Monday, March 13, 2006

Wine Making with Goofy Girl

Wine making is extremely simple. I mean, think about it....way back when, it happened accidentally. Some monk-dudes gathered some grapes for munching, and set them aside, meaning to get back and eat them or make them into preserves. They got busy praying and such and forgot them. The grapes were discovered a week later, moving, shaking and bubbling as wild yeast ate up the nutrients of the grapes and expelled gas.

Was it an act of God, or that other guy? The jury is still on this one, folks.

So after the bubbling stopped, one of the braver monks tried a sip. "Yum," he must have thought, and the rest is history. *

So back to me. Ahem. I manage to make the simplest things hard. Thus was the case with the wine making. I bought a kit, for crying out loud. A kit. Like "Do step 1", "Then do step 2", then "Idiot, do step 3. Why are you even still reading the instructions?" Each package was labeled with (you guessed it) "step 1", "step 2", etc.

I did manage to follow all the steps, in order. However, there was a slight (okay, large) delay between step 4 and 5. Step 4 was basically "Dump the juice into the giant 6 gallon bucket and stir". Step 5 was "Add the yeast". Doh! The yeast. The yeast that was supposed to be out of the fridge, sitting in a nice warm-but-not-hot place, eating the nutrients provided in the package and making the package swell to a plump "ready-to-use" size. This step takes about a day. Double-doh! So, as I said, there was a slight delay between these steps.

This delay was made worse by the stupid directions (I always fuck up when I read these...why do I continue?) that said "package should swell in about three hours". After four hours...the package was flat as a pancake. So I poked and prodded; shaked and shimmied. After which I figured I had killed any yeast even thinking about getting busy. I threw the package in the microwave overnight (I didn't turn it's just a nice warm, breeze-free place) and went to bed. Then, like a kid on Christmas morn, I ran down this morning to check on my yeast package (boy, I need a vacation if this is exciting stuff, huh?). Flat.As.A.Pancake. Dammit!

I threw the package in the pantry and left for work. My expectations were low when I got home from work. But when I checked the pantry, presto! A nice, puffy package of yeast! Yippee! I quickly fed Goofy Junior and we went down to add the yeast to my science fair project.

Right before you add the yeast, you add oak chips to the wine. Goofy Junior looked a little concerned when I added playground droppings to my wine, but he was supportive. This means he didn't dump the bucket or put any foreign bodies into it. Good boy! I put the lid on my concoction and left the yeast to feast.

So now, I wait for 5-7 days before taking a peek. I'm not a patient person, so I will be amazed if I don't peek before then.

* Okay, so I totally made up this historically-inaccurate story and wine was most probably discovered way before monks, but I always associate early wine-making with monks. So shoot me.


Cagey said...

I have nothing to say but nice, complimentary things about your wine-making skills thus far. Not because I want any free wine, or anything.

Jane said...

My dad used to make wine and ferment it in our hall closet. He mostly used apples (we had two apple trees), but sometimes he'd add elderberries. I remember that it tasted very...yeasty. But, damn, was it strong! As a teen, I sneaked a bottle out of the cellar and took it with me to a pre-concert party. That is why, to this day, I don't remember anything about seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan.