Oh, and did I mention?

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! 😉


4 responses

  1. Two to three years? Huh. Most of ours is ready within a year.

    Although we made a batch of sand plum (local weed/shrub) three years ago and found it undrinkable, like grain alcohol. Two years later it was a drinkable sweet, a year after that it was awesome, and the last two bottles are currently entered in the state fair.

  2. I’m so glad they were able to help you out so quickly! I saw Sally around noon and told her you might be getting in touch with her and she was like, “Oh, she’s already been over and we’ve set her up!”

    If you ever become a crazy wine maker, you’re more than welcome to the ridiculous amount of mulberries we have in our backyard. I’m not sure mulberry wine is even very good, but it appears to be one of the few things you can do with them.

  3. Vines–

    What you describe with the sand plum is what the author of the recipe we used said about the Concord grape–undrinkable nastiness at first, mellowing into goodness.


    Hmm. Some already think I’m crazy, and I’ve just made my first batch of wine, so…

    We also have a ridiculous amount of mulberries on the farm. I enjoy the shade around my wash/work table, but the shade can be messy at certain times of the season from all the dropping berries.

    That, and the birds that eat the mulberries, then perch on my tomato/bean/pea trellises and do their thing–so the trick at this point is to keep more mulberries from growing!

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