Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ordered a Wine Kit

So I have started something new, I'm going to make a wine. I have always resisted this because I don't think you can make great wine without living in a wine region but after reading some about wine kits and wine making by people who do it I'm going to give it a try.

I ordered a Winexpert Dry Creek Sonoma Chardonnay, which doesn't come with oak but I'm going to oak it. I figure if it's good enough to not need oak that's a plus, and since I prefer the oaky chardonnays I'm going to add it. I think brewing experience will help but it seems like many things are different - KMeta for santizer, racking from primary before fermentation is complete, degassing, adding stabilizers, and of course bottling with no CO2 and corking the bottles.

It should be an interesting adventure.

New Sour Brewed

So I finally brewed my 2010 sour, I was waiting to see if I could find a used <30 gallon barrel for a reasonable price but after what I think is a comprehensive seach I gave up and brewed.

I realized that with the size of my mash tun and since I had an extra burner + 7G pot in my basement I could do a 10G batch and a 5G batch at the same time. In the end I decided on 5G + 5G + 3G, one 5G in glass and one in plastic. Since my 2009 plastic-bucket batch seems better at this point than the one in glass I decided to continue the idea.

Mash was 40% flaked wheat, 27% pale malt, 23% Pilzner malt and 10% munich malt. I ended up with about 18G of wort and boiled it for 2 hours with 9oz of old Fuggles (aged in attic about 1.5 years, and they were a year old when I put them up there).

The smaller pot got a majority of first runnings, so the gravity ended up higher for the 3G batch - 1.068. About 6 gallons were in the plastic bucket and 5G into a glass carboy both 1.055. In the boil I added maybe a teaspoon or two of flour and corn starch. Now the important part - the bugs!

5G Glass: Roselare yeast + some "Bug Circus II" cubes and liquid
5G Plastic: Wyeast Lambic Blend + "Bug Circus II" cubes and liquid
3G Glass: "Bug Circus II" cubes and liquid only (a bit more)

Fementation started within 48 hrs for both larger batches but took several days for the 3G with no yeast pack added. All three blew off plenty of stuff, the carboys most due to the lower headspace. I'm planning on replacing the airlocks in the carboys with wooden dowels to add some slow ingress of oxygen for bugs.

Pictures to come hopefully.

Synopsis of buggy beers in my brewery: 5G plastic of pLambic 2009, 5G glass of pLambic 2009, 1G glass pLambic 2009, 1G glass soured RIS, 1G in 3G carboy of Hop Forward Red with bugs, 5G plastic pLambic 2010, 5G glass pLambic 2010, 3G glass pLambic 2010. 26 gallons total.