All four of my organic wines have finished making and are ready to bottle. Not only are they all four ready to bottle, they are ready to drink! I tasted them at the last racking and they were all delicious, even the dandelion and it is only about 10 months old! I can only attribute this to the new turbo yeast. It's the Lalvin E-1118 and it is the only yeast I will be using henceforth (from now on)! Amazing results!
I have been drinking the pea pod wine and it has not been giving me headaches. No headaches so far!! This is great news to me! I thought I was going to be forced to give up drinking wine altogether :-(
Not so! The pea pod wine is very good. It's not a strong pea flavour but it is there. It's a white wine, subtle and delicate.
The rose is a red wine with a heady, strong rose bouquet and flavour. It has a lovely dark red colour, as well!
The lilac is also a white wine, delicious and more subtle bouquet and flavour. It is (surprisingly) not at all purple. It's more of a peachy colour. Odd that. I had considered putting in a little purple food colouring, but decided against it. I want to keep these wines organic with nothing in them to give me, or anyone else, allergy problems and headaches.
The dandelion, of course, is a golden shade. It is still a bit cloudy, although delicious, so I need to clear it before I can bottle it. Even though I have an electric wine filter, for just one little gallon I am not going to use it. It's a big hassle to set it up and it will waste a set of pads for very little output. I bought a package of clarifier (called fining) and put it in the jug. It will sit for about a week and clear. There are a few different finings on the market and they change all the time. Islinglass finings use to be the norm but now they use something better, called Chitosan, made from sea shells. It will slowly sink to the bottom and take all the particles with it. I have done no research on this new stuff, but I will.
Winemaking is contantly in flux as people find better ways of doing things. I guess that can be said of anything, really. Life is in flux. Nothing ever stays the same for more than about 6 months.
This year I will be making a LOT of wine from all kinds of things! I have big plans (I just need the time. We'll see how it goes...) Making my own wine will also save me a lot of money. I need to keep that in mind when setting my priorities. Big money savers go at the top of the list. I plan to start five litres of apple wine in the next couple of weeks. I'll be shopping around for the best prices. I figure that last year's apples will be getting cheap about now, also riper and sweeter than they are in the fall, which is a good thing.
I am also going to start my big spring indoor planting during this time too, and finishing a few more paintings. I'll be very busy!
The biggest job in the entire wine making process is the washing, sterilizing and de-labelling of the bottles, or so I think. This is a personal opinion, of course. Other winemakers might have a different opinion about the various parts of the process. Of course, you don't need to use all 750 ml bottles. You can put it in magnums (1.5 ltr) bottles too and have less prep work to do. I did it this way, this time, because this size makes a good gift.
The apple wine will be put into larger bottles with just a few 750's for gifts.
I don't have a tree for washing the bottles. I should probably look at getting one of those at some point.
I think my organic winemaking for this year was a great success! No failed batches! I have a long list of things to make wine from this year. This is a list of the things I plan to make into wine this year:
rhubarb - 5 gallons
strawberry - 5 gallons
blackberry, if I can collect a gallon
mint and maybe lemon mint and chco mint
rose petal, red - again
apple - blend of types - 'Royal Gala' is my favourite apple
pumpkin (squash) and possibly pumpkin pie (with the subtle spices), maybe
gooseberry, if my bushes produce a gallon of berries
dandelion - again
lilac - again
red bee balm blossom
wild daylily petals (pictured)
wild rose petal, white - maybe
rose hip - maybe
You know...I bet grapes would make a good wine. Maybe I should grow some grapes just for that purpose. Wouldn't that be different and unique! :-)
You can download my free ebook entitled: "Making Your Own Wine At Home" from the link in the left column.