Drinkers with a Running Problem

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Wine and portmaking (Read 17 times)


Fat butt on couch

    I know most here are into beer but as some know, besides beer I grow my own vines and make wine.

     

    One of the challenges with wine is that unlike beer, you only get one shot a year.  So the learning curve takes awhile to get through.  Years ago I got the basics down well by making non-grape fruit wines year-round, but now I focus on grape wine and am trying to perfect the varieties I have growing.

     

    My 2011 Marachel Foch was kind of sharp (too much acid).  It has mellowed a bit with age but I learned a) I need to do malolactic fermentations on this, and b) I need more oak to round it out.  Though I think the 3-year drought we've had here has made it challenging on getting balanced grapes.

     

    Today I did the first real taste on the 2012 Marachel Foch (well, 1/3 of it was Oberlin Noir, which is a close cousin).  The malolactic fermentation cut the sharpness somewhat, but not as much as I'd hoped.  I added more oak than last year, so I am hopeful that with some age this will be a pleasant wine.

     

    For weeks of watering the vines to keep them and the crop alive through a 50-year drought and all the hours trimming etc, I will get ~16-17 bottles of this wine.  Ugh.

     

    I also made a black raspberry port.  To do this legally, fortifying with Everclear was necessary.  I'm adding the oak incrementally so I don't go overboard as it took 3 years' worth of berries to make 5.5 gallons; the first iteration was light on oak so I added some more and am not awaiting the results in another couple months.  It certainly has some promise.

     

    I have not messed with the Cayuga White yet; I will get roughly 12 gallons of this.  I plan on about 5 gallons (25 bottles) done semi-sweet the way my wife likes it, and leave the rest dry.  The dry is an easy wine; it was excellent last year and is as good or better this year.  This will be my first try back-sweetening however.  I'll get around to that in another couple weeks.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

     


    Prince of Fatness

      I know most here are into beer

       

      Heh yeah.  I drink wine on rare occasions (like when there is no beer available).  I should mix it up more maybe.

       

      Anyway I'd be interested in learning about your wine making processes.  Post some pictures too.

       

      MTA: My brother in law makes wine, but he gets kits and doesn't grow his own grapes.  Come to think of it my LHBS sells wine kits and such.  I forget when the season is but they get lots of different grape varieties in.  I think that I recall them getting other fruit in as well.

      Semi-retired.


      Fat butt on couch

        This past fall I was overwhelmed with 2X the grape crop I was expecting, so I was in oh-crap mode as I worked very late into the night trying to get the grapes processed into must.  So I didn't take pics like I did the year before.  Hopefully this year.

         

        Wine and beer making are very different.  A batch of wine required repeated interventions for many months, and may not be bottled for a year.  I just added oak to the red wine that started in August.  I need to back-sweeten the white whenever I find 2-3 hours to work with.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         


        Will Crew for Beer

          Just curious, but how do you oak the wine? I assume you don't have barrels. Are you using oak chips or something like that?

          2014 Goal: Who the hell knows?


          Fat butt on couch

            Just curious, but how do you oak the wine? I assume you don't have barrels. Are you using oak chips or something like that?

             

            Oak chips.  There are also cubes and "swirls".  Barrels are problematic and very expensive.

             

            It's a surface area game; in the end only really sophisticated people could perhaps tell the difference.  A lot of commercial wine is not barreled.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             


            Prince of Fatness

              Oak chips.  There are also cubes and "swirls".  Barrels are problematic and very expensive.

               

              It's a surface area game; in the end only really sophisticated people could perhaps tell the difference.  A lot of commercial wine is not barreled.

               

              Same with beer.  This is on my beer list, something I would like to do but not a high priority.  What I would do is soak oak chips in bourbon and rack the beer onto it for an extended period of time.  Probably a stout.  If I do it I will probably split a batch so I can eventually do a side by side taste test to see what it does to the beer.

              Semi-retired.


              Fat butt on couch

                 

                Same with beer.  This is on my beer list, something I would like to do but not a high priority.  What I would do is soak oak chips in bourbon and rack the beer onto it for an extended period of time.  Probably a stout.  If I do it I will probably split a batch so I can eventually do a side by side taste test to see what it does to the beer.

                 

                That's a neat idea.

                 

                Remember it's all about surface area.  A real oak barrel does not have a lot of surface area for the volume of wood and liquid.  A chip is little volume and a lot of surface area.  As a result, it only takes 2-4 weeks to get anything out of it that you are going to get.  You don't need to let it sit for months.

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                 


                Prince of Fatness

                  Remember it's all about surface area.  A real oak barrel does not have a lot of surface area for the volume of wood and liquid.  A chip is little volume and a lot of surface area.  As a result, it only takes 2-4 weeks to get anything out of it that you are going to get.  You don't need to let it sit for months.

                   

                  Yeah but once I rack to secondary there is no harm in letting it sit longer.  Bulk aging is not a bad thing, I am just lazy and rarely secondary.

                   

                  Now I am intrigued.  I had planned on brewing a Belgian Tripel over the summer.  I will split that batch and throw some oak chips in half.

                   

                  Now back to spaniel's wine making escapades.

                  Semi-retired.


                  Fat butt on couch

                    100+ bottles of wine this year.  70 of Cayuga White spread across 3 batches (a test for pressing technique), 15 of a Marachel Foch/Oberlin Noir 2/3-1/3 blend, and 6 gallons of black raspberry port mostly into 375mL bottles.

                     

                    The pressing technique test on the white was between free run (juice from the crush that runs without pressing), pressed, and a re-processing of the once-pressed grapes to crush/press them a second time.

                     

                    I just packed up 2 bottles of the pressed batch to send in for the Indiana Wine Competition, which is actually one of the largest wine competitions in the country which accepts amateur wines.  I'm actually kind of nervous about entering this for some reason.

                     

                    As I was packing it, I popped the cork on the first bottle of red I have opened -- it has only been in the bottle ~6 weeks.  It is definitely young, but the malolactic fermentation I ran clearly led to a big improvement over the 2011 vintage.  Now I need to be patient and try to avoid opening too many more for another year.  Big grin

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     


                    Prince of Fatness

                      That's a lot of wine.  Nice work.

                      Semi-retired.


                      Fat butt on couch

                        The Cayuga White (2012) got a bronze at the Indiana International Wine Competition.  Now I have a goal to beat next year.  I have no shortage of fruit ripening up for the attempt.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         


                        Will Crew for Beer

                          The Cayuga White (2012) got a bronze at the Indiana International Wine Competition.  Now I have a goal to beat next year.  I have no shortage of fruit ripening up for the attempt.

                           

                          Congratulations! That's really cool.

                          2014 Goal: Who the hell knows?

                          nolamama


                          gesticulator

                            The Cayuga White (2012) got a bronze at the Indiana International Wine Competition.  Now I have a goal to beat next year.  I have no shortage of fruit ripening up for the attempt.

                             

                            This is awesome, congrats! I'm very impressed with your wine making abilities. I have no clue how to make any, just how to drink it.


                            Fat butt on couch

                              Thanks.  The curse of making it is that I cannot sell it, so I end up drinking more of it.  Big grin

                               

                              I have two peach trees which were absolutely loaded down to the point of endangering the trees.  Canning and pies only go so far, so I picked three milk crates full....pitted and halved them...ran them through my homemade wine fruit chopper...and added an additional 1.5 gallons of juice pressed from some early-ripening Ontario white table grapes I have.  After some additional sugar and chemistry manipulation tonight, I will be on my way to ~5 gallons of peach wine for next summer.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand