This is a two part post:
If you've been around COFFEE TALKING before you may have seen my original post on the coffee wine - including the recipe and process. You can find that post HERE. Now that it's finished fermenting and it was ready for bottling, this is the update. Initial taste tests were fabulous and I'll do a final update later this Fall or next spring after it ages.
I wasn't going to post this until the wine was completely finished... as in bottled, aged and tasted. But, that would mean waiting for almost a year from start to finish as this wine is better if it's allowed to age at least 4-6 months after bottling (or whatever container you want to store it in. I bottle all my homemade wines.) So I decided to do the post now - and then I'll do another in about 6 months after it's aged in the bottle!
8-12 oz. ground coffee (8 oz ground coffee to start. I used 12 oz. ground this time. I'll let you know what I think)
1 gallon water
2 1/2 lb. sugar
1 1/2 t acid blend
1/4 t tannin powder
1 t yeast nutrient (optional)
Yeast - 1 pk I used EC 1118
*later - campden tablets and potassium sorbate for bottling time
cheesecloth for straining
carboy or clean container
SEE THE FULL RECIPE and PHOTOS from the original post here.....
AFTER YOUR WINE IS FINISHED WITH THE FERMENTATION PROCESS and has been racked 2-3 times, you can now bottle.
Taste test your wine. It will have a strong alcohol taste at this point and needs to mellow and age, but you will get an idea of the flavor and if you want to leave it as it is or sweeten it. Although I like my coffee strong, hot and black; I decided I want to back sweeten my coffee just a little bit. I used a simple sugar syrup; which is just a cup of sugar in a cup of water and simmered on the stove until it's completely dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). I used about 1/3 cup syrup to a gallon of wine but I suspect most people want theirs more sweet than I do. (We don't eat sugar in every day life so things with any sugar taste too sweet to me). I also added a dash of vanilla.
Once you're happy with the wine, stabilize it and make sure the fermentation process has stopped by adding;
If you have sweetened your coffee wine add about 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate. If you have not added any more sugar or sweeteners, then 1/4 t will suffice. Add 1/2 - 1 Campden tablet per gallon. Stir or gently shake. Proceed to bottle.
I still had a tiny bit of dead lees at the bottom of my container so I used a hose to siphon. If your coffee wine is clear with little to no sediment, you can pour straight into your clean, sterilized, empty wine bottles. Fill to the start of the neck. You will need 4 or 5 empty bottles depending on how much wine you've lost during all the racking processes.
FLOOR CORKER, HAND CORKER OR MUSHROOM CORKS?
Previously in my wine making I went 'quick, cheap and simple' with mushroom cap corks. They are a simple cork with a plastic cap that makes it easy to push them into your bottle by hand. They are also known as 'tasting' corks. I have used them to cap previous wines and was happy with them although I made sure to store all my bottles upright and never in the lay down position. They are sufficient for any wine you make that will be used within 12-18 months. But this time around I decided I was getting a little more serious in my wine making (and making more of them) so I wanted to invest in an actual corker. This means a more professional looking finished bottle as well as longer storage time, great for gift giving and I store on their sides.
Everywhere I researched, people were raving about the Wine Bottle Floor Corker. I looked at the smaller and cheaper 2 hand model, but I was concerned about the upper arm strength needed as well as the stability of it, etc. I decided for about $50 more to invest in the ever-popular floor corker.
- Rolled steel construction
- Plastic dies compress cork
- Works on all straight corks up to #9
- This is a great Corker
- Adjustable plunger depth
Although you can use either #8 or #9 corks for typical 750 ml bottles I found this in my research and found it to be a good rule of thumb:
If you opt for a hand corker, buy #8 corks.
If you use a floor corker, you can buy #9 corks.
TO USE THE FLOOR CORKER
Simply drop a cork into the top opening and put a bottle onto the black bottle holder at the bottom.
The black base is on a spring so all size bottles fit; it raises to the corker.
The cork is loose and sitting there - but will begin to be squeezed by the machine once you
start to pull down the handle.
This metal piece lowers down with the handle and will press the cork into the bottle
at the same time the machine is squeezing the cork to make it fit.
For best results lower the bar swiftly (but not fast) - just don't hesitate.
One swift motion pressing down until the machine stops you.
The depth of the cork is determined by the little screw cap at the top of this metal piece that presses the cork.
You can adjust it up or down by spinning the screw top one or two rounds to get it where you want it.
Here is the metal pressed all the way down; sealing the bottle with the cork.
Now lift up....
... and your cork is in place!
You can see the cork is just a tiny smidgen higher than the bottle on this first one;
so I adjusted the screw cap and lowered it just a tad for the rest.
OFFICIALLY ARE DONE AT THIS POINT
However, I went one step further. I ordered the heat shrink wrap caps for my bottles. Yes I love the look but this time it's more than that. I used these to color code my wines.
On this day I was not only bottling my coffee wine - but a red wine, strawberry/raspberry wine and cranberry wine as well. So I had bought different colored wraps for each version of my wine. This eliminates the need for me to make labels for my bottles.
I opted for a bronze heat shrink wine wrap for my coffee wine.
(Red for cranberry, black matte for my red wine and dusty rose for my strawberry raspberry wine and I have white caps on green bottles for my hard cider).
To use these you simply get a pan of water boiling on the stove. Slip the wrap over the top of the bottle.
Dip the bottle into the water and give it a turn. It seals itself.
Now... let them age for at least 6-8 months; preferably about a year.
I'm linking to the products I personally bought on Amazon - there are a lot of options out there but these are the items I bought and used in the post above. These are my affiliate links - but the products were purchased by me.
Wine Bottle Floor Corker
72 Bellcork #9 Long 45 X 24 mm Winery Grade Natural Cork Stopper
1 X Bronze PVC Shrink Capsules- 30 Per Bag