H and I started our very first batch of homemade wine yesterday.
Had I not been utterly inundated by other produce projects, I might’ve been a better blogger about that!
On a tip from a Facebook friend, I contacted a local guy who makes a lot of different types of fruit wines. In the spirit (no pun intended) of “the more wine-makers, the merrier,” he set us up with the yeast, nutrient, pectic acid, and Campden tabs to start our first batch.
He also ran off a good, standard recipe from the web and gave us a few tips, as well as passing along a couple of good catalogs for brewing and winemaking supplies.
So, we cleaned and de-stemmed twelve pounds of the Concord grapes from H’s vine, mashed them in the 5 gallon crock (I was going to use it for pickles–but a primary fermentation vessel was needed-stat!), and started the batch.
We had another 11 1/2 pounds of grapes besides what we used for the wine, so I ran them through my food strainer, heated the juice, then refrigerated overnight and strained this morning. It’s a slightly tangier batch that will likely go into a jelly project at some point down the line.
The only problem we ran into was that we got the wine going in the mid-afternoon, and the recipe told us we needed to add the next ingredient twelve hours later. So, at three o’ clock this morning, I got up and went down to my basement.
The next step after that is prescribed for twenty-four hours after the last–meaning I’ll be fumbling for the lights again and trying not to fall as I trudge downstairs half-asleep again to sprinkle on the yeast.
The lengths we’ll go…and the recipe also says the wine isn’t even drinkable for two years–maybe three. I told H he’d better stick with me at least for that much longer; otherwise, I’ll drink all his wine! 😉