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Any "Winos" out there?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys and Gals,

Thought I'd share a couple pics of last years proceedings - My nephew Tony and I make a barrel of Red Wine every year for drinking and cooking and thought these might interest the brewers in the crowd.

Primary fermenting vat #1 - food grade PVC - Second vat (Just visible lower left is a 55 gallon satinless barrel w/lid

We buy once-used bourbon barrels to store/age the wine before bottling.

Improvised wine racks built by Dottie's brother in our crawl space - Should be just enough to last us the year..

Finished product: "Due Pagliacci Vino Rosso" ( Two Clowns Red Wine )

Have a laugh on me!

post #2 of 11
I'm not a "wino". But the process is interesting. How is it that you have determined how much you will need for an entire year? BTW.. I think I'd like to have that stainless barrel icon_wink.gif
post #3 of 11
thanks for the pics i dont drink wine but i appreicate the hard work it takes to make wine. i was in napa valley once doing some wine tasting caught a good *** full before my brother inlaw told me i didnt have to swallow evey sample by that time i didnt care.
post #4 of 11
Your wine operation looks great Bob! Bet it tastes good too.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

My wine operation involves a gallon glass bottle and a balloon.PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #5 of 11
I've always wanted to buy one of those wine making kits but never have. I'm not that good on patients! I'd like to put it all together and have a taste right now! How long does your process take you! BTW, I'll bet that barrel chopped up would be some good smoking wood after your wine has aged! eek.gif
post #6 of 11
I've only made one batch(5 gallon), but it turned out quite good.

I was actually just getting ready to get up from the computer and start a batch of Zin today.

Your set-up looks real nice, Bob!!
post #7 of 11
Niiiice BA_Loko..PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Gals and Guys

Beautiful workmanship BA_loko - I have a trick for you if you like Zin...

3 gallons pure apple juice - no preservatives

2 gallons pure cranberry juice - no preservatives,

Mix well, transferr to a pail or 6 gallon carboy and pitch your yeast then ferment, rack and bottle when ready - It's uncanny how much this knockoff taste like white/blush Zin.....

Shellbellc: timeline on a barrel goes like this:

Grapes come in here in NC around the end of august - I have a fellow who works with the agricultural extension and works with several vineyards in the area experimenting on which varieties grow well and produce satisfactory wine - I buy my grapes, usually a mix of Merlot and Cabernets with some Shiraz sometimes - for about $.50 a lb.

First step is to crush and de-stem the grapes then add a little potassium metabisufate and let set over night - Pitch the yeast and fermentation begins and continues violently for about 4-5 days ( Each day I push the cap of seeds and skins to the bottom)

then the juice is drained from the bottom of the vats and strained and placed into the bourbon barrel. Now it's fairly alcoholic and fizzy - sort of electric grape kool aid - Then the skins and seeds go into the wine press and we press the juice from them - it takes the better part of a day to do this as you tighten the screw and wait a bit until the juice stops flowing and then give er' another turn. Rendered juice is strained and added to the barrel - So far you've a week tied up -

Once all the juice is rendered I seal the barrel with an airlock and seal the wooden bung with wax. The wine ferments for awhile longer - time depends on the sugar content of the grapes, temperature, etc.

I let the wine set in the barrel until around the New Year and wait until we have a few days of really cold weather which helps settle the sediment. - Around February, March We rack the wine off into 5 gallon carboys and seal with airlocks - wine will clear and is ready to bottle and lay down where we keep it for at least a year before drinking - The trick is to get a year ahead and drink what you made the year before so the wine ages correctly.

So I guess the answer to the question is roughly a year and some months from beginning to end.

Cowgirl: Nothing wrong with your method - I do small batches of fruit wine through the year myself - My only suggestion is to invest in some cheap airlocks, available anywhere - cheap insurance agaionst losing your hard work and materials.


I guess Tony and I have tailored our consumption to the available supply - my half of the barrel is about 125-130 liter bottles - as Dottie prefers Zinfandel and Chardonnay I'm really the only one drinking it - That doesn't count cooking - Sauce, Sausage, etc. Coup[led with the fact that theres usually some left over a barrel's about right for our two families.

And ahhh Yes...the stainless barrel...My cousin in New Hampshire owns a specialty metals company and he has contacts out the wahzoo - I mentioned I'd like to have a used stainless drum a few years back and about a week later that beast showed up on the loading dock at work with Terry's compliments - That's some cousin eh? If I had to buy one I'd never have one as they are sky-high..

Thanks for all your interest - a bit later I'm going to post something that might entertain you, perhaps bring back some memories for a few..

post #9 of 11
Good looking operation and and I'm sure you all enjoy the "fruits of your labor". It reminds me of the time I was making a five gallon carboy of wine. I was just learning and I used a large ballon for the air lock. I had just started the batch when we went out of town for a three days. When we returned, I opened the front door to a very nice smell. The ballon had burst, foam had gone every where and the entire laundry room had to be scrubbed down. Needless to say, my wife was a little less that completely happy. But I cleaned it all up (due to stains on the wall, I had to do some painting) and decided that I'd try again some day when I had a suitable place. I haven't found that place but I can really appreciate yours. I wish you and your nephew continued success.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank Bill - I had a similar experience making a batch of India Pale Ale on the stove - I guess I didn't pay attention to Charley Papazian when he said the sticky malt solution could easily boil over and make a HUGE mess, which is what happen during an ill-timed bathroom break - Dottie had a S&!% hemmorage and from then on my brewing was banished to the garage and my propane cooker.

Thanks again for the kind words!

post #11 of 11
Pretty much just portos, sherries and ices. well, beside what I use to cook with.
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