LEARNING – how to make wine

This post may be a bit inappropriately titled. Maybe a better choice would have been – “Don’t bottle wine before it’s finished fermenting or else it may end up exploding all over your fathers fridge while he is away on vacation” – but that seemed a bit long.

Now this wasn’t my first attempt at making wine. In previous years, I’ve made a couple batches of plum wine and one batch of blackberry wine prior to my foray into strawberry wine. I should have known better, and I did. I was just absent minded and I didn’t anticipate not drinking that small bottle immediately so that it wouldn’t blow up.

Maybe I should I start at the beginning. Here’s a series of picture explaining the process thus far.

First you get about 20 pounds of strawberries.

First you get about 20 pounds of strawberries.

Then you chop the stems off.

Then you chop the stems off.

Then you throw them in a blender. You could chop them by hand, but I was feeling rather lazy.

Then you throw them in a blender. You could chop them by hand, but I was feeling rather lazy.

It's a strawberry hurricane - mmm that sounds kinda good.

It’s a strawberry hurricane – mmm that sounds kinda good.

Then this mix of water, sugar, yeast, strawberry mash, and a few other little things sit in a 7 gallon bucket for about a week bubbling and frothing away. The yeast eats all the sugar and produces the alcohol; the mush becomes wine. After the fermenting subsides, you strain out the fruit mash and transfer whats left into a giant glass jug.

First you need to start the syphon action. Just like stealing gas from your neighbors (just kidding).

First you need to start the syphon action. Just like stealing gas from your neighbors (just kidding).

This part takes a bit of time, maybe if I had fatter tube it would flow faster.

This part takes a bit of time, maybe if I had fatter tube it would flow faster.

Such and interesting color. I expected a much rosier hue from strawberries. Perhaps it will become less peachy after sitting for a few months.

Such and interesting color. I expected a much rosier hue from strawberries. Perhaps it will become less peachy after sitting for a few months.

glug, glug, glug

glug, glug, glug

And that’s it – so far… After a few months of sitting in the jug, finishing it’s fermentation, allowing all the yeast and fine bits of strawberry to settle out, I will bottle it into individual sized portions.

I had a bit of wine left that didn’t fit into the big jug. I put it into two wine bottles and since it was Father’s Day I gave them to my dad and step father. I thought they would both be consumed rather quickly and I only corked the one for my father so that it would survive the drive over to his house unscathed. But alas, we didn’t drink it. It went into the fridge and a few short weeks later that little cork just couldn’t contain the pressure and it burst, covering every single item in the fridge with sweet, sticky, strawberry wine. Oops! Sorry Dad.

I can’t wait until the fall when I can try my strawberry wine, bottle it, and share it with friends and family (especially my Dad – he may even get two with the corks wired on for good measure). I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of strawberry wine I start singing this song.

Did I mention that making another batch of wine was on my life’s to-do list? Well it was.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Rene

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3 responses to “LEARNING – how to make wine

  1. That is a very funny story, even the 2nd time hearing it. And a good description of the wine making process. Can’t wait to try some!

  2. Pingback: EXPLORING – summer blogging slump | Repurposed Redhead·

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