When It Rains, It Pours
Wow, a full month since I last posted here. It’s been an interesting month, both professionally and personally. I must thank my average ten visitors per day for sticking around here and peeking in.
I have NOT stopped winemaking. Although for a variety of reasons, my winemaking hobby has been put on the backburner for a bit which of course, is ok when it’s winemaking. Nothing wrong at all with letting carboys filled with wine sit and age longer before bottling.
Tonight however, I decided it was incumbent upon me for my own personal sanity to spend some time on my hobby. After watching my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs drop yet another game to the Ottawa Senators, it was time to open up a wonderful bottle of Chamblais to sip on, while I did the following:
1. Even though the Coupage de Soleil that I started back in November has been sitting for some time, it still had too much carbon dioxide and a bit of time spent on degassing was just the ticket with my Fizz-X tool. It’s been ageing in the carboy since the beginning of January when I added the clarifying ingredients and stablized it. I’ll probably bottle it tomorrow.
2. I have neglected my blackberry wine. Even with the neglect, it is turning out nicely, although a bit too much tartness yet. This evening, I racked it added a 1/4 teaspoon of sulphite. I shall likely let this age for at least another three months, perhaps with another 1/4 teaspoon shot of sulphite around July, before bottling. I’ll check to see if the extra tartness has subsided first, before I bottle it. If not, I may try some other things to soften it.
3. Ohhh.. an amazing sensual lingual pleasure! I found a gallon of black currant wine that I had forgotten about. It came from the batch that I had started back in November, and had racked into a 3 gallon carboy, with one gallon left over. I had forgotten about that little one gallon carboy, and while going through the wines I have on the go, saw it sitting there, beckoning me to rack it.
And then I had a taste of it. My God, is this simply wonderful. Felt-like texture on the tongue, just enough sweetness to recognize the fruit, not too much sweetness that one might linger too long over it, but just right for lingual pleasure.
I was so impressed that I went and knocked on the bedroom door of my business partner, and asked her to wake up enough to try this. Just to make sure it wasn’t just me that found this incredibly awesome. I had to tell her that she was about to experience something as good as an orgasm and chocolate… she woke up, grudgingly, to humour me – and then I let her taste. Oh yeah, her eyes opened wide, then closed tightly as that liquid splashed against her tongue.
“OK, Ian, this is the absolute best fruit wine you have ever made. Thank you for getting me up to try it.”
She took another, longer sip.
And then another. She just went to her bed with a smile on her face.
This one gallon carboy of blackcurrant wine will likely be bottled tomorrow, and I’ll let the three gallon batch age a little longer. Or will I? This wine has an amazing sensual “yum” factor right now.
4. The Barolo: Added clarifying ingredients about three weeks ago, and have let it sit since. Racked this evening, and observed a great deal of CO2. Tasted – is ok, but definitely needs some ageing according to my palate. Don’t get me wrong – nothing wrong with it – but certainly tastes “young” and uninspiring, even though it’s coming along.
5. Dry Mead: About the 4th of February, I started five gallons of dry mead. Since then, I racked into a carboy and for the past 2 1/2 weeks, it went through the secondary fermentation. I took a look at it tonight and was quite concerned about it’s very cloudy appearance. I racked, checked the SG which was 0.098, and found that it had huge amounts of CO2 present.
After I racked it, and into an “Italian” carboy (which is a bit larger than the Mexican carboys), I thought I’d try some degassing with the Fizz-X tool. Ten seconds later, I had a mess. For whatever reason, this mead has not even begun to degass itself. I’m thinking that the overly cloudy appearance is because of the CO2 that is present. I did add a 1/4 teaspoon of sulphite, stirred it up, got more CO2 bubbles, and I think I shall attend to it tomorrow and see if I can degass it even more. After a few days of that, I’ll decide if it needs something else for clarifying.
Anyhow, I’ve got a bunch more things I could be doing, but after spending about three or four hours on my hobby, while sipping Chamblais (the bottle has just about been consumed), I’m off to bed.