Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

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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