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Crabapple 2011

This batch was made from Fresh Crabapples picked from an overabundant tree a few blocks from my house ($0). This is the second year of making crabapple wine. I am working with the same recipe as last year’s crabapple wine. The yeast I’m using is Lalvin K1-V1116.

Batch #1

Status Date Specific Gravity Fluid Temp. Air Temp.
Primary Fermentation 2011-08-13 PM 1.134 80°F 85°F
Secondary Fermentation  2011-08-21 PM  1.040
Clearing
Second Clearing
Blending
Bottling  2012-03-13

Primary Fermentation

I think I picked about twice as many apples this year. Enough for two batches. For this batch I crushed about 20 lbs. of crabapples. I am also experimenting with a bit more sugar this time, up from 12 lbs. to 20 lbs. I’m interested in making a higher alcohol content wine. I don’t know if an additional 8 lbs. is enough to greatly increase the specific gravity, but we’ll see.

Also, last year I ended up doing about a 50/50 blend with a simple white grape juice wine to mellow out the overwhelming sour/bitter flavor. This year a good friend let me pick apples from his wild apple tree, which has fruit that’s about 3/4-inch in diameter, and make wine with it. That wine has turned out to have a pretty light flavor. Those apples were much more edible on their own. In my opinion the sourness of the crab makes a much more interesting wine. With that said, my plan for this year is to blend the earlier wild apple wine with the crabapple wine. 2011-08-16:SG = 1.070; 2011-08-19: SG = 1.050

Secondary Fermentation

Nothing too exciting. As usual, after removing the fruit in the mesh bag about a gallon of water needed to be added. Since I am still working to get my earlier wild apple batches to clear I did top-up with a bit of that earlier apple wine. 2011-09-17 Barely fermenting. Pretty much done, but some bubbles to come to the top.

Clearing

 

Batch #2

Status Date Specific Gravity Fluid Temp. Air Temp.
Primary Fermentation 2011-08-23 noon 1.146 80°F 82°F
Secondary Fermentation  2011-08-27
Clearing
Second Clearing  2011-12-17
Blending
Bottling

Primary Fermentation

Though I was sure that I had weighed the apples and evenly split the harvest for two batches of wine, after mashing apples last night it was pretty obvious that the mesh bag was almost twice as full as the previous batch. So much for me being precise! Regardless, I’m sure it will be fine and very similar to the first in taste. Also, I apparently added slightly more sugar. I’m on a roll with this one. Rather than starting with a fresh packet of Lalvin yeast I simply collected some of the lees from the first batch and fed it with fruit juice until it was pitched into the second batch. This practice is efficient and I think the active population of yeast is very high and, as a result, the primary fermentation gets off to a much faster start this way.

Secondary Fermentation

2011-09-17 Still fermenting pretty heavily.

2012-01-02: Wine got put on the back-burner for a while but never seemed to clear. Turned out to be a pectin haze.Mixed in a few teaspoons of pectic enzyme and it was very clear within a week. Mixed in a packet of Super Kleer and now it practically sparkles.Will bottle soon.