Category Archives: Wine

Zinfandel Update

Syphoned off to a bucket to continue fermentation. I had major problems with the brew controller.  It looks like one of the soldering joints had gone dry, and took about an hour and a half to work out and fix.

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content (%)
20th October 20151,0840
2nd November 201599611.6

This just gets left for another ten days or so.

More rosé, Zinfandel Blush

2015-10-21 14.44.28 2015-10-21 14.45.20







We like our home made rosé, but the firm that we were using (Sadlers) has gone bust. May and Brett had no rosé available, so it was off to for supplies. We selected California Connoisseur Zinfandel Blush.  My first kit (and the best white I made I believe) was California so definitely worth a second go.

My brew controller got an “upgrade”. In the process I borked the two temperature sensors, so after about 5 hours work (out came the soldering iron to fix it and make the “upgrade” more permanent) I had it doing its job again.  The speech marks are because the upgrade is not so successful. It is supposed to be a microphone that hears and counts bubbles, but I just can’t quite get it working properly.  Work in progress I think.

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content (%)
20th October 20151,0840
2nd November 201599611.6

Another Sadlers Rosé

2014-07-16 14.56.16

I have not felt like wine making for a long time following serious accident and bereavement.  But I am starting  a new rosé today, the same one that I did before.  The kit appears to have been updated, so we will see how it comes out.  I felt that the OG was a little low, but it could be rubbish stirring.

The only other thing I have done in the last six months is bottle the elderberry and blackberry, and the quince.  The latter ended in disaster as fermentation appeared to restart and the cork popped off, pouring the contents in to the cellar floor.  I don’t know how long it took me to notice. for status

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
16th February 20151,0760%
19th March 201599610.5%

Looks like rosé, tastes like rosé


The rosé has had a little more than its allotted time, and finished bubbling some days ago, but this can only  be good.  The photo shows the wine before the chitosan but after the fermentation stopper.  I was interested to see how clear it was, and the answer was “pretty clear”.  But not quite clear enough, so in goes the chitosan and in a few more days I will bottle.  I have splashed out on real bottles that need corks, together with shrink wrap lids for the final touch from the lovely people at ballihoo. who were extremely helpful on the phone.

The gravity is as expected at this stage and it is already pretty drinkable.  It looks and tastes as it should, so all is well.  A few days to clarify then bottling begins.  I am pondering sterilising the bottles in the oven; there will be about 40 and washing is so time consuming and messy.  I guess you put them in at 80 degrees for 20 minutes or so then bottle as they cool down.

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
12th June 20141,0800%
8th July 201499611.1%

Fermentation temperature control…

fermHerewith the temperatures of the cellar and brew in this hot weather.  The kit says that the temperature should be 16-20°C.  In the days before I started it the mean temperature of the cellar was 16°C so I chose 17°C, since lower temperature gives more flavour.  The Sun then came out, and the cellar temperature slowly climbed (red line).  The variation in the cellar temperature is either the freezer switching on and off or the fan that keeps the humidity down.

You can see that the brew, which started at house room temperature, cooling down then the fermentation kicking off and the brew temperature rising again because of the respiration.  It appears to be levelling off now, and I am hoping for a cool spell.

Brew fridge next?