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We had no idea what we were doing - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
We had no idea what we were doing
Hey everybody! If you haven't already, meet Johanna. Johanna likes wine, and knowing that I've had various experiences in the world of DIY fermentating, she decided that we needed to put something together. Initially, her idea was to make some kind of mead, but on hearing that meads can take a Very Long Time Indeed to age properly, she began to consider other options. Various suggestions were bandied about, mostly having to do with seasonal fruit-type wines, but Johanna wanted to use grapes. Of course, rather than do the sensible thing and get a wine-making kit with pre-pressed grapes having a respectable prodigy, we got fresh, whole grapes. From Chile. On sale, no less.

How many grapes go into making wine, you ask? Well, there's no hard and fast rule, though most sources suggest something in the realm of 14 lbs of grapes for every gallon of wine. We planned on 3 gallons, but got 21 lbs of red grapes, with the intent of supplementing the must with water and concord grape concentrate. Consider it the "partial mash" of the wine making world.

Of course, since we didn't have access to a fancy press and couldn't risk RSI's mashing grapes into a fine paste with various handheld implements of the kitchen - not to mention wanting to add some adventure to the project - we opted for old tech. What began as a suggestion made in jest snowballed into what seemed more and more like not just an option, but the only one worth doing. We decided on the old-timey tradition of stomping.

Now, before you get all freaked out over feet and all, let me just say that there was appropriate bathing prior to the stomp, and that afterwards the must was sterilized using Campden tabs (which are designed to kill off any bacteria and yeasts that find their way into the must prior to adding your real culture). Safety first, kids.

Primary ferment should be done tonight. We haven't quite decided on how to go about clarifying it, but that will come with time if nothing else.
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plumtreeblossom From: plumtreeblossom Date: January 6th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is AWESOME. And it looks like so much fun. Salut!
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
It pays to have adventurous friends who're willing to go along with crazy ideas. ^_^

Happy B-Day, btw. Have fun tonight.
wildflowersoul From: wildflowersoul Date: January 6th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is pretty awesome looking!
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was pretty cool, and proved to be a learning experience. The most important lesson was Let the grapes warm to room temperature before stomping. Ask J- about her cold feet sometime.
khep From: khep Date: January 6th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! :D
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was kind of unhinged.
From: mittenstone Date: January 6th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you started brewing yet?

Can I interest you in a bottle of the Imperial?
watchamacallit From: watchamacallit Date: January 6th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
If there weren't already so many concoctions fermenting in my pantry, I would say that I'm ready to do it again.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: January 6th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was right...They are very pretty. That looks like something one should do while wearing opera gloves. At least, I would.

(And speaking of opera gloves, I found THIS the other day and thought of you.)
From: uruz Date: January 6th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently, P has gone through a dramatic weight loss, *and* a sex change.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: January 6th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'll be tasting this revolutionary wine... when?
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
As soon as I can get it bottled. I anticipate that we're looking at about a month down the road for that, and then it will need to sit for a couple of months before consumption. I've still got a bottle of the dry peach waiting to send, too. Email me your addy?

I've got a lead on a smallish oak cask for aging. It probably won't touch this batch, but we'll get there.
iterum From: iterum Date: January 6th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
cinemama From: cinemama Date: January 6th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Marry her.
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaking of crazy ideas...

clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: January 6th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
That looks like fun. I'm jealous!!
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's always an adventure happening at my place!
stochasticgirl From: stochasticgirl Date: January 6th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm curious...how much money has this little home-wine-making foray cost so far?
komos From: komos Date: January 6th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
We started with most of the equipment, so the outlay was limited to ingredients. The grapes were on sale for $.99 lb, so I'm guessing that overall our cost was around $30.

I doubt that there's a way of making homebrewing cheaper than buying commercial brands since there's no way to get that kind of economy of scale. This is especially true once time is figured in.

Still, that's not why I do it.
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komos From: komos Date: January 7th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gypsy Punk?

I forgot to mention the music!

Unfortunately, despite all of my futzing with my camera trying to find the best settings, a lot of the shots turned out not very good at all. I also managed to inadvertently take too many blurry cleavage shots (I was trying to get your smile. I swear to the gods...) You're certainly welcome to them, but they're not my best work.

I'm currently in Maine. I'm hoping to be back Sunday in the early evening. Would that work for you? All that needs to be done is to transfer the wine to another vessel. It might be a little dicey since there's so much pulp, but I think we can manage.
hieeee From: hieeee Date: January 8th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


YOU ARE THE MAN, PETER! wooooooooooooot!
komos From: komos Date: January 8th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: woot!

If that's not enough food porn for you, I put this up on Friday, too.

And hey! How've you been?
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