25 OCT 15 – I’ll Be Late for Christmas

I love that song but it is true! We got started a little late for our Christmas batches. It is rare that we have both carboys empty at the same time. We started another variation of apple and a cranberry raspberry blend.

What's Brewing?

What’s Brewing?

We have had a lot of luck with cranberry, though it is always a drier wine. Our house is divided…one side leans to the dry the other to the sweeter batches. I’d tell you which I am but I drink them both.

Apple has been a passion since the beginning. Always one of my favorites and I can’t say we have had a bad batch. No two have been exactly the same. Apple makes me feel like a hero because we keep tweaking the recipe but keep liking the results.

I am in love with cider.

It is about time to give you some recipes.

Apple from Concentrate Recipe: 3 gallon yield

Raspberry Cranberry Blend Recipe: 3 gallon yield

Christmas Batches

Christmas Batches

Both are tucked away in the brew closet awaiting racking!

A couple of tricks I learned over the summer from “The Alaskan Bootlegger’s Bible” (ABB) if you have not heard of this book you need to get a copy, the link is to Barnes & Noble but it can also be found on Amazon. Having my choice I would either buy the book at your local brew store or direct from the author at Happy Mountain.

The first I shared in an earlier post, using gelatin in the racking process is amazing. The gelatin forms up a little and acts like a blanket slowly dropping to the bottom catching all the cloudy bits. As Leon W. Kania, explains in the ABB, one packet of gelatin per container. Add the envelop to 1/2 cup of hot water and dissolve. After filling the racking container with wine, slowly pour into the racking container.

It is like magic speeding up the racking process. Our wines have never been clearer and this little trick is now a must.

The second trick is the Campden tablets.

These little wonders have helped the taste profile of our wines and reduced the acidic quality as well. Admittedly I’m not sure how. The tablets kill any wild yeast  that may have found it’s way into your batch while allowing the brewing yeast to thrive.

We have a wine rack full of bottles and several more coming out for Christmas. Where are you on your brewing list?

Hope you enjoy!

Why wine and not beer?

I enjoy beer very much in fact, I am kind of a beer snob. No Budweiser, Coors or other mainstream beers have touched my lips in more time than I remember. I enjoy sitting with friends, like Patrick, at a German restaurant, WOB or Blast Studios drinking a stout or IPA and discussing the head, flavor hints or some new microbrewery.

So again why wine over beer?

My simple answer is brewing wine is much easier that brewing beer. With wine I don’t use heat to start fermentation. Though sanitization is important it isn’t as important as with beer. In beer a single spick of debris or a single piece of improperly piece of equipment can ruin your whole batch.

I like to keep things as simple as possible. In a world full of connected technology and ever jammed full schedules, wine is easier. I enjoy wine and love to create.  Call me a hippy but I love being able to go to the grocery store and spending minimal amounts of money to create something that is uniquely my own.

Brewing wine is cheaper. I brewed beer once in chef school for a project and I remember almost breaking even buy the time I had all of the bottles, caps and ingredients. Not to mention the ingredients required I by them from a specialized brewing store. Though that was a long time ago and these ingredients are now available on the internet. Bottle costs are lower for me. I could put beer into a growler or other container but that makes it harder to share.

The quality I am able to produce. My wine tastes good and is about 14% ABV (alcohol by volume). Setting my mind to beer, I could definitely produce an equal taste and ABV. Why go through all the extra trouble?

I love my wine.

Hope you enjoy!

P.S. hope you clicked through to Blast Studios. Blast is a great local Orlando place. A sort of hidden gem owned by a great couple trying to live out thier dreams. You can learn to paint with a brush or airbrush and enjoy good wine or beer. A great date night. Check out their schedule of classes.