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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Read more about Winemaking 101 Pt. 5 - Final Racking, Finishing and Bottling
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
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
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
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
By this time you’ve racked your wine several times from one carboy to another. The airlock is quiet as fermentation has stopped. You notice that after the last racking, there has been no more sediment deposited on the bottom of the carboy, and using a wine thief, a specially formed glass tube for drawing samples of wine; you fill half a wine glass with your labor of love to check it for clarity and flavor. Read more about Winemaking 101 - Part 1c, Still More Equipment