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Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

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  1. CortneyD

    Dried Elderberry Alternative?

    Hi All! I've got enough blackberries to try a port recipe I've had my eye on. It calls for 5lbs Blackberries and 1/4 lb dried elderberries and 1/2 lb raisins for a gallon. I'm wondering if I could reasonably use dried blueberries? I haven't seen dried elderberries at any local stores, but I...
  2. CortneyD

    Post a photo, any photo

    We just pulled the trail camera chip from off the hill behind our house and could not believe our eyes when we saw this. Four cubs!!! Black Bear Jacuzzi?
  3. CortneyD

    What's that insect?

    I'm inclined to agree with @David Violante , looks like a leaf hopper of some ilk, those might be in nymph stage which makes specific ID tougher. Those links David provided will give you all the intel you need! Good luck!
  4. CortneyD

    Labor Costs

    I know I'm a bit late to this debate, but I've been thinking about this more and more since I read it. My logic is that, if its my hobby or a task that benefits me, the "cost" of my time CANNOT factor in. Why? Because I don't factor in my labor costs when I make a loved one a birthday cake. Nor...
  5. CortneyD

    Any other thrifty wine makers out there?

    If I'm able to disperse the cost of the initial gear (I don't use any pumps, just the basic equipment), the only cost I have per batch is yeast and sugar because we forage all of our fruit. The cost of additives (yeast nutrient, campden, tannin, etc) is nominal across batches, but even if you...
  6. CortneyD

    My Rhubarb Haul

    I've made 3 batches of rhubarb only wine and find it quite flavorful and delicious, but I also bumped up the volume of frozen rhubarb by 20%. It made a big difference. But if you aren't a rhubarb lover (I am, don't come at me with any of that strawberry-rhubarb nonsense) go ahead and blend it...
  7. CortneyD

    Tips/tricks for cleaning sediment stains inside bottles?

    Are you talking about stuck on sediment or actual staining of the glass? For the stuck on sediment I pop some dried beans (small ones, like pinto or navy or even lentils) in with the warm water and soap and shake it around, the beans act as an abrasive and do a good job dislodging the sediment...
  8. CortneyD

    Japanese beetle problems?

    I wanted to pop on and second @winemaker81 and agree that dozens of studies of those Japanese Beetle Traps have shown that they bring more bugs to your property than you are killing. Even if you can put them away from your crop and are catching bugs with them, you are actually creating a bigger...
  9. CortneyD

    Japanese beetle problems?

    @my wine holler if you have any hiccups or issues with it! I'm happy to help troubleshoot.
  10. CortneyD

    Japanese beetle problems?

    I second hand picking into soapy water if that's logistically possible, that's what we do with both the Japanese Beetles and their cousin Rose Chafer Beetles, but that's because we are trying to stay pesticide free at our place. However, I will add that our local orchard expert gave us a great...
  11. CortneyD

    Anyone Oaked Rhubarb Wine?

    My beans were brittle too and its only been going for like 7 weeks now, so super young. I'll avoid using it for a year if I can! That was my initial thought, wait until I rack it after the secondary ferment and then see where we are at and tinker there... that's when I'd partition off the...
  12. CortneyD

    Anyone Oaked Rhubarb Wine?

    @winemaker81 I do make homemade vanilla extract, but I've only just started so my stuff is sorta weak for now, perhaps close to standard strength. It'll be a bit more mature when we come time to rack it into carboys- would you add the extract at that time? Or now during primary fermentation...
  13. CortneyD

    Anyone Oaked Rhubarb Wine?

    Hi All! I just got a 5 gallon batch of rhubarb going (have to make wine for all the black raspberries coming in right now!) and as I wrote before, we were happy with the last batch with this recipe, but I was hoping to get a bit more of a vanilla note/warmth to it. I have some American Oak chips...
  14. CortneyD

    Anise Hyssop - I'm going for it.

    Oh now you've gone and done it. I have boatloads of this stuff because it reseeds everywhere in my garden. I'll be watching with baited breath to see how this one comes out...
  15. CortneyD

    Japanese beetles

    Our haven't showed up yet in Northern WI, but it was a mild year for their sandy-soil cousins the Rose Chafer beetles, so I'm hoping it will translate to an easier year with the japanese beetles too. Fingers crossed! Much luck and healing/healthy juju to you and your wife- I hope the transplant...
  16. CortneyD

    Oak for Fruit

    UPDATE: I oaked 1 gallon of our black raspberry and just tried it after a month. I was only able to find chips at our local supplier, untoasted American oak to be exact, but I soaked them for a day and tossed them in. I am super impressed with the added depth and complexity as compared to its...
  17. CortneyD

    Organization (Recipes and Notes)

    Absolutely! I've put the link below. Its completely customizable, from the photos to the metrics and the drop down menus... its just a good place to start from. Are you familiar with Notion? If not, just let me know and I can give you some pointers! Blank Wine Manager Template
  18. CortneyD

    What's a good process for bringing our plum wine to taste?

    The advice I've always gotten with fruit wines is that a bit of sugar will bring the fruit flavors out and round out any sharp flavors, so I would personally start there with a bench test of 1:1 sugar water in varying measures to a standard volume of your wine. See where you end up with that and...
  19. CortneyD

    Rhubarb Wine- Improving Overall Flavor

    I just did a spot test with the leftover rhubarb wine for topping off... just a bit of the Lyle's Golden Syrup gave it some sweetness to knock back the edge of the acidity & tartness and gave a bit of warmth/roundness to the flavor. I'll do a proper bench test when it comes time to bottle...
  20. CortneyD

    Rhubarb Wine- Improving Overall Flavor

    Sounds good. I'll try it next batch. I was rutting around my pantry and found the Lyle's Golden Syrup which has a definate custardy/creamy note with its sweetness that I could use to back sweeten. I researched it a bit online and see some brewers using it to get that warm sweetness so that might...
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