Deacon Bill's Winery and Brewhaus

Niagara_Chokecherry Wine Bottled

February 8, 2010

Bottled 40 units from 5 gallons. I had to sweeten it a very little bit as it was very dry. I used a bottle of Niagara Ice Wine I made a few years back. It smoothed it out nicely and still dry. Had to re-calculate the ABV. It came at 12.5%, a bit high, Some time in the bottle will likely yield something to be proud of.

Sherry Pt. 1

January 5, 2010
Tonight I began making a batch of Sherry from dried fruit. I had done this before, some years ago. In fact it turned out very good, or so says my wife who enjoys a nice glass of Medium Sherry. I don't care for the stuff myself. Dried fruits (non-oiled) work very well as Sherry is a wine that accepts oxidation, and the fruit is often already oxidized.

I'm going to write this post over time as the wine will need to have numerous adjustments over the next year.

I started with course chopped dried ...
Continue reading...

A winery update

October 17, 2009
Today, I checked the fermentation of the two beet wines, and they are moving along just fine. The 3 gallons of Concord-Beet have slowed considerably, but I am not surprised as it had a very vigorous primary. I will likely be able to bottle this one in December.

I also transferred the Pear-Apricot into another 5 gallon glass carboy and topped it off with some Niagara concentrate and sugar water.

I had to throw out the peach wine I stated last fall as it had a terrible taste. Must have been a co...
Continue reading...

Niagara-Chokecherry Wine

October 17, 2009
A couple of weeks back, I was given a quart of chokecherry juice.  It was heat-canned (Mason jar) and extemey flavorful. I decided to make 5 gallons of Niagara wine with this juice added for flavor and a nice pink tinge. Below is the recipe I formulated.


1 qt Chokecherry juice
8 cans of frozen (thawed) Welch's Niagara concentrate.
6 lbs table sugar
1 15 oz. box of Sun Maid Golden Raisins
5 1/2 gallons of water.

3 teaspoons pectin enzyme
3/4 cup Acid Blend
2 teaspoons yeast nutrient (that'...
Continue reading...

Concord Grape and Beet Wine

August 25, 2009
Some may say I am too frugle when it comes to yeast. They might be right Yeast is cheap, but a healthy slur is priceless! So I am going to make another "2nd Wine" utilizing the beets (not the fruit as it is pretty well spent)
I wanted to heat the juice to drive off the sulfites that are added. I knew I had a healthy yeast starter so I didn't worry too much about oxygen. Plus I added yeast nutrient. This will be the last batch from this yeast.


7 cans of Welch's Grape Juice Concentra...
Continue reading...

Beet 2nd Wine

August 25, 2009
Once I racked the Pear-Apricot wine into glass, I used the fruit and yeast that remained to start a 5 gallon batch of Beet Wine. I chose a root veggie because I didn't want to mess with pectin enzyme. A curious form of lazy. There weren't enough fresh beets in Kearney to do the job. Amazing! So I tried canned. I used distilled water instead of tap because of the sodium in the canned beets. Here's the recipe:


11 14oz cans of sliced beets
2 cans of frozen concord grape juice concentra...
Continue reading...

Pear-Apricot wine recipe

August 2, 2009
This is a wine made from canned fruit. I have made one other wine from canned fruit and it turned out pretty-darned good.

Day One:


  • 7 29 oz Cans of Pear Halves in Heavy Syrup
  • 3 30 Oz Cans of Apricot Halves in Heavy Syrup
  • 2 20 oz Cans of Crushed Pineapple in its own juice
    (Split and place all solids into nylon stockings. Gently crush the fruit in the stockings)

  • 1 12 oz can of Lemonade
  • 1 12 oz can of Welch's White Grape Peach Concentrate
  • 1 12 oz can of Welch's White Grape Concentrate

Mix ...
Continue reading...

The Mighty Zork!

May 9, 2009

When I bottled the Sandhills Red that I described in my last post, I went with a new closure just recently made available to the amateur market, the Zork. Simple to clean, simple to use and simple to open. These do not leak and they eliminate the need for that extra step I always took of putting a shrink-wrap over the cork. Plus, they can be used to re-cork that unfinished bottle once opened.

They are a bit pricey, but they have an advantage for me that I didn't even think about when I ordered...

Continue reading...

New Town, New Attitude, New Name

May 9, 2009

I began my adventures into winemaking about 8 years ago when I was living in Omaha, NE. We lived on Seward Street, and so I labeled my bottles as coming from the Seward Street Winery and Brewhaus. It was cute, catchy and had a nice ring to it.

Since relocating to Kearney, NE just a little under a year ago, I have continued my wine and beer making in the basement of our new trappings out here on the prairie.

I have made a wonderful oatmeal stout, a very hoppy pale ale and an American ale for th...
Continue reading...