November 02, 2010
The home winemaker will typically use a basic acid titration kit to measure acidity in wine because other manners can be quite expensive.
While not 100% accurate, it's close... and it's a test whose results I do not ignore. You can rely on it especially when you have become consistent enough in the process of conducting the test. This video shows you how.
Just to clarify... once I have achieved the color change that is described in the video, I will subtract the amount of sodium hydroxide that remains in the syringe (3 cc's) from what I started with (10 cc's). So the result is 7 cc's and each cc is approximately .1% acidity (expressed as tartaric acid, TA)
So, we started with 10cc's and we consumed 7cc's, leaving 3 cc's. So that gave us an acidity reading (expressed as TA) of .7% for this white, Sauvignon Blanc.
Update: I said Cabernet Sauvignon in the video, but it's obviously a white wine. I meant to say Sauvignon Blanc :) Happens to the best of us, right?
November 01, 2009
A lot of people ask me questions about wine making and it frustrates me that I can't give them a specific answer. The reason is because the answers are not always the same.
Example, "how many apples or how much grapes does it take to make wine?" Or, "how much sugar do I add to my wine?" "What all equipment do I need to make wine?"
I use the leftover apple cider from our cider smash to make 3 gallons of apple/pear wine and at the same time, attempt to answer some of these questions. I also talk a little about acidity in wine, fermenting fruit and how the hydrometer can tell you how much sugar to add to your wine (must).
October 23, 2009
Here are some real nice shots of the wine cellar taken by my friend, Jim Kinker.
Here's just a little business in the wine cellar around the end of summer. All these pics were taken by my friend, Jimmy Kinker. Since I'm never in my own pics, I really dig it when he comes over on Thursdays and takes great pics of the goin's on.
Jim has a new found interest in the elderberry wine... maybe because he has access to a lot of real good ones! Together, we've rustled up enough berries to make a solid 10 gallons this year. Even after that, we had our "apple smash" that gave enough juice to make 20 gallons of apple wine.
As we nestle down for the winter, we can kick back and feel good that we truly harnessed the essence of the summer and fall this year, and we have the bounty to prove it.
I hope you and your family are maximizing your enjoyment of the present.
February 24, 2009
Working a barrel around 2003.
Look at me... I'm crazy. CRAZY! I took that barrel apart and scraped it and whupped it up. Then, I put it all back together again. I don't think there were any coopers in my family, but I put my wife, the hard-core genealogist who also whups it up, on that one :)
I have a good friend named Jay Cooper... whose mother was my 2nd grade teacher in elementary school. And yes, they had coopers in their history. With a name like that, you'd better.
But as of now, to the best of my knowledge, my father was the closest thing in our family. I inherited all his winemaking equipment back in 2000 and in it was several tools used by the cooper. Look at that band banger next to the bucket of beeswax. I promptly put it all to work. I've been making wine since 2000, and this cool little 5-gallon barrel that he had needed a refurbish. It was taken care of and it's become a sentimental thing to me now. These pics just show the process. I was successful in this event and I'd do it all over again. I'd whup it up!
February 20, 2009
On Saturday, we ate, drink and were merry with good friends. Over the last 2 years, I have really been digging the red wines. To me, reds *are* more complex animals and hard to figure out both in the tasting and making. But I drink what I like and it spans from sweet to dry. I look at the craft in the style of wine in reds more so than whites. It seems there’s more tinkering done in the cellar with red wines… and rightly so.
These are NOT all the wines that were available. They were this years, “featured selections.” My idea is to feature a diverse group of wines from sweet to dry and cheap to expensive, both red and white. People liked some, but not all. Seems my homemade peach wasn't so hot. In fact, it tasted soapy :( - But, I plan to play with it some more. You watch, I may just bring it around. My Plum wine however, was something to gett jiggy to.
Here was the official line up, but it didn't include many wines that were brought... and additional wines that were pulled from the cellar.
2007 Menage A Trios (a blend) - Folie A Deux
2007 Chianti – Ruffino
2005 Syrah Petite - Stags Leap
2005 Syrah - Columbia Winery
2004 Syrah - Red Bicyclette
2007 Voignier - Stags Leap
2007 Moscato - Sutter Home
2007 Gewurtztraminer - Chateau St. Michelle
2006 Savignon Blanc - Bogle
2007 Chardonnay - Bogle
2005 Champagne - Valley Vineyards
2007 - Concord
2008 - Peach
2008 - Plum
2008 - Strawberry
2007 - Niagra Ice Wine (juice from a kit… real deal stuff)
Thankfully, my wife shares the passion enough to where we’ve sinfully set up a budget for wine-buying. The goal was to put some good stuff in the cellar, but it’s so hard to keep our hands off it! So the cycle repeats. We find ourselves being wine junkies to the extent of grabbing a quick bottle of the shelf to try something new. It’s cool when you find a good $5-10 bottle that you really like. The point of my featured selections is not to wow or woo. It’s to expose everyone to a variety of wines… and particularly, ones I’ve been drinking lately. Around here, we “drink what we like.” If you like it, and it happens to be priced right, remember who introduced you to it :)
Wine is fun and finding people who appreciate it the same is a blast. Thanks to all those who contributed something to the wine and food. What a great experience. So, see you at the next taste. Check out the pics from this years event.
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