Author Topic: Make your own booze  (Read 1163 times)

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demetra

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Make your own booze
« on: October 25, 2007, 11:06:50 AM »
These are some fun ones I've made for renfaires.  Yes, this is pretty much as complex as my booze recipes get ;)

Heather Mead
6 pounds heather honey
10 cups lightly pressed flowering heather tops
4 gallons water
Yeast
Heat the water to 170F, add 6 cups heather flowers, and allow to stand covered overnight.  Strain liquid and boil, remove from heat and add honey.  Stir until dissolved.  Run hot wort through a sieve filled with 2 cups of heather tips into the fermenting vessel.  Allow to cool, and then add yeast.  Allow to ferment until fermentation slows down.  Remove 1/2 gallon of mead, add 2 cups heather flowers, and warm to 158F.  Cover and steep for 15 minutes, then return to fermenter.  When fermentation is complete, bottle and cap.  Age from 2 weeks to 2 years.

Sage Ale
4 pounds malt extract
2 pounds brown sugar
4 ounces fresh culinary sage
2 ounces licorice root
4 gallons water
Bring the water to a boil, add 2 ounces sage and licorice root, simmer 1 hour.  When cooled to 160F, strain over malt extract and sugar in fermenting vessel.  Stir until sugar and malt are dissolved.  Cool to 70F and then add yeast.  Add the final 2 ounces sage to the fermenter.  Ferment until complete (6 or 7 days).  Prime, bottle, cap.  Ready to drink in 10 days to 2 weeks.

Maple Beer
3 pounds maple syrup
1 gallon water
Yeast
Heat water until maple syrup will dissolve.  Cool to 70F, pour into fermenter, add yeast, and ferment until complete.  Prime, bottle, cap.  Ready to drink in 7 days.

Basic Honey Mead
1 quart honey
3 quarts water
Yeast
Boil water and honey together for 30 minutes.  Let cool to 70F and add yeaSt.  Ferment until complete (16-26 days).  Prime bottles if carbonated mead is desired.  Bottle, cap, and store.  Ready to drink in 2 weeks to 1 year, the longer the better.

Cyser
1 gallon fresh apply juice
3 pounds honey
Yeast
Heat apple juice until honey will dissolve.  Cool to 70F.  Pour into fermenter, add yeast, and ferment until complete.  Bottle per choice.

Pyment
2 1/2 gallons grape juice with no preservatives
2 gallons water
7 pounds honey
Yeast
Combine grape juice and water; heat just until the honey will dissolve.  Do not boil.  Cool to 70F, pour into fermenter, and add yeast.  Ferment until complete, then bottle.

Melomel
4 pounds crushed black currents
1/2 pint red grape concentrate
2 pounds honey
3 quarts water
Yeast starter
Warm 2 quarts water and dissolve the honey.  When dissolved, add the black currents and remaining water.  Let stand 24 hours covered.  Add yeast and allow to ferment on the pulp for 3 days.  After 3 days, strain and press the pulp, combine with grape juice concentrate, and add water to make 1 gallon.  Pour into fermenter and ferment until complete.

Apple Wine (from juice)
1 12oz can frozen apple juice
1 6oz frozen lemonade or juice from 2 lemons
1 lb sugar (2 cups) or 1 1/2 cup mild honey
1 gallon water (boiled and cooled while covered)
1 packet wine yeast (champagne or montrachet)
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
Boil the water, let it cool, covered.  Boil the sugar or the honey with 1 quart of water until dissolved.  Add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar if you are using lemons instead of lemonade.  Take the cans of juice out of the freezer to let them defrost.  Sanitize a 1 gallon jug.  While the sugar water is still a little warm, pour it into the jug.  Add the apple and lemon juice.  Then add plain, cool water until where the neck of the jug slants upwards.  Add the pectic enzyme.  Stir with a long wooden or metal stick that has been sterilized.  Put the airlock on.  Store it out of the light.  24 hours later, add the wine yeast.  Put the whole thing in a warm (75F) and dark place and allow to ferment for 1 month.  Rack the wine.  Allow to ferment another one to three months.  Bottle, cork, leave sit in the dark for a few months, then drink chilled.

Fruit wines -
Put the water mixed with sugar or honey on the stove to boil.  Remove any bad fruit.  Rinse the fruit lightly.  Put the fruit in a nylon straining bag and tie the top tightly.  Put the bag into your fermenting bucket and crush the fruit within the bag.  Pour the hot sugar water over the crushed fruit.  Add the acid, tannin, and yeast nutrient.  Wait until the temperature comes down and add the pectic enzyme.  12 hours later, add the yeast.  Stir once the fermentation begins.  Remove the bag after the froth and bubbling has died down (1 week).  Rack at least once.  After 4-6 months, bottle and let age 1 year.  Enjoy chilled.

Blueberry Wine
3 3/4 quarts water
2 1/2 lbs sugar or 3 lbs honey
2-3 lbs fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp acid blend
1/8 tsp tannin
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
yeast

Elle

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2007, 06:08:41 PM »
That's all it takes???? Hot dog! I'm gonna make me some booze! (don't worry, I am of age to enjoy legally)

What do you use for a fermenting vessel? And how do you know when it's done?

artk2002

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2007, 08:06:24 PM »
Thank you!

Elle... Your fermenting vessel usually has an airlock -- that's a fitting on top with water that allows CO2 to escape but doesn't let air in.  When the mead/wine stops bubbling, you're close!  I use a 1 gallon jug for small batches, but I also have a 2.5 gal carboy and a 6 gallon carboy for larger ones.

Find a local homebrew shop and they can help you out.  If you're in the LA area, I can recommend a very good one, The Home Wine, Beer and Cheesemaking Shop in Woodland Hills.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Elle

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 08:17:46 PM »
And in the spirit of share-alike here is my great uncle's recipe for homemade wine:

Get a five gallon jug and fill it with welch's grape juice and yeast. Place balloon over the mouth of the jug. Place in garage to hide from great aunt

Foist off on unsuspecting great-nieces.  :-X

Edited to fix spelling
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 08:25:56 PM by Elle »

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 07:02:17 PM »
Hey, this looks kind of fun.  Maybe I'll try making my own booze.  Is there a particular recipe in the ones you posted that you think would be best for a beginner?  Also, do you know any good websites with wine/mead making tips so that when I screw up I don't PM you 50 times in a panic? ;)

Thanks for sharing!

demetra

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 11:05:16 PM »
For a beginner, use the apple wine from juice recipe.

Rack the wine means siphon the wine from one vat to a new sterile one, leaving the sediment on the bottom.  Top off with distilled water if necessary.  On occasion, you will have to rack a wine multiple times.  Use a glass gallon jug.

The cleanliness of your process makes a huge difference in the quality of the wine.

Resist the urge to 'taste test' the wine during fermentation, all that does is allow for bacteria to enter.

If you have a cat, make sure it's locked out of the kitchen when racking the wine.  Every single cat I've owned has been fascinated with the siphoning process and tries to 'help'.  And they all seem to like the taste of raw wine, which, while amusing, really doesn't do much for the cleanliness issue.

If you use juice, make sure the juice has no preservatives and preferably no added sugar.

You know when it's done when it stops producing bubbles when you tap the fermentation vessel.  Try to keep the fermentation vessel in a temperature controlled area (between 70 or 80).  Too cold, and fermentation will slow.  Stuck fermentations happen, adding a little yeast nutrient can often fix that.

You'll bottle too early at least once in your wine making lifetime.  For this reason, do not store the wine bottles near anything you'd be heartbroken to have ruined.  I've been making wine a long time, and every now and then I get a bottle popping a cork or even exploding.

Remember the most important step in making good wine or beer is to relax and have fun with it. 

If you want, PM me around the time you want to try and I'll give you my phone number and walk you through it.

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 11:18:25 PM »
Thanks Demetra!  I'm so busy with school these days that I don't think I'll try anytime soon, but maybe over Christmas or summer break...  Of course, it's an ongoing process, so I suppose it doesn't make that much difference, huh? 

The apple wine sounds really tasty.  Thanks for the recommendation.  Perhaps if the apple wine goes well I can try some of the more complicated recipes.

I'm glad you gave me the cat warning, we have 4, and one of them really likes licking out bottle caps from alcohol bottles.  Little drunkard ;)

I'll definitely let you know if I try it, and how it turns out.  Maybe I'll send you a bottle ;D

demetra

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 11:34:03 PM »
LOL.  That's the major reason I like teaching the hobby.  I only have time to make so many types of wine a year, but if I get people around me to join in, we can do bottle trades and expand our cellars.  The more the merrier.

Oh, one of the most fun parts is the 'dregs'. 

See, a typical gallon batch makes 3 1/2 bottles of wine.  So you make 2 gallon batches at a time, and mix the two half bottles together.  Sometimes, it's horrible.  And sometimes it surprisingly amazing.  Like apple and mint, or chamomile and pear.

Twik

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2007, 12:53:33 AM »
And in the spirit of share-alike here is my great uncle's recipe for homemade wine:

Get a five gallon jug and fill it with welch's grape juice and yeast. Place balloon over the mouth of the jug. Place in garage to hide from great aunt

Foist off on unsuspecting great-nieces.  :-X

Edited to fix spelling

Oh, my....
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artk2002

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 08:36:44 PM »
Demetra,

Have you tried a no-boil mead recipe?  I've found that I don't have any infection problems and the honey flavor tends to come through more if I don't boil it.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

demetra

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Re: Make your own booze
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2007, 09:10:11 PM »
I have indeed, unless I'm using herbs.  Even then, often I just infuse the herbs and then add the warm infusion to the honey.  I've also warmed the honey and added the yeast, forgoing the water in the 'traditional' Celtic fashion, using wildflower honey.  While not to everyone's tastes, it was memorable, and I enjoyed it.

However, when teaching, I recommend the boiling or at least heating.  Makes dissolving the honey easier and the extra sterilization helps.  Plus I just follow the 'rules' more strictly when teaching.  I'd rather recommend the boiling than have someone get a contaminated batch.

Also, I've found that the boiling allows those like my sister, who cannot eat raw honey, to drink mead. 

And if I'm using wild fruit, I always boil.  Supposedly you can get away with not doing it, but I've had rotten luck in that regard (especially with peach mead, I'm cursed when it comes to peaches).