-Details- 2022 and 2023  More Recent details here

The sections below provide more information on specific projects.  Most recent projects at top.

Plum and Nectarine chunks

First impressions- not as good as straight plum.  Some woody aftertaste.  We'll see what time does.

Plum Nectarine blend-  
August 2023

8/5/2023-  A blend of plums (1006g / 2.2lbs) and nectarines (624g / 1.4lbs.) purchased from the local farmers market.  The fruit was allowed to become slightly overripe, about a week, and then pitted and cut into chunks.  

1130g / 2.5lbs. of sugar was dissolved in 3750mL / 4 quarts  water.  [Weight of fruit after pits removed.]

The following additives were mixed in.

  • KMB (potassium metabisulfite)- 0.4g
  • Pectin enzyme- 2.5g
  • Acid blend- 4g
  • Tannin- 0.3g
  • Yeast nutrient- 8g

8/6/2023-  Red Star Cotes des Blancs yeast was added.  Starting SG- 1.081

8/8- SG- 1.030

8/9- SG-1.000  Racked into two gal carboy.

9/21- SG-0.990  Racked to 2 Gal carboy. Added 0.4g KMB. Then racked to 1 Gal and 1.75L carboys.  

10/21- SG-0.992  Racked ABV 12

10/26 Racked -  Added 1g. pectic enzyme & 200g sugar in 200 mL water. Reracked into into  1 gal and 1.75mL  carboys. 

11/4- Racked added 0.3g KMB and 1.5g K sorbate.

11/15/2023- bottled (7.5 bottles)   ABV=12


















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Tango a Tres- (Cab Sav 2021-Sangiovese 2021-Merlot 2020) Frozen must blend {1/3 each} from Livermore Valley CA.   July 2023

Purchased this must from grapesforwine.com  Six gallons (50 lbs.). It arrived warmish (68ºF-20ºC) obviously not frozen.  Packaging was secure but minimal insulation and cooling packs.  Has basic/minimal direction sheet.  This appears to be the same company as grapemust.com.  I was made aware of them via an email.  While the insulation could be improved the prices are very good. Especially their shipping charges.  I'll likely limit future purchases to cooler times of the year.  Grape quality seems good.  No odd smells or colors. The must had not started fermenting.

July 21,2023- Mixed must by pouring between two sanitized pails.  Starting SG  1.081 with no modifications.  Added  Fermaid-O, FT Rouge Tannin, Go Ferm and Opti Red dissolved in 200 mL distilled water to the must.  {ordered this separately with must order.} -  Added 1.4g potassium metabistlfute ( KMB ) - Red Star Premier Rouge yeast sprinkled on top.  

7/22- SG-1.070

7/23- SG-1.068  Punched down cap (x2) Active fermentation.

7/24- SG-1.030 Punched down cap (x2) Active fermentation. Sealed primary fermenter with airlock

7/26- SG- 1.010 Punched down cap (x2) fermentation slowing but still obvious.

7/29- SG-1.000  Pressed, creating  four gallons in secondary fermentor/carboy.  Added 21g Oak cubes - Started MLF which should continue until Sept. 23.   [I used a homemade bucket press. You can watch video (press skip ads) to see how to make one.]

9/23- SG-0.998  ABV=11.4   Racked.  Added 0.8g KMB   

10/29- Racked  SG- 0.998  Added 8.5mL Kieselsol and 48 mL chitosan as clarifiers 

11/13- Racked SG- 0.997  ABV=11.3

11/21/2023- Bottled (18 bottles - $8.45/bottle)  SG 0.998  11%ABV

Initial tasting at bottling: smooth- fruity-cherry   Kind of like the aftertaste of a high quality dark chocolate covered cherry .
















Initial tasting at bottling is positive.  Cherry and plum. Very smooth.

Pinot Noir frozen wine must (2021)- From Livermore valley CA.  June 2023

Purchased this must from grapemust.com  Six gallons (50 lbs.). It arrived cool (60ºF-15.5ºC) not frozen.  Packaging was secure but minimal insulation and cooling packs.  Has basic/minimal direction sheet. Came with the following additives:  Fermaid-O, FT Rouge Tannin, Go Ferm, Opti Red.  You need to provide your own yeast.

June 17/2023- Mixed must by pouring between two sanitized buckets.  Specific Gravity (SG) 1.090 -  Put the additives from above, dissolved in 150mL distilled water, into must.  Added 0.1g KMB (Potassium Metabisulfite) - Added RedStar Premier Classique Yeast- Temperature 64ºF.

6/18-SG 1.089

6/19- Punched down cap x2.  Active fermentation

6/21-SG-1.020  Added air lock to primary fermenter


6/24- Pressed must. (3.5 gallons)

6/25- Racked into a 3 gallon  and a 1.75mL carboy.  Started MLF. Will go until Aug 23.

7/27- Racked.  Mixed the  two carboys and returned must with some lees.   SG-0.993

8/26- Racked into one carboy.   SG-0.993  ABV=13.5 Added 0.7g. KMB - Racked back into 3 gal. and 1.75 mL. carboys.-  No clarifiers.

9/29- Racked into 4 Gal carboy  SG-0.995 (double checked).   Added 14.3g Oak cubes.  Re-racked into 3 Gal carboy and 1L  carboy. (3/4 full with lees)  ABV=12.8. 

11/11- Racked added Kieselsoll (4mL) and Chitosan (60mL). SG=0.993 ABV 13.1

11/15/2023- Bottled (15 bottles) 

 Approximate costs $11.13/750mL bottle. (Includes  shipping and additives. Excludes equipment and bottles.)

















Peach and Pear wine blend

Impressions: Tried this wine May 18th. It's a disappointment.  A bit watery with an aftertaste you get from eating a pear too close to the core.   Will try again. May be good if fresh fruit is added. (strawberries, peaches, etc.)  If I make this again I'll avoid canned pears.

Peach/Pear- Sept. 2022

Boil one gallon (or 4 L) of water and dissolve 7 cups (1400g) of sugar.  Turn off heat once sugar is dissolved.

In a sanitized mesh bag within a sanitized primary fermenter (plastic bucket) add:

  • Thawed from frozen peaches 3 lbs (1362g) cut into 3/4 inch  (2cm) chunks.  
  • Thawed from frozen pears 3 lbs (1362g)  or  One can of pears cut up into small chunks.
    • If you can't find frozen pears
    • Canned pears in 100% juice from concentrate 30 oz (850g) net weight can.  
  • Sugar water solution.  
  • ALLOW to COOL to room  temperature then:
    • Pectin enzyme- 2.5g
    • Potassium metabisulfite (KMB)- 0.5g
    • Acid Blend- 4g
    • Tannin- 0.4g
    • Yeast nutrient- 8g

Gently mush/mix peaches, pears and additives with a sanitized  potato masher.

  • Check specific gravity.  Adjust to approximately 1.085 by adding water or by adding sugar . (Adding water most likely.)
    • Adding water decreases SG
    • Adding sugar increases SG
  • Fold/lay the mesh bag over top of must then cover bucket.
  • Wait 24 hours and add yeast - Red Star Premier Cuvée or similar - following package instructions.
  • Tie mesh bag at top leaving  as much room as possible.
  • Cover wait 24-36 hours- Until you see active fermentation.
  • Stir one to two times a day. 
    • Check SG.  Keep covered.
    • I suggest sealing with airlock from the beginning.  Certainly once SG has reached 1.050 or lower.
  • Rack to secondary carboy(s) once SG has reached 1.020 or lower.

Follow normal procedures from this point.  

  • degassing
  • multiple racking and/or clarification
  • once bottled wait three to six months

Makes about eight 750 mL bottles.


What really happened:

Started this wine Sept. 19, 2022. 

  • Three lbs (1362g) frozen peaches
  • Had to use canned pears as I was unable to find frozen.  DelMonte pears in 100% juice. 30 oz. (850g) can. 
    • pears 539g.
    • juice 311g.
  • 9/19/2022->  Starting SG-1.090
  • 9/20-> SG-1.084
  • 9/21-> SG-1.052
  • 9/22-> SG-1.010  Racked to 2 gallon carboy.  Topped off with 100 mL water.  SG remained 1.010. 
  • 10/10-> SG-0.991  Racked-  ABV=13.4 - Added 0.2g KMB (No back sweetening.)
  • 11/4-> Racked added fining agents.
  • 11/30-> Racked (Still a bit cloudy.)
  • 12/1-> Added 5g. pectic enzyme dissolved in 150 mL water.
  • 1/9/2023-> Bottled.  (Eight bottles clear one with some sediment.)  














Sweet Cherry- Sept. 2022

Boil one gallon (3.79 L) of water and dissolve two pounds (1020g) of sugar.  Turn off heat once sugar is dissolved.

In a sanitized mesh bag within sanitized primary fermenter (plastic bucket) add:

  • Four pounds (453 grams) frozen whole pitted sweet cherries and half the sugar water.
    • Gently smash/smush cherries with potato masher.
    • Add the rest of the sugar water.  Allow to cool below 80ºF (27C) if necessary.
  • In 100 mL water mix  ingredients below. Then add to must
    • Tannin - 0.4g  (1/8 tsp)
    • Acid Blend-  7.7g  (2 tsp)
    • Pectic Enzyme  1g  (1/2 tsp)
    • Potassium Metabisulphite (KMB) -  0.23g
    • Yeast nutrient- 3.8g  (1 tsp)
  • Check Specific Gravity (SG) with hydrometer.  Should be at or just under 1.090.  (Anything between 1.090-1.085 is OK)  Adjust by adding water or sugar if necessary.  
    • Adding sugar increases SG
    • Adding water decreases SG
  •  WRITE DOWN STARTING SG in your notes. 
  • Cover and Wait 24 hours.
  • Add yeast- Lilvin RC 212 or Red Star Pasteur Red following package instructions.  
  • Once fermentation has begun stir once /day.
  • Rack into sanitized secondary carboy(s) once SG is below 1.030 and above 1.010.  You will have about 1.5 gallons (5.6 L) of must.
    • Gently squeeze or drain mesh bag to obtain as much juice as possible without solids.
    • Top off carboy(s) with water and seal with airlock.
      • If using more than one carboy it is easier and gives a more consistent result, if you rack into a larger container mix and then add to individual carboys.
      • Add immediately after mixing so must is consistent in both carboys.
  • Set aside until fermentation stops.  SG should be under 0.998.
  • Rack two - four more times to clarify.  Wait 3-4 weeks between rackings. Optional add 0.2g KMB at last racking.
  • Bottle
    • Before bottling consider back sweetening.  The recipe called for sweet cherries but the sugar has been removed in the fermentation process. Your wine is dry.   It's a matter of personal choice.
      • Add sugar and water with Potassium Metabisulfite and  Potassium Sorbate to your must. 
        • If you don't use the additives there is a reasonable chance your wine will ferment in the bottle and have a fizzy taste, blow out the cork or break the bottle.
        • Add Potassium Metabisulfite (KMB) at 0.2-0.23grams/gallon (3.8 liters)
        • Add Potassium Sorbate at 1 - 1.25 grams/gallon (3.8 liters)
        • Heat a little water (1-2 cups (300-500 mL),  dissolve sugar and allow to cool to room temp.
          • Off dry- Dissolve 100g sugar
          • Med sweet- Dissolve 300g sugar 
          • Experiment with this to your taste.

Allow to age 3-6 months at room temperature away from light.


  • 09/06/2022- Starting SG 1.090
  • 09/08/22- SG 1.073
  • 09/09/22- SG 1.055
  • 09/11/22- SG 1.010   ABV 10.8   Racked into two gallon container. Added 0.1g KMB . Racked into two carboys (one gal and half gal)
  • 09/26/22-Racked  SG 0.994  
    • Added 100g sugar solution
    • 0.1g KMB
    • 0.2g Potassium Sorbate (Should have added more -1g- lost two bottles to cork explosions it's a bit fizzy.)
  • 10/09/22- Racked into container and bottled. SG 0.993  ABV=13%  (A bit on the high side.   {7 - 750mL bottles}












Partially filled red plum wine and salad

This came out wonderful. A favorite pick.  Dry with a fruity nose and backside.  An absolutely delightful treat.

Red Plum- July 2022

This recipe is quick and easy. 100% plums nothing else.  Turns into a wonderful off dry wine:  

Sanitize EVERYTHING that comes into contact with the must.  I used STAR SAN

Obtain 7.75-8 pounds (3.5-3.6 Kg) large round Red plums.  Ripe to overripe. Makes about two gallons.

Dissolve 1600 grams sugar in 1-1.25 gallons (4-5L) of boiling water.

  • Cut plums into 3/4 inch chunks. Keep skin. Discard pits.
  • Place plums (and any liquid you can save) into sanitized  mesh bag within a plastic bucket.  (I used 5 gal.)
    • mesh bag should be open hanging from bucket forming a liner.
    • bag should be large enough so bottom of bag rests on bottom of bucket while top hangs over side of bucket
  • Lightly smash/smush plums with potato masher
  • Pour sugar water over plums. Don't allow bag to collapse into bucket
  • In 500 mL (2 cups) water add (below) and stir. 
    • Pectic Enzyme- 2.5g
    • Potassium Metabisulfite (KMB) powder- 0.5g
    • Acid Blend (malic, citric, tartaric)- 4g
    • Tannin- 0.4g
    • Yeast nutrient- 7.5g
  • Once must has cooled to 80ºF or lower add the 500 mL water solution to must.. Be sure to stir/shake as needed to get everything into the must.
  • Close mesh bag.  Leave plums as loose as possible.  Gently stir  bucket.
  • Test specific gravity (SG) of must.  Shooting for starting SG of 1.085-1.090  (Consider temperature)
    • Add water if necessary to bring SG down
    • Add sugar if necessary to bring SG up
  • Cover bucket. WAIT 24 hours. Does not need to be airtight
  • Add yeast according to directions on packet. (Hydrate it) Two good options are  Lalvin RC212  or  Red Star Pasteur Red 
  • Cover and check SG every day. Stir gently once primary fermentation is well under way.
  • Two days after adding yeast seal primary fermenter and use airlock. (Assuming fermentation has started.)
  • Open, gently stir and check SG everyday.
  • When SG is at or under 1.030 but above 1.010 rack into a two gallon carboy. (Or, equally into two one gallon carboys.)
    • Top up with water and insert airlock
    • Two gallon carboys are rare.  I found two gallon water containers that work fine.  (Mine need an 8.5 bung)
  • When fermentation has stopped, SG of 0.998 or less, Rack into another two gallon carboy.
    • Add KMB 0.4g (optional)
    • de-gas
    • seal with airlock
  • Rack two to four more times as needed until wine is clear.
  • Once the wine is clear back sweeten by adding:
    • 80g sugar in 200mL water
    • 0.2g KMB  and  2g Potassium Sorbate (Optional but highly recommended or you may get corks exploding.)
    • Stir add airlock wait at least 4 hours. 
  • Bottle as usual.  Age two months to a year.


  • 07/28/2022- Starting SG 1.090
  • 07/29/22- SG- 1.073
  • 07/30/22- SG- 1.058
  • 08/01/22- SG- 1.016 racked to two gallon carboy
  • 08/17/22- SG- 0.993  Racked- Added 0.4g KMB  ABV=13.2
  • 09/04/22- SG- 0.994  Racked
  • 09/11/22- SG- 0.992  Racked
  • 09/19/22- Racked
  • 09/20/22- Back sweetened- SG now 0.997   ABV=12.7
    • 60g sugar in 200 mL water
    • 0.2g KMB
    • 2.0g Potassium Sorbate
  • 09/23/22- Bottled  (Nine and a half 750 mL bottles)



Cut plums in mesh bag within 5 gal.bucket

Washed plums before cutting

Two gallon secondary carboy. (Former water bottle.)

Thawed wine must with stems and skins

Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Knights Valley - Sonoma County - California.     January 2022

Frozen wine must shipped from CA to my house.  

  • Arrived Jan 15, 2022.  Still frozen after ten days of shipping.  
  • 1/16- Still cold added 1.4g Potassium Matabisulfite (KMB) to thawing must slurry.
  • 1/17- temp 62ºF Added water and mixed until Specific Gravity (SG) = 1.106  (BRIX 26)
  • Followed instructions provided by Wine Grapes Direct. 
  • 1/18- Added distilled water to bring SG to 1.100 (about .5 gal.)
  • 1/19- Added 1/2 packet Fermaid-O  SG=1.095
  • 1/20- punched cap  SG=1.082
  • 1/21- punched cap  SG= 1.073  Added Fermaid-O Active bubbling.
  • 1/23- punched cap -SG= 1.052  pH 3.5  Continued punching cap and taking readings
    • 1/25- SG= 1.034
    • 1/26- SG= 1.026
    • 1/27- SG= 1.018
    • 1/29- SG= 1.010
    • 1/31- SG= 1.003
  • 2/03- SG= 0.996   ABV 15%
    • Pressed using bucket press obtaining about 4 gal. liquid.
    • Added 1g KMB Allowed must to settle in bucket. (OOPS!! I should not have added KMB as I want to do MLF fermentation. I'll wait a few days before racking to carboy.)
  • 2/07- Racked from bucket to four gallon carboy.   
    • pH 3.73.  
    • Added Malolactic bacteria {35mL White Labs WLP675}.
    • Topped off carboy with 400 mL Tuscan blend wine.
  • 4/06- Racked  SG=0.993  ABV=15.4
  • 5/21- Racked  SG=0.992  Added 0.8g KMB
    • Placed 350mL water from washing out carboy into sanitized bottle
    • Allowed  lees to settle then added water to carboy.  Trying to dilute and lower SG
  • 6/26-Racked-  SG 0.993  still high alcohol content.
  • 7/24- Wine still cloudy. Added  fining agents Chitosan and Kieselsol. 
  • 7/27/22- Bottled. (Ended up with 20  750 mL bottles)


Cabernet Sauvignon-2019

As of this writing it's been just a year since bottling.  The wine is quite good; smooth tannins, nice light oak and wonderful mouthfeel.  Even though I made several errors I ended up with a quality wine.

Using frozen must is more expensive (shipping) but more fun. {$14.00/bottle including bottle cost}  It's certainly less expensive than purchasing a nice bottle of wine from a store.

If you are serious about making a quality wine try frozen must.  Check you're local wine making store for availability.  If nothing is nearby, as in my case, check the web.  I am very satisfied with WIne Grapes Direct but you may find another source.



Packaging for frozen Cab Sav Must

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