Ping Bill - homemade fruit brandy questions

Ok, here is the recipe as given to me :
3 gallons water 3 lemons, sliced 1 large cake of yeast 10 lbs sugar 2 quarts fruit of choice, pitted, sliced 4 box's white raisins
Boil water for 5 minutes, let cool completely. Add all ingredients, except raisins. Stir once a day, for seven days. Add raisins. Let set for 21 days, strain, bottle.
Now, I have seen other recipes similar to this on the net, some have said to cover (airtight) after adding the raisins, some not....I know enough that I should cover with something to keep the fruit-flies out, but will the fermenting be done after only seven days? Thanks to all for any hints, tips, or experiences......
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you may have meant Ping Billy.
I used to have the wine ferment in a closed container that had a bubble attachment to let gas escape and bugs out. These I asked a glass blower friend design. The cheese cloth reminds me of open pickle crock .
I failed in my wine making I think in large part to using plastic instead of glass vessels. At one time the plastic water bottles that people who purchase bottled water were made of glass. The pickles worked and once running all sorts of veges went in.
I'm thinking about getting a crock cooking again this year. My problem is I have lost contact with a sunny garden and with a width of 125 feet with large trees it looks like plenty of light now but once the oaks leaf out trouble in river city.
Bill Things do change. Garden hard.
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

We have 5% of the world's population; we have 25% of the world's
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Tim, the recipe is for one very sweet dessert wine. Figure that an American pint is a pound, then you are talking 10 lbs. of sugar / 24 lbs. of water = 42% sugar. This is an approximation as the volume will increase somewhat but not much. "If" you could ferment that dry (of sugar), you would have a wine that is 23% alcohol (but you can't, because the fermentation will stick at 18% or earlier). Then there is the matter of the raisins, which are about 80% sugar.
This much alcohol and sugar "should" insure that the wine won't restart fermentation later. If it survives the first 18 months, you are home free because the yeast can't remain viable longer than that.
The there is the matter of the acidity. Table (grape) wines will typically have .7 to .5 grams of total acidity per 100ml. I haven't worked with dessert wines but according to http://www.wineperspective.com/the_acidity_of_wine.htm dessert wines have a higher acidity to maintain balance. The example given is 1.1g/100ml for a wine of 21% residual sugar. PH is a better indicator of acid taste (sour) than total acidity (TA) but the more total acid, the lower the pH. That said, I'd guesstimate the probable sweetness of the final wine at 9% + the sugar from the raisins. Then based on 1.1g/21% sugar and 0.7g/2% sugar calculate the acidity based on the projected sweetness above.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid one ounce (fluid I presume) of lemon juice contains 1.44g/(1/8) cup. 1.1g/100ml X 3 gal X 3.785 liters/gal X 10 deciliters/liter = grams of acid/deciliter. Divide this answer by 1.44g to get how many 1/8 cups (1 fl. oz.) of lemon juice you will need to reach this level.
I should tell you that citric acid tends to generate acetic acid during fermentation, although I doubt that it would be very noticeable in a wine this sweet. It would probably give the wine a sherry-like quality. If you aren't adamant about using this recipe, I would recommend that you use tartaric acid. The resulting wine will taste more like the flavoring ingredients that you have added. Just about anything can be added for flavoring to your basic wine recipe. besides the ones you have listed, including dandelion flowers, ginger, cloves, and orange and lemon peels (organic: to avoid dyes and insecticide residue).
Hope this helps :O)
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Rats, it's always something isn't it?
The faster the wines ferments, the less flavorful it will be. For a fruity wine 60F - 70F would be sufficient. If you can get it to go at 50F, even better but the fermentation will drag on for a while. For god's sake, don't let it get near 90F, or it will taste like old inner tubes.
Try to find an old 5 gallon glass water bottle for your fermenter and a second one to rack (decant) into. Brewing shops will have plugs and caps to put on them, with and without an opening for a fermentation lock. Air (O2) is your enemy. If you have to, use a large garbag bag over the top of a neutral container (Rubber Maid food grade garbage cans come to mind) and secure with rubber bands laced together or a bungee cord. Push down slowly once it is inflated to drive out the O2 (CO2 is heavier than air and will rest on the surface of the ferment). Make sure that you don't use a lead enamel pot or lead glazed crock for fermentation because the acid in the wine will leach out the lead. Once the fermentation trap stops bubbling actively (garbag bag collapes), fermentation will be mostly over. Gas receiving vessel with CO2 (dry ice: you'll probably need to rack some wine into the vessel first, if it is glass, to keep from cracking the glass) or better a cylinder of CO2, or much better yet, Argon (inert). CO2 will dissolve into the wine creating a partial vacuum (I destroyed a 5 gal. bottle this way once.). Argon won't.
At this point, I'd add some SO2 (sulfur dioxide). Try for about 45 parts per million. The sugar will suck most (if not all) of it up. Free, unbound sulfur is bacteriostatic, and inhibits enzymes that may cause browning. If you are going to do much wine making, you should invest in a 25 ml burette, 25 ml volumetric pipette, 250 erlynmeyer flask, .02N iodine (I2) solution, and 1% starch solution. http://www.mbhes.com/so2_in_wine.htm solution.http://books.google.com/books?id=LHHup5ZDGNUC&pg=PA280&lpg=PA280 &dq=SO2,+Ripper+method&source=bl&ots=Zc3JeK7nNR&sig=ZZPHr7BXSkSVi3Xk9rWh1 cRuvmc&hl=en&ei=kRzRSZedNpq6sgPk26mgAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=re sult#PPA281,M1
In any event, it is probably best to keep wine cool (refrigerator).
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I used to make wine, I'd run the primary fermentation in food grade plastic pails with loose lids and after a few days rack over to a glass container with an air lock (bubbler). I used wine yeast which is tolerant of a few ppm sulfur dioxide which keeps out the wild stuff. Sodium meta bisulfite was used to sterilize containers and as source of sulfur dioxide in the must. A sweet wine would need more sulfur dioxide to prevent further fermentation. Wine making stuff was available at a local shop, "Wine Hobby", no longer in business. I would look for someplace like that for yeast, chemicals and containers. Good idea to also buy wine making books.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

10 - 15 parts per million (ppm) will give a yeast bomb an advantage if added the day before an inoculation of yeast. Again, SO2 isn't a sterilizing agent. It's not bactericidal, it is bacteriostatic. It doesn't kill, it stuns. If you want to sterilize a clean object, use chlorine, bromine, or 181F/20 min.. Try to use potassium metabisulfate because sodium is bad for many people's blood pressure. I found that 1 lb. metabisulfite/1 gallon H2O gives a 5% SO2 solution. Then multiplying gallons X ppm added X (fudge factor) .063 = mls of 5% sol. to add. Rise in SO2 levels isn't linear because SO2 binds with sugar and aldehydes.
SO2 sufficient to stop future fementation, would render the wine very unpleasant (smell of freshly lit matches and blinding head aches). At the sweetness, the original poster stated, the alcohol and sugar combination would work against future fermentation. The first spring would be the make or break for this wine. For one of those strange occurrences surrounding wine, unprotected wines will recommence their fermentations in the spring, even if held at a constant temperature. This is true for primary and secondary fermentations. Potassium Sorbate could be added to the wine to prevent fermentation but gives an unacceptable bad taste to the wine. Low temperatures (40F) or sterile filtration (.45 microns) are the only sure ways of preventing refementation.
--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.