Hey, fellow brewers. I was fixing up some wine, looked in the coolerator, and lo and behold, I was completely out of Lalvin 1118. Well, I have been giving it away so no real shocker. However, I'd already mixed up my stuff, so I just put in 1 tablespoon of regular store bought yeast. This was Fleishmann's, it came in 2 one pound bags at Sam's club, or BJ's, or Costco. One of those places. Anyway, I made my first batch of wine in 1981, using 5 gallons of blackberries, 6 bags of sugar, and a pack of yeast. Back then, there was no real information around, like the internet. However, it worked fine, and I used that formula for 25 years or so, until I got fancy, and started buying wine yeast. To be perfectly honest, I didn't see any improvement. Anyway, lot of naysaying on the internet, but I went on with it, anyway. After 24 hours, when everything was active and room temperature, I took this picture. As you can see, even though it's a bit blurry, the hydrometer says a PAC(potential alcohol content) of 15.6%, more or less. This particular batch was made from some really sweet, oddball hybrid grapes. I added the sugar, and got the total sugar content to around 15% using the sugar per gallon numbers at this web page: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/hydrom.asp The chart there was darn near dead on, there may have been a fraction more sugar in the grapes than I figured, based on entering numbers on this page: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ So, every few days, I'll post picture so that you can see the PAC going down, which means that the mix is approaching the 15,6% potential. I'd much rather stop it off around 12% and have it a little sweet, completely extra-brut just don't do anything for me. Like a child, I would have to add sweetener. Probably sorgum. Anyway, if the yeast dies before it reaches my goal, I'll show that too.