It's not about the house.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Adventures in Wine-Making, Step Two, Etc. Really This Time

Okay, sorry I got distracted by the earwigs for so long. You would've, too, if you'd seen the fuckers. They're all dead, now, though. I hope. And so we're moving on.

Step Two is putting all the (clean, earwig-free) grapes in a bucket, rolling up your sleeves, and squishing the living hell out of them. Traditionally, I suppose, you'd be rolling up your pants, but I was putting the final touches on The Massacre of the Insects, so Johnny was in charge of this step, and trust me when I tell you that you wouldn't want to put your lips near anything that touched that boy's bare feet. So we can all be grateful that he used his hands.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures because I was so busy wringing my own hands and humming along with the grind of the garbage disposal that I didn't notice he was doing it till it was done.

Step Three is pouring the whole lot through a strainer bag, making sure to catch the juice in a big bowl or bucket or whatever. Jeez! Don't dump the juice down the drain! Like I always do with chicken stock! that would be stupid!

I didn't get a picture of this, either, because I was In Charge of Holding the Bag.

Step Four is when the person in charge of holding the bag thinks she's (or he. It might be a he. You don't know) thinks she's being clever and tries to stretch the bag over the lip of the bowl and it rips and all the pulp goes through and you have to get a new bag but before you can use the new bag it has to be bleached first to sterilize it and after that it has to be rinsed really-really well, because bleach will also kill yeast and you need yeast in order to turn grape juice into wine, and this all takes a while and no, apparently you can't just skip this step and for god's sake while I'm doing this would you keep an eye on the juice/pulp to make sure the fruit flies don't get into it please thank you?

I didn't get a picture of this because there was Yelling Involved.

Step Five is a repeat of step four, only this time the bag already had a hole in it.

Step Six is cutting a piece of twine so you can tie the bag off under where the hole is and hopefully that will do the trick and everything will be okay, because at this point it's after 5 on Sunday and there's noplace open where you can buy another bag, and you can't just leave it like this in the bowl until tomorrow. And in case you're wondering, the answer's no. No, even though you absolutely had to bleach and rinse the bag, it apparently does not matter -- not one whit -- that the twine came straight out of your kitchen drawer and you cut it with scissors that were last used for who-knows-what but probably cutting the grapes off of the earwig vine. It doesn't matter. Just tie the goddamn thing already!

Step Seven is pouring all that juice into a sterilized bucket, along with the twined-up bag of pulp and ten pounds of sugar dissolved in some hot water. Ten pounds is a number that I think Johnny made up; "some hot water" means enough to cover it in that big black pot we have and then heating it on low till it dissolves. Also, stir the sugar while it's heating, or else shut it off for Jaysus' sake.

Step Eight is the very small hole on the bottom of the bag that you didn't notice until you let it go and it floated over on its belly, at which point you decide you're going to have to strain it when you decant it to the secondary anyway, and so who cares.

I'll tell you about step nine and etc. tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a picture of some pumpkins Johnny grew:

They are wee.


su said...

wheeeeee but Orange.. I have only one and it is barely beginning to turn

Charlie said...

I am thinkin' you need wine to make wine....

jen said...

Gosh, do I ever wish that I were there to witness this event!

cake said...

Charlie is wise...and once you have wine, why make wine?

Cheers! ::drinks up::

su said...

Oh Jen surely you jest!!!

jen said...

Oh, Su, very seriously! If I could be a little fly (certainly not an earwig) and just see it from above. And, then I could laugh in my little fly voice and they'd never hear me.
Course they MIGHT swat me down, douse me in bleach and flush me down the garbage disposal. In that case, I would NOT like to be there.

amanda said...

I'm kind of disappointed there are no photos of you stomping grapes in the bucket with your feet. :)

Anonymous said...

wee, but firm