Banana Wine help?

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Banana Wine help?

Postby John Graubman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:52 pm


My name is John Graubman and I have recently gotten into making wine. I had gotten ahold of 8 free wine kits from 2004 and am now trying two out to see if they are still any good. They've still got a couple months left but hopefully they'll be nice.

Besides that.. the point is I am now going to try and make my first fresh wine from scratch. I'm going from a recipe I found and changing it up a bit.

My ingredients:

Yeast Energizer
Acid Blend
Anti-foam agent
Pectic Enzyme
Wine Tannin
Yeast Nutrient
K1-V1118 Lalvin Yeast x2
10lbs. White cane sugar
5lbs. Honey
2 lbs. Turbinado
22 lbs. of bananas (ripening as we speak)

I am changing this up a bit from the original and putting in honey and Turbinado to give it a more meady/molasses taste. Does anyone have constructive criticism for this recipe? I'm quite new and am trying to get the hang of this, especially being my first batch not from a kit.

Also, I was wondering if I should use bentonite? I've read somewhere that it was also possible to use.

And can I make this into brandy? Any tips?

Thank you and hello.

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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:17 pm

Hello John and welcome. I'm also a home winemaker (over 35 years), but I only make wine from grapes. Although there are a few winemakers on this forum, the topic is rarely discussed, as most of the folks here discuss wines they buy. For home wine making, I highly recommend you go to the following link. There are many folks there who make fruit wines and share their recipes.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby Brian Gilp » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:58 pm

If it were me, I would hold off on the bentonite until you are sure its not going to clear on its own. I have never had anything not clear to my satisfaction by just letting gravity do its thing. Then if you do need to fine it, I check with a reference to see if bentonite would be the best for this or if maybe another agent would make more sense. I have never worked with banana so not sure what to expect.

As for making it into brandy, I think that it is illegal as home distillation is not legal. Technically, I see no reason why it would not work if you have the equipment.
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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:44 pm

I thought that this was going to be a thread about Georges Dubouef.
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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby Fredrik L » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:21 am

Good luck, John! But remember when the wine is ready to drink, please do not approach fellow wine lovers and say: "Hey, I have made this great wine, please tell me honestly what you think!" :wink:

These things have happened to me...

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L
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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby John Graubman » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:49 pm

So I've made it last night and I'm in the first steps, and now I'm waiting for it to cool, as it is slowly cooling. I made it at 1:30 am last night and now it is 10:45. I have to work at 12 and was thinking of leaving it until tonight, say around 9-10 p.m.

Do you think it would be okay to sit that long? I'm not going to ruin it am I? I'm worried I may make it form bacteria or something... Any help is appreciated! And thank you for the constructive criticism!! I love it.
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Re: Banana Wine help?

Postby Brian Gilp » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:12 pm

Well too late since you should already be at work but if it were me I would be looking at two things. What temp do you have now and what is your SG? If the temp is below 90 I would probably pitch instead of waiting for a low SG must. However, if the SG is in the 12% potential alcohol range (sorry too lazy to do the conversion to SG) then I would consider waiting as the final alcohol content will kill off a lot of bad things that would eventually lead to spoilage of something in the 6%-8% range.

Where it gets harder is if the temp is say 90-100+ and the must is anything less than 11% potential alcohol. I fear spoilage bacteria during the slow cooling times and many of them can live in higher alcohol environments. Trust me as I have experienced loss of a couple batches of IPA that should have been about 8%. What I would probably do in this case is build a starter to give the yeast a head start and pitch right before leaving and then just hope that enough yeast survives to quickly start fermentation.

Of course if you had a wort chiller that would have been the best way to go. Also if you can seal it up real tight you can wait it out. I friend of mine use to do this with great success. He would seal the entire batch up tight in a carboy and put it on his back porch to cool. Never understood how he did not have problems with this approach but it worked for him.
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