June 23, 2011

Wine Making

I love wine.

I really love wine.  I am not a snob about it....I am quite happy with a $4 bottle from TJ's, but I do love a good wine when I can get one....and really despite what you may think, most anyone can tell your basic table wine from a Good One.  Living in the Pacific NW has its advantages.  One of which being a plethora of vineyards and wineries within an hour's drive.

But wine is not a cheap love....so I have wanted for years to learn how to make my own.  I have a TON of raspberries that grow in my garden, I even saved a lot from last years crop in the freezer for this specific purpose.  I finally just jumped in and started my own Pollo Loco Homestead Raspberry Wine in April!

Shown is actually two versions.
The dark one on the end is a country wine, only takes about a month to finish.  It was good, but a bit too sweet for my taste....but after adding some sparkling water and ice, it was fantastic.
The lighter color jugs are in it for the long haul.  They will take 9 months to a year or more to finish.  The hubs and I have racked this one already and will again soon.  Then a few months later we will bottle it.  I plan to try a bottle around the holiday's this year to see where it is at, I will keep you posted.

I followed this process to make the 12 month wine...from one of my favorite blogs, Chickensintheroad.  I feel Suzanne and I are very much on the same page about a lot of things, I will reference her blog again.

You really do not need a lot of fancy equipment.  I used a large re-purposed ice cream tub (Tillamook Cheese Factory sells them for 50 cents!) for the initial fermentation and re-used apple cider jugs for the secondary fermentation (my sister loves organic all natural cider--it is usually only available in the glass jugs, she saved hers for me).  I plan to use wine bottles I am saving when it comes time to bottle.  The only things I needed to buy were some air locks, some tubing for racking, wine yeast, acid blend and I went ahead and bought a $6 hydrometer so I could know the specific gravity (relates to the alcohol content) of the wine.

I plan to try a mint wine next, as I have a lot of mint taking over a corner of my garden currently.

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