Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Little Wine on the Side

My brew buddy talked me into getting some wine going in the carboys I'm not currently using for beer. Since my kegerator is full, and I've got beers aging in kegs on deck I've got a few carboys sitting around collecting dust, so why not get some wine going to keep them working? I bought a Riesling Ice Wine kit from my local home brew shop. My wife really like sweet desert wines, and specifically she likes sparkling sweet desert wines. So I planned on fermenting this out, going through all the steps, and then instead of bottling I'll keg and carbonate it. Then she can serve herself from the tap instead of opening a bottle anytime she wants one. I can also bottle it in smaller beer bottles so she can have single servings anytime she wants once I need to clear the keg for beer. This kit only makes 3 gallons, but that should keep the wife happy for a while. The kit is so simple to put together. I was trying to complicate things because it looked too simple. A beer kit is 10 times more complicated than these wine kits. They come with everything you'll need except the equipment. I think the longest part was mixing in the bentonite, which I later found out is basically clay thats used to remove excess protein from the wine. It clumped together and stuck onto the bottom of my carboy like a green slug. It took me a while to find something to stick in to unstick it. After that its just a matter of pour in the juice, and sprinkling the yeast on top.

So thats it, every day when we come home from work the house smells like tart grape juice. Its bubbling away in the living room near the heater to keep the temps in the low 70's. Its such an easy thing to mix together that I think I'll start keep ing a kit in these fermenters all the time. Next time I'll get a Cabernet Sauvignon kit and let it age for a looooooooong time in my glass carboy that I hate using anymore because I'm affraid of dropping it.

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