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October 2016 Wine of the Month Club Thread

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Jericurl

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Copy and pasted because I'm tired! Most of you have seen these threads, you know the drill.

If you are brand new, join the fun!

Hello everyone,
This is open for anyone to join at anytime in October by making a 1 gallon experimental batch.

Post your recipe and step by step instructions. We love pictures, so any you take will be greatly appreciated.

We hope that at the end of the month you will give us a breakdown on what you learned, what you could have done better, and what went well.

I will post a summary of who participated and wine type in the beginning post.
Then we move on to the next month's club.

In October 2017, we take our October 2016 bottles out for a taste test and post our final impressions in this thread. Of course, you don't have to wait until October of next year, but it's a good idea to give all of these wines a chance to mature. If yours turns out great, post it in the recipes section.

If not, feel free to open it up for discussion with the group so we can hopefully figure out what happened.

Remember, we are all learning and this is just one way to do it and have a little fun at the same time. Why just one gallon? Because it's an experiment! It may turn out wretched! And pouring one gallon down the sink hurts a lot less than 6 gallons. If you feel adventurous, go ahead and make more than one gallon!

October participants:

Jericurl..... Knotgrass Mead

The Rayway..... WEI wine

Stressbaby..... Blueberry Rose

Stressbaby..... Lemongrass-mint wine

Wineforfun..... T'ej

BernardSmith..... Galaxy Hopped Mead
 
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Jericurl

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I'm part of a crafting group online. Our main connection is knitting or somehow crafting with yarn, but many of us dabble in all sorts of creative pursuits. We decided to do a Harry Potter themed craft along for Halloween/Autumn and I decided my entry would be mead. (sorry for the nerdy overflow here!)

I chose to go with knotgrass mead, as I seem to be on an herbal mead kick.


Here's the description from the Harry Potter wiki page:

Knotgrass Mead was a brand of mead containing 23% alcohol. Made from 100% pure ingredients, which presumably included knotgrass in addition to the traditional fermented honey, it was pressed and bottled by wildflower sprites at the Mystical Meaderie. The label described it as "extra rich," recommending that it be served at 63 degrees, and consumed as soon as the bottle was opened. It received the Magical Meads award.
This mead was sold at the Hog's Head in Hogsmeade. Rubeus Hagrid was apparently fond of it, as he kept some in his hut.


The only problem? I don't believe the knotgrass that exists in the muggle world is exactly edible. So I had to choose herbs that I felt could be tied into a knot and that tasted good. I went with lemongrass and lemon balm. Well I started there anyway, but you guys well know I am incapable of not tinkering something to death.

(will finish entry shortly)

Knotgrass Mead

3 quarts of water
1 quart of fresh lemon balm
1/2 oz dried lemongrass
1 6 inch stalk of lemongrass (frozen)
Small piece of frozen ginger (about 2 inches)
1/4 c of mugwort

I combined the above ingredients in my electric cauldron and let boil for approx 20 minutes. Mugwort was added for bittering properties. I was afraid all that lemon would end up tasting like Lemon Pledge.

I let the above steep for about an hour, then strained off the greens and added one quart of honey. SG @ 1.09. I did add just a little more water to compensate for what boiled off.
I also added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient (I think..)

knotgrass mead.jpg

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mead4.jpg

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mead1.jpg
 
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Stressbaby

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Two thumbs up for lemongrass. How much are you going to use?

I've done lemongrass with ginger and also with mint.
 

Jericurl

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Two thumbs up for lemongrass. How much are you going to use?

I've done lemongrass with ginger and also with mint.
I started with lower amounts. I'm probably going to make an vodka infusion of the herbs in the same general ratios to add to secondary in a few months if the flavors aren't strong enough.
 

Jericurl

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Racked this batch last night. SG at @ 1.003.

A few days ago I went ahead and started an extract in case this one ends up needing extra flavor.
I roughly chopped more fresh lemon balm and added dried lemongrass and dried mugwort to a mason jar, then topped off with vodka. I'll start tasting it in about a week and leave herbs in until it feels right, then strain and save.
 

Stressbaby

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Racked this batch last night. SG at @ 1.003.

A few days ago I went ahead and started an extract in case this one ends up needing extra flavor.
I roughly chopped more fresh lemon balm and added dried lemongrass and dried mugwort to a mason jar, then topped off with vodka. I'll start tasting it in about a week and leave herbs in until it feels right, then strain and save.
You could just put them right in the carboy.
 

the_rayway

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I'm in this month!!!

I'm doing what looks like it will be a 4 gallon experimental batch:

3.5 gallons fresh pressed apple cider (combo of apples, crab apples, and ure pears - all Manitoba grown)
5 Lbs raspberries
5 Lbs peaches
5 Lbs nectarines
5 lbs tart cherries
Sugar to SG 1.090
1 tsp Pectic Enzyme
2Pkgs D47 yeast (they were a bit elderly, so I thought two is better than one!)

About a week and a half after pitching, I racked to glass. S.G. was at 1.010 and I thought I was safe. No dice. I got a wicked WEI (wine explosion incident) where it shot the airlock out and fountained to the roof!! I laughed and laughed...

Once all was cleaned up I had lost about 4 litres of liquid. That, combined with the losses from lees makes this look more like a 4 gallon batch :). As of today, the lees are compacting nicely, still getting some regular airlock activity, and it's hot pink and cloudy.
 

Stressbaby

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I'm doing a Blueberry Rosé.

19# blueberries, frozen, thawed, and pressed.
24oz Alexander's Sauv Blanc concentrate
1/2tsp tannin
1.98kg sugar
6g Opti White
3g Booster Blanc
7tsp calcium carbonate
Water to 3.25g
K1-V1116 yeast with GoFerm and step feed Fermaid K

I pressed off over 1.5 gal of straight blueberry juice. It is darker than I expected it to be. The pH was very low at 2.64, but the calcium carbonate brought it to 3.29. SG is 1.085. I pitched the yeast last night and it is off and running.

IMG_3049.JPG
 

Stressbaby

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Concurrently I have a batch of lemongrass-mint wine going. So in honor of @jericurl and her lemongrass wine above, here is a pic. I made stock earlier this spring when the mint looked good. I froze it because I wasn't ready to make wine yet. Only difference between this and prior batches was I cut back the mint slightly and used the remainder of the can of Alexanders Sauv Blanc concentrate (above) for body.

Edit: oops sorry so blurry!

IMG_3051.JPG
 

Jericurl

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Concurrently I have a batch of lemongrass-mint wine going. So in honor of @jericurl and her lemongrass wine above, here is a pic. I made stock earlier this spring when the mint looked good. I froze it because I wasn't ready to make wine yet. Only difference between this and prior batches was I cut back the mint slightly and used the remainder of the can of Alexanders Sauv Blanc concentrate (above) for body.

Edit: oops sorry so blurry!
Oh man I can't wait to see how another herb wine turns out!
 

Jericurl

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I'm doing a Blueberry Rosé.

19# blueberries, frozen, thawed, and pressed.
24oz Alexander's Sauv Blanc concentrate
1/2tsp tannin
1.98kg sugar
6g Opti White
3g Booster Blanc
7tsp calcium carbonate
Water to 3.25g
K1-V1116 yeast with GoFerm and step feed Fermaid K

I pressed off over 1.5 gal of straight blueberry juice. It is darker than I expected it to be. The pH was very low at 2.64, but the calcium carbonate brought it to 3.29. SG is 1.085. I pitched the yeast last night and it is off and running.
Oh this one sounds quite interesting.

Quick question, what PH meter do you use? I've got one that I never could get to stabilize. The numbers just kept jumping around for about 10 minutes. I finally turned it off.
But I'm really going to need a ph meter when I make my mustang grape wine.
 

Stressbaby

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Oh this one sounds quite interesting.

Quick question, what PH meter do you use? I've got one that I never could get to stabilize. The numbers just kept jumping around for about 10 minutes. I finally turned it off.
But I'm really going to need a ph meter when I make my mustang grape wine.
I'm using MW102. It works very well. Has temp probe as well.
 

Stressbaby

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Follow up question for the WotM club...

I've got the cake from the 19# batch of blueberry rosé. I saved it and put it back in the freezer. :h Seems like there should be an awful lot of goodness left in there.

Suggestions? It seems like a good choice for a future WotM club experiment.
 

the_rayway

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Follow up question for the WotM club...

I've got the cake from the 19# batch of blueberry rosé. I saved it and put it back in the freezer. :h Seems like there should be an awful lot of goodness left in there.

Suggestions? It seems like a good choice for a future WotM club experiment.
I have been wondering about the same thing for some time. I say go for it and let us know! Lol!
 

Jericurl

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Huh, I had no idea you could freeze it and save any of the yeast.

Sounds really interesting! I've been wanting to try a dried elderberry and rose petal mead. What do you think that would taste like?
 

Stressbaby

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Huh, I had no idea you could freeze it and save any of the yeast.

Sounds really interesting! I've been wanting to try a dried elderberry and rose petal mead. What do you think that would taste like?
This cake hasn't seen any yeast. I treated the blueberries in this batch like a rose - thawed, crushed, pressed, then pitched the yeast on the juice.

I haven't made anything with DRIED elderberries. But my wife says that the best wine I've ever made is the elderberry rose I made 2 years ago with elderberry seconds...FWIW.
 

Jericurl

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This cake hasn't seen any yeast. I treated the blueberries in this batch like a rose - thawed, crushed, pressed, then pitched the yeast on the juice.

I haven't made anything with DRIED elderberries. But my wife says that the best wine I've ever made is the elderberry rose I made 2 years ago with elderberry seconds...FWIW.
Ah, I'm with you now. Well, my original suggestion still stands then!
 

wineforfun

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Well, how about a 3/4 gal. WOTM.
I am making another batch of T'ej(Ethiopian honey wine).

3lb. clover honey
3 oz. gesho
86oz. water
71-B yeast

Mixed it up 8 days ago. Will pull the gesho out in two days, then leave it for another 2 - 2 1/2 weeks.
 

Jericurl

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Well, how about a 3/4 gal. WOTM.
I am making another batch of T'ej(Ethiopian honey wine).

3lb. clover honey
3 oz. gesho
86oz. water
71-B yeast

Mixed it up 8 days ago. Will pull the gesho out in two days, then leave it for another 2 - 2 1/2 weeks.
I've been wanting to make this but I have no idea where to find gesho.
I'll definitely be following this one.
What are your thoughts on how T'ej tastes?
 
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