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48 Hour Lambrusco

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sosman

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I was browsing the oztops web site and was inspired to make something alcoholic from supermarket grade dark grape juice.

I started this project yesterday, just now my SWMBO sampled some and when I come back from out of town tonight I would not be surprised if she is pissed and the liquid level in the fermenter significantly lower. It is bubbling quite actively and I am hoping that when it is a bit dryer she won't be so disposed to quaffing it.

Anyway it is very simple and I am sure there is room for lots of variation:

- buy bottle of dark grape juice, without preservatives. It seems most of these are reconstituted. I also bought some apple juice and that will be next. The "quantities" here are for 2 litres.

- Modify the lid to take an airlock. Either use a bung or drill a half inch hole in the lid and insert one of those airlock grommets.

- Slurp out some juice to make headspace.

Now this is where it gets a bit seat of pants. It is what I did, not necessarily optimized:

- Sprinkle some champagne yeast. I chose champagne yeast for attenuation but if it turns out dry and tasteless I will try an ale yeast next time.

- Put in a pinch of yeast nutrient (may not be necessary).

- Put in a pinch of citric acid or to taste (may not be necessary).

- Shake it like buggery.

Leave it where the SWMBO can't guzzle it.

The bit (which I haven't done yet) is to time the bottling/cooling to achieve balance of alcohol/sweetnes/carbonation. If you let it attenuate too far you might need to prime. For "speed" lambrusco just bottle in PET while it is still active (taking care to avoid bottle bombs) and then crash cool before they explode. With PET bottles you get tactile feedback (cf glass shrapnel) on the pressure level so you can relieve it as required.

Watch this space for further installments ...
 

sosman

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Well after 24 hours the bubbling slowed right down so I put most of it in a PET bottle.
 

sosman

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Well the missus loves it.

Also, I thought the fermentation had slowed right down and bottled as noted previously. Boy was I wrong. I managed to avert a sticky mess around the kitchen but only just. I came home late that night and in the half dark kitchen I heard a burp from the airlock. Figured I had better check the bottled brew, it was tight as a drum. I reckon by morning we would have "had a problem".

I also bottled the remainder this morning and when I came home from work it was ready to bottle too, so I could have left if for a while yet.
 

sosman

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I thought I would try the apple juice this time round:

AppleCider.jpg
 

big d

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so outa curiosity sosman how do you rate these oztops?
ive been thinking long and hard about purchasing some so i can brew some up to hopefully shut the handbrake up.if she drinks enough then she might go to sleep and get off my case about my drinking habit.hey a blokes gotta try what he brews before going commercial ;) my excuse anyway <_<

cheers
big d
 

sosman

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Big D,

I have never used the oztops. The idea came from the oztops web site but I just used stuff I had lying around. I imagine they work just fine.

sos
 

SteveSA

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big d

My assistant brewer (SWMBO) has been using them for 12 months and in a word: sensational. They're easy to use and do a damn fine job. Well worth the $25.
Real handy when making a punch for parties too... nothing like using 12% ABV cider for a base :wacko:

C&B
Steve
 

Justin

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Kind of off topic but still on topic and I haven't thought too much about this one, but I had a ginger beer the other day, bottle fermented with yeast still in the bottle. Why isn't this alcoholic? Yeast, sugar, making love together, should produce alcohol offspring? Do they use a different yeast or what's the go?

I know you can get alcoholic ginger beer and non-alcoholic ginger beer. As a kid I loved the stuff, maybe I was getting pissed on it?

Keen for ideas, thoughts, gospel, or BS spoken with such conviction that I believe that it's true.

JD
 

Murray

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AFAIK non-alcoholic ginger beer is actually alcoholic. I believe it is at most 0.5% ABV.
 

Justin

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Cheers Murray, I suspected as much, but why isn't it higher in %. I've never made the stuff but I assume there is a fair bit of sugar that finds it's way in there?

Anyone made the stuff or know how much sugar/%EtOH there is in a batch?
 

GMK

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Do a search on the forums for my Ginger Beer recipee - mine ended up at 3.5%....

Tasted Bloody Good.
 

sosman

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Well the "lambrusco" I bottled after 36 hours tasted great (it was still fermenting when I bottled it). It has some grape flavour and sweetness.

The stuff I bottled on day 3 was crap.
 

sosman

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SteveSA said:
My assistant brewer (SWMBO) has been using them for 12 months and in a word: sensational. They're easy to use and do a damn fine job. Well worth the $25.
Real handy when making a punch for parties too... nothing like using 12% ABV cider for a base
Any recommendations for what kind of juice to use and any other experiences you would care to share?

Eg type of yeast, fermentation temps.
 

SteveSA

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Sosman,
Sorry about the delay replying - up to my armpits in diesel headaches... :angry: Beer's so much more fun to work with!
You can use any fruit juice as long as it doesn't contain any preservatives. She uses the Berri you have pictured above and has had good results with apple, pear, grape and brekkie juice. (IMHO apple is the best though) We were told that pineapple and other "acidic" juices don't work that well.
The Oztops come with two types of yeast. One is a "normal" yeast and the other is what they call a "summer" yeast for higher temp brewing.

Whichever you use it's the same method:
-Create a bit of headspace - not too much. From a 2.4L she drinks about 1/2 cup.
-Add yeast of your choice (about 1/2 teaspoon?)
-Shake well, then shake well again after 10mins
-Screw on whichever Oztop you choose (according to carbonation you're after)
-Leave at room temperature for as long as you want. There's a chart that scales fermentation time to no. of days you leave it. Off the top of my head I think about 5 days it's around 5-6% ABV. The longer you leave it, the stronger it gets to a limit.
-Bung it in the fridge and this will put the yeast to sleep and slow fermentation almost to a stop.

When you use "Med" and "High" it will be necessary to decant juice into a 2L soft drink bottle as these tops are a smaller diameter than the "Low" and won't fit on Berri bottles.
There's a variety of tops for different carbonation levels. We've found the High and Med to be most effective. SWMBO has donated a "Low" to the brewery - excellent for making starters.

I think that's just about everything :unsure:

Oh yeah... you're supposed to be able to reuse the same yeast 4 or 5 times but a recent batch didn't work too well. I think it was use no. 4.

Regards
Steve

PS keep punch out of reach of tea-totalling sisters-in-law... or not!! :D :D :D
 

dougy

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Justin said:
Cheers Murray, I suspected as much, but why isn't it higher in %. I've never made the stuff but I assume there is a fair bit of sugar that finds it's way in there?

Anyone made the stuff or know how much sugar/%EtOH there is in a batch?

Justin,

If you buy a can of gingerbeer concentrate, it says you either make it alco or non alco.
To make alco, add 1kg sugar. then ~3.5%. i add 1.5kg gives it a bit more kick.
To make non-alco, add 200g sugar. then there is bugger all %.

Obviously this seems to be limiting the yeasts food, resulting in limited by-products (eg. alcohol and CO2).

sounds right?
 

sosman

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Well after a week or so of experimenting - this quick and dirty juice brewing has got some potential. There is a lot of scope depending on what you are after. Some of the stuff I brewed tasted great, others not so great.

Given that getting it brewing takes about 5 minutes and costs a few dollars it has a side effect of helping me understand the brewing process better. Costs and volumes are down so you can try new things very quickly.
 

SJW

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Sounds like fun. But if i use the airlock method and bottle after 36hours of fermentation won't they burst the bottles? or is the idea to get them on ice and drick a.s.a.p.? I guess if you only make 2 litres at a time you cant go too wrong
 

sosman

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You've got the idea.

Bottle - crash cool. Depending on how vigorous the fermentation is, I wouldn't even leave the bottles overnight (unless you loosen the cap).

Depending on the yeast you don't have to drink real fast once refrigerated. I have found the champagne yeast is still active in the fridge, ale yeast slows right down.
 

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