Monday, October 27, 2008

Wines Bottled and Made

On Sunday Alex, Elana and Byron came over to help make and bottle some wine. We started off with cleaning and sorting the 25 pounds of grapes Elana and Byron brought from their home. Then, as I sampled and measured the acidity and specific gravity of the liquid, Alex and Byron mashed the grapes by hand – everybody was quite disappointed when I forbid feet in the primary fermentation bucket. If you had seen Alex’s feet, you understand why.

I’m making an oaked red. I think we’ll get about three gallons of grape wine (14 or so bottles). Half of which will go to Elana and Byron. Byron is a graphic designer and will be making the labels for this wine (so cool). I think I’ll be naming it “Wrath.”

We also bottled. We began with the five gallons of Maple Sap wine (named Acer Saccharum, after the latin name for Sugar Maple). It’s a crystal clear wine with a spicy flavor (from the cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon I added) with a maple after taste. The flavor is surprising and we all agreed that it will make an excellent mulled wine. Its alcohol level at bottling is 14.65%, but will even out to fifteen while aging. I got a total of 23 750ml bottles – two of which I gave to those helping me and 10 of which will go to Matt and Bethany who gave me the sap to make the wine. In all, I have 11 bottles to keep.

The six gallons of apple wine produced 28 375ml bottles for Alex’s wedding as well as 12 (if I remember correctly – I’m away from home as I write this) 750ml bottles. I gave my helpers two bottles of that as well, leaving me with 10 bottles of my own. Unfortunately, I still can’t find my original documentation for the apple wine although I do have the recipe to make it again. And, the SG readings that I wrote on the bottle rubbed off. I believe that I expected an alcohol level of 18% or so, I think it’s pretty close to that. The wine is called Trifecta in homage to of the apple blend I used to make it – it’s a mix of McIntosh, Cortland, and McCoun windfalls I collected from McDougal Orchards. It has a wonderful taste. We blended some of the maple and apple in a glass – next year I may have to make a blend of the two.

My only concern with the apple is that it’s not a clear as I would have liked it to be. Next time I need to use more pectin enzyme during the fermentation.

Not a bad haul. If anybody would like the recipes I'm using, email me and I'll be glad to send them to you with my comments.

No comments: