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A little help here...

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by thuban, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    While some have been tinkering, polishing, and drooling over their two-wheeled projects, ( You know who you are too) It's a working time of year for others, like me. Yeah, I know, it's tough, but somebody has to do it.

    First, I got a little camera but I won't get into that now cause I haven't learned to use the program to crop the videos to small bits for chunking up to the board. ( I'll try to get to it soon)

    Well, as soon as I got a break in the rain and a good weather window, it was hay making time, first cutting of the year. A couple of truck loads like this one of fertilized "Muda", 60 bales, makes the Horses drool.
    Muda.jpg
    I'm already chomping at the bit for the next cutting. (Stuffs about 8 to 10 bucks a bale, if you have to buy it.)
    Mean while, swap to my berry picking hat. Ya'll know about Blackberrys?
    BB vines.jpg
    I put up 5 pints of blackberry jam, seedless. But that's not what blackberrys are for. WINE is what blackberrys are for! First you have to pick 16 pounds berrys, if you want to shoot for 5 gallons of wine.
    16lbs.jpg
    Next, get it going in a 5 gallon bucket for 7 days, then rack off the wine into the 5 gallon jug and lock the top.
    rack.jpg
    After 10 days, rack it off again into another 5 gallon jug, lock it and leave it till it quits working. Then you rack it off into your wine bottles for storage. Easy, more or less.
    wine working.jpg
    When I bottle this, I'll open a bottle from 2000 and give it a try.

    You can also make just a gallon of wine, if you would like to try your hand. If anyone is interested, I'll put up the directions.
    No, that's the LineShack kitchen, not the wifes! ( She likes the wine, not the mess)

    Now I need to locate downed trees to start cutting wood for winter. ( I'm shooting for middle of July for second cutting of hay.)

    I don't know how I could have any more fun without my hands in my lap. Maybe ride the Yamaha?
     
    Boog, buzzword, Jim and 6 others like this.
  2. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    :lmao: I'm gonna steal that one Thuban!

    Pete
     
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Oh this is fun! I have questions!
    1. Are the blackberries wild or did you plant them?
    2. Please explain what you mean when you say “ rack off the wine”.
    3. I’ve been through the winemaking process at wineries, do you measure alcohol content while it’s working?
    4. Drinking a bottle from 2000? You age this stuff 20 years!? Wow!
    5. You have your own line kitchen? I need one of those!
    6. All that work to feed horses. Get yourself a chihuahua, a 10lb bag of Blue Buffalo lasts 6 months! :p
    48F95B65-5C1B-4D2F-A919-29588E9C223C.jpeg
    Don’t feel like you have to answer all those questions, I’m just having fun with you. But I do find the process fascinating.
    -Bob
     
    Jim, gggGary, Team Junk and 2 others like this.
  4. joebgd

    joebgd XS650 Addict

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    I'm guessing it's actually good if you're going to have a bottle from 2000. Is it any good? How does or doesn't it compare to an average store bought red wine? What does the ageing do for it? I've had some awful I mean I couldn't believe someone gave it to my cousin homemade wine. Really it was far from drinkable. It was a while ago but I remember saying it tasted like watered down catchup and dumped it down the drain. Lol
    If it is enjoyable that is awesome.
     
    gggGary and thuban like this.
  5. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    I hope he has plenty of copies, cuz I'm swiping one too! :cheers::laugh2::laugh2:
     
    MaxPete, gggGary and thuban like this.
  6. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi thuban,
    a half-century old quote from the Bristol Evening Post winemaking column.
    Q Should I make a one gallon batch or a five gallon batch for my first attempt?
    A Make a five gallon batch.
    The effort is about the same, the ingredients are cheap and the product will last twice as long..
     
  7. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah, Fred! Good to read ya! You too NE!
    Picking 16 pounds of blackberries, not a walk in the park.
    But,
    Bob,
    1. Berries are wild; thorns, chiggers, wasps... Woof
    2. Racking is just siphoning off the wine, leaving as much of the dead yeast and sediment behind as you can, AFTER the first process - the bucket.
    3. I don't measure alcohol content anymore. If I use wine yeast I get about 16% alcohol, 32 proof! If I use bakers yeast, about 14 %.
    4. I don't age it. I just put a couple of bottles back if it's a good year. I don't make it every year either. Only when it looks like a good year and a bumper crop for berries.
    5. Cute puppy! But if I bumped him over and gave his a hug like I do the Horses, I'd mash him.
    Jobgd
    Yeah it's good! Better than you can buy in the store. Can't keep the ole lady out of it! That's why we have 15 kids! :bs:
    All you need to make a gallon of wine is ;
    - 1 1/2 gallon bucket, if using berrys. Black, rasp, straw, also peaches or crab apples, makes a great wine. So does Welches natural grape juice (no preservatives ) from your favorite store.
    -2 -one gallon glass jugs, like Carlo Rossi wine or sangria comes in.
    - length of clear tubing, the ones for wine come with a tube and a strainer and stub on the end to keep it off the bottom when racking to keep from picking up the lees on the bottom.
    - wine lock, like shown in the top of my 5 gallon jug. Amazon. Fits 1 gallon bottles and 5 gallon jugs. ( Those 5 gallon water bottles or carboys are hard to find today.) You'll need a long bottle brush for the 5 gallon jugs. Plastic water bottles won't work. Tops too big, lock won't fit and too hard to sterilize.
    - Campden tablets ( Amazon) for wine making. Used to sterilize the berries ( the "Must") before adding yeast. ( Also the equipment but can use pure bleach and rinse well)
    -Measuring cups, small funnel, small stainless strainer, water, sugar, bakers yeast and your in business!

    You can get as scientific as you want but it's not necessary to make an excellent wine. When you add the last Invert sugar, sugar that has been boiled with water for one minute and let cool, the wine is left to stand and work till all fermentation has stopped, no more bubbles coming thru the lock ( unless you want blackberry champagne! ) It this way, the alcohol content has increased to the point all the yeast have reached their potential and died. The wine will be clear with all the lees on the bottom. Due to the alcohol content the wine will keep forever as is. If you don't add a bit of campden tablet to stablize the wine, it will turn into the best light sherry. Just have to be careful with that last bit of sugar. If the yeast die before most of the sugar is used up, you will have ice cream syrup! I let it work through and add a little invert sugar a bit at a time till it's done working and then get it sweet as I like it.
     
    buzzword, MaxPete, Mailman and 2 others like this.
  8. joebgd

    joebgd XS650 Addict

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    Awesome, I request a detail how to in the tech section. Lol
    I would love to make some. We have wild white grapes which I understand are very sour and crab apples also sour and black berries and small red berries all wild on out family land in the county of upstate ny.
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  9. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Joebgd,
    It's still cool weather up there so the blackberries haven't started getting ripe yet?
    Blackberries will give you your best first results. They have everything needed to make good wine. You won't need nutrient or tannin as with grapes. A big "super size me" plastic glass or 32 oz. beaker will hold about 1 pound of black berries.. You will need 4 lbs. berries for 1 gallon of wine. Since the berries don't all come off at the same time, you can collect a couple pounds a day. Put them in a clean sink of water and rinse them handful at a time putting them in a colander to drain. Put them in a freezer bag till you get what you need. I have an old market scale to weigh my berries and sugar. Doesn't have to be precise but close.
    campden tablets - for wine making, Amazon $6.00.
    Wine Fermenter - 1 gallon bottle with lock, Amazon, will need 2 ea. - $28 bucks. (Unless your going for the 5 gallons )

    The safest way to clean your bottles is use a Campden tablet crushed up or a drop of bleach with water. But you need to rinse it WELL or you will kill your yeast.

    This is what you do.
    For 1 Gallon:

    4 lbs. blackberries
    4 lbs. sugar
    7 pints water ( 2 pints to a quart)
    1 packet wine or 1 teaspoon bakers yeast
    1/2 campden tablet

    Three Stages:
    Stage 1:
    To 3 pints water add 1 1/2 lbs. sugar and set on to boil. Stirring and when boiling , boil for one minute. Cover and set aside to cool over night. It's clear, thick and hot invert sugar. (Heat will kill your yeast, bring out the pectin and your wine will never clear)

    Next morning / day,
    Put 4 lbs. washed / pre-washed berries in 5 gallon bucket. Rubber gloves (unless you want to become a member of the order of the purple hand.)
    Crush the berries well ! Don't miss any. You can use an electric mixer but no juicer. The juice stains everything!
    Crush and dissolve 1 campden tablet in about a tablespoon water and add to the "Must". Stir well and let sit Two Hours. A little bleaching will take place.
    After two hours, add the invert sugar to the Must and stir.
    Add 1 packet or 1 teaspoon of bakers yeast and stir.
    Cross the top well with Saran Wrap till covered and tie a string around the top to hold the wrap in place.
    Sit it like up on a counter or bench and go play for 6 days. Yep, it's gona puff up and out gas and smell like yeast bread but no fruit flies can get in to contaminate the Must.

    Stage 2:
    On the evening of the 6th day:
    Boil 1 1/2 lbs. sugar with 2 pints ( 1 quart) water. Stirring, don't burn it. Cover and sit to cool over night.
    On the morning of the 7th day;
    Get your lock ready. I just use water in mine.
    Get your tube, poke thru the top yeast and with a funnel in your jug and a small stainless strainer on top the funnel, siphon off the liquid. Try not to stir up the sediment on the bottom or get the yeasty top in the jug. It will taste sweet and yeasty. It won't hurt ya.
    Stick the lock in the top of the jug well and go play for 8 days.

    Stage 3:
    On the evening of the 9th day:
    Boil 1 1/2 lbs. sugar with 2 pints water for one minute. Stirring.
    Sit to cool over night. Your an expert by now.
    On the morning of the 10th, rack off the wine into your second clean bottle. Leave as much sediment behind as possible.
    Add 1/2 your invert sugar water to the jug and lock it. Put the other half of the invert sugar in a jar, covered in the fridge.
    In 10 days the fermentation will have slowed down. Watch the fruit flies! You don't want one to get the bottle in now.
    Get your tube. Rack a little in a glass and taste it. Good Huh!

    If it's still real sweet, put the lock back on and leave it. Taste it every week or so. If it gets a little dry ( not sweet,) you have a bit of the invert sugar in the fridge to add for taste.
    Leave it till all fermentation has stopped as evidenced by no bubbles going thru the lock
    If you just added all the last of the sugar, the alcohol may hit the yeast kill rate and the wine would be left too sweet to drink. If not enough sugar was added the alcohol may be at a lower level to kill the yeast and the wine is bitter. But soon as you add the sugar to sweeten, the yeast holler "FOOD!" and the wine starts working again. If it was bottled at this time it may blow the corks, accidental champagne!
    So what do you do with the wine now? You can rack it in your other clean bottle, cork it and stick it in the fridge if you like cold wine or not. Keep it out of direct light.
    If you have timed this recipe by 4, you have a lot of wine to do something with. I have left it in the bottle and racked off what I need but there is always a chance of getting something it and it does not like to be exposed to air. It's best to bottle it. You'll need a corker, corks, bottles. I don't use natural corks. They have to stay wet, bottles stored on the sides. Wine made in this way needs nothing to keep indefinitely. It never stops maturing. A bit of campden tablet in each bottle, will stop the process and preserve the wine. I don't do it. A 20 year old wine is no longer purple but yellow brown and the smoothest light sherry.
    Good luck. Let me know how your getting along.
     
    buzzword, MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  10. joebgd

    joebgd XS650 Addict

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    Nice, thanks.
    Ya the berries are little green nuggets, just got home today from the county home. They are still growing.
    Once done and bottled correctly, does the ageing smooth it out. How soon can it be enjoyed after bottling
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  11. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    That’s a very interesting process and done in a very similar fashion to commercial wineries. I had a friend , years ago, that decided to brew up a batch of homemade beer. Following the instructions , after he bottled it he stored it in the coolest , darkest place he could think of.....in the back of his bedroom clothes closet. About a month later he was watching TV one night and he heard this POP! A few minutes later POP! Then another. He went to investigate and found his beer was blowing the caps off and spraying beer on their clothes! :laugh2: His wife was unimpressed! :laughing:
     
  12. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    How soon can it be enjoyed? As soon as you get a taste of it. If your shooting for 1 gallon, you'll be lucky to get it bottled! When it's done, it won't be yeasty or cloudy. It will have settled out and be clear, pretty purple, smooth and kick like a mule!
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  13. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Just slightly off subject....
    Alcohol was illegal in Saudi Arabia... still is I suppose. Could get you 10yrs hard time iirc. Anyways.... during the Gulf War, you could go into any grocery store there and find 100% pure grape juice, apple juice, yeast, sugar, empty bottles, balloons and such... all sitting side by side on a shelf. You didn't even have to hunt for it. go figure...:rolleyes:
    Got pretty good at it. :D
     
    buzzword, Mailman, MaxPete and 2 others like this.
  14. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    LOL. Brings back memories. Dad made his own beer for many years. 10, 15 years? I'm talking a dozen cases at a time. Pilsner. Your referencing the popping bottles during the night happened more than a few times. I must have been a sound sleeper then because I never heard the nocturnal cleanup. Why did it happen at night too? Was it good beer? Lemme tell ya. When I got stationed to Hahn Air Base Germany, I had to try the brew in the Gasthaus didn't I? It tasted JUST like Dads! Well I did take a slurp off the Old man's glass now and again when I was a wee lad. Being the son of a native German parents and all.
     
    Mailman, MaxPete, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  15. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Jim,
    seems the Koran says "you shall not drink of grape or grain"
    BUT
    Vodka is made from potatoes.
     
    GLJ, MaxPete, thuban and 3 others like this.
  16. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Well, fall is in the air. All the thorn pricks and Chiggers are about forgotten. It's getting close to Big Punkin time and that means bottling the summer wine! I made just about 4 1/2 gallons of Blackberry wine. It's a sweet, smooth, sipping wine, with a 20 proof kick. I made 26 bottles. It's so new it's bottom hasn't been spanked yet and already several bottles have gone missing! :shrug: So I'm putting labels on the bottles and this evening we'll open a bottle from 1998!
    Y'all hang around for cooler weather, won't be long, and we'll butcher a Hog! :bs:

    Bottling.jpg
     
    buzzword, MaxPete, Mailman and 2 others like this.
  17. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi thuban,
    you re-label your wine? Gawd, there's posh.
    We refill used Fetzer's Gewurtstreminer bottles and leave the factory labels on them.
    We stick with making wine-kit Gewurtstreminer, fill the wine rack from the bottom and pull the bottle from the top to ensure consistent aging.
    Shuffle the bottles upwards as required.
    I mean, you don't want to drink this month's batch while there's still some of last month's left, eh?
     
    thuban likes this.
  18. thuban

    thuban Horse Scratcher XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hi Fred!
    I've never tried a wine making kit. I'll look into that kit. I started this batch sometime the first two weeks of June. All the B-Berries are gone by about the 10th of June. I just went thru the process until the alcohol content got high enough to kill the yeast and the wine quit working. That was about the first of this month. Any extra berries I had over the 5 gallons, I made jelly with. The wine making hair comes and grows. I only make it every two years or so and put 6 bottles back to age. Berry pickers are hard to find but the woods are full of drinkers!
     
    GLJ likes this.
  19. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi thuban,
    the German Gewurtztreminer grape makes a sweet white wine. even when it's grown & made in California.
    We bought a bottle of Fetzer's Wineries Gewurztraminer on a USA vacation and fell in love with it.
    I'd suggest you buy a bottle to see if you like it before buying a kit.
    Wine kits cost way more than gathering your own ingredients but everything needed is in there, especially the instruction sheet.
    US cost ~$5.00/bottle back then. Canadian cost today $14.75. 5 imperial gallon wine kit Cdn$75.00 on 20%-off week sales, we just bought two kits.
    Kit sez it makes 30 bottles but the last two are pure sludge so we get 28 bottles per kit for ~ Cdn$ 2:67 per bottle.
    Prost!
     

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