Monday, 4 November 2013


The grapes get it...

The first film below is from the end of September when I decided to pick the grapes from the vine in my garden.  

What the film doesn't show is the EPIC amount of time it took to harvest the grapes.  I was up the ladder until it got dark.

Ladders, secateurs and pink bag - all essential equipment for the job!

Here's a film showing the final harvest.

The picture below shows 2 five gallon fermenting buckets each containing equal amounts of crushed grapes (all of the grape - skins, stalk, seeds).  This is what people refer to as Must.  I've also added 5 campden tablets in to each preventing bacteria growth.  The next stage is to transfer the Must in to the barrels behind the buckets in the photo.  Shout out to Sally Pearl, the dog in the photo!

The next photo shows the Must in the barrels, at this stage I have added 5 lemons and 5 apples to each barrel.  Citric acid from the lemons, and tannin from the apples help with the brewing process.  At this point I also made a syrup of 2 kg of sugar per barrel, last year I used 4 kg of sugar which still tasted great but was a little heavy on the alcohol side!  Finally I added the magic ingredient, yeast nutrients.

Here are the vessels with their lids on with the water bubblers on top.  They allow the gas which occurs during fermentation to escape whilst forming an air tight seal stopping contamination and/or oxidization. 

Within ten minutes of the lids being placed on the bottles, the water level in the bubblers began to climb.  This shows an increase of pressure in the tank, the fermentation has begun.  After two to three weeks, the bubblers were bubbling about every four seconds.  Today is November 4th and the bubbling occurs approximately every three to four minutes.

Once the bubbling stops completely and the pressure turns stable, all of the liquid will have an alcohol content.  This will be approximately 12%.  This will not be the finished product although it is the end of the fermentation process and will probably occur around Christmas time.  At this point I will be removing the must from the wine, I will show you this when it happens.  

I've tried to keep this really simple to show that making wine is not quite the wizardry that people think. People have been doing this for centuries!  The wine I will produce from this specific batch and for the reason of this blog, will be as it is, in it's most pure form.  In past years the outcome has been a very nice home-brew which I've been told would stand its ground against commercially produced wines from around the world. 

That's the end of the 'producing wine' part of my blog until Christmas-ish!  Still working hard on the land, will update you on the vin-garden soon!

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