Wine Making ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BCR, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I am making some of my first wine ever,though I have brewed beer for 15 years or more. My question is bottling. With the new metal closures on commercial wines, have any of you tried using a bottle capper and capped your wines in small beer bottle size bottles? Would it work? Do number 9 corks fit in a beer sized bottle? See, I am making small 1/2 gallon batches and wanted to spreadout the drinking of it by bottling it in smaller bottles like the 12 oz. beer bottles I have.

    Its ok if it won't work, as I have a corker and all, but I just got to thinking about alternatives.
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    half gallon batches that meens you have to make 365 of them
     

  3. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Y'all,

    Yup, I've been brewing beer & Mead, for a lotta years.
    Yes, you can use beer bottles, for Wine. I frequently
    use them for Mead, if it is a "special, one gallon batch".
    For a one gallon, I usually get 8 or 9 beer bottles, of
    Mead.
    I do occasionally make small batches of Methligin, from
    good Mead, in a secondary Brew.

    You also can use Champagne bottles. They hold 1/5
    gallon, just like a standard wine bottle. And most
    Champagne bottles can be capped with "crown caps,
    and a capper" just like beer bottles.

    I have a question. WHY would only make 1/2 gal. batches?
    For the same amount of mess, you can make a gallon.
    One half gallon will only give you about 4 or 5 beer bottles
    full.
    I have 4 big, 5 gal. Carboys. I almost always make 5
    gallon at a time. Makes about 21 or 22 wine or Champagne
    bottles full. Lasts awhile too.

    I have four bottles of very old (6 yrs.) "Goat Scrotum Ale"
    from the recipe in Papazian's book. It took 2 years to really
    mature properly. Only to be spared with very special,
    appreciative male Friends. It's strong, hoppy, Malty & mellow.
    Happy Brewing.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup capping a beer bottle full of wine is a great idea and works well. I even use the twist top beer bottles with no problem.
    So Old John just how long is the waiting list to become an appreciative friend?
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    beer bottles work, so do plastic soft drink bottles with screw on tops. Just make sure to sanitize first, and use the colored plastic jugs to prevent uv from degrading your product. They are food grade, dont alter the flavor, designed to take more pressure than glass.
     
  6. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have never made wine before and so am experimenting with the 2 half-gallon cider jugs I have, so as not to buy more equipment. My 5 gallon gear is otherwise engaged right now (beer). With the ease and success so far I can see I am going to have to invest in some new carboys. I am grateful I froze so many berries during picking season...who needs all that much jam anyhow!

    Thank you for your feedback. I will try using caps for these small batches and some colored beer bottles I have already.
     
  7. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    I use 1 liter whiskey bottles and cork with a tapered cork then put the plastic screw cap on to ensure the cork stays moist. Over the years I have collected over 1000 whiskey bottles from family and friends that I recycle. I have bottles of win still cellered from my first bottling in 1994 .
     
  8. scottdoyle

    scottdoyle Active Member

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    I have been brewing beer for years and love a good strong one. I would imagine that I am not the only one that is wondering about Goat Scrotum Ale you mentioned. Is it made with what it sounds like it's made with?
     
  9. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    :haha:

    Scott, I believe the recipe is in the New Joy of Brewing by Charlie Papazian. Its in my edition but I bought it many years ago.
     
  10. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    who needs all that jam make wine my sedements exactly lol
     
  11. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Y'all,

    Yup, the recipe for "Goat Scrotum Ale" is in Charlie Papazian's book,
    "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing". I left out a couple of things,
    though. I tried a chile pepper beer once & didn't like it. So, I left out
    those. I've over the years, tried several of the things he added to that
    Brew.
    Truth be told, I have never followed a recipe, without adding my own
    innovations. I do like Blackstrap molasses, in Stouts. I like Spruce beer,
    brewed in the Spring, with fresh Spruce tips. I like hoppy Brews.
    I've added a couple ounces of instant coffee crystals or Brewers licorice,
    to a few batches. I like the bitterness that roasted barley or black
    patent malt adds to a good, dark brew. I like to make & serve a
    Brew that is MINE.

    I've mentioned in past posts that I lead a Northern Ancestral Folk Religion
    Group. We meet once a month or so. I brew for the Group, the Blessings
    we do, and the Feast, afterward. In years past, I was involved in 2 separate Groups & Brewing for both. I made 85 to 90 gal. of Beer & Ale
    a year, for 3 years running, as well as 40 to 45 gal. of good, sweet,
    strong Mead.
    Each of us has a drinking Horn, made from a cow horn, cleaned, sanded,
    carved, and waxed or seasoned. We use these Horns, in our Blessings,
    and to share our wonderful traditional Libations. Many Toasts are made.
    "Lifting the Horn" is well-shared Tradition in my house.

    As far as sharing, my "Special Brews", I'm happy & proud to. I have a
    few Friends, appreciative, to share them with. It takes a few years of
    good & bad times gone through & shared to grow a strong Friendship.
    I also like to get together with other mutual,Brewing-friends, to sip &
    compare, the merits of many a combination of Malt & hop.
    Nothing like sharing a Brew.
     
  12. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Just a few more questions:

    If you cap with bottle caps, do you need to lay the bottles on their sides or can they age upright?

    If I am buying some wine specific carboys, if I will tend to make smaller batches (up to three gallons most likely) do you recommend getting the 5 gallon size anyhow? Or is that too much headroom?
     
  13. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    You can just stand them up. The only reason to lay wine down is to prevent the cork from drying out and leaking.

    Use whatever size container it takes to be full. The less air the better with wine. Unless your making sherry but thats another subject.
     
  14. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks KRH. I'm ordering supplies tomorrow.

    Meantime the blackberry wine is bubbling away. I may just switch from beer to wine. Heck, it all smells so GOOD!