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Just thought I would throw this on here. I decided to make my own tomato wine this year. I never had it before, and people say it's good. It just so happens I have access to a LOT of tomatoes, so I put them in the old apple press, made about 4 gallons of tomato juice. Did all my wine preps and now fermenting it in a carboy. Attached is a picture of about three weeks of fermenting. At 5 weeks I intend on siphoning it off to a different carboy and then letting it age some more, and of course perform the taste test.

I will likely get asked, the carboy behind the tomato one in the front is fermenting apple cider. In two weeks, I will back-sweeten it, add it to a keg and carbonate it for the family Thanksgiving. I typically bring one keg of beer to either Christmas or Thanksgiving - always a hit. This year is a fermented cider, using a wine yeast, which will be back-sweetened with more cider, and then carbonated. It will likely taste more like a semi-dry sparkling apple wine. We'll see.
 

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Sorry for the sideways picture. It is correct on my laptop. I don't have time to troubleshoot so it'll just have to stay. Enjoy!
 

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I enjoy making wine as well. I like making blueberry wine, apple and I once made a raisin wine ( super high alcohol) that I didn't like but my friends did!! Till the next morning lol. Good luck on the tomato wine. Let us know how it turns out. Maybe you can make a bloody wine with a little hot sauce in it!!!
 

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Not that I will post on this much over the next year, but it's starting to clear up nicely after 7 wks. One of these days I will transfer it to another carboy and taste it. When I do that I will report in. Happy Thursday!
 

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I enjoy making wine as well. I like making blueberry wine, apple and I once made a raisin wine ( super high alcohol) that I didn't like but my friends did!! Till the next morning lol. Good luck on the tomato wine. Let us know how it turns out. Maybe you can make a bloody wine with a little hot sauce in it!!!
i need more info on this raisin wine please
 

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I have never tried making wine but I am not a big wine drinker.

I do know the processes well as I am a homebrewer and make of course beer but will also do a cider batch once a year.

I do the same thing with my cider. Ferment it, then back sweeten, keg and force carbonate. I have never bottled anything as one of my first purchases when I got into brewing was a keggerator. I have two Beverage Aire keggeators. One is a small one that holds one full size keg which works out well for 4 of the ball lock kegs. That one has a 3 tap tower and I use a vampire tap for when I want a 4th tapped. The big one will hold 5 full size kegs so easily 20 ball lock kegs if I had that many. I think I only have 7 or 8. I need to add towers to that one yet. It isn't running now but out in the shop. It does work fine. I just haven't needed the capacity and I got it for such a good deal I couldn't pass it up.

You mentioned making some of this for the holidays. Since you have the setup to do force carbonation, have you ever tried to do fruit? Load up a keg with various fruit, purge the air and leave it overnight or so on CO2. It is really good and it is just fruit so the kids can have it.

The CO2inator | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Some fruits will work better than others. For instance I think it takes a long time for grapes as it has to get through the skin. Also as you take it out of the keg you want to serve and eat it right away. This isn't a big deal because I just left the keg pressurized while we drove to my parents. Leaving it outside until we were ready to try it. I vented it and dumped it onto a platter or big bowl. I say you want to eat it quick as some fruit that is more delicate like strawberries and raspberries were really good right away but as they are out gassing the turn to mush. Others like apples and grapes held up well. The apples were cut into slices before putting them in the keg so it didn't have the skin issue.

It is worth a try if you have the equipment and haven't done it.
 

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I am not so much a wine drinker myself, but a lot of folks in my family are, especially the ladies. I would prefer whiskey, tequila, or beer myself. However, I am drawn to the simplicity and inexpensiveness of the wines I make. When I brew beer, I need to have hops, malt, grains etc. Not that it's an issue when I brew for myself, but when brewing frequently or for a group, reducing costs helps. With the tomato and apple wine I am making, I am in it a package of yeast, a cup of sugar, some time (picking apples/tomatoes, grinding them up, pasteurizing, and fermenting), and some CO2.

As for bottling, I still bottle some of my good stuff, that may be aged up to five years like stouts, porters, and some IPAs. Nothing like pulling out a triple smoked porter five years later to taste the journey! During our block party I carbonate lemonade and server it out of my kegerator. Kids LOVE it for some reason. I only have a two tap. It's mobile, as it's on wheels, and works great, and doubles as a temperature controlled fermenter.

I have not done fruit. I checked out the link - REAL COOL! Perhaps for Christmas! I think the kids will like it. Thanks for that info.
 

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I am not so much a wine drinker myself, but a lot of folks in my family are, especially the ladies. I would prefer whiskey, tequila, or beer myself. However, I am drawn to the simplicity and inexpensiveness of the wines I make. When I brew beer, I need to have hops, malt, grains etc. Not that it's an issue when I brew for myself, but when brewing frequently or for a group, reducing costs helps. With the tomato and apple wine I am making, I am in it a package of yeast, a cup of sugar, some time (picking apples/tomatoes, grinding them up, pasteurizing, and fermenting), and some CO2.

As for bottling, I still bottle some of my good stuff, that may be aged up to five years like stouts, porters, and some IPAs. Nothing like pulling out a triple smoked porter five years later to taste the journey! During our block party I carbonate lemonade and server it out of my kegerator. Kids LOVE it for some reason. I only have a two tap. It's mobile, as it's on wheels, and works great, and doubles as a temperature controlled fermenter.

I have not done fruit. I checked out the link - REAL COOL! Perhaps for Christmas! I think the kids will like it. Thanks for that info.
Yeah the kids had a blast with the fruit. Even the adults liked it as it is refreshing and something different. It is just fruit with CO2 so healthy as well. It just won't keep. So plan on eating it all and tossing the leftovers as they get mushy.

I have also done root beer though I have a separate dedicated tap and keg for that. The kids love the idea of pouring their own "beer".

I haven't made wine but with cider it is easy. Pick up the cider, then I use a campaign yeast and let it go. I use the concentrated frozen 100% apple juice for my sugar before and what I use to backsweeten. I don't care for really dry cider.

I am mostly a beer drinker as well. That and margaritas if I want something different. Lots of IPAs, more hops the better. Though I will also drink most other beers. I really barley wines and imperial stouts but those are for special occasions.
 

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Root beer would be cool. I haven't done that yet!

Yeah, fermenting cider is really easy. With all my family members, there is about 15 apple trees available, some of them large. I get offers to take as much as I need. I core and slice the apples, and run them through the meat grinder. The apple slurry is then pressed into cider and fermented. Super easy and cheap, since I don't have to buy the cider. I just found out my neighbor has a lot of bee hives and sells honey. I would like to barter with him on his honey for wine, and use the honey instead of sugar, just to be more natural I guess. I have had his mead and it's solid. Better than what I had at the brewing club I went to years back, lol.

As for this year, I am not back-sweetening my cider. Yes, it's dry, but good. If I was to be critical, I don't like how yeasty the aftertaste is. I mean, it's a super young wine, and had I let it set a while, that taste would disappear, but still. Ultimately, I think folks will like it though. My wife does, and she will be the first to let me know if I made a bad wine.
 

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Root beer would be cool. I haven't done that yet!

Yeah, fermenting cider is really easy. With all my family members, there is about 15 apple trees available, some of them large. I get offers to take as much as I need. I core and slice the apples, and run them through the meat grinder. The apple slurry is then pressed into cider and fermented. Super easy and cheap, since I don't have to buy the cider. I just found out my neighbor has a lot of bee hives and sells honey. I would like to barter with him on his honey for wine, and use the honey instead of sugar, just to be more natural I guess. I have had his mead and it's solid. Better than what I had at the brewing club I went to years back, lol.

As for this year, I am not back-sweetening my cider. Yes, it's dry, but good. If I was to be critical, I don't like how yeasty the aftertaste is. I mean, it's a super young wine, and had I let it set a while, that taste would disappear, but still. Ultimately, I think folks will like it though. My wife does, and she will be the first to let me know if I made a bad wine.
Since you are pressing your own cider, have you ever not pitched yeast and see how it turns out with wild yeast? It might be fun with a small test batch of a gallon or so just to see what you get.

There are a lot of apple orchards in our area and one of them will set aside raw cider for us where it is just pressed. We can either drop off fermentation buckets and buy it bulk or they will package in gallon jugs.

We had a local brew club but it folded a couple years back when the homebrew shop that sponsored it closed up shop. There were a few guys that made mead there as well but maybe it was like the ones from your brew club, I don't know if there were any that I liked. Maybe one but most were pretty harsh so I have never ventured down that path.

As far as root beer, when I have made it I bought a gallon of syrup and dumped it in a keg. Like I mentioned, you want to dedicate the keg and lines to root beer as they will forever make the lines and O-rings in the keg taste like root beer. I just have a cheap cobra tap marked for RB use only and one of my kegs. If I want to go back to real beer I would just have to swap out those o-rings and it would be fine.

Another thing I have done more ofted than making root beer is keep a keg on tap of just water. It will carbonate and become charged water which is nice for certain adult beverages. Not to mention you can get some of those Soda Stream Syrups. The kids will just grab some charged water, and add it to a glass and put in whatever flavor syrup they want for soda. You can also use syrup from snow cone kits. It is also nice to have the water (charged is fine) for cleaning stuff up around the keggerator. I haven't had a sink nearby so I could just grab a paper towel or a bar towel and hit it with some charged water and wipe things down. Oh another use for it is when a keg kicks, I move the liquid line over to the charged water keg and flush it out real quick. It is better to leave charge water in the line than beer if I don't have a new keg quite ready to go.

See I am going to talk you into needing a bigger keggerator in no time... :gizmo:

Hmm I did have some photos of the stuff I use from past threads.

How I buy my beer. When I buy it.



My inside kegerator when I bought it. This one will hold 1 half barrel or 4 ball lock kegs.



After cleaning it up a bit.



The gas system I put in it. I can run two different pressures. The root beer likes higher PSI which reminds me of the other reason you want a dedicated liquid line for it. Unless you have a really long line, you will just get a glass of foam. My liquid line for RB is 25' long. It is just coiled up on top of the kegs with a cobra tap.



Here is the big keggerator back when I bought that. They both came from a local auction site. This one will hold 5 half barrels and I have it partitioned off so I can ferment it half and have kegs in the other half. Not using it at the moment as I am in a big of change with the new garage and designing space for the new brewery out there.



I had to do some refurb work on it. I cleaned it up but it wouldn't cool. Found one of the copper lines was touching the compressor and it wore a hole in it. I have a buddy that does AC and refrigerator repair so he was able to fix the issue, it would hold a vac and he refilled the freon for me.



It didn't have casters so I built a platform for it with casters so I can roll it around.



I also have a root cellar under my pole barn. This is great for lagers.



The original owners had a lot of sand down here and I think they stored their carrots, potatoes and other veggies. I don't have a recent photo but it is full of beer.



Here is the control panel I build for my 50A 220V HERMS Electric Brewery. This is what will be moved into the new garage. It uses three converted half barrel kegs. Two of which use 5500W electric water heater elements. It is all computer controlled from the pumps to the heating elements so batches can be repeated once dialed in. Really the only thing manual is pitching the yeast and cooling the wort.



Up until a couple years ago I would do computer work on the side for a local beer distribution company. It was less than a mile from the house. I still go down there for a beer every now and then but they sold of the distribution network. My son learning to drive a forklift back in the warehouse.



 

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WOW! That's way more serious than I am! I like it though. My keggerator is more like your inside one only with dual taps. I use it for my own beer brewing, but have bought pre-made kegs alike. Nice work on finding that commercial fridge! I have seen a couple at auctions but they have been in rough shape and went too high. Too much for what I need, but cool to have.

Funny, I was JUST watching root cellar videos while in the airport! I am determining there value and what it takes to build one. One of those projects I have been kicking around.

One of friends whose an electrical engineer brews his own beer with a electronic all grain brewery. Uses a control board in other automation including pumps. Real cool, but has spent a ton of time on it. Better than video games though! Thank you for your pictures!
 
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