The lengthiest one underway now is our first batch of wine. We had buckets and buckets of pears that aren't worthy of eating. So what's the next best thing to eating? Drinking. Yep. Winemaking has been around for oh, about 9,000 years. So....free fruit and time equals a great opportunity to make booze.
Everyone says oh, it's cheap to make wine. When was the last time you bought a carboy? They ain't cheap. Neither is shipping. We DID get a great kit with minimal shipping and now that we have a batch brewing, er fermenting, whatever, we need another carboy or two for our muscadine wine coming up next. There's a wine supply store in Mobile, so I'm hoping hubby can stop there this week and pick up a carboy or two for under $60. BUT once you have all of the equipment, it IS cheap. The ingredients consists of fruit/grapes, yeast, and sugar.
We got a kit big enough to make 6 gallons, which is 30 bottles of wine. That's great. The bad news? It takes a year to make wine. Dang! We better get started ASAP.
Making wine really doesn't seem to be that complicated, just technical. There's a lot of new lingo to learn: must, racking, specific gravity, carboy, bunghole (haha), and so on. I did some reading and some researching to find out exactly how to do it. Turns out there are lots of methods and varying recipes. I found 4 good pear wine, aka perry, recipes. I blended them to create my own. I hope it works. I hope we don't wait a year to find out it didn't!!!
Instead of waiting a year to blog about our wine, I'll just keep ya posted as we go. Also, this is sort of my online diary, so when I forget what I did when, I can always look it up here. Now do you feel weird reading my diary? Should I write about my feelings too? =)
I thought 6 pounds of sugar would be enough...after adding this big pile I checked the specific gravity and added about 5 more pounds! I can't believe there is 11 pounds of sugar in this batch.
This is our 6+ gallon bucket with the cut up pears.
I think this is about 25 pounds of pears.
Add boiling water and let soak for 72 hours.
These are some of the ingredients we used. We can label our wine as "made with organic pears" but we can't call it organic wine. From what I understand, it is quite a difficult undertaking to make organic wine because of the added sulfites.
After 72 hours the directions said to pour off the liquid and squeeze out the fruit. Well that seemed like a lot of work and then we wouldn't be left with much actual pear. So I had this bright idea to puree the pears and then squeeze them.
Um, yeah...this was going to be a long process.
Then I had a better idea! Juice the pears!
There we go, now we have pear juice and no hand squeezing necessary. I did have to sterilize all of the juicing equipment first.
What's that fist shaped indention in the pulp you ask? Uh, did I mention I was drinking wine while making wine? I like to punch weird things, like fruit pulp and packages of toilet paper in the grocery store.
Now, I'm stirring the must twice a day for 7 days.
If anyone is interested, here is the recipe: