Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer Hiatus Is Over!

I have not been writing for a while, for quite a long while, and I feel an explanation is merited. A number of things have played a roll in my absence: primarily, it was summer. Summer is hot, and wine fermented at eighty-five degrees just isn't the same as those cool, rich fall brews. (Though believe me, I am back in full swing now!) So, I have not made much wine over the summer. Reason two: it was summer, and I didn't feel like writing. I know, it sounds like I was lazy, but no, really quite the opposite, I was too busy! Reason three: I went on vacation. Yes, just recently I returned from Costa Rica, where I tried Vino de Mora (a blackberry wine that is reminiscent of dimetapp), trekked through the jungle, swam in coral reefs... all that good stuff. But things are quickly getting back to the grind, and the wine has been flowing!

Here's a quick review of the summer's winemaking activities: In May I made two and a half more gallons of Peach wine, which last night was sampled to my delight. In June I played around a bit and picked up some Motts unfiltered all natural apple juice, just for fun. It seems like apple cider is difficult to mess up, because it turned out wonderfully. I used lavlin K1V 1116 to ferment it. What a pleasant surprise! It quickly disappeared. Then, to my shame, I was shopping at Wal Mart one evening. And I did something even more shameful than shopping at Wal Mart: I grabbed a few cans of their store-brand frozen, concentrated apple juice. Hold the stones, please! Then I fermented it, thinking that surely, apple cider can be messed up. Knowing full well that this was a set up for failure, I did throw in some yeast nutrient, some tannins, and a tiny bit of citric acid.

Two days ago I bottled my peach wine. I bottled two gallons of pumpkin wine. I bottled the shameful apple cider. And though it's only a few months old, I actually think it's enjoyable.

Don't be angry, I am atoning for this erratic summer behavior. I just began fermenting, today, a nice, local, New-York State wildflower-honey mead, light, should be dry, with an alcohol content of about 10%. See, I am back in the swing of things.

I'll post about this later, but you also ought to know that I'm branching out a bit: I've got five gallons of an Irish Red Ale brewing as I write! It smells wonderful, like bakeries! I'm very excited to be brewing some beer. I think that in November, or perhaps even October I'll do a wheat beer.

I'm also going to begin a batch of proper apple cider from proper fresh pressed apples in the next ten to twelve days.

Yes the winemaker is back, and he is writing in his notebook...