Yield: 3 gallons or 15 bottles
14 oz chopped white raisins
2 oz chopped dark raisins
1800 ml squeezed orange juice (18 oranges)
Zest from 4 oranges
Pulp from 3 oranges
1 can white grape juice concentrate
8000 ml water
4 lbs dextrose
2 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon pectin enzyme
1 teaspoon light grape tannin
2 cups light malt extract
¼ teaspoon potassium metabisulfite
5 g Premier Cuvée yeast
2 packages of 5 g Premier Cuvée yeast
2.6 g sugar per gallon of wine
1 tsp yeast nutrient per gallon of wine
At final bottling:
375 ml of wine conditioner
100 ml of brandy or vodka
Prepare fruit: Add juice and grape juice concentrate to bucket and place zest, pulp, raisins into nylon bag. Heat water on stove and dissolve dextrose. Add sugar water to bucket and stir. Add yeast enzyme, pectin enzyme, tannin, and malt extract. Stirred all in primary, added 1/8 teaspoon potassium metabisulfate and set aside for 24 hours.
Start fermentation: Specific gravity should be between 1.080 and 1.090. Start yeast according to package directions and stir into juice. Temperature should be between 60-70 degrees F.
Remove fruit bag: Once SG is down below 1.010, remove fruit and rack into small 3 gallon carboy.
Stabilize: After 30 days, rack and add 1/8 tsp potassium metabisulfite. Let wine clarify for 3 months.
Yeast acclimation: Prepare a yeast starter according to package directions. Add starter to a 50% solution of the 250 ml base wine and 250 ml water. Raise temperature to within 15 degrees of yeast starter and stir together. Allow to sit for 1 hour. Add an addition of 250 ml of base wine and allow to sit for an additional hour.
Dosage removal: Remove 1/2 bottle (375 ml) of base wine, cap (or cork) and place in refrigerator. This will be used later.
Inoculation: For every gallon of wine, dissolve 2.6 g of dextrose to the wine. Stir acclimated yeast solution into wine. Pour into sanitized Champagne bottles and cap with crown caps (beer caps). Leave in a warm place for 1 week.
Yeast stirring: For the first 3 months, remove each bottle and gently tip it back and forth to stir the wine. Store the bottles in a cool place for an additional 9 months.
Dosage and bottle: At the end of a year, prepare a dosage with the reserved wine and add the wine conditioner and brandy. Freeze full bottles until you see ice in the neck. Sanitize an equivalent number of new Champagne bottles and add 1 oz of dosage to each bottle. Carefully pour off yeast sediment into new Champagne bottles. Cap or use a plastic stopper as desired. Age an additional 6 months.
Only use new Champagne bottles for sparkling wine. Champagne causes micro fractures during bottle fermentation and the bottle cannot be trusted to hold the CO2 pressure from another bottling. Proceed at your own risk!
To get the crown caps to fit tightly during bottle fermentation, you may have to rent a good quality table capper. We’ve lost 1/3 bottles in a batch due to bad cap seating.
Wine conditioner in the dosage is an important additive. It contains Potassium sorbate which will inhibit yeast fermentation with the final addition of sugar. You don’t want your Champagne bottles to ferment again!
Credit: Adapted from Sparkling Wine, Step-by-Step by Alison Crowe, Techniques in Home Winemaking by Daniel Pambianchi and Making Sparkling Wine by Jack Keller