Homebrewing... and other mysterious potions

Bad_azz

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Back sweetening is usually some sugar substitute that will not kick off fermentation again- such as that tropicana slim liquid pretend sugar.
 

fastpitch17

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Back sweetening is usually some sugar substitute that will not kick off fermentation again- such as that tropicana slim liquid pretend sugar.

Normally, if I discover the product too dry I just add a simple syrup and since it's only after the primary fermentation, I don't mind if fermentation starts back up. You are correct that a sugar substitute will not restart fermentation if you are sweetening for just sweetness on it's own. I suppose if I used a hydrometer I could just take readings and figure it all out but I guess I learned the taste and feel method for wines and trust that. I always go for maximum alcohol so I go until the alcohol kills the yeast. Then I know how much % I have depending on the yeast used.
 

Banana72

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I wonder if using the pseudo sugars like Tropicana would have an off/chemical taste to the wine? I hate the taste of sugar substitute like Nutra sweet...it has that bitter after taste.
 

tokektokek

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Another thing you could use to sweeten cider etc is lactose, this does not ferment.
 

Banana72

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Another thing you could use to sweeten cider etc is lactose, this does not ferment.


I take it you homebrew too tokek? Too bad you don't live in Jakarta...boy I would love to send somebody a sample of my latest batch (might need to send a disclaimer/waiver form too!).

From adding maybe too much honey, maybe oxidation when transferring from one bottle to another, adding too much tea, etc. I just feel like the whole thing is off balance. I don't think it's totally undrinkable. The mouthfeel is actually okay after I added some jam and a few slices of bananas (mushed). Maybe the pinch of cinnamon that just made it a bit strange...it was my attempt to make the wine smells 'sweeter' without actually sweetening it. But maybe it's just my mind thinking something taste 'off'...like that faint overripe fruit that you didn't put in the fridge (although only slightly). Another thing is I've used egg shell powder to clear it. I baked it first...so hope that kills the bacteria too.

Leaving for a vacation in about 5 days (for three weeks) wonder if I should take a chance and just leave it and either I come back to something good or belongs to the drain.
 

fastpitch17

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I take it you homebrew too tokek? Too bad you don't live in Jakarta...boy I would love to send somebody a sample of my latest batch (might need to send a disclaimer/waiver form too!).

From adding maybe too much honey, maybe oxidation when transferring from one bottle to another, adding too much tea, etc. I just feel like the whole thing is off balance. I don't think it's totally undrinkable. The mouthfeel is actually okay after I added some jam and a few slices of bananas (mushed). Maybe the pinch of cinnamon that just made it a bit strange...it was my attempt to make the wine smells 'sweeter' without actually sweetening it. But maybe it's just my mind thinking something taste 'off'...like that faint overripe fruit that you didn't put in the fridge (although only slightly). Another thing is I've used egg shell powder to clear it. I baked it first...so hope that kills the bacteria too.

Leaving for a vacation in about 5 days (for three weeks) wonder if I should take a chance and just leave it and either I come back to something good or belongs to the drain.
Patience grasshopper. Let it set. See if it mellows for you. Stop adding things.
 

tokektokek

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I take it you homebrew too tokek? Too bad you don't live in Jakarta...boy I would love to send somebody a sample of my latest batch (might need to send a disclaimer/waiver form too!).

From adding maybe too much honey, maybe oxidation when transferring from one bottle to another, adding too much tea, etc. I just feel like the whole thing is off balance. I don't think it's totally undrinkable. The mouthfeel is actually okay after I added some jam and a few slices of bananas (mushed). Maybe the pinch of cinnamon that just made it a bit strange...it was my attempt to make the wine smells 'sweeter' without actually sweetening it. But maybe it's just my mind thinking something taste 'off'...like that faint overripe fruit that you didn't put in the fridge (although only slightly). Another thing is I've used egg shell powder to clear it. I baked it first...so hope that kills the bacteria too.

Leaving for a vacation in about 5 days (for three weeks) wonder if I should take a chance and just leave it and either I come back to something good or belongs to the drain.

Yeah in East Java I was buying apple juice (with no preservatives) and adding yeast and some extra sugar to make cider. I also made alcoholic ginger beer Pretty simple, and I was amazed by how quickly everything ferments in Indonesia. But for cider I just poured a little bit of the apple juice out of the bottle, added the sugar/yeast and sealer the bottle loose enough to let gas escape but tight enough to stop stuff getting in. After just a few days I had a drinkable cider, and didn't do any transferring - just had to be careful not to pour the yeast into my glass.

I am actually back in the UK now, and have found it so much easier to homebrew with all the availability of ingredients etc. I have made elderflower and elderberry wine (all with freshly picked flowers/berries from the local area), cider from apples and beer from grain and hops (the smell from the grain mash is AMAZING). Lactose is used a lot over here for sweetening cider and also a main ingredient for things like milk stouts. I use Irish moss to clear my beer in the UK, its a type of seaweed, not sure about availability of that in Indonesia.

When I get back to Indonesia would be great to be able to get hold of all types of hops and brewing yeasts etc. I know you can get easier to access to some stuff in Jakarta etc but last time I read about it the hops and grains were hard to get hold of.

I suggest you leave it for the 3 weeks and see what its like when you get back. If its got alcohol in it will only condition and make a nicer drink. When I am making beer in UK, after fermentation is complete, I always leave the bottles for a month or so to condition before drinking.
 

Banana72

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Wow time flies when you're having fun! Four months...a few trials here and there...man one of my batches turns out pretty dang nice (6 liters) and I already started another six liter batch. If I may say this with just a tiny tiny bit of bias...a couple tweaks here and there i think the quality matches some of the local reds out there..(but like i said...I'm a bit biased)...gone are the days of overpriced wines!
 

Bad_azz

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Homebrewing can become a bit addictive I think. Not so much the end product but the whole learning and creating process.
I hope to have time to get back into it soon.
 

Banana72

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Yep the thing is quite a bit of my grocery budget goes (or has been going) to buying grapes, juices, fruits, Equils (for the bottles) or buying 6 liter bottled water just because I need the plastic jug. I guess in the long run i should save money cause I'm not spending anything on wines for sure!
 

Bad_azz

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So this is where you turn budget conscious and start gathering ... instead of buying grapes ask a neighbour for some bananas- if you don't have any... or try papaya.... go with the fruits in season.
Play with it; but write down - or video each making, so that you have a record of what steps were taken & if it worked for your taste or not... & if you don't really like it- find a bunch of friends who drink indiscrminately & klet them at it - or use it in cooking sauces.
 

fastpitch17

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So this is where you turn budget conscious and start gathering ... instead of buying grapes ask a neighbour for some bananas- if you don't have any... or try papaya.... go with the fruits in season.
Play with it; but write down - or video each making, so that you have a record of what steps were taken & if it worked for your taste or not... & if you don't really like it- find a bunch of friends who drink indiscrminately & klet them at it - or use it in cooking sauces.

What I say too (hint hint Banana72). Just finishing up a batch of Ginger wine. 100 gm Ginger, a couple Star Anise, half stick of cinnamon, a couple chilies, a kilo and a half of sugar, and wine yeast. Biggest cost was the sugar. Last one was papaya made from spending Rp50,000 for the papaya to get 5 liters of juice from. It just doesn't have to be grapes to make good wine. Tea works very well. Especially the strong Indian teas. You can make wine out of pretty much anything. Just because you don't spend much to make it doesn't mean the quality will be bad. Sticking to just grapes you really are not experiencing the wide range of delicious opportunities that await you.
 

Banana72

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I don't have good neighbors that give me bananas lol...yeah as far as spending a lot, I think maybe because I've been only doing this for only a few short months, I kinda wanted to have a 'benchmark' of what I consider basic flavor wine first (the one I'm familiar with). Although I did spend quite a bit...it would be enough to make another 12+ liters and my OCD tendency did play a part of...needing the same type of bottles, etc. I'm 90% done though...really! :)

I did venture out a little bit to cranberry juice wine..that was not too expensive. Just a liter of woxed cranberry juice (maybe later on I add a can of lychee). Friends who drink...Interestingly I don't have that many friends who drink (at least who are open minded enough to try experimental wines..)..hint that would be a good idea for some of our pot luck expat get together wouldn't it? :)

So far I've managed to save even my almost disastrous pineapple mix wine...but I know enough to consider other fruits next time.

Speaking of which...if I were to put just one banana into my other fruit wines, I know it would add body, but would it really overpower the wine with banana smell? I'm talking one banana for a 3 liter batch. (sorry if i asked this before can't remember where I asked the question..)
 

Bad_azz

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Nope, no banana taste re the banana comment.
I suggested making banana wine because I heard it tastes pretty much like a good French white. The whole banana goes into the process- no peeling needed. scout around you tube for the video.
 

Banana72

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Banana wine tasting like French white? This I shall investigate.

Plus...it would be pretty fitting for me to make one..gotta do the Banana wine.
 

Banana72

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Update: Well, no banana wines yet...but I did manage to start two batches right after that last post. From start to 'finish' in a three months...took a sample to a family gathering..pretty much everybody liked it (an inlaw said it could use a bit more alcohol...I suspect he is a pro drinker...).

In any case- still curious if anybody here (in Jkt) brews at home? Would love to have some kind of a meetup or something.
 

steveandpenny

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You guys are just a fountain of information...any suggestion on making tequila?
Oh it's now a thing in our village to use our old tequila bottles to have refill with the local brew chapticus
 

fastpitch17

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You guys are just a fountain of information...any suggestion on making tequila?
Oh it's now a thing in our village to use our old tequila bottles to have refill with the local brew chapticus
Ha, Ha. Are you prepared to build a still? Easily done with a pressure cooker, some copper tubing, a thermometer, and brazing capabilities.
 

Davita

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You guys are just a fountain of information...any suggestion on making tequila?
Oh it's now a thing in our village to use our old tequila bottles to have refill with the local brew chapticus

Tequila bottles in Manado for chapticus and Absolute vodka bottles here in Bali for gasoline...I often wonder who drank the original contents for there to be so many empty bottles available...
BTW what is chapticus...is that like an Arak used to kill rats?
 

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