Alright, I’ll be honest. The fruit wine has been… quite the adventure. I keep telling myself that it’s a learning experience, that I’ve never done this before. Right?
About a month ago I started brewing some apple wine. I had a plethora of apple juice to contend with so I though “hey, why not!?”. I faithfully followed the apple wine recipe given to me at the brewery store and let it ferment in the primary fermenter (essentially a large bucket).
After the primary fermentation phase I siphoned the must into a glass carboy and placed the fermentation lock in the top. Here is where I made my first two major mistakes. The liquid didn’t reach all the way to the top of the carboy and I (mistake #1) didn’t top it off with water. This isn’t ideal because it allow the fermenting wine to be exposed to too much air making it bitter. Then I (mistake #2) didn’t set up my fermentation lock properly. Apparently you’re supposed to fill it halfway with water… which I never did (I never knew!) so the apple wine was being exposed air. Is it still good? I don’t know. I need to talk to someone who knows more about this stuff, but I’m a little embarrassed by my mistakes.
Over a week ago I also started a peach wine. It’s been fermenting in the primary fermenter and two nights ago it needed to be moved into a carboy. I siphoned it in and topped it off with water so not to make mistake #1 again. The peach juice sat bubbling away beside me while I racked my apple wine into another carboy to get rid of the sediments…. and then I heard POP! the top blew off and the peach juice was squirting everywhere! All over the wall and the ceiling. I yell out for Hubby and try to stop the flow by putting my hand on top of it. It wouldn’t stop and kept on squirting everywhere. After it finally decided to calm down, I look at Hubby at we both laughed. He then pointed out that I filled the carboy with too much liquid (mistake #3) and the pressure inside was too much for the fermentation lock. I spent my evening cleaning peach juice off the walls and ceiling of my basement and mourning over the fact that my apple wine may not be drinkable.
So there you have it, my adventures in making fruit wine (so far).