Wine – the 2nd Stage

Mar 06 2012 Published by under Brewing

“The older I get, the more I really don’t give a fuck about work politics” – Me (Sometime over the past few weeks)

Anyway. There’s a post bubbling around my head on that, but it’s not ready to come out yet.

A little bit more detail on my first attempt at wine making. It’s actually a tonne of fun to do. MBH thinks I’m far too messy when initially mixing it, and then siphoning it off. But in my view if people used to stomp on a tonne of grapes in bare feet and basically just used barrels and bathtubs in days gone by … well I’m not that messy. It’s only when you start on a project like this do you really appreciate how much more equipment you’re missing :) I had to mix it initially in a Carboy/DemiJohn whose neck is no more than four inches in diameter.

“Bugger” I thought – would have been a good time to have a funnel, and I can’t believe we didn’t already have a funnel! Luckily I did this on a Saturday so my caffeine intake had been a lot lower than a weekday. So my hands weren’t too shaky. Then I had to top off the Demijohn to 4.5L – argh should have at least put graduations on the outside to tell me where 4.5L was! No worries, finger in the air, tongue stuck out and I think it was near enough. THEN it came time to activate the yeast. A quick peer at the instructions and it required water between 40 and 47 degrees in temperature. Awesome time to have a thermometer? Shame I didn’t. That was tricky as too hot and the yeast would die, too cold and nothing would happen.

I used one proverbial finger in the air and one in the water to ‘scientifically’ guesstimate….

Amazingly enough when the fermentation lock was put on and it had sat for five minutes – tonnes of fermentation activity and plenty of lovely ‘Blooping’ from it. So I ran around the room a little bit shouting “It’s Alive!!!” to noone in particular – actual noone as MBH was away for the weekend.

Seven days and a lot of temperature monitoring later it was time to siphon it off to secondary fermentation. The only thing I had was a silly sized 22L barrel which came with the initial kit. It didn’t come up to more than three inches off the bottom when I siphoned wine into it. A little bit of research and you/re not supposed to have too much air around the wine at this stage. But there was a lot of bloody air in that container. So after two days of fretting it went back into the newly cleaned demijohn and I ordered two more demijohns from the supplier.

It’s not doing a lot right now. No bubbling. It’s just sitting there. I was a little worried about it at first but some quick research and it’s fine (apparently). It’s going to sit there for another ten days and then it get’s siphoned off again and I have to do a lot of ‘degassing’.

I really need to find a good home brew forum.

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Dr Frankenstein of the Wine World

Feb 26 2012 Published by under Brewing

I got the equipment at Christmas, and dear me it’s taken long enough to get cracking on it, but I eventually brewed up my first batch of wine today.

It’s a fascinating little bit of Science when you think about it. mix together liquid, add yeast and a bit of heat and it’s bloop, bloop, blooping away in the corner turning into something hopefully tasty.

A little bit too much of a ‘finger in the air’ approach to preparing it if I’m honest. I need a separate thermometer, a funnel and to mark up the Carboy with litres. But as its busy blooping away I obviously didn’t do anything too drastic. I did think for a moment that I’d either killed the yeast or not activated it after all.

So, in 28 days and a few more steps I’ll see if it’s actually drinkable.

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