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I pressed my merlot today. I ended up with 23 gallons out of the 25 I predicted, not bad! It's pretty tart and tannic right now, but not too much so, so the stems I added did their job. You can also see last year's two batches of cab sauv and my new barrel. Having all this merlot makes me wish I would have made more cab to blend it with last year, but I guess I'll make a regular merlot along with the Bordeaux blend(fuck you, Miles!) I have all the pommace in one of my fermenters but I'm still not sure if I want to make a second wine this year. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow. I might just make it to have something to keep in the barrel when it's not in use and blend it with my second cab.

I'm talking with a grower over e-mail right now about getting 300 pounds of zinfandel in a week or two. If I get it I'm going to make a nouveau style wine using carbonic(whole cluster) maceration and a beaujolais yeast. If that goes through it should be ready to drink by Thanksgiving, which will be really cool, as it would be my first "real" released wine. We'll see.

Now, it's time to pour a Sierra. As winemakers say, "It takes a lot of beer to make good wine."



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I am a brewer and president of a local homebrew club. Seeing your picture made me wish I had enough space for 37 gallons worth of fermenters.

Though I do wonder about blow off. Those are filled much more than I would think safe for even a 5% beer while you are brewing a 13% wine. Are those going to have enough head space so they don't blow over?
Sep. 27th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
Yeah sorry I should have mentioned that it's been fermented dry already, so there's very little activity going on now. Nice to meet you! I am also a homebrewer, though I haven't been brewing much ately because all my carboys have been full for a while. ;) I have a mead kit waiting to go though and now I have a couple carboys open.

I see you're from San Diego, I'm originally from Escondido!
Sep. 27th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Ah, good. I was afraid you were going to have red walls there.

I spent 21 years in San Diego, most of it was in North County so I am very familier with Escondildo. Good thrift stores and Ground Zero coffee shop. Good times.

We have two mead brewers in our club. Both have complained they have far more mead than they can ever drink. One of them gave me a six pack of various meads they have made. I just doubt that there is a mead in there that can top their black berry mead. That was the tasties mead ever.
Sep. 27th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Yeah I already have brown walls from a couple double IPA batches that I didn't split into separate carboys, lol.

I've never made mead before, usually IPAs, pale ales and random other stuff. All extract so far, because I know if I move to all grain brewing I'm going to spend a LOT of money(I know you don't have to) on one of those killer commercial systems, and I already am limited on space.
Sep. 27th, 2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
I have been doing partial mash but I have been assembling an all grain setup piece by piece and am a sparge arm and a 10 gallon pot away from finishing that setup. My brewing space is a second story patio that is 4 feet by 8 feet so I don't have the option of a comercial set because they don't make them for that size. I am looking to make a colapsable brew stand. They are kind of like those DVD book shelvs where the sides swing out and the shelves swing down. This is so that when it is folded up it will fit in my half closet with the rest of the brewing supplies and not take up too much space but when in use will give me the gravity assist.
Sep. 29th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Two great tastes that taste great together?
I love blackberries! I love mead! Why do I not have any local friends with this hobby?
Sep. 27th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
If you ever need any help enjoying the fruits of your labors, I am here for you, Mr. Democritus.
Sep. 27th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)
O believe me, when the first wine is "released", there will be a party. You will be invited.
Sep. 27th, 2008 06:58 am (UTC)
Awesome, thanks. My wife and I were just talking about getting to Santa Rosa sooner than later; always love it up there, and I'm looking forward to trying your labor of love
Sep. 27th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hey! My boyfriend Tony and I are home brewers too! We just finished up some black and tan beer a couple of weeks ago and tomorrow we are moving some Merlot into the carboy.

In a few weeks we are going to experiment with some pear wine. He has a tree-full of pears, so why not? :D
Sep. 29th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Mmm, pears.
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
where can one find nouveau wine in these parts?
is anybody producing it commercially?
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah there are a few local wineries that produce it. It always comes out in November, so you can find them in any wine stores then. There is an annual Beaujolias Nouveau celebration(article is from 06) here in SR sponsored by the Santa Rosa French Alliance.
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
i found the french alliance page, but they don't have any info about this year's event.
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah their website kind of blows. They'll probably post it later or there might be info in one of their newsletters.
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
i might call paradise ridge and see if they know anything.

i kinda don't want to talk on the phone to a volunteering francophile that lives in northern california. i fear it'd be something like an npr pledge drive announcer on pcp.
Oct. 10th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
hey there, came across your lj some how,
seem interesting.
add me? =)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )