Leigh Erwin: A Beginner’s Wine Making Journey: Part 27

glass of homemade meadHey everyone! How are all your batches of homemade wine coming along?  This is the first time in a few months where I don’t actually have any wines fermenting or otherwise hanging out in a carboy.  I’ve now completed and bottled three different wines – a Pinot Grigio, a Pinot Chardonnay, and my first red, a Carmenere.  My life is also starting to get extremely busy and will remain so for the next few months with a move and a marriage, so whatever I do next I need to be OK with if I screw it up due to me being mentally preoccupied with other things.  By the fall, things should be much more relaxed and laid back, which will be time when I up my output and starting buying more winemaking toys…er, um…I mean, equipment!  Priority #1 come this fall is the wine filtering system.  Gotta get one this year!
So, what the heck am I going to make during the next few months that I won’t necessarily care about if I screw it up?  Well, I do want to make the best wine that I can every time, but I do need to realize and accept the fact that things might not always be peaches and cream.  That being said, I want to minimize my financial input for this next batch of wine, that way if I screw it up somehow during the milieu that is my upcoming wedding, honeymoon, and potential move across country, I won’t be losing as much money than as if I purchased a quality winemaking kit.  That and I want to try to make different kinds of wine!  Diversity is the spice of life!
Mini Jet Wine FilterI recently discovered a really cool resource on the ECKraus website, and that is the Wine Recipes page.  If you go to the page, you can select whatever type of wine you wish to make, click “find recipe”, and you’ll be provided with wine wine recipes based on that particular product and will let you know exactly what you need to buy in order to get it done!  Additionally, you can just click on whatever item(s) you don’t already have and purchase them right then and there!  It’s probably the easiest way to get the right wine making ingredients for the wine you want to make!  The actual wine recipe with step-by-step instructions can be found by clicking the “download PDFs” link on that same page.
I asked my fiancé what type of wine he would be interested in trying next, and he reminded me that we do enjoy drinking Mead (honey wine) from time to time.  Perfect!  I’ll try to make Mead!
I was able to find bulk honey online—15 pounds of it for $45.  Not too bad, in my opinion!
In terms of the other ingredients, I have yeast nutrient, acid blend, grape tannin, and sodium bisulfite.  The only ingredients I seem to be missing are the yeast energizer and Pasteur Champagne wine yeast.  I have other wine yeast, but I decided I wanted to follow the wine recipe as closely as possible, particularly since this will be the first time making Mead and I want to try and make the best Mead I can with the recommended wine making ingredients.
Time to put in a little order, it seems!  I’m so excited—and partially scared—this might get a little sticky 😉

Leigh ErwinMy name is Leigh Erwin, and I am a brand-spankin’ new home winemaker! E. C. Kraus has asked me to share with you my journey from a first-time dabbler to an accomplished home winemaker. From time to time I’ll be checking in with this blog and reporting my experience with you: the good, bad — and the ugly.