Canned Peaches (#10 can diced or sliced / 106oz): Qty 3
Sugar Initial: 8lbs
Sugar Added Later: 8-9lbs
Yeast Nutrient: 10tsp (about 50mL)
Yeast Energizer: 5tsb (about 25mL)
Lavlin K1-V1116 Yeast: Qty 2
I use 6.5 gallon food safe buckets for primary fermentation. These are sold as "Ale Pails." For secondary, I use 5 gallon plastic carboys. By using a larger primary filled to about 6 gallons, there will be enough liquid to fill the 5 gallon carboy with a small amount of headspace.
Clean and sanitize all containers and equipment (I use Star San)
Put an appropriately sized nylon strainer bag in the primary. This isn't strictly necessary but makes it much easier to rack to the secondary.
Put the peaches (including all of the syrup), initial sugar amount, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer into the primary.
Add enough water to get to the 6 gallon mark on your primary. Purified/distilled water is best. Warm water will help the sugar to dissolve.
Stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the sugar is dissolved.
At this point the measured specific gravity should be about 1.070 with the actual content at about 1.080 since some of the sugar is inside of the peaches and not in the solution
Assuming that you used canned peaches and everything was clean/sterile, you can skip the campden tablets. If you are concerned about initial contamination, then add 6 campden tablets to the primary and wait 24-48 hours for them to work and dissapate.
Activate the yeast and pitch into the primary. I put ~110 degree water with a spoonful of sugar in a quart jar with the 2 yeast packets and shake/stir occasionally until it's obvious that the yeast is active and ok. It should take 10-30minutes. I used to just toss the dry yeast into the primary and didn't really have any issues but activating it separately first gives me a good feeling that it's working.
Cover the primary with a loose fitting lid, mesh, or something else to keep things out of it. Don't use a tight fitting lid with airlock at this point.
Within 24 hours, you should see bubbles that indicate fermentation is taking place. There should also be a pleasant yeast smell - like bread being made.
Stir every 1-3 days until the fermentation dies down. This will usually take 1-3 weeks
Add the remaining sugar, you need about 8 lbs to get to the yeast alcohol tolerance point (18% alcohol). Anything that you add in excess will make the wine sweeter. Anything below will make the wine dry.
At this point, the added sugar just raised the specific gravity by about 0.06
I allow the wine to ferment to the point of yeast tolerance. You can stop the fermentation earlier using campden tables if so desired
Stir every 1-3 days until the fermentation dies down again. This will usually take another 1-3 weeks
Rack the wine into a secondary (carboy) and install an airlock.
Wait until the airlock stops bubbling completely. This may take 1-8 weeks or longer if you have colder temperatures.
Stabilize if desired (using campden, potassium sorbate, or other ) according to the instructions on the stabilizer
Bottle / Drink
I'll add additional photos of the process as it continues. I just started a batch ;)
Calculating the Sugar in Canned Peaches
The canned peaches that I use contain about 2.76 lbs of sugar. I calculate this by taking the number of grams per serving and multiplying it by the number of servings per can and the number of cans then converting from kg to lbs.
For Sunfield Diced Peaches in Light Syrup there are 19g-per-serving so the calculation is: (0.019kg-per-serving) X (22 servings-per-can) X (3-cans) X (2.2lbs-per-kg) = 2.76lbs
This is what it looks like when fermentation starts. This is 24 hours after pitching the yeast.