Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Does anybody brew/ Make wine here?

770077 - 14-6-2009 at 20:22

Hows it going everyone! First post!

I have lurked here for a while but have seen no discussion of brewing/ winemaking. A lot chem/bio teachers I have had have been into making their own beer and wine (some even into distilling).

Wondering if you guys ever make anything alcoholic and potable, and what? Recipes of course are welcome.

Note: I just started a few gallons of mead going (on the dry side). Has anybody made mead?

Trifluoroacetic - 14-6-2009 at 20:32

Welcome to Science Madness!!!!
I've thought about making wine in fact I have quite a few supplies sitting arround but I haven't had a chance to make any yet. I've been to busy working on other projects.

Paddywhacker - 15-6-2009 at 02:10

Winemaking is a great hobby. Especially since many fruit and vegetable juices can be fortified with sugar and fermented to yield many an exotic tipple.

One of the most surprisingly nice ones that I have come across was parsley wine.

One of the worst, I made from many cans of pineapple juice. The nature of the flavour compounds changed completely on fermentation. A friend, on tasting the final product, claimed I had shat in it.

Any good stories... tips?

12AX7 - 15-6-2009 at 07:48

Hah, I wonder if that's due to the pinapple esters (ethyl butyrate IIRC!) breaking down.

I'm going to try watermelon wine this summer. Probably a disaster as I have little brewing experience, but we'll see. If it sucks, I can distill the alcohol and stockpile it. :D


hissingnoise - 15-6-2009 at 08:02

Quote: Originally posted by Paddywhacker  
A friend, on tasting the final product, claimed I had shat in it.

I was offered homemade wine made from some kind of wild berries---it smelled and tasted of strong cat's piss.
I didn't tell the winemaker as she considered herself a connoisseur of "field wines". . .
And I was looking for a favour!

unionised - 15-6-2009 at 10:27

I often wonder how people come to know what cat's piss tastes like.

I used to make my own home brew a while back. I don't do it so much now ( my friends and I are a bit older and drink less).
I was surprised to find out just how bad garlic wine was; I brewed it as a joke (one of my mates hosted a party wher, it seemed, all the food was full of garlic. For the next party I brewed an apropriate wine) and it was quite revolting. Still good to cook with though.
Of course I never tryied distilling the product because that would not be legal here in the UK. ;-)

12AX7 - 15-6-2009 at 10:47

I'm sure what they mean is, it tastes the way cat pee smells. If they tend to be more literal in their meaning, though, who knows :)

bfesser - 15-6-2009 at 11:32

And since the experience of taste is so heavily based upon smell . . . it's a fair assumption.

hissingnoise - 15-6-2009 at 11:38

Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
I often wonder how people come to know what cat's piss tastes like.

What! You mean you haven't tried it---a novel experience awaits. . . ?
Seriously though, if you've smelled it, as Tim said, you know what it's like.
It's the kind of smell you want from your stash. . .but not necescelery in your tipple!

crazyboy - 15-6-2009 at 15:19

Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Quote: Originally posted by Paddywhacker  
A friend, on tasting the final product, claimed I had shat in it.

I was offered homemade wine made from some kind of wild berries---it smelled and tasted of strong cat's piss.
I didn't tell the winemaker as she considered herself a connoisseur of "field wines". . .
And I was looking for a favour!

It's possible it was "corked" (tainted with 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole) it's detectable in parts per trillion, or your friend sucks at making wine.

Personally I brew beer wine and mead.

setback - 15-6-2009 at 17:16

Brewing is a good hobby indeed, you can make a very high quality product at home if you do a little reading and work. It's fun and you can take pride in knowing you made an excellent beer with your own hands, the old fashion way. No rice or corn here!

Anyway if you're interested in brewing check out (I hope that's ok). It's a BB dedicated to making beer, wine, mead, and cider at home. In the majority of the states home brewing IS legal (not distilling though).

Hennig Brand - 16-6-2009 at 12:51

1x2Kg bag of sugar on sale for $1-1.50 ca. = 2 x750mL of vodka
and thats retrieving probably less than 80% of total available alcohol.:)
I wonder what it realy costs the distillers and government, and what with the economies of scale and all.
I looked it up and here in ca. the average total tax on a bottle of hard stuff(excise+gst) was about40%, or about $10 on a $25, 750mL bottle. Beer and wine where normaly taxed about %20, and some beer and wine only 10% or so but that stuff was mostly crap.
The health argument isn' t there either I believe because vodka is among those taxed the most, and it is without doubt the best for you(baring alcohol poisoniong). The impurities are far more destructive of your health than the ethanol(methanol,acetone,higher alcohol and other). Of coure unless your booze is realy bad stuff , the biggest threat is in consuming too much ethanol.
note:percentages are based on quantity of ethanol in product.
[Edited on 16-6-2009 by Hennig Brand]

[Edited on 16-6-2009 by Hennig Brand]

1281371269 - 16-6-2009 at 13:14

But, Vodka is what teenagers drink at parties and get totally and utterly smashed and take up valuable hospital time. I agree however, it's not really the main cause of long term health problems and those are what really cost the health service a lot.
You also need to factor in the prices of energy for distilling and special yeast / nutrients and the space and labour. On the other hand, the sugar or rotten potatoes in the case of vodka would be bought in mass and would thus be even cheaper Still, extremely cheap.

setback - 16-6-2009 at 13:27

Home brewing isn't really all about making lots of hooch cheap, it's about making a quality product the old fashion way. Also, while not as much now with all the microbrewers, it's about trying new things. Since most American "macro brew" is utter crap that lacks any variety.

Hennig Brand - 16-6-2009 at 14:08

As far as I'm concerned good quality vodka is about as good as it gets. No hang-overs to speak of, everyones heard of a wine hang-over I would imagine. Vodka can be mixed with almost anything, it is super versatile! Some wine is realy good, and I definately love a good beer, especialy on a hot day. However making a good quality beer for example with any level of repeatability is difficult for many. I guess I find it more friggy and requiring more space to make good beer/wine in reasonable quantity in a reasonable amount of time. I do know people who do a realy good job of beer/wine and realy love it. I definately wouldn' t turn away a sample of someones home beer or wine.

You are right in the sense that a hobby like this should not be just about turning out a bunch of cheap booze, or feeding your or someone else's alcohol problem for that matter. I do believe that someone can take as much pride in micro distilling skills and products as they can in micro brewing skills and products. I know there are legal issues with this depending on and varying with location but unless selling your product I see no moral issue whatsoever regardless of what we are told.

[Edited on 16-6-2009 by Hennig Brand]

770077 - 16-6-2009 at 17:04

^ that website has some really good FAQs and how-to pdfs on it!

As far distilling massive amounts of cheap vodka goes, that is sort of an art as well, because you have to build the still you do it on. And that presents all kinds of wonderful engineering challenges to be tackled. Especially because you end up having to make the whole thing out of copper or stainless steel most times, and copper is not cheap. 20$ for a connecting-T guys. Much more if you want a 2" threaded piece.

Elawr - 16-6-2009 at 21:49

I brew beer..

mostly ales, because they brew at a convenient temperature and ale is my favorite beverage. I make 5 gallons at a time and put it up in stainless steel kegs. Much easier than bottling.

Anyone know of a good mead recipe?

merrlin - 16-6-2009 at 21:59

When I was a kid I read that pirates drank rum and that rum was made from molasses. I put some molasses and yeast into a glass jar, screwed the lid on tight and hid it in my closet. A few days later I opened it up and it foamed all over the place, smelling vaguely like something out of my parents' liquor cabinet.

Years later I got involved in a friend's annual winemaking project. He typical did both red and white, 50-70 gallons in 5 gallon glass carboys. One year we added pieces of oak to simulate the effects of a cask. Clear, unidentified crystals about a millimeter in size formed on the oak. Another year we used CO2 from sublimating dry ice to pump the wine during bottling, instead of the traditional siphon. The idea was to exclude oxygen. We were never able to get a red that could be aged for more than a couple of years without turning. The CO2 didn't help the aging, but it gave the wine a slight fizz. Home brewing/winemaking certainly combines the art and science of amateur experimentalism.

User - 17-6-2009 at 05:53

I do some home-brewing.
No wine , one needs a lotta grapes for that :P
Just fermenting sugar to +/- 18% and several distillations.
Then adding a couple of grams of burnt sugar and some oak pieces and leave it for a while.
Makes nice cheap as hell rum.
Iam thinking of making some nice esters to add, but i still have no idea what.
Any suggestions ?

Hennig Brand - 17-6-2009 at 06:20

I guess I am involved in brewing and wine making at some level. When you ferment grain for whisky/whiskey you are essentialy making a beer, a hopless beer but definetaly a beer. For whisky it is an ale that is used, actualy in Scotland many Scotch distillers get their yeast, already used at least once from Ireland where it was first used to make Irish ale beer. Aparently there are advantages to using yeast that has already gone through a fermentation cycle(less impurities, better taste,etc). It is survival of the fittest with yeast and after the first fermentation more of the strong survive and multiply and they get less stressed under less than ideal conditions and therefor produce less impurities and off flavors. When one makes a sugar wash, or a molasses wash, or a fruit wine for brandy then you are making wine. Contrary to many peoples beliefs rotten fruit and grain generaly makes bad tasting booze. It does produce alcohol of course, but the flavor will suffer, and maybe be ruined. It is probably as important to distilling to make a good beer or wine as it is to winemaking/brewing. The exception could maybe be when using a still that is either fractionating or has a high reflux ratio. When a still turns out alcohol at over 90% pure very little flavor is carried over. With this type of process activated carbon is usualy also employed(after, or in between distillations)to further purify and strip any flavors(good or bad) from the product.
Making good rum, whisky,brandy,and others probably requires most of the same skills as brewing and wine making actualy I guess. Many of the flavors that are created by choice of sacharian matter, and the fermentation process are carried over in the distillate. I would definatly avoid rotten anything unless making fuel alcohol I think.

[Edited on 17-6-2009 by Hennig Brand]

User - 4-7-2009 at 04:52

I am currently fermenting 3.5Kg of sugar in 10 liters of H20.
Recently i bought some kind of turbo-yeast that can bring the total mixture up to 18%.
Its Bubbling heavily through its waterlock so there is a lot of activity going on.
Another 5 days till its finished.

I will be distilling a couple of days because the biggest flask i have equips 2L :P
If all goes well ill build a big one out of copper and a deceased boiler.

One thing is for sure alcohol this way alcohol costs next to nothing.
Some of it will be used in my lab.
The rest of it will be for consumption by adding flavour and letting it rest with oak for a couple of months.
I like some very innocent chemistry once in a while.

Anyone any ideas of what esters could be interesting for using, if this is even advice able.
Or maybe other ideas for providing some nice non-natural flavour.

[Edited on 4-7-2009 by User]

Saerynide - 4-7-2009 at 09:01

Blend up some strawberries and put them in the vodka. Let it sit and extract for a couple days and filter out the mush. The result is a beautiful red vodka that smells like heaven and is juicy and smooth enough to sip straight :D

I do it all the time with store bought vodka.

I tried another variation with pears. Tasted like jetfuel. Ack!

setback - 4-7-2009 at 18:45

You should try brewing beer or even mead. It's a fun and rewarding hobby, nothing like tasting the fruit of your labor. It takes a good amount of work to do all grain, but it's worth it. You can make a world class beer at home, and you're in control of everything.

Apfelwein is another good one, it's simple to make and very tasty. Google apfelwein and follow the first link "edwort's apfelwein."

halogen - 6-7-2009 at 13:33

Been at it for about two years now; and I would say, certainly in the vein of experimentation, I once made a bacon-flavored batch on a wager with a friend. Straight, as I expected, it tasted fairly unpleasant, but on distillation it turned out surprisingly well - delicious in fact! Who would have thought...
Also, various teas are a wonderful thing to use as a base.

User - 7-7-2009 at 01:09

For giving it a bit of a chemistry touch i thought of collecting some nice herbs such as basil and others, and steam destilling it.
Collecting the oils and be able to fine tune the recipe.
I have no idea if this is useful at all , but it might be worth the shot.
At least it would be fun to do so.

Sobrero - 7-7-2009 at 01:49

Every year I make cider from our own apples (with some extra sugar). It tastes good, a bit champaign-like, but after three glasses, I get very sleepy :D.

Every once in a while, I also ferment (pure) sucrose, and distill the resulting "beer", up to about 90% concentration. Then I make different kinds of jenever with it, like lemon and chocolate jenever. They're quite delicious, these are the recipes (found with some trial and error, they're not improvement-proof):

Lemon jenever:
Peel the skin of one average sized lemon, try to take only the yellow peel, not the white below it. Put it in 200ml EtOH >90%, and leave it for approx. ten days in the dark (well shut of course). Then add 300ml of spring water, and three teaspoons of sugar I think (I don't recall an exact amount, because I just add some, taste it, and see if it needs some more sugar). Shake well to dissolve it. Best chilled in the fridge before consumption.

Chocolate jenever:
Take seventy grams of dark chocolate, and melt them gently (in a bain marie or, like me, in the microwave, gently). Mix 50ml of >90% EtOH with 100ml of premium cream and 50ml water, and add this mixture to the molten chocolate. Gently mix the chocolate with the liquid, not too violently otherwise the cream becomes too viscous. Perhaps you may need to sieve the cream beforehand, so as to exclude difficult-to-mix particles.
Let cool and serve at room temperature.

[Edited on 7-7-2009 by Sobrero]

User - 21-7-2009 at 02:03

Yesterday I kept on distilling my fermentation product.
I have 10 liters of ~18% etOH.

Right now the biggest container that i have is 2 liters ( a round bottom flask with NS29 )
It's a real pain doing this 5 times, ah well my vigreux makes up coz I get a product cointaining 92% in a single run :)

The first run gave about 325ml of product, theoretical i should be somewhere around the 400ml so I am quite happy.
If course i threw away the first 15ml for methanol contaminations.

The next run was done with a sand bath and gave me somewhat more stable conditions and also a higher yield.
The temp was a lot easier to monitor so i could cut off the fraction that i didn't want.

The raw product with some tap water (43 %) tastes somewhat funny, it is quite sweet and one can clearly taste the yeast effect on sugar water :P

I think ill do the next runs and put the product trough a final distillation.
Maybe deodorize it with activated carbon.
I should have somewhere around 3 liters of 40% maybe more.
During my live as a citizen i work in a kitchen , we have a lot of herbs and other fun stuff.
That opens some windows for toying around with taste.
It quite nice to do some innocent chemistry once in a while.

setback - 21-7-2009 at 05:48

Try fermenting with something other than sugar and water, that's what the moonshiners do to make a lot of money... but poor whiskey. Maybe try making a fruit wine and a fruit brandy out of it, maybe use apple juice; even barley would work well. Like a hopless beer.

[Edited on 21-7-2009 by setback]

770077 - 25-7-2009 at 02:11

Quote: Originally posted by setback  
Try fermenting with something other than sugar and water, that's what the moonshiners do to make a lot of money... but poor whiskey. Maybe try making a fruit wine and a fruit brandy out of it, maybe use apple juice; even barley would work well. Like a hopless beer.

[Edited on 21-7-2009 by setback]

If anybody is going to do this they should use a pot still instead of a reflux type still, as the latter is more selective and you lose all of the nice smelling cogeners you would get. But using a pot still means the mash will need to be run through twice... Anyway, I read something about the whiskey operations in Ireland using gigantic copper pot stills.

Also this is seriously not some innocent chemistry, distilling is still illegal in the states!

User - 25-7-2009 at 03:40

Ah come on this is innocent, where I live it isn't legal to do so ah well.
Driving too fast is illegal to.
Compared to making explosives it is the nicest thing you could do.. right?

Most of the oder/tast makers are esters with relatively low boiling point.
But your absolutely right, a lot more oders come over when one doesn't use a vigreux of any kind.
In my eyes it has one mayor advantage, the lowest boiling components come over first and that includes the methanol which is always created in the fermentation procces.
I only start catching the distillate when it went over the 78 degrees, funny is the jump between the 2 alcohols can be clearly noticed, as if a switch is flipped the thermometer takes a run from 68.x to a little over 78 degrees celsius.

[Edited on 25-7-2009 by User]

User - 10-11-2009 at 04:23

Hhmmm, double post.

The latest alcohol related project i am doing is brewing something that looks like cognac.
I've read a couple of books about how this is done, there's just to much to read :)

What I did is buy two bottles of wine (2L, 10%) , the cheapest white wine i could find.
Poured it in a 3 litre erlemeyer and distilled it till the liquid coming over tasted worthless/bad and not much more alcohol.
I obtained somewhere around 0.7L.
This tasted rough, quite sour and a bit bitter.
I than performed a second distillation and obtained 0.5 litres roughly 40%.
(I don't really have a good way of measuring this, and its not that important)
This product tasted a bit more smooth, but still not really good.

To age it artificially I placed it in a water bath (55 degrees) for about 4 hours.
The bottle was closed so no alcohol could evaporate, be careful doing this.
This did make a difference in taste, not as much as I had hoped.

They actually use this method in country's where it is not prohibited to age wine/port etc this way, only than it stays at slightly lower temp for some months.
If course exact temp aren't mentioned as far as I have seen.

I read a couple of tips and trick surrounding home brewing and came up with something that works quite well and does not cost extra money.
I simpely placed the bottle on top of the central-heater unit (correct word ?).
The "cognac" suffers from heavy temp shocks, when the heater is running the temp of the bottle climbs to more than 45 degrees celsius and during the night it goes back to about 15 deg C.

Leaving the bottle there for 3 months.
I was quite surprised by the result.
It tasted quite smooth, not as sour as it used to be, warm, and tasteful!
Also I could add some wood chips to accelerate the process and make it even smoother etc.

Anyway I found that this artificial ageing works very well and makes a rough fresh distillate taste good in a couple of months time, I'm pleased.
No exact science but giving something as primitive as brewing a modern edge is quite nice.

[Edited on 10-11-2009 by User]

aonomus - 10-11-2009 at 12:58

Not to derail, but would it be efficient to take sugar, water, and brewers yeast to create crude ethanol, and then distill (maybe multiple times) to obtain ethanol clean enough for reactions (eg: esters) and washing/cleaning?

What would be good fermentation conditions with sugar, temperature, % water; and what about other essential nutrients (ie: amino acids, proteins, to allow yeast growth).

To clarify: not for drinking, my liver (genetics) prohibits me from such activities.

crazyboy - 10-11-2009 at 13:31

Quote: Originally posted by aonomus  
Not to derail, but would it be efficient to take sugar, water, and brewers yeast to create crude ethanol, and then distill (maybe multiple times) to obtain ethanol clean enough for reactions (eg: esters) and washing/cleaning?

What would be good fermentation conditions with sugar, temperature, % water; and what about other essential nutrients (ie: amino acids, proteins, to allow yeast growth).

That's what I do, go to a home brew store or find someone online who sells "turbo yeast" it's used to make rum and other distilled beverages, it is premixed with nutrients and ultra high tolerance yeast.

I use a 5 gallon bucket water and regular white sugar and within a week have 25% alcohol. Distill the crude alcohol in a standard distillation setup for relatively pure ethanol ~95%. Distill again with a drying agent such as anhydrous magnesium sulfate for an even drier product.

It isn't ACS grade but I have used it as a solvent and in many reactions with no problems.

Paddywhacker - 10-11-2009 at 13:32

10% malt extract will give you all the cofactors needed for good yeast growth. A little ammonium, phosphate and magnesium, in the form of salts will help.... Google "yeast nutrients"

Yeast extract would work too, but Marmite & Vegemite have too high a salt content.

If you get your sugars from hydrolyzing plant material, particularly waste cellulose, then you are well on your way to making bioethanol for fuel & chemical feedstocks. A fully legitimate enterprise.

Saerynide - 10-11-2009 at 15:17

My friends and I just made a 10 L batch of white wine using welche's grape juice. We added sugar and left it for 2 weeks.

I was way too impatient to properly rack and fine the wine. I said to my friend "chemists invented filters for a reason - the least we can do is use them!" So I tried to filter the wine. 8 coffee filters proved insufficient in removing the cells - product was still pretty cloudy. A cotton plug did a slightly better job. I had some super hard and slow filtering discs, but those would take the lifetime of the universe to filter 10 L of liquid. The coffee filters/cotton plug already took hours. So we settled with a cloudy wine :P

To adjust the flavor, I added ascorbic acid and more sugar. The product tastes pretty good for a first trial. Very fruity and a bit sparkly :D

User - 10-11-2009 at 15:32

The last post before my last confirms that I practised this method quite some times :)

The whole point, which I thought was clear, is to make a 'cognac' like drink.
This can't be achieved fermenting sugar because the best taste one can obtain is no taste.
Adding flavour is the trick in the sugar fermentation method.

What i did is use the wine for the flavour and add nothing extra.
The sport is to obtain something nice that is fully based on wine.

Ps i still have about 2 liters of 92% EtOH (tripple distilled).
Got to figure out what to do with this.

[Edited on 10-11-2009 by User]

aonomus - 10-11-2009 at 16:23

Heh, speaking of anhydrous MgSO4, I took a kilo of epsom salts (unscented plain) and baked until completely dry.

Good to know I can use something other than molecular sieves to get it over the 95% azeotrope.

gregxy - 10-11-2009 at 16:52

I used to make beer, in 4 gallon batches. It was fun but
something often went wrong you ended up with 4 gallons of bad tasting stuff that you felt that you still needed to drink.

I also made root beer, but once used too much yeast and
the bottles exploded! (they were of thick glass too). It happend in the middle of the night and scared the crap out of us and mad a big mess too. Home made root beer tastes
pretty good too.

On of the nicest things to drink was the 100% etOH from the
processing lab (mixed with fruit juce etc). You could not taste
it and it had a very clean "buzz" to it.

The Mythbusters did some experiments on changing cheap
vodka into high quality vodka using charcoal water filters.
I think they were somewhat sucessful depending on who
was doing the tasting.

Bikemaster - 10-11-2009 at 17:18

my question can seem stupid, but can we drink volka made from the distillation of alcool made with distiller yeast? They say that yopu can make wine with it, but they don't say that it is not commestible after some distillation. I say that because the distiller yeast is much more cheap that the turbo yeast for exemple.


aonomus - 10-11-2009 at 20:20

Well I found the turbo yeast mentioned in a post above ( ), which seems cheap enough to try.

I was also wondering about ( ), which states that if you add it, it will prevent the yeast from fowling the distillate. Has anyone tried this before? Will it actually help? (Keep in mind, aiming for ethanol clean enough to use for reactions).

12AX7 - 10-11-2009 at 20:56

I'd use some activated carbon, and bentonite or diatomaceous earth to settle it.


densest - 17-11-2009 at 17:27

@aonomus - You definitely want to distill a clear liquid if possible. Kieselguhr/diatomaceous earth, gelatin, chitosan, even starches (maize/corn, tapioca/cassava, etc., don't use wheat flour) are all useful clarifying agents. There are directions on the web for clarifying wine and beer with these. It will take some days, so be patient to get something that tastes good. If you don't want to add anything, just let the liquid settle without light for 10-20 days and decant the clear liquid. Activated carbon is not very useful as a clarifying agent. It is more useful after distilling to remove bad flavors.

@bikemaster - the purer your product, the better the result. If the input to the still is drinkable, the output should be as well. When distilling, discard the low boiling product (in English "foreshots") which contain methyl alcohol and some aldehydes (low boiling) and the high boiling product ("feints") containing higher alcohols C3, C4, C5, etc. All of those are toxic or unpleasant in more than trace quantities.

I brew beer frequently and enjoy the results :D

Home distilling is illegal in the US. There is a rumor that the tax authorities ignore people who distill but do not sell their product or otherwise become more noticeable.

aonomus - 17-11-2009 at 17:36

Its also illegal in Canada, or at least Ontario thanks to the excise tax act. I read on a home brewers blog that essentially, so long as you don't try to sell it, and you do it under the radar, you should be ok...

ie: don't go around telling people about it, leaving your setup static and running all the time, etc. :E can't just come barging in without a warrant, and can't get a warrant without evidence of anything....

JohnWW - 19-11-2009 at 01:28

Distilling and brewing and vintering at home are perfectly legal in New Zealand; but, if one tries to openly offer the stuff for sale, the Customs service will be on to one like a tonne of bricks, charging a large excise duty on sales based on ethanol content which is quite high for ethanol above 14%. In addition, the Food Standards Authority would probably require inspection and a license as to the product's safety before it can be $old.

asilentbob - 2-12-2009 at 12:22

To anyone looking to get into the hobby, Charlie Papazian's book, "The New complete joy of home brewing" is a great place to start. It can generally be found at most used book stores for under $6 or so.

I have been homebrewing hard cider, ale, wine, and mead at home with my parents for a few years now. Mostly 1 gallon batches of hard cider due to ease. Simply get a gallon glass jug of heat pasturized apple juice that still has pulp in it, pour off a bit so there is room for foaming, add yeast and airlock and put aside. When done if you siphon off the good stuff from the dead yeast, pulp, etc and add more heat pasturized apple cider it will take off faster and may taste better being sort-of second generation yeast that is slightly more accustomed to survive the environment of cider. You can repeat many times.

The strangest thing I have done was 1 gallon of capsicumel (chile pepper mead). I used a whole lot of dried zimbabwe bird's eye pepper pods and dried cayanne pods. Its a beautiful red color, but turned out way to HOT. A sip and you wont even taste the alcohol, it just burns your tongue. I may have to mix it into something else or just use it as cooking wine.

I'll likely get into kegging in the future as bottling gets old pretty quick with large batches of beer.

drmisc - 10-12-2011 at 06:18

Great thread. I'm thinking of studying a bachelor of viniculture and winemaking in 2013, anyone done this before or just viniculture/winemaking bachelor? What can I expect?