It's not about the house.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Adventures in Wine-Making, Week Three: Things to Fight About

1. "Remember to breathe when you lift that heavy thing or you'll give yourself a stroke! In fact, here, I'll do it..." "You will on yer arse. Fuck off."

2. "I already rinsed the tube!" "Yeah, but you have to get the inside of it as well." "I did!"

3. "I did not, however, whip it around in the air to dry it out. Hey! Watch where you're swinging that thing!" "Sorry."

4. "You didn't take me picture when I was suckin' it with me mouth?" "I did."

5. "Get me a cutting board." "Why?" "To put under one edge to tip it up." "If you do that, it will just slide along the counter." "No, it won't." "Yes. It will." "What do you suggest I do, then?" "Just tip it with your hands." "But then it will -- argh. Y'see? Get me a cutting board!" "Fine. Here. It'll slide." It didn't.

6. Next: Cider! But you don't have the proper yeast, which Johnny swore last weekend that you did, so you have to drive all the way to Cambridge and back to get it. Then when you get home you realize you don't have enough honey, so you have to go to the grocery store, and for some reason at the grocery store you decide to not buy any beer. And then you dissolve all the honey and brown sugar in the half-gallon of cider like it says, but while you're waiting for Johnny to rinse and wash and sterilize and rinse out the carboy, the half-gallon of cider cools and all the sugar and honey you so carefully dissolved fall out. So Johnny stirs and stirs it, but neglects to turn the burner on beneath it, and when you point this out to him he insists that "if he turns it on, it's gonna burn" and he sticks to this theory even after you point out that if he doesn't, it won't dissolve, finally turning the damn thing on only under duress. Then it says to filter all the cider when you pour it in, and Johnny insists this isn't necessary, but you think it's probably still a good idea, so Johnny thinks the best way is to shove the cheesecloth into the neck of the carboy, under the funnel. You try to find out how he expects to pull a wet ball of cider pulp through the neck of the bottle, but when his only answer is "You do realize I've been doing this for thirty years?" then your only option is to cry a little until he takes it out and lets you do it your way. The straining was not necessary; there was no cider pulp. Then he wants to put pectic enzyme in even though the recipe doesn't call for it and you let him because you're sick of fighting and also because the cider was a little cloudy the last time you made it. And you want to pitch the yeast first in warm water which also isn't called for and he lets you because the cider is still pretty goddamned cold, even with the twice-boiled half gallon with honey and brown sugar. Then Johnny insists you have to stare at it until it starts to pop, just to make sure the yeast is working, at which point you decide maybe Budweiser isn't such a bad beer after all.

There are no pictures of the cider.


12ontheinside said...

So... when should we be there for the official tasting?

jen said...

and THIS, you don't get on video. Argh.

su said...

I love the pic at the sink with the water droplettes. How cool is that?

Jenni said...

This is so me and my husband....if we were to ever make wine.
We were talking about the Amazing Race the other night and I told him we would never make it through the show because of our arguments over how we should do things. But we would cause good ratings because of our bickering.

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

this is so freaking cool! Can I come visit? xo