Archive for the ‘concord grape’ Tag

09-27-2014 Journal Entry-Drinking Wine Before It’s Time!   Leave a comment

With most of the gardening chores completed things have slowed down around here a bit.  Who am I kidding?  We’re just killing time until the day the “Fair” opens.  That would be the Fair held every year in Fryeburg, Maine.  It’s by far the largest event in the state and it’s a week long party for the many thousands of attendees from all over the country.  We’ll be attending next week and it will be twelve hours of farm animals, large crowds, crazy good food, and hundreds and hundreds of photographs.  So like I said we’re just killing time until the Fair.

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Today I’ve been completing a number of small projects which required very little effort on my part.  As I was walking through the house I remembered one thing that I absolutely had to do sooner rather than later.  It was time for the Concord grape wine to be bottled.  It’s been almost three months in the making and the fermentation has finally stopped.

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The final product is a beautiful dry ruby red wine with an unbelievable bouquet. So it’s a half hour of washing bottles and making my usual mess.  I tend to be a bit clumsy and if I don’t spill at least one bottle of wine in the process I just don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything.

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There’s nothing like siphoning wine through a little plastic tube, spilling it on the floor, down your leg, and onto nearby books, papers, and house pets. Curiosity may have killed the cat but in this house a good squirt of wine onto a persistently nosy cat is as good as it gets.

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After filling and corking nineteen bottles it was then time to put on the fancy gold PVC covers.  This requires a large pot of boiling water into which the bottle tops are quickly dipped causing the cover to shrink and seal the corks. It’s imperative that the bottle not remain in the hot water for more than a few seconds or there will be trouble. That truth became immediately evident when my first cool glass bottle was held into the boiling water for more than four or five seconds and the top exploded.  Now I’m down to eighteen bottles but with a much better understanding of things I shouldn’t do.

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I finished the remainder of the job but held back another bottle for the better-half and I to have with dinner.  I poured myself a large glassful and waited for her arrival from work.  I found out in the middle of the second glass that there was definitely a sufficient amount of alcohol in the wine.  I had a wonderful glow on which translated to my canceling dinner. There was no way I could safely cook without possibly burning down the house.

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When the better-half arrived home she drank a couple of mouthfuls of the wine, declared it delicious, and then immediately opened a beer (she isn’t much of a wine lover).  She made her own meal and I ended up having an off-the-cuff snack consisting of Wheat Thins, a dab of Smart Balance and peanut butter with a dash of triple berry jam.

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This batch of wine has passed my final acid test.  Any wine that can make me eat this slop for dinner  contains more than enough alcohol.  I tested it with my vinometer and it contain just a hair more than 9 percent.  That makes for an excellent batch of 18 proof red wine, more than enough to make almost any food edible.

06-21-2014 Journal Entry – Little Old Winemaker!   Leave a comment

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“I really believe that the feet give the wine that little “special something”. LOL

I’ve been in heaven for the last few days.  We’ve been having San Diego style weather and that’s damn unusual for sure.  I’m pretty good at adapting to change so I’ll be just fine, really!  I’ve been tending the garden, completing a host of BS projects from my better-half’s To-Do List and generally feeling relaxed and at peace with things.

I took a ride without her today (she’s working) and decided to hit a few of the dozens of yard sales in the area.  You just never know what you might find and I do love surprises.  Unfortunately yard sales have been losing their charm for me of late and today was no different. Too many people watching too many TV shows that have convinced everyone that every piece of crap that would have been thrown away in the past is now a precious antique worth big bucks.  I visited three yard  sales in a short period of time and it was all I could do not to say something totally inappropriate like “Are you f…ing kidding me!”.  No purchases today for me and much less interest in visiting any more this summer.  It’s just ridiculous and really getting out of control.

I returned home and decided to take a few minutes to check the wine I’ve been making. I racked the red wine.  For those of you not familiar with home brewing terminology racking means siphoning off the clear wine after the yeast had settled to the bottom of the fermentation container.  This is done two or three times during the winemaking process until the batch is crystal clear.

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I think this may turn into a rather nice medium sweet red wine.  I haven’t used Concord grapes in the past and now I’m thinking I probably should have. The wine has a beautiful almost black color and it cleared itself of yeast very quickly.  I started out with four and a half gallons and lost a half in the siphoning process. I should be bottling approximately 18-20 bottles in a month or so.

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The Dandelion wine will continue to ferment for a while longer. I think it may end up being rather dry with a fairly high alcohol content.  I can’t wait to taste the final product because dandelion is one of my favorites.

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I need to get these two batches completed and in the bottle as soon as possible.  I suspect I’ll be doing two more batches of fruit and berry wine this fall and need to make a little room for them.  All in all it should be an excellent year for winemaking.