Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Balloon Wines

The reason I started the Winemaker's Notebook was to provide a resource for beginner winemakers. When I first started making wine, I had no idea what I was doing, and my google searches led me to sites talking about brix, pH, specific gravity, hydrometers, airlocks, strains of yeast, nutrients, enzymes, tannins, and a whole slew of other things to do with wine making. Even though I could figure what most of these things were, and being in biology many of them were extremely familiar, it wasn't as if I had all of the equipment and ingredients and additives to start right out, and that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to the market, buy a few things, and make wine.

It can be done.

In an effort to make this site of even greater value to the beginning winemaker, I am introducing a new section of the site totally dedicated to balloon wines.

What the heck is a balloon wine?

Balloon wine is wine so simple, that the only "special" equipment or ingredient that is necessary to make it is wine yeast, which can be ordered on line for about 50 cents.

Balloon wine is essentially all the ingredients, thrown into a sanitized container, with a balloon slapped on top. It may seem rather rudimentary, but it is indeed the first step that I took in winemaking, and led me to what I do today.

a balloon airlock, left, and a plastic airlock, right

The best part is the extremely low start-up cost. For right around five dollars one can get their juice, their balloons, their yeast, their sugar, and a container. Then, you're on your way to making your first gallon of wine!

Beginning next Monday, and every following Monday for a number of weeks, a balloon wine recipe will appear on the site! Many of the recipes will have an equivalent in the regular recipe section, but you'll notice minor differences in all of them, and major differences in others. All of them will make a decent wine. There will also be a balloon wine section under the "Guides" column on the right hand side of the page, and "Balloon Wine" will be listed under the recipes column. Either of these links will take you to all of the site's balloon wine recipes. Check back often, because as I said, a new recipe will appear each week!

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