Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Tips and Ramblings...

That, over there to the left, is a picture of the front hallway into our house. That's the wine and beer that I'm working on right now. Some of it. There's another five gallons of cider in the kitchen, and another half gallon of cranberry wine in the Living room. I think I need a workshop just for this hobby. From front to back, the wines are: cranberry wine, orange wine, blueberry wine, more blueberry wine, four gallons of peach wine, apple cider, and Belgian wheat beer. I swear, I'm not an alcoholic. I can't even remember the last time I had a buzz.

So, I've made a lot of wine, but if you have a bottle with dinner once a week, or a glass after work a few days a week, you'll find that you can run through it faster than you would have thought.

Done rambling.

I put together a few tips that have made my life easier, and i thought I ought to share them.

Exploding Bottles:
It does happen. Or even just if your corks pop, it's not fun. It's sad. So, what you see here is my pear cider I recently made. I finished the bottles with labels and PVC caps, but just in case, while it's carbonating over the next few days to weeks, I set them in a bucket, and I'm leaving them there. That way, if anything did happen, then at least the cleanup would be easy.

Sample Bottles: I've started to bottle up a couple tiny bottles with each batch, provided that there is enough, so that after aging a while, I can sample a little bit, without wasting a whole bottle if it wasn't really ready. What you see here is apple cider and pear cider in mini wine bottles. Beer bottles will work too if you have a bottle capping device.

Water Carboys
: I picked this 5-gallon carboy up for about $13 with the deposit. The cost was a little more than an "Ale Pail", but way less than a "better bottle" or a glass carboy. Best of all, you can see through it and know how your wine is progressing, and whether or not it's clear, a major problem that I've had with the opaque buckets. It's also very strong, and they come in three gallon size too, which cost significantly less.

Despite how much wine I've made, I'm constantly discovering new tricks and tools. It makes things fun and interesting.

Until next time,

The Winemaker

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