Showing posts with label Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wine. Show all posts

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Are you a Slacker?

I've been slacking in my wine making.  Actually, I've been slacking with everything on the home front lately.  I'm not sure why.  Am I just getting old?  Don't get me wrong, all the animals are fed, watered and have a warm bed each day. No slacking there.  Me, on the other hand, sometimes I'm just too tired to make something to eat. 

Anyway, yesterday found me not in the best mood (the weather?) and when I'm not in my best mood, sometimes it does wonders if I just ignore half the "to-do's" on my list for the day and go do something creative instead.  Many times, that usually means cooking or making wine or bread.  It gives me the chance to just shut everything else out for a bit.

I arrived home from work yesterday around 6:30 pm.  The dogs were going crazy with boat loads of energy from being cooped up from the rain all day, and just wanted to tear the house down. A dead (beheaded!) young Barred Rock chick from the February 9th hatch was discovered near the barn (the work of a weasel it appeared). *sigh* The mare had trashed the shed row (she's in season) trying to "entertain" the poor visiting stud colt; the turkey hen pooped all over the tack room floor, and the goat had knocked over a full bucket of water.  And then, after the pigs overturned their food and water for the second time in ten minutes, I'd had enough for one evening.  I tidied it all up, fed everyone, and said good night to the barn. Lights out kids!

Back at the house, I poured myself a healthy glass of whiskey and then proceeded to make a gallon batch of apple /white grape wine. 

I used Montrachet yeast, yeast nutrient, and pectic enzyme.  I measured out the sugar and achieved a specific gravity of 1.090, which should give me a finished alcohol content around 12%.  Now I just have to wait...



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No Name Chili

My company held their annual "chili cook-off" this past Monday.  I didn't win.  But this chili recipe that I entered with, under the classification if "most unusual," was a very good recipe any hoo.  Expensive because of the amount of meat involved, but very good and filling.  The "heat" was just right.  I don't appreciate fire-house type chili that is so hot you can't taste any of the flavors anyway.

And, I got to try out my new meat grinder attachment for my mixer.  Fun! I ground my own pork for this recipe, which you can find at Food 52.  Anyone have a great chili recipe they'd like to share?  I could use one.

Beer makes it better!

(the wine was not part of the recipe - it was for the cook!)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Orange Tea Wine Update

Remember the Orange Tea Wine I made back in February? I said good-by to it this week.  Every smooth, clear, luscious, popping with crisp hints of orange drop of it. 

Okay, it wasn't that good.  Not even close. After all, it only lived for two months.  Most wine should sit quietly for at least six months or longer in order to develop flavor and "mouth-feel" or whatever they call it.  Oh, and alcohol.  But the wine was OK, for "fast" wine.  And, I did drink it all over the course of a couple of weeks.  It sufficed in quenching thirst and catching a slight "buzz," but I dared not actually try to pair it with an actual food source!  In fact, I can't even fathom a food it would complement.  

I'm going to give this recipe another shot.  Next time, I'll alter it for a higher finished alcohol content, brew a stronger tea, and probably add some spices of some sort.  Ginger? Lemon peel? Juniper berry?  Cinnamon?  I'm also going to use a different tea - Bigelow's Cranberry Apple all-natural herbal tea.  Stay tuned...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Orange Tea Wine

I bet you’re wondering what this photograph is aren’t you? Hint: it’s not last week’s meteor exploding over Siberia.

I admit, in no way am I any good at the craft itself, but I like making wine. And I like drinking it even more. So when I read about winemakers making wine out of tea, of course my attention was had.

In honor of President's Day, and because I was bored with winter and tired of spending hard-earned money on wine that’s less than stellar anyway (and I can’t afford the good stuff), I set out to find a recipe for some wine, made from tea.

I just happened to have a stash of Tazo brand, Wild Sweet Orange tea on hand. No I didn’t. I “borrowed” it from the coffee / tea lounge at work. Don’t judge. I’m still going to drink it, just not in the form it was intended.

The tea’s Ingredients: Lemongrass, Blackberry Leaves, Rose Hips (yucky), Mint Leaves, Turmeric, Orange Peel, Hibiscus, Rose Petals, Ginger Root, Licorice Root, and Licorice Extract. Sounds fun enough to make wine from, right?

I had some wine yeast in the fridge dated 2011, so I was only half convinced that it might still be good. I used ICV K1V-116 Lalvin Brand wine yeast, otherwise known as “Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” Is that Latin? Anyway, if you care, or a nerd like me, here is a description of that strain of yeast and what it’s good for:

ICV K1V-1116 Selected by the Institut coopĂ©ratif du vin in Montpellier among numerous killer strains isolated and studied by Pierre Barre at INRA, the K1V-1116 strain was the first competitive factor yeast to go into commercial production and has become one of the most widely used active dried wine yeasts in the world. The K1V-1116 strain is a rapid starter with a constant and complete fermentation between 10° and 35°C (50° and 95°F), capable of surviving a number of difficult conditions, such as low nutrient musts and high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or sugar. Wines fermented with the K1V-1116 have very low volatile acidity, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and foam production. The K1V-1116 strain tends to express the freshness of white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Seyval. The natural fresh fruit aromas are retained longer than with other standard yeast strains. Fruit wines and wines made from concentrates poor in nutrient balance benefit from the capacity of K1V-1116 to adapt to difficult fermentation conditions. Restarts stuck fermentations. Highly recommended for dry whites, aged reds, and late harvest wines. Blah, blah, blah….

When I pitched the yeast, it took off like somebody left the gate open and was bubbling away merrily within a few hours. I like that.

The Recipe…

Bring one quart of water to the boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and pour into the primary fermenting vessel.

Boil half the sugar in half a gallon of water for a minute or two. Add it to the tea. Coarsely chop the raisins, and add them to the fermenting vessel. Add a crushed campden tablet, stir and let sit covered overnight.
In the morning, stir in the yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme and acid blend. Then pitch the yeast. Cover your primary with a cloth or papertowel. At seven to ten days, rack into a clean carboy. Boil the rest of the sugar in the rest of the water. When it is cool, add it to the carboy. Make the volume up with water. Add an airlock and allow to ferment, racking when needed. When the wine has cleared, add potassium sorbate to stop fermentation, and then bottle.

A Gallon of Smiles (I hope)

Orange Tea Wine (Wild & Sweet?)

4 Wild Sweet Orange Herbal Tea Bags (I used TAZO brand)
28 oz sugar
3/4 gallon water
Montrachet (or other wine yeast)
1 handfull of raisins
3/4 tsp. pectic enzyme
1 tablespoon acid blend
1 campden tablet
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient

Now that hardest part of the recipe…waiting.

P.S.  I'm not a rocket scientist and therefore could not get my photos and paragraphs to line up right today.These things happen.

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