My equipment is clean, the sugar in the grape must is reading near 0 and I’m ready to press the wine! The process is pretty simple: scoop the must into the basket press, let the free-run wine come out into a pail, and squeeze the leftover skins to get even more wine out of it. But don’t squeeze too much or you’ll start crushing seeds and getting bitter wine.
The one thing my winemaking books didn’t say anything about was what to do with the free-run and pressed wine. I wasn’t about to go over-the-top and do taste tests while blending the two together–I wanted to use all the wine I got! But It became obvious if I wanted a consistent final product, I needed to blend all the wine together–a job that was far to big for the pail the wine was running into. So I improvised, washing my primary fermenter on the fly and mixing all the wine in it before siphoning it off into my glass containers. It worked out fine. Continue reading
I checked in on my must, and was delighted to hear some faint bubbling under the cap. Success, the yeast are getting to work! I punched down the cap, a ritual I will be doing 4–5 times per day until the fermentation is complete. I want to make sure the yeast have enough air to do their job, and extract all that lovely color and flavor from the skins! The must is at about 65°F, and will increase in temperature as the fermentation continues.
The grapes have been cold soaking for 3 days now. During that time I diligently exchanged frozen water bottles into and out of the must to keep it cold and prevent any “bugs” from making themselves at home. It’s time to make any adjustments to the must and begin fermentation! Continue reading
If you’re really into wine, you’ve probably thought about making it yourself.
It’s one thing to buy wine from the store, drink it and write about it. But eventually that gets boring and you think, “I wonder if I can make it just as good? Maybe it would be fun!” Continue reading