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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wine Dogs Make Wine: Lesson 2 (Primary Fermentation)

Three Fox Vineyards
Delaplane, VA
This week the Wine Dogs got to 1) meet all our fellow classmates, and 2) start primary fermentation of our wine. First thing John told us was that we have to clean, clean, clean. Pomeroy sheds and we don't want any "hair of the dog" in our wine. So we all sprayed down our primary fermentation units (aka buckets) with B-Brite and rinsed. As you can see, we are using very sophisticated equipment.

At last, we are ready for the good stuff. John showed us how to open our home wine kits, which contained the "must", a fancy word for grape juice. Munchkin and Pomeroy supervised as we poured it into the bucke... er, primary fermentation unit. It reminded Munchkin of the Welch's frozen concentrate -- except these are not Concord, but reserve French cabernet grapes. Still, we mixed it with water just like Mommy does to the Welch's, and the taste we snuck (it just dripped out, honest) was very sweet. In fact, we tested the sugar (or Brix), and it measured 17.53 percent. That's going to change once the little yeasties get in there and start turning the sugar into alcohol. We put six grams of yeast into our six gallons of wine. There's a couple of other measures we're watching. We've got a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity (right now, 1.072), and pH strips, which gave us a starting pH of 3.2.

So far, I'd say winemaking is pretty easy, unless you're the yeast. We left them to do the work while Munchkin and Pomeroy went back to the winery and enjoyed a bottle of CabFranc (and a bottle of Merlot) with our new classmate, Elisabeth Morgan, in honor of the Patron Saint of Wine Dogs.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Munchkin, Pomeroy and our Three Fox friends - Milano, Della, and Giovanni!

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  1. Keep up the good work, Wine Dogs!

  2. I remember that cute little York from Fox Meadows last year; great blog! Keep up the good work.



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