04 June 2012

It's Been a While...

...since I posted here.  Busy times.  Too much stuff going on!  There is gardening to do, picking a few berries off my young plants, mowing, and so on.  The pole beans are climbing up the sassafras poles and we have quite a few tomatoes in the green stage.  We have harvested and frozen our broccoli heads and are continuing to enjoy the smaller, secondary florets as they form.  I've picked 2 or 3 quarts of black raspberries off of our second-year plants.  I also think the birds have found them.  Although it is a bit early, I sowed a row of turnips where I removed the old lettuce.  I also made a short row of parsnips.

I did take some time this morning and begin a batch of wine.  This is a sort of experiment for me.  I have never used a winemaker's concentrate before and am hopeful at how it will turn out.  The type I selected is Muscat.  It should be a good golden-colored sweet wine...the kind that Patti prefers!

I also learned that the Muscat grape is the oldest known variety of grape in the world.  It probably originated in Greece and traveled around the continent in the following centuries.  The Muscat came to America with the early Spanish and Italian immigrants.
I'm posting a photo of the new batch, with the fermentation lock attached.  Let's see how it does!  I will move this big glass carboy to the laundry room where it is out of the way and let it do it's thing.  In a few weeks and once the fermentation stops, I'll siphon it into another similar container.  That is called 'racking' the wine and will help it to clear by allowing more solids to settle.  Racking can be done more than once if needed.  Once it is suitably clear, I'll siphon it into bottles, cork it, label it, and put it on the shelf for 'later consumption'!

A batch of must ready to start fermenting!

Below are some photos of an earlier batch of blackberry wine that I made.  There are also some shots of the bottled product.  This batch was about four gallons, so I made it in separate one gallon containers and attached air locks to each.  I ended up with quite a few bottles of good blackberry wine!

Blackberry wine at work!

Bottling using a corker purchased from Butler Winery.
Some finished and some awaiting labeling.
My wine labels were simply made using MS Word.  I added some graphics snatched from the web, added wording in a suitable font and voila! wine labels!  Our family coat of arms appears near the bottom of the label.  Before applying the labels to the bottles, I sprayed them with a coat of clear acrylic spray to set the colors and keep them from running if they get wet.

I recycle wine bottles and have some friends and family members who help me out...in return for a bottle or two of wine, of course!  I purchase corks and other supplies from a nearby winemaker supply store in Bloomington.  I guess this would be a great spot to give them a plug.  Butler Winery is a full scale winery, as well as a great place to get supplies for brewing and winemaking.  Their stuff is available by mail order as well.  I recommend them. 

Butler Winery and Vineyards
1022 N. College Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47404

 I also pick up a few supplies at an old hardware store in nearby Jasper.  L.H. Sturm's Hardware is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still run by family members of the founder.  It is a great old-fashioned hardware store that carries lots of stuff that the chain stores have never even heard of.  

Jasper and all of Dubois County is full of folks of German heritage and, believe me, they know how to make some good wine!! 

Sturm's Hardware, Jasper, Indiana
Some of the winemaking and brewing supplies found at Sturm's Hardware.
 Sturm's can be found at www.fullnet.com/~bdm727/sturmstr.htm.  They can also be reached by email at bdm727@fullnet.com, or by phone at (812)482-6506.

Finished bottles and some extra labels from Sanders Cellars!

No comments:

Post a Comment