Homebrewing... and other mysterious potions

scouser59

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Any ideas where to get grape juice concentrate , like you would find in europe ?
 

Banana72

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Not sure...but from the youtube uploads I've seen...quite a few people use Welch's (or equivalent brands), which I think Ranch/Kemchick/Food Hall would have...although I opted for a cheaper version mixed in with my real grape juice.

Although at this point it seems that I messed it up since one bottle is turning brownish....
 

fastpitch17

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Not sure...but from the youtube uploads I've seen...quite a few people use Welch's (or equivalent brands), which I think Ranch/Kemchick/Food Hall would have...although I opted for a cheaper version mixed in with my real grape juice.

Although at this point it seems that I messed it up since one bottle is turning brownish....
Leave it alone. One cause of turning brownish is oxidation. This can disappear as the yeast uses up the oxygen. Why you never stir rapidly or shake your wine once started. Too much oxygen. Another reason is, wine making needs meticulous sterilization to all vessels the wine will come in contact with. No three, wine such as grape wine needs some additives. One being an acid. That can be fixed with just adding a couple slices of lemon when mixing and heating. Another thing is, some grapes need tannin added to the mix. Using a mixture of grapes would make this probably a sure bet.

Let it set and wait for it to ferment. See if it starts to clear. Even after fermentation stops, you need to put it in clean bottles and let it set. Actually, for good grape wines, up to 3 months. This allows the wine to clear and some junk settle to the bottom where you then need again to re bottle. One can add toasted egg shells ground up to help clear the wine or egg white with a dash of water. I don't recommend the egg white because you need exact measurements and making in bottles, I don't know of any measure small enough. I recommend the toasted ground egg shells.

From your information on yeast and it's price, I am guessing you used a bakers yeast. Don't be surprised if your wine has a hint of bread to it. It's OK though. Have it with some home made french bread and you won't be able to notice.
 

Banana72

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Thanks so much for the explanation! Yep...using a baker's yeast since I'm too impatient to buy (or look for) a wine yeast. I found one at tokopedia, but itching to start the experiment yesterday...
 

fastpitch17

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Thanks so much for the explanation! Yep...using a baker's yeast since I'm too impatient to buy (or look for) a wine yeast. I found one at tokopedia, but itching to start the experiment yesterday...

The guy on tokopedia would have had it to you in one day.Those wine yeast he sells are for 5 gl per packet so pretty cheap. He is getting low on wine making supplies though. Hopefully, he restocks soon.

You don't need to have grape wine to have a good wine. You can use almost any fruit or herb you can get your hands on. Even banana wine. Best to get it all started in a larger container and divide it up when it's ready.
 

Bad_azz

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Bread yeast won't yield as high alcohol content, also tanin can be got by adding a small cup of well "stewed" black tea to the mix
 

Banana72

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So looks like for my next experiment, perhaps I should add a cup of lemon tea for some tannin and acid balance?

Toasted egg shells...so just clean egg shells (from one egg), and toast it in a small toaster? Until brown? When do I mix that thing in?

I don't know why in some videos...some folks say they're ready to drink by the 3rd week (or maybe even 2nd!)
 

fastpitch17

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Crush the toasted egg shells. Add after all fermentation stops and you have changed vessels. They don't don't have to be toasted brown, just heated up in an oven for awhile. Buy brown eggs and you can pretend they are toasted brown.
 

Banana72

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Sent you a photo through PM. Please let me know if it's even salvageable!
 

fastpitch17

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Sent you a photo through PM. Please let me know if it's even salvageable!

I answered you. For everyone.
Once you have it started and it's foaming away turning sugar into alcohol, just let it run it's course. You may end up with the greatest, but ugly, beverage you ever tasted. Really, no body cares. The only thing you can do is wait. By no means think you have to discard it and do something else. Right now all is working. Later, the taste will tell you.
 

Banana72

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Update: Only four days later...althought it's still looking more 'light blood orange' than wine, the color is looking much better! Bubbles are changing into micro bubbles and the bubbling intensity has decreased quite a bit too. Interesting cause I thought it would take at least two weeks for the bubbles to go away (like other DiY wine makers say on youtube). We'll see how they look at the end of this week!
 

Banana72

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Seven days later! Alcohol smell is still a bit sharp, but taste has mellowed quite a bit, (and I've gotten used to the sharp fruit taste since this is my 5th taste after all!).

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Looks pretty nice 'n clear to me considering I didn't use any chemical clarifying and not using the finest strainer. Looking forward to bottling it and get started on my next batch!
 

Banana72

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Well...it's crazy to think that I started this only a little over a month ago and it seemed like much longer! Already got three different wines now...the very first one from February that's pretty much becoming a mix 'n match bottle (half left, then I topped up with water, juice...kept it again for a few days..added a bit from the 2nd batch, etc) it re-fermented a bit but boy, i was surprised i ended up with a slightly fizzy red wine and boy it was taaasty!

Second batch seemed a bit too cloudy after first fermentation, color improved after moving to 2nd...added too much blueberry juice (too sweat)...thinned it a bit with water...waited and prayed..tasted it a couple days later later..boy...it balanced out whooeee!..I'm waiting for maybe tomorrow (or even next week) to try it out.

Now in the pic. My 3rd batch...pure store bought juice, mixed in with some sugar, honey, tea, etc. So far so good...color stayed pretty dang nice even for majority of the 1st ferment (only maybe 2-3 days of slightly murky ones). Added egg shells...moved to my new 3 liter jug...miscalculated my other jug which turned out to be only 2.5...so I had to add some water, and some blueberry juice to make up for the liquid. Added a leftover egg shell powder (not enough I'm sure...only a tsp left for almost 3 liter). I have pretty high hopes on this one...maybe even able to bottle it and age it when I leave for the US for a few weeks.

Been looking, and buying different stuff for this new hobby. I think I now have a fetish for 2-3 liter clear aqua jugs with spigot...

Also- managed to buy a hydrometer finally...from another expat. Brought a sample for him to test the hydrometer..ended up drinking it together and he said he even liked my wine better than his own! Anyhow...besides BA who comes to Jakarta quite a bit...wondering if there are other fellow home brewers here. Would be great to have like a monthly meeting or something...

but man i've been drinking uhm..taste testing the wine for almost every day!

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fastpitch17

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Good job Banana72. During that US visit I hope you pick up some of the more helpful ingredients so you can refine your wines after your return. Various wine yeast, yeast energizers, various acids, disinfecting tablets and gelatin clearifyers. Oh, and some wine extracts. 35 to 45 dollars for each that produce 5 gallons so you may need to pick up some additional 19 litre aqua bottles when you get back here. The worst to find here are good wine bottles so as I mentioned to you, any bottle with a good seal works. I have my wines primarily in 500ml Lemon water bottles.

My ginger wine was a hit and maybe only 500ml left of that. I decided to make. Papaya wine. Now, normally you would be chopping up the fruit and mashing it and then letting it set in a nylon juice bag in water for 10 days, while you squeeze the bag every two days to get out the flavor. I decided that I didn't want to do a 10 day thing so when I bought the papaya I picked out two of the giant ones. Almost 8 kilos total papaya. 50,000 rupiah. Got my big covered pot and put in a little over a cup of water in it. Peeled the papaya, cleaned out the seeds, chopped up the meat. Put the meat and some of the peelings in the pot, covered, and steamed it for about 15 minutes to soften the flesh. Once it cooled a bit I mashed it a bit with a potato masher and then filled my nylon juice bag and started squeezing. OK, that was a pain in the ass but after 1.5 hours of squeezing out the juice and some very tired hands, I got 5 litres of juice out. That included the water I started with but I pretty much had pure juice and not all the flavored water you would normally have.

Brought the juice back up to almost boiling, added the sugar and removed from heat. i only used 1/2 cup sugar per litre since the juice itself was pretty sweet. Added my acid, yeast nutriant, and tannins and let cool. Put in my primary, added some champagne type yeast, covered it up, let it rock and roll on it,s own. After 3 days of being a crazy sugar eater, it stopped completly. That seemed a bit early so I gave it a taste. Yep, out of sugar and extra dry. Transfered to secondary fermentator and added a good cup of sugar syrup and just a bit more yeast to see if I could get it going again. It perked up for an additional day and then stopped again. Upon tasting it I found it still had a bit of the sweetness so in all liklihood it stopped because the alcohol has killed off the yeast. The yeast I used this time should die off at about 14% alcohol so I'm good that way.

Let it set as is for a week to get some natural clearing as sedimate dropped to the bottom. After a week I transfered to a new container and added my gelatin to clearify it. Waited 3 more days and it was a nice clear amber color. Put it in bottles and viola. 8, 500ml bottles.

I think next I will try the coconut water and see how that comes out.
 

Banana72

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Thanks for the thumbs up guys!

FP: Would love to bring those stuff back...but wondering I'll get stopped at the customs and if I did what kind of story should I tell? Some stuff I think I can still get in Indonesia (Camden, Pectic, etc), although quite difficult..I have a family member's house in Singapore..so probably I can ship some stuff there, but still I need to figure out how to get them here. At the very least I'm hoping to get some oak extracts...that seems to be the hardest one to find here.
 

fastpitch17

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Thanks for the thumbs up guys!

FP: Would love to bring those stuff back...but wondering I'll get stopped at the customs and if I did what kind of story should I tell? Some stuff I think I can still get in Indonesia (Camden, Pectic, etc), although quite difficult..I have a family member's house in Singapore..so probably I can ship some stuff there, but still I need to figure out how to get them here. At the very least I'm hoping to get some oak extracts...that seems to be the hardest one to find here.

If a guy on tokopedia can bring in bulk items and repackage for retail then I don't think you would have any problems with a couple ounces of each product. Just make sure everything has labels since nothing could be a hazardous chemical. Put them in a box and label it for personal wine making. How many bags have you seen customs actually go through? I think you would be fine keeping it on the small scale.
 

Banana72

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If a guy on tokopedia can bring in bulk items and repackage for retail then I don't think you would have any problems with a couple ounces of each product. Just make sure everything has labels since nothing could be a hazardous chemical. Put them in a box and label it for personal wine making. How many bags have you seen customs actually go through? I think you would be fine keeping it on the small scale.

I'm just playing it super safe :) never brought anything like that before.

Sorry back to my wine question since something new came up. I put a couple tbs of strawberry jam, mixed with some water into my 2nd fermentation. Shook it gently for 2-3 seconds to mix it up. Barely over a couple days and tonight I smelled the alcohol stronger than before and an astringent strawberry smell with quite a bit of strawberry seeds floating...but it was not a bad smell. Just didn't expect a pretty strong strawberry/alcoholic smell. Looks like I might end up with another carbonated wine..oops...
 
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fastpitch17

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Banana72. If you seen additional fermentation activity then you probably have additional alcohol now. If not, then you don't. You need to be careful of what you just add to your wine. Many processed products have added chemicals that can affect your wine in very negative ways. Wines are pretty much made with everything added at the start and then allowed to blend in their own way. Oh, it is never recomended to shake your wine, ever. If you think you are getting carbonation, it is because you have added CO2 from shaking and you need to allow it to escape for a perod of time or your wine isn't finished when you think it is. That is why most wine makers will add some campden when they think it is finished before clarifying. To make sure nothing active remains.

You need to figure out what all you want in your wine and start out with those ingredients. If you have a flash of an idea that you would like to add something else, save that idea for the next batch.
 

Banana72

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Ah ok...thanks for the advice! Originally I thought that people normally adjust the taste (backsweetening, adding water) at 2nd ferment or at 1st racking..and I got creative too by adding other stuff...I think adding the jam might be a bit too much...so we'll see what this week will do.
 

fastpitch17

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Yes, you can add water even though I have never done that and you can add sweetner in liquid form which I do on occasion if my product is too dry. Those things add to the stability of the base and no way change flavors. I know this is all trial and error for you and I hope you are keeping notes on how various things affect your product so in the future you can just have everything ready to begin with and then sit back and wait for your product to develope into what it is.
 

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