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Mustrat love


My pal Dave is a fucking genius with wine. Since we’ve slowed down on housebuilding tasks this fall, I volunteered to be a winemaking helper bee this season for him.

There’s a thriving winemaking industry in Woodinville and a significant number of smaller wineries are in a strip mall/industrial park. Winetasters show up in little vans and trip around the parking lot from tasting room to tasting room. They have nice little tasting rooms in the industrial park, but it’s still an industrial park. Read more about Mustrat love

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Bragging Rights

[Welcome, Eschatonians! --lambert]

Those of you who have followed my series on home winemaking have read about my Red Currant wine. This year I entered it into the Indiana State Fair International Wine Competition, the first time I've entered any of my wines in competition. And I'm pleased to announce that it won a Silver Medal!

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 7 - Storage and Aging

I decided to hold off on posting until after the big primaries yesterday, so now it's time for a change of topic. Whether making your own wine or buying in bulk, you need to consider the needs of the wine if you're going to hold it for any significant length of time. And how long should you hold it?

For Winemaking 101 Pts. 1-6, see these previous posts. Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 7 - Storage and Aging

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 6 - Final Touches

A day like today when the temperature struggles to reach O (and fails!), is a good day to add some finishing touches to your bottled wine. These additions certainly aren't necessary, but add a lot of visual appeal and show a sense of pride in your accomplishment.

For earlier posts on winemaking, see these posts Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 6 - Final Touches

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Grapes Into Glass

The wild grape wine that I started last week has been fermenting enthusiastically. I drew a sample last Saturday to measure the specific gravity and pH, and taste of course.

A Wine Thief in action. Read more about Grapes Into Glass

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Ready for the Crush

I recently bottled the Currant wine I had in the works, so there were some carboys emptied and available for the next round of winemaking. I had 30 lbs. of wild grapes that I had collected last fall and had frozen for future fermenting, so it was time to get them thawed and put to work.

30 lbs of Vitis Riparia ready for fermenting Read more about Ready for the Crush

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Cranberry Concoction

Last year, a neighbor of mine gave me a 10 lb. bag of cranberries. My apple tree had born badly that year, so I had only enough apples for a couple of gallons of juice. A little creative combination let to a new wine that turned out rather interesting, CranZapple. This year I got 19 lbs of cranberries, so I thought I'd do it again.

Read more about Cranberry Concoction

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 5 - Final Racking, Finishing and Bottling

I had a bumper crop of Red Currants this year, so last July when they were at optimal ripeness, 31 lbs. of them went into the fermenter. Red Currant is one of my favorite wines to make as it ferments well, colors and clears beautifully, and is something I've rarely seen elsewhere. Since the wine was last racked, about 3 months ago, fermentation has finished, and it has cleared completely. Now it can be stabilized, sweetened, and prepared for bottling.
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Thanksgiving Abundance

Holidays are often times when the confluence of family, friends, food and drink bring new things to your table. This year at the Feral household I served my Pear wine with Thanksgiving turkey which went over better than I expected considering my parents and sibilings preference for sweet wine. Of course, I had some Riesling Spatelese as a backup in case the Pear bombed. So how was your holiday experience? Any pleasant (or unpleasant) suprises? Read more about Thanksgiving Abundance

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 4 - 2nd Racking

When we last visited the Red Raspberry wine three weeks ago, it had just gone from the primary into the secondary fermenter. Fermentation has slowed and a layer of lees has formed on the bottom of the jugs, so it's time for the second racking. A hydrometer check shows a reading of 1.009, so there are still some sugars to ferment. Compare this picture to the previous hydrometer pic and you can see the wine is starting to clear. Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 4 - 2nd Racking

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Open Wine Thread

Well, the raspberry wine won't be ready for the second racking for another week, and I just racked the apple wine yesterday, so while there's a bit of a lull, I thought I ask if any of you are making wine, or have made wine, or are thinking about making wine. So what have you got fermenting? What would you like to try? I'll be around for the rest of the weekend, so let's talk wine and winemaking. Read more about Open Wine Thread

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 3 - Racking and Secondary Fermentation

It’s been 6 days since the addition of the yeast to the Red Raspberry wine. The cap has been punched down into the must twice daily, and the latest hydrometer reading of strained must shows an s.g. of 1.040, so it’s time for racking into the secondary fermenter.
(See here for the post on Primary Fermentation)
Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 3 - Racking and Secondary Fermentation

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Apple Interlude

The apples on my Ida Red tree have finally gotten ripe, so while the red raspberry wine is working in the primary fermenter (see here for the beginning of the raspberry wine), it was time to pick my apples and press them out.

Ready to start squeezing Read more about Apple Interlude

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Winemaking 101 Pt. 2 - Crush and Primary Fermentation

Earlier this year, I collected and froze 15 lbs. of red raspberries. Now join me as I start the process of turning them into 5 gallons of wine.

The first stage of winemaking is initiating primary fermentation. Your fruit is crushed and/or the juice is pressed out and put into the primary fermenter. (For information on equipment and terms see these previous posts) Water and sugar, if necessary, are mixed in along with a number of additives to create the must. For the raspberry wine I’ll be using the following additives. Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 2 - Crush and Primary Fermentation

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Sour Grapes – and Other Fruit

You want some good exercise? Try harvesting wild grapes while standing in a canoe! To keep your balance you’ll use muscles you didn’t know you had. Read more about Sour Grapes – and Other Fruit


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