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Watermelon Wine


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#1 Julie W

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:41 PM

Hopefully I am not jinxing myself by talking about this.

Last year a farmer who lives near a friend of mine asked if she wanted any watermelons, she called me to see if I wanted to make wine and I said yes. What the heck, the melons were free. I decided to add some strawberries to the batch and called it Strawmelon. I gave a bottle to the farmer, not sure if they drank wine or not. The farmer's wife and his son loved it. This year they gave my friend a truck load of melons, one week before my son gets married. Well, we spent three days, doing one fermenting bucket each night, and got them all done. Mike has this paint stirrer that attaches to his drill, we sterilized it and used that to chop up the melons. I then added yeast enerizer, peptic enzyme, campden tablets and sugar. SG for each bucket was 1.072, 1.082 and 1.076. I started a yeast starter the next afternoon, brought the juice in from outside, let it warm up to 55 degrees and poured the starter in. By the next morning (I did this three nights in a row, to each bucket of juice) fermenting was going strong.

Tonight I took a reading and I now have .996, .994 and .994. Naturaly I had to taste each batch and the watermelon flavor is very strong. Boy is this stuff good so far. The melons that I got were the typical red fruit and a smaller, rounder with dark and light green stipes, thin rind and yellow fruit. These melons are VERY sweet. I will do another reading tomorrow and I think if the readings are the same I might add a campden tablet to each carboy. I know I should take three readings but I need to be more cautious since watermelon juice does spoil fast.

Anyway, like I said earlier I am hoping I am not jinxing myself but I do believe I have three successful batches of watermelon wine. I am figuring that once it is all clear, I should have at least 10 gallons of wine.

WooHoo luxhello.gif

Julie

#2 deb_rn

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:41 AM

Nothing like FREE fruit to get you inspired!!

Debbie
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#3 Mn-winer

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:15 AM

I thought I read that Watermelon wine was difficult to make. This seems like it worked well for you.

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#4 Tomer1

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:18 AM

Somehow wine made from free fruits also tastes better... tongue.gif

If I were into tatoos... I would tatoo some grapes on my forarm. :P


#5 vindee

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 12:42 PM

As the song goes,
Old dogs and children... and watermelon wine
you can't beat that!
Steve P.
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it makes you LEAN...
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#6 Kent Robinson

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:16 PM

QUOTE (vindee @ Nov 3 2009, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As the song goes,
Old dogs and children... and watermelon wine
you can't beat that!
Steve P.



This gives me hope! I'm anxiously waiting to see how my 12 gallons turn out!
Kent

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#7 Briankos

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:03 AM

That is awesome Julie! I also have read that it is very difficult to make a good watermelon wine... any way to get your recipe?

Brian
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#8 Green Zeus

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 11:16 AM

From what I've heard from others, in our wine club about watermelon wine, is that the acid is real high. Seems you really need to have a PH meter and a supply of calcium carbonate before you get ready to attempt it.

#9 Julie W

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE (Briankos @ Nov 4 2009, 09:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That is awesome Julie! I also have read that it is very difficult to make a good watermelon wine... any way to get your recipe?

Brian


I am by no means the expert here and I could have very well lucked out last year and this year. So here is what I did:

Cut up enough watermelons to fill a fermenting bucket up to around the 6 gallon mark, we then use a sterilized paint stirrer and chop up the watermelons. I then add 5 campden tablets, 2 1/2 tsp of yeast energizer, 1/4 tsp pectic enzyme and 5 pounds of sugar (this gave me an SG OF 1.072). I usually add sugar until I have an SG around 1.080

Then I put the wine on the front porch, (the temps went down to 38 degrees that night) I truly believe this is a major reason for success. Watermelon juice does spoil quickly so I do not want it to get to warm. I bring in the juice the following afternoon, take some juice, heat it up slightly and pitch the yeast to make a starter. I then place a thermometer in the juice. Once the juice is warmed up to 55 degrees, I stir in the yeast starter. At this point I cross my fingers and hope it works. So far it has. I leave them in the fermenting buckets for about 5 days (until SG is around 1.010) and then I transfer to carboys. They have been in the carboys for about two weeks and all three are at .992, .994 and .994. Since they have fermented dry and juice is still good, I would think at this point that I have success. I will rack again this weekend and add campden tablets.



Julie

#10 Julie W

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE (Green Zeus @ Nov 4 2009, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
From what I've heard from others, in our wine club about watermelon wine, is that the acid is real high. Seems you really need to have a PH meter and a supply of calcium carbonate before you get ready to attempt it.



Once the juice has fermented I then check the acid, I do not believe the melons are high in acid, last years batch I added 2 1/2 tsp of acid blend to a 5 gallon batch. I will be checking the acid this weekend, if it is too high, I'll wait and keep rechecking. I am not planning on drinking this batch before October of next year


#11 Green Zeus

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:44 AM

Julie---are you saying it needs a lot of aging? Never made it before but might try it some time and it's good to know how long it takes to age before it's real good.

#12 Julie W

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE (Green Zeus @ Nov 6 2009, 10:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Julie---are you saying it needs a lot of aging? Never made it before but might try it some time and it's good to know how long it takes to age before it's real good.


Yes aging, for a year. Last years batch we opened a bottle when it was 10 months old, it was good but at one year it was awesome.

Julie

#13 Green Zeus

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 08:09 AM

Thanks Julie--------I might try it next year.

#14 Luke Cincinnati

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

my watermellon this year totally tanked. not sure where I went wrong. I got a horible bacteria infection. the wine wond up tasting like a mouse had been swimming in it for a couple of weeks. had to dump the whole thing.

#15 Tomer1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:17 PM

Do avoid melons (not watermelons) when making wine, they make a bitter cucamber like wine. both cantelop and green fleshed ones.

If I were into tatoos... I would tatoo some grapes on my forarm. :P





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