Sunday, January 9, 2011

Making Wine (Please don't let it explode!)

Despite already having some wine making projects going, including two types that are already bottled and aging (mint wine and rhubarb wine), I recently bought ANOTHER whole wine making kit. There was this deal on Groupon for a whole kit with everything needed to make 6 gallons of wine (about a $250 value) for only $90. I couldn't pass it up, especially since it contained a few things we were thinking about getting anyway (Cabernet Sauvignon ingredient kit and a 6 gallon carboy). Those two things alone would have normally cost more than $90.

So last week, I went to Great Fermentations to pick it all up. Did I mention it came with EVERYTHING I needed? Even 36 wine bottles. Damn... Of course this mean I have extras of a lot of stuff. Do I really need two corkers? My dad's been thinking about making wine again, so I'm giving the duplicate equipment to him.

So today was the day to go ahead and start the Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh, look! Wine in a box!

Of course it's not actually wine yet, so let's get things going. The instructions are pretty straightforward. Clean and sanitize the equipment, add in the ingredients, mix, fill up to 6 gallons.

Add the yeast, put the lid on, and wait... This is the hard part. I won't actually have any drinkable wine for at least a year. Right now it has to hang out in the primary fermenter for about a week. It will do so in my spare bathroom in case it explodes. Yes, that's right... when you brew your own stuff, sometimes things explode.

This is actually my first time making wine from a kit. The mint and rhubarb wine that I've already bottled were from my garden. I also have several other wines going (in my bathtub of all places), including 3 gallons of cherry wine (from cherries in a can), 1 gallon of gooseberry wine (from my garden), 1 gallon of hard cider (cider purchased at the grocery), and 1 gallon of cranberry apple wine (from ingredients purchased at the grocery). There's also an ale mead in there (the other 3 gallon carboy) which is kind of a wine/beer hybrid (and is also a kit). Should be interesting...

The bathroom is also nice because we can run a space heater in there and keep it at a nice fermentation temperature. It is important to keep the yeast happy!

So, ultimately, in about a year I may have more wine than I know what to do with. Any volunteers to help me drink it?



    I don't know if I'll be in Indiana in a year, but. I WILL STILL HELP YOU DRINK IT.

  2. Megan, that is VERY generous of you. I'll let you know when the wine is actually ready... I hate being patient!!!!