Winemaking project: Pictures page 6!

freemotion

Food Guru
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
10,817
Reaction score
89
Points
317
Location
Southwick, MA
My first foray into winemaking....I am not a wine drinker, as I am sensitive to sulfites and my heart will race at a frightening pace shortly after even a small sip. This happened decades ago when, in my early twenties, I discovered wine coolers. Two wine coolers later, I was off all wine.

My fermentation obsession requires that I make wine, however. The very first batch is bubbling in a bucket right now, details later!
 

miss_thenorth

Frugal Homesteader
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
4,668
Reaction score
7
Points
220
Location
SW Ontario, CANADA
You can't just leave it at that! :) What are you making wine with? I am familiar with the heart palps associated with drinking wine, but haven't had that in ages. We make , or should I say, hubby makes wine avery now and again.
 

big brown horse

Hoof In Mouth
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
8,307
Reaction score
0
Points
213
Location
Puget Sound, WA
Wine coolers? That aint wine, somebody get a rope! ;) :lol: Just kidding! :p


Free how exciting! I can't wait to hear about all the details! :pop
 

valmom

Crafter
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
16
Points
173
Location
Vermont
Ooh, I want the details, too! I'd love to try. I like wine :cool:

OK, SS goal for this year- make wine, and then make vinegar! I WILL do it (if someone will tell me how in a fairly fool-proof way).
 

freemotion

Food Guru
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
10,817
Reaction score
89
Points
317
Location
Southwick, MA
Busy, busy day, but I wanted to get this started so I wouldn't forget! Back later! Or tomorrow! :D
 

FarmerDenise

Out to pasture
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
4,163
Reaction score
2
Points
184
Location
Northern California
ok, I have this great book that has recipes for Folk wines. They use baking yeast, either in cake form or in envelopes as active dry yeast.

I haven't tried any of these, but hope to this year.

Here is the recipe for Fruit wine (Elderberry)

Combine in a crock 5 pounds of elderberries, 2 1/2 quarts of water, 2 1/2 pounds of sugar and 1 yeast cake. After 15 days, strain, add another 2 pounds of sugar and pour into fermenting jugs. Fit with fermentation lock and let stand until fermentation has ceased (about 3 months). It is then ready to drink but since it makes such a beautiful deep red wine, try to save a bottle for next Christmans - it will be even better!

An old Pennsylvania dutch recipe from Betty Groff, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

I think I'll post this in the recipe section as well. I think we could use a wine rcipe thread, don't you?
 

freemotion

Food Guru
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
10,817
Reaction score
89
Points
317
Location
Southwick, MA
I've been reading and re-reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz (did you know he is writing a follow-up?!?!? Woo-hoo!!!) and have become fascinated by the simplicity of the winemaking chapters. Of course, it didn't seem quite as simple on my first trip through the chapters, but after reading them several times, as well as researching online where there are supply stores in my area (three within a reasonable drive! Who knew?), it seems more doable.

When I started the project it reverted right back to intimidating, I must tell you. :p

My father made some wine years ago and on his last trip up to his house (600 miles away), he gathered up all his winemaking equipment. It hadn't been used in about two decades, and needed some cleaning.

That is where the first argument began. Sulfites, sulfites, sulfites. He'd made his last batches of wine from kits purchased at a winemaking supply store in New Brunswick, Canada, complete with all supplies and instructions. Lots of packets and jars of chemical powders for this and for that. Measure, moniter, adjust. Home winemaking has become yet another miniature version of the industrial model, complete with all the chemicals involved in getting each batch to come out exactly like the previous batch. That defeats the adventure of fermenting, in my never-to-be-humble opinion.

The first step in his instructions is to clean the large (10 gallon?) plastic bucket with a sulfite powder. Heaven forbid a foreign yeast invade one's wine. It might end up "regional" and creten. Yikes. I insisted on dish soap and hot water. He wanted to follow the instructions from his previous kit. (A man? Wanting to follow directions? Who was this person and what did he do with my father?!?!?) The winning argument came to me in a flash of light....I bought all the supplies for this batch and I probably wouldn't like wine anyways, so he would end up with 25 bottles of free wine, minus one sip from when I try it and say, "Ick!" He can throw in all the chemicals he wants to in the next batch. I won.

The bucket got thoroughly scrubbed and dried with dish soap, and a small batch of simply sugar syrup was made. I'd found some small individual serving-size bottles of grape juice at a discount store for $0.70 each, and after doing the math, it would be about $2.00 per quart for the juice, cabernet grape. Dad used his....um....hygrometer? Gotta go look that up....to test the "specific gravity"of the grape juice, which determines the sugar content, apparently. I did concede to this modern convenience, since it added no chemicals. He then adjusted the specific gravity with the addition of the small amount of syrup (made by boiling table sugar with water in a 2:1 ration, water to sugar) and did the calculations for our five-gallon batch. The sugar is what feeds the yeast and makes the alcohol, so if you are using a juice with a low sugar content, you will get a wine that is not much stronger than soda pop....a lot of work for a very low alcohol wine.

We followed the directions on a packet of champagne yeast, dissolving it in lukewarm water and adding it to the juice and syrup in the bucket. We covered it with a plastic kitchen-size trash bag, held onto the bucket with a large rubber band made by tying a bunch of smaller rubber bands together. We found an out-of-the-way corner in the dining room where it could sit, undisturbed, for a week or so, not too close to a heat vent and not in direct sunlight.

There is a line drawn on the outside of the pail at the five gallon mark. The mixture comes exactly to that line, and we check it twice a day to see when it starts to bubble up and rise above the line. I put a sticky note on the bag cover with the date and time of starting the yeast, and the specific gravity of the mixture. It has been 2.5 days now, and the juice is still at the line. It has been between 60-70 degrees in my house, 60 being ideal.

It needs to rise up, then subside, then it will be siphoned into the carboy with an airlock to ferment for a longer term before bottling. Once we do that, we will start our second batch, from a can of peach concentrate that dad bought a loooooooong time ago. Blech! That will be done with all the chemicals. The race is on. I really, really hope I don't make five gallons of wine vinegar with this project! If I do, it will go to the goats and the pigs, a bit at a time, and will be great for their health and cheap, too. Raw vinegar is pretty pricy. That's what I keep telling myself, anyways. :p
 

FarmerDenise

Out to pasture
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
4,163
Reaction score
2
Points
184
Location
Northern California
There are wineries that get premium money for their wines without sulfites!!!!
There really is no good reason for someone using the stuff for making wine for personal consumption. It is just easier to clean the barrels with it when you have hundreds of barrels to clean.

One of the wineries I worked for, really tried to keep the use of sulfur down. They were a small family winery. They tried to do everything organic, because that is what they belived in.
 
Top