Thursday, 15 October 2009

Cranberry Wine

I said I was going to show you the fig label. Well I forgo to and now I can't. Its on another computer that has adobe photoshop which I used to make it on.

However I do have my cranberry label on here. I just bottled it, very good tasting.

English Vintner

p.s. Unfortunatly the label is in a pdf format and has to be jpeg so until I can get some help on that I cannot show this either, what pity.

Fall Fermentation

Well, its been a couple weeks. I'm planning a Reformation Feast this year, so that is coming up early. Need to do a little more planning on that on. Yesterday we made 30 cups of apple butter, froze all of it. We might be making more, but hopefully that will last us throughout the year. For the rest of the apples I hope to make into cider or apples sauce. And maybe some cut up frozen for baking.

It will be sad when all the apples are gone. Its been raining a lot here lately. I did some work on the greenhouse yesterday. Planning for my spring garden is fun, you would not believe all the vegatables we are growing.

But on to winemaking now. I bottled one bottle of my fig port because I thought I was going to send it along with some food to friends in Atlanta who got hit with the flooding. But after tasting it at bottling I thought, why send them a bottle of wine that needs a year of aging? Yes, thats about how it taste, like it needs a year of aging. I picked the figs last year, about this time, and froze them. And it wasn't until December or January that I made it into wine. But I've racked it a few times and added lots of sugar water to it. But every time I added sugar it seemed to ferment it. So this port is between 18-20%. I will post the label on here.

My friend who owns the grape press will be on vacation next week. So I am hoping Sunday that I can get the press, and then later that week make apple cider. He said to make cider with it just take an apple/potato peeler, slice the apples with the skin on, then dice them up a few times and that does a good enough job. So I am hoping the rest of the cider will be done that way.

I am also hoping to pick skuppernong grapes soon. I tried last year to make wine from the grapes but with no way to crush or press them conveinently I didn't do a good job. I ended up adding the one gallon to my dessert blend wine. But I would like to make at least 3 gallons this year.

I should be bottling more wine soon. Especially the cranberry wine I just made, I need to have it ready by Thanksgiving, I will bottle it sweet. I am trying to empty my carboys to make room for cider. I need to bottle my beer also, that needs to be ready for Thanksgiving also.

For next year I would like to have my whizbang cider crusher and press. I looked up how to make a cider crusher and came upon this guys website who invented this way to do it. He uses a disposal to crush the apples, and a jack to pressure to press them. Quite cool.

Well, I'd better be signing off, much stuff to do ahead of me.

English Vintner

Thursday, 24 September 2009


English Vintner
The picture below is a grape crusher that I am working on. This is a hopper, much like an apple crusher used for making apple cider in a cider press.

I will be building a shaft that this will go in. And put a dowel through it to turn it. Add the grapes through the shaft and I can crush grapes! I have friends, whom I will be getting skuppernong grapes from, who have a press. So I will use this crusher and their press to get grape juice!!!!

I hope to make some jam, juice, and wine!!!

Thanks for listening, and feel free to comment!!!!!

English Vintner

English Vintner

Friday, 19 June 2009

Ah, a little tired. Got up at 4am and went to work, worked like mad till 11am. So, a little worn out.

The garden seems to be going well, cantaloupe producing flowers, cucumbers, pumpkins, carrots, cabbage. Those are doing the best, then I have quite a lot of other stuff that is going slow.

I am getting a few strawberries each day or so. I think I should be getting quite alot next year though. Speaking of next year, I am planning on doing bees next year. Probably 1 hive to start. It will help polinate the raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and if I have a garden their. So yeah, it sounds like fun!

On to winemaking. I bought one gallon of blueberry kiwi juice, it has some corn syrup, but I don't really care. So, I should be starting that soon. I think I have gotten back into the mood for doing wine. So I am hoping tonight to bottle some wine. Empty out some carboys and get ready to fill them back up.

So many things to do this summer, I have to make a batch of Merlot this summer, I promised a bottle to a friend, thing is, I don't want to use a kit. And my lhbs doesn't sell just the grape concentrate for it, so now I have to pay $10 shipping!! Makes me mad.

At then before the end of summer I have to buy a glass demijohn, 15 gallons. I will do a batch of cranberry and strawberry, each batch will be 75 bottles. : ) Haha!

I think I will be bottling the concord cran next, and maybe some grape, pineapple, pineneedle. And then transfer my dandelion, it started off on its own whlie I was at a conference for a week. So, I let it go, I need to check the s.g. and add sugar to bump up the alcohol. It was only as sweet as the white grape juice that was the main thing in it.

Well, I feel quite tired. So I shall sign off.

English Vintner

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Well, here I am and deer is in the title, any idea why? CAUSE THE BLASTED DEER ATE THE TOPS OF 2/3S OF MY STRAWBERRY PLANTS!!!!!!! that out. Guess its better to get it out here then on the deer? : ) Oh well.

On to wine. I have my cran concord batch in primary bucket ready to bottle. Just need a little time to wash bottles and bottle.

I am taking some soda to a party this afternoon, we shall see how it is.

English Vintner

Friday, 22 May 2009


The strawberries are doing well. Along with the raspberries, and the blueberries are trying to. Garden is doing great. I planted several dozen at least cantaloupes. Maybe I'll make some wine. Potatoes doing great. Along with grape vines! I also found some muscadine vines in the woods where I plan to pick this fall, September Octoberish.
Well, on to winemaking.

Well, since I last posted I have done quite a few batches. The amount of fruit I have gotten is unbelievable, from the trash.

I have made strawberry white grape. Strawberry red grape, both from the trash.

I bottled the dessert wine, plum port, pineapple port, and getting ready to bottle the cran concord grape wine.

I guess thats all for now.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

More work

Well, its been a while. No new batches, been so busy these past few months. But, I have been doing work on my winery, along with putting in a garden, 100 strawberries, and 25 raspberries.

I have my wall put in, sheet rock on 2 3/4 walls, a little more then 1 wall left to sheet rock. 2 walls to mud and paint, the other to are all done! Once I am done I will try to post pics. I have some from the begining, and some from the middle, and will take some when I am done.

I also want to make a 15 minute dvd of winemaking. Shoot about 20 min. Cut down too 15, then one down to 5 min. for short veiwing.

I was able to make a batch of soda this week. Some cream and rootbeer. The rootbeer didn't turn out as well as I'd like. Need to get some more can sugar, and look at a recipe. :) I think I did a little to much extract, so I was adding water, and sugar.

Anyway, better run, do some more work on the winery.


Saturday, 7 March 2009

Winery Project

I have been busy working on my wall I told you guys about. I have the 2x4s up, next is wiring, hoping to get done today. Then sheet rock! I spent $270 on the project so far, helping the economy.

As far as a tip. When you are using your equipment, you need to sanatize before and after using they say. Well, I find it hard to sanatize, use it, then sanaitze and put away. On MW winebrew forum I learned from a brewer (I am one also) that he leaves the sanatizing solution in the sink, sanatizes the equipment, uses it, then sticks it back in and then puts away. I don't know why I never thought of it, but its so simple. I don't really have the space right now to store it away, so right now I plan on doing that.

I am behind on my goal this far, but hoping to buy a 15 gallon demijohn and making cranberry wine. The thought of 75 bottles of wine is awesome, and from one batch! :)

Have a blessed weekend.


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wine Tip

Yes, I know, I am a little late. But school had me and I was busy with life.

I got this tip off a wine forum I am on. This may not be helpful to all of you, but it was a nice thought for me, though I don't have room for it now.

The tip is to wash and sanatize your equipment after use, then store in the freezer. So your siphon tubes, spoons, maybe hydrometer, don't take me responsible for any glass you put in. I am not suggesting it, but you are free to do so. This helps eliminate any bacteria around.

Well, it may not be much, but I am very busy. Have a great week, I will try to be on sometime this week, but I won't garruntee it. I hope if not, to post the new tip in less then a week. God Bless,
English Vintner

Monday, 9 February 2009

Winemaking Tip

So, its been another week, life has been busy for me. I am drinking a glass of mulled cider right now, pretty good. The wine turned out to thin, so I brought about 2 1/2 cups to a boil (yeah I know, some of the % goes away, who cares) and before that added some cinnamon (go easy on it, I added to much and had to dilute with more wine) some whole alspice, dash ginger and nutmeg. Brought to boil added 1/2 cup or so of brown sugar, let cool slightly and served. The cider was dry, so it was not overly sweet.

Alright, on to winemaking. This past week has been busy, planning the new wall and adding up expenese. But I will still push to check my wine and post the weekly tip.

I am taking this from a book by Alison Crowe, a very good winemaker, and get puts it all into an answer and question style book. You can get this from amazon and I higly recommend it. It is a book that you don't just have to sit down and read to find the answer, you flip through the pages and chapters to find the question that you are asking your self.

Anyway on to the tip. The question raised in the book was, How do I know there is enough CO2 on top of my wine to protect it while it ages? And in short she goes on to say that, the gas does disspait over time, especially with the conitually opening of the wine to taste (sample :)). And then she tells about a oxygen meter that will tell you, but it cost alot and is not economical for the home winemaker. So she then shows us the way the French wine makers do it, she puts it "the quick-and-dirty" trick. You take a match and hold it above the opening of the carboy, if the match goes out then there is not enough o2 to keep it going, so, your safe. Now this mainly is for those bulk aging, and have some way to spray this gas inside while it bulk ages.

Well thats it ladies and gentlemen, another week come and gone and life goes on just the same. Hope to be posting some this week, if not then I will try to post next monday, till then. God Bless you, English Vinter.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


I am doubling my winery size. And I will finally be sealing it off with a real 2x4 wall and door. I can roast coffee, ferment wine and beer, and have my soda in their.


Monday, 2 February 2009


Well, I decided to do it on this one, let the wild yeast have it. I added sugar to bring it up to 12%, if the yeast dies out to soon then I will add Lavlin D-47, a wonderful strain of yeast.

I took it down to the winery where their are less yeast and bacteria floating around. I did the tip I posted, and I can see the results. I added some yeast nutrient, but thats all I am adding for now. I will add acid blend at bottling if I think it needs it, and pectic enzyme when its time to clear.

The smell is wonderful, light fresh smell of pine needles, and fresh apples. I plan on puting pine chips to age it on. I saw someone do this with beer, so I decided to give it a try.


Pine apple wine

Well, I let it sit out without campden and now it has started its own yeast. I think I will either stop it with campden, or else measure the s.g. and add sugar to bring it up to the level of what I want it at.

There is a certain strain of yeast that only lives around pinetrees, I am wondering if that could be whats in the wine.

I will give an update of what I will do.

The weather is nice right now. Good temp in my winery.


Sunday, 1 February 2009

Winemaking Quick Tip of the week

I will be trying to post a once a week wine/beer making quick tip of the week on here, so keep your eyes open.

When trying to keep the place you work in sanatary consider using this method. It works well and last for a few days, enough to keep it sanatary while your doing all the open vessel primary fermentation etc. I learned this from reading Jack Kellers blog.

Mix up a solution with your campden tablets, you can make it strong, say 3-4 tablets per gallon. Heat the water up and put it on the counter where you are working. After several hours it the steam will have gotten on to certain parts of the walls/ceiling etc. and now you can move it to another part.

The other way, not reccomended for weekly, or even daily basis is this. Mix up a strong solution and get out a rag. This time your actually wiping down every surface with it. The ceiling, cupboards, bowls, bottles, and anything that would have bacteria. Then take some and put it in a bucket and stick it in the cupboard for 10-15 minutes, to let the steam sanatize everything in it.

So next time you are having problems with your wine spoiling try this. I am right now trying it. And to leave with that I will say one last thing. Just get a bucket that you don't normally use and fill it with it and let it sit in your kitchen/winery all week, then use the solution to sanatize something and get start with some fresh solution.


Wines I have made

I have been adding up the batches I have made. I think this is all of them. This does not count the batches that have gone bad, one or two.

Wine I’ve Made

5 gal. Riesling Wine%? White cran strawberry%12 Tea %?
3 gal. Hard Cider%14-17
5 gal.Wildberry Shiraz %6.5
5 gal. Cran-Blueberry%?11
3 gal. Cran-Pomegranite
3 gal. Strawberry
1 1/2 gal. Blueberry Port
1 gal. Plum Port
1 gal. Pineapple Port
1 gal. Banana
1 gal. Whitecran Peach
6.5 gal. Concord Cranberry
5 gal. Dessert Wine
1 gal. Cranberry
1 1/2 gal. cabbage
7 gal. cider
4 gal. Fig port
5 gal. blackberry
5 gal. exotic fruits white zin

Thats about 63 gallons of wine
And about 315 bottles

I consider it a small amount made. And I hope to make
52 batches of wine this year alone.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Here is one more for now.

More Pics

Here are the rest of the pictures, in one you can see the bottle drain I made.

It only post one photo, I will be putting more up shortly.


My Winery

These are pics of when I first "finished" my winery. I have changed alot since then.

New batch

My most recent batch is Pine Apple. Not pineapple, as many would assume, pine apple. I used pineneedles and apple juice as a base. I have not pitched the yeast yet, still waiting to finish off adding everything.

I think I will aim for 11% on this wine. It will be on the dry side, where I am now adjusting my taste buds to from where I was when I started winemaking. The color is quite light, I can imagine that it will be lighter in color after fermentaion. Maybe a light hint of green, probably not though.

I think I will do Lavlin D-47, should come out with good aroma. I may sweeten one bottle a little for the people who like it sweet, and to see how it taste sweet compared to dry.

English Vintner

English Vintner begins

I have been doing more work on my winery. I started it last year, slowly been building on it. I have been setting out campden water to help sanatize the walls etc.

I started it in 2007 Januray with a kit. I then quickly moved on to juice. And now fresh fruit.