earthluff

a DIRT & WINE blog


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Batch #4: Bottling the New Year Noir

Bottling day is always exciting. We actually bottled this batch earlier this month on the 2nd. When you bottle, you of course sample! This is only the 2nd red wine kit we’ve done and the first didn’t turn out… but this one did! We got about 27 bottles.

There is nothing spectacular, at first taste, if you will. However, more experienced wine maker’s and the many, many reviews promise this wine gets better with age. All wine does! Well, most. Anyway, reports of tasting notes every month or so to come.

I found this great community of home wine maker’s via the Winemaker’s Academy, as well as a reference to some wine labels that are not a pain to remove. A big thank you to Matt for the reference and discount!

We named this batch, New Year Noir, as we bottled after the new year. We obviously have cats because this is what made the “front page”, if you will.

New Year Noir

A perfectly good, New Year Noooooiir, get it? Roar? It’s okay, you don’t have to.

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I didn’t get the alignment correct the first two times and the label peeled off and back on so easily. The picture shown is not the best but the size of the label is great, as well. I’m in LOVE with these GROG TAG labels. I don’t think I will ever spend the time scrubbing labels again. Let’s be real, it’s just not fun. I also purchased some of the “write on” labels, will test those out soon enough.

We have two kits of white wine awaiting their fermenting tub – cheers to more wine making!


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Batch#4: Secondary Fermentation

It’s time for Step #2 for this Pinot Noir wine kit. As always, the first step is to test the gravity reading. Ideal reading per the directions was to get between 1.010 or less. We got 0.996 – win. Next, rack the wine.

This step is simply racking the wine to the glass carboy, leaving as much of the sediment behind as possible. Using the fancy siphon hose, it was really just a waiting game to transfer the must.

batch4step2We may or may not see any further fermentation. Now we wait for another 10 days!

Cheers.


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Batch #4: Let the fermentation begin!

It’s red wine season, a great time of year. A glass of whatever red is always so pleasant with a crisp chill in the air. It’s a perfect time to start a new batch of Pinor Noir!

I had this kit laying around for a month already, just waiting to kicked off. The kits and instructions make things pretty easy, labeling packets to coordinate with the directions. Here is the box of juice and other potions that make the magic.

vinters pinot noirFirst thing is first, cleaning and sanitation. I ordered Star San this go around, which had great reviews and will last for many batches. For the first step, the primary fermenter (plastic bucket), spoon, wine theif, hydrometer, and test tube were cleaned and sanitized.

sanitizedNext, a half gallon of warm water and bentonite were mixed together. Bentonite is a fining agent and at this stage is used to speed up the fermentation process. Then the wonderful bag of grape juice.

benoite and juiceWe topped off the primary fermenter with distilled water to make it a full 6 gallons. After a lot of stirring, we took a sample to get the gravity reading. The instructions stated I wanted it to be between 1.080 and 1.097.

We got a solid 1.084, despite the horrible picture, but first steps going well. We will test the gravity again and again, to check on the fermentation process. As the yeast eats the sugar, the hydrometer will sink lower.

We moved the fermenter into the wine cellar, ahem, coat closet, and pitched the yeast. Topped it with the air bung and called it a night.

test add yeast let sitIn about 5-7 days, we will check the gravity reading and then rack it to the secondary fermenter.

More to come!