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Apple Wine from The Joy of Home Winemaking

Major Ingredient: Apple Juice, Frozen Concentrate from Supermarket
Minor Ingredient: Lemonade, Frozen Concentrate from Supermarket
Expected Quantity: 1 Gallon
Actual Quantity: 5 bottles


DateTemperatureSpecific GravityNotes

Beginning (16-Oct-2005)  

  • Sugar - 2 cups
  • Apple Juice Concentrate, 12 oz. - Thawed
  • Lemonade Concentrate, 6 oz. - Thawed
  • Pectic Enzyme - 1/2 tsp.
  • Water - Enough to fill jug

Mixed the water, sugar, apple juice concentrate, lemonade concentrate, and pectic enzyme and put into a glass 1-gallon jug. Covered with plastic and elastic band to hold the plastic in place. Let sit for a day before adding yeast.

I'm going to attempt to follow Terry's instructions as closely as possible. That includes no unnecessary measurements. Ok, I lied, specific gravity is 1.064, temperature is 87F.

Day One (17-Oct-2005)  

One whole packet of Montrachet (Red Star brand) yeast added. This seems a bit of overkill, but that's what the directions said to do. Did not stir.

A couple of hours later and bubles had filled the neck of the gallon jug and started to force their way into the plastic coverring. Clear evidence of why a bucket with plenty of extra space is preferred by many for the primary fermentation step. I put the jug in a dishpan to catch any overflow that might make it past the elastic band.

Day Two (18-Oct-2005)  

Larger bubles subsided and left a gunk around the inside neck of the bottle. I cleaned it out with a paper towel. Lots and lots of little bubbles are rushing through the must now - what they call rapid fermentation. The plastic cover / elastic band isn't working out like I would have thought. There doesn't seem to be any positive pressure keeping outside air from getting inside the bottle. I would think that the plastic would balloon out a little bit until the pressure was enough to get past the elastic band. It hasn't. Perhaps I'm not using a strong enough elastic band. I replaced this contraption with a stopper and air lock and it's bubbling away nicely. This way I can at least see that there is no air going the other way.

Day Four (20-Oct-2005)  

Still fermenting like mad. The airlock hasn't slowed down one bit. I know this is fermenting apple juice, but it looks exactly like the orange juice in my refrigerator. I'm attributing this difference to the yeast and bubbles.

Day Fifteen (31-Oct-2005)  

Fermentation has slowed to just a few bubbles every second. Took readings and a sip. Tastes horrible with a slight aftertaste of apple. I'm hoping this gets better and is not ruined.

Day Thirty-One (16-Nov-2005)  

There are still a few small bubble breaking the surface now and then. I took measurements and then a taste. It does taste and look like wine now, so I'm feeling more optimistic about this batch. Following the instructions, I racked into a fresh clean 1-gallon glass bottle. This was the first time I managed to use a siphon and racking tube without incident. I think I may have found the trick to this siphoning business. If I have, then I may start to enjoy this part of the process instead of dreading it.

Day Thirty-Five (20-Nov-2005)  

I decided to fine the wine starting today so I can bottle it next weekend. I added 3 ml of Kieselsol and stirred gently. Eight hours later, I added 1/2 fl. oz. of Chitosan and stirred.

Day Forty-One (26-Nov-2005)  

The wine cleared within 24 hours but I let it sit for the remainder of the week. I got 5 full bottles out of it.

Eighteen Months Later (22-May-2007)  

I had given 4 bottles away to friends and family. I just opened the final bottle today and it tastes very good. Tastes just like a less sweet Champaign.



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