees and they would be perfect for wine.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:43 PM   #7
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We would strain the juice after pressing it to get the "silt" out. I wish I had paid more attention when my Mom made grape and chokecherry wines in the crocks...
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:34 AM   #8
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How's that wine coming along!?


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Old 09-19-2019, 04:05 PM   #9
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So far, so good.
I did some research online and followed a method / recipe that I felt comfortable with and confirmed it with multiple reputable sites.

Already done with the Initial fermentation phase.
Each day by smell and taste was able to notice the sweetness disappearing and the alcohol content getting greater.
IF I had to guess, I probably should have added more sugar than I did, cause it seems the fermentation slowed down/ stopped sooner than I would have expected ( and from past experience).

After this process, racked it to a glass carboy to allow for secondary fermentation. Let more stuff settle and rack it again in the future. Basically, in the waiting process at this point.

Deciding whether I want to get one of those mini oak barrels to let it sit in toward the end of the process or possible get some oak chips. Next time I rack it Ill probably break it into 2 smaller carboys and maybe experiment one with and one without the Oak.

This is totally an experimental process Im doing. I don't have high expectations, just want to learn from the process, and maybe take the next time a little more seriously based on success and failures I make this time.

I visited and toured a wine cellar this past weekend and chewed the guys ear off to get some tips. They also make an apple wine, so I bought a bottle of theirs to compare to mine when it is ready.

The vineyard is in Connecticut, only grows white grapes due to their shorter growth season.
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