Making beer is one of my biggest passions, but I like to mess around with other brewing projects when I get bored with beer though. The nice thing with brewing is a lot of the equipment is the same from beer to wine so you really don’t have to invest in a whole heck of a lot to switch between the two.
A lot of times about once a month I’ll end up making mini batches of wine or mead. Over time you get quite a few wine bottles, especially because I use 375ml bottles to bottle in. When making these smaller batches of wine or mead one of the things that I use is Lalvin yeast, which is a dry wine yeast. Unlike white labs yeast where they have so many yeast types, Lalvin has 5.
When in doubt though I always figure use a a chart, that’s why I added one below. It’s a pretty good reference guide. I elaborated on it though with my own personal experience as well as the ABV that you can get from the yeast.
This wine yeast is really great for Red’s. This strain helps with enhancing fruit flavors. The darker the red, the better this yeast preforms.
Is great for whites. I’ve used this one with meads as well. This strain of yeast really does need appropriate nitrogen levels in order to turn out well, so make sure to add nutrient as well as energizer to it.
What’s kinda cool about this yeast is that it can metabolize malic acid turning it into ethenol. Now in engish, it will make acidic wines or meads, melomels (fruit meads) into more well rounded ones with out such a bite if you start off with lots of acid in it.
I typically use this one for ciders and natural fruit that are light. It works really great with stuck fermentations as well. The reason why I prefer this one with ciders and a lot of light country wines is that it is an extremely competitive yeast strain. It needs a high level of nitrogen though, so act appropreityly. Another thing about this yeast is that it keeps the fruity flavor longer then other strains.
This is a champagne style of yeast. It can take a wide range of fermentation temps as well (50 degrees up to 95 degrees). This is a great yeast to help restart stuck fermentations as well get a high alcohol if that’s what your going for.
So if your interested in making little batches of wine what I recommend you get assuming that you already have everything else because of your beer equiptment is:
A glass jug – 1 gallon
A box of 375ml bottles
A bag of corks – size #8 or #9
A #6 rubber stopper that is drilled (fits into the glass jug)
And a corker – either a handheld which are cheaper or a floor which is easier but of course more expensive.
Either way that’s what your really need to get going with making your own mini batches of wine or mead. Pretty soon we’ll be posting up so cool recipes for wine and how to do them as well.
But I’ll end this by asking you, do you have any have any country wine recipes or any mead recipes that you would like to share?
Lalvin’s website where the chart can be found: http://www.lalvinyeast.com/strains.asp