Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bottling Lidl Wine

While I was mixing the new batch of apple cider, I decided to check the gravity of and possibly bottle the Lidl-brand wine-thingy I made with the cheap grape juice.  The fermentation had slowed down greatly, and the wine had cleared a great deal upon visual inspection.  Two remaining rogue sultanas were still floating on the surface, and I planned to at least deal with them while I had some sanitizer mixed up to prevent mold forming on the floating bloated raisins.

Finished grape juice wine and bottles
Finished Wine and Bottles

When I lowered the sanitized hydrometer into the bottle to measure the gravity, I smiled as it sank lower and lower, finally settling at 0.960.  The number means that this wine was less dense than water (1.000), and thus had fermented down significantly, and wouldn't ferment much more, if at all.  It was ready to bottle.  While another process was going on my apple cider batch, I sanitized three 500mL bottles and one 1.5L bottle.

Wine is finished bottling
Finished Bottling

In no time, I had myself three liters of bottled wine and a little sample glass to try the finished product.  The total cost of this 3L of wine was about 1.20 Euros, or about $1.60.  Not a bad deal, eh?

But How Was It?

Interesting...  I had made grape juice wine before, but not since my days of using bread yeast.  Surely this would taste better than bread yeast and kiwi-strawberry frozen juice concentrate, right?  I had also tried some Welch's grape concentrate wine made by one of my oldest homebrewing influences, and it was just how anyone would expect given the ingredients: dry but fruity.

This stuff was less fruity, mostly because the juice was so diluted.  I should have used two liters of juice to flesh out with additional sugar and water to get to my 3L bottle capacity.  The fruity taste is there, but it's thin.  Next time I make this- and there will be a next time- I'll step up the juice content.  I bought the juice on a busy day out in City Centre, ok?  I didn't have room in my backpack for more than one liter of juice.  It again proves that brewing takes planning... or something like that.

For now, I'll enjoy a little bit dry red Kool-Aid looking thing in small doses.  I may also make some homemade vinegar with it.  It worked with my apple cider!  More on that in another post.

Full Method

Brew No. 041
Feb 10, 2014

1L Red grape juice
1 Cup white sugar
Yeast bed from brew No. 039 (apple cyser)

OG 1.060

Feb 27, 2014

FG 0.996- 8.45% Alcohol/volume according to my standard calculator.

Yield: 3x 500mL bottles and 1x 1.5L bottle.

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