Apple wine

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Labor Day weekend!  A busy one, too.  I made apple conserve and apple pie filling, and a second batch of Sriracha:

Apple canning

 

I also made a loaf of bread in the slow cooker, and some brownies for dinner with Mom & Gerry last night.  (Jolyon is, of course, the leftovers recipient.  We had garden tomatoes and basil, plus assorted cheeses for the appetizer, and pizza from Pizzaria Locale for the main, since Mom reckoned she was not in a cooking sort of mood.)  Although I also picked about 4 cups of raspberries, I am planning raspberry-chocolate sundae topping instead of wine.  I haven’t weighed what I have, but I’m guessing it’s well shy of the 4 lbs. I need for wine, anyway.

raspberry harvest

 

(This is about 2 cups.  I picked the same amount the next morning.  Finally!)

However!  That does not mean I had a wine-free weekend, even aside from the drinking.  I started a batch of apple wine yesterday.  I’d frozen the grated apples, so I took out 7.5 lbs. and thawed that.  Then, when it was all nicely thawed, I put hand-fulls into cheesecloth and squeezed the juice out.  (My recipe says that apple wines are best fermented off the pulp.)  This turned out to be rather a lot of work, and I found myself wishing for an apple press again.  But since one didn’t magically appear, despite my wishing, I kept squeezing until I’d gotten out all I could, which was somewhere between half and three-quarters of a gallon.  I added a crushed Campden, the pectic enzyme, sugar (2 lbs.), acid blend, yeast nutrient, and tannin yesterday at around 3:30.  Then I added water to equal a gallon.  The yeast (Champagne) will go in today, after work.

Apple wine primary

I’m not sure why it’s cloudy though.  I find this mildly worrisome, but the haze seemed to have gone away when I peeked at the mix later last night, so that seems like a good sign.

I also added more simple syrup to the Peach Perfection wine, per directions.  It’s such a peculiar and convoluted recipe.  I need to take its SG, but I haven’t yet.  I haven’t tasted it yet, either, and I’m kind of nervous because there’s so dang much of it.  I think that bottle of peach wine that I bought, and that was so nasty and weird, has me a little on edge.  Maybe I’ll taste it tonight.  I have to make a batch of no-rinse solution anyway, for stirring the apple wine, so I can sterilize a few things and maybe get a taste of the peach.  I may taste the apple,too, in case there’s soap in there or something.  Not that I can imagine how soap might have gotten in there, but I suspect I’ll worry if I don’t check.

Next up is probably Concord wine.  The grapes are also late (what a weird year it’s been) but I think they’ll be ready this weekend or next.  I’m looking forward to harvesting all I can, since my crazy dogs keep trying to eat them.  I should have some Leon Millot in the mix, too– those are proper wine grapes.  Depending on how much I get, I’ll either make pyment (grape mead) or wine.  Or, if it’s way less than I need for either of those, grape butter.  It’s not an easy thing, guessing how much of a harvest one has.  I’m also planning an apple-spice wine, and if I get enough of a harvest, raspberry.  I think I only have 3 empty carboys though, so some of that will have to wait until I’ve bottled something else.

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