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Nov 2, 2023
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United States
I am 46. I grew up next to my grandparents. My grandpa kept a wine barrel in his "grainery" root cellar a great place to make wine all year. I watched him dump grapes and strawberries sugar beets and so on in the never ending barrel. Occasionally fruit was removed and stirred with a wooden paddle and the bottom syphoned off followed my wine from the top. I vaguely remember most of his techniques but 8 am new to modern wine making.
Welcome, and please tell us more about the process that was used. Sound interesting.
We used fruit that ripened early or late. He adjusted it based on his taste if it got weak he boiled sugar and added it to the mix. I don't know how he kept it from moulding or turning to vinegar. He kept it covered with a freshly washed and bleached towel with a table top on it. I am guessing because he was constantly adding fruit and sugar it kept the CO2 up high enough. He had 4 large garden smallest was 20'x40' about 20 concord vines 4 apple trees a pear and 3 peach and 3 plumb trees. It was an art in my opinion that I would like to try if I had an area to practice it. He would have a cup once in a while but most he gave away or possibly sold.

Every few months he would siphon from the bottom. He would stir it to get the gass out. Let it set for a week and siphon from the top to drink.
O.T. you have an interesting history. As long as grandpa was pretty good at tasting it sounds like a good system. sugar and pH are food control points and we can taste them. Reusing a culture is common with sourdough or kombucha,,, and pre microscope was as modern/ scientific as we were.

It would be interesting to taste grandpa’s product, ,,, and follow the fermentation.
This sounds almost like a solera system.

Indeed I hadn't thought about it but you are correct. I am going to start a thread doing this with more modern equipment and methods. Folk solera I will start it with a plain base mead. I know he always had honey on hand and I am sure it was used.