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Minnesota Cooking: Wine Making at Home
Today was not the first day that I have considered that I should try making wine. Actually, I have made wine at various times in my life. Once, when I lived with my mom and dad, I made dandelion wine. Dandelion wine is made from the blossoms of the dandelion weed. As I recall, I was outside for a long time picking the flowers off the stems.
The wine was a partial success. It fermented, but my Dandelion wine was a little bitter. Nutty, perhaps, but bitter. My father kept adding sugar to the bottle. He thought that might help. I don't know if anyone ever finished drinking it. I thought it was awful.
No. Today it's windy and I noticed that there are a lot of apples on the ground under the apple tree. I have several trees and have upon occasion toyed with the thought of apple wine or apple cider. We just have never thought that we'd drink enough to make it worth the effort.
I have considered several ways to accomplish the task. I have thought about using an electric coffee pot to brew it. It has a cover. It has a spigot, and it's heat resistant enough to not melt when the fermentation starts to get hot. I did have a metal water container that I used one year to make rhubarb wine. Unfortunately, the insulated plastic liner did not take the heat as well as I expected and the inside plastic had a few bubbles in it when I poured the wine out.
They sell an ale pail for fermenting the brew. Those pails must be able to take the heat. They come with a special air lock in the cover for letting out carbon dioxide as the wine ferments. It is a one way device that allows the air to go out, but no air to come in.
Using a Balloon
My sister made pineapple wine many years ago when she lived at home. She worked at a grocery store and there was a bottle of pineapple juice that was out of date. She brought it home, opened it and placed a balloon on the mouth of the bottle.
Supposedly, the balloon will fill up with the carbon dioxide as the mix is fermenting. Then, when the balloon droops, the wine is done. Again, I do not know how her wine turned out.
Oh, and I learned something from a video. If you use a balloon, poke a small hole in the big, round end so the pressurized vapors can escape, but the outside air cannot get back in.
Wine Made From Various Things
I think a person can make wine from just about any fruit. Grape, apple, plum. There is a problem with making wine from plums as there is a bitter substance naturally in plums that has to be removed somehow. Perhaps by distilling?
The rhubarb wine was fairly easy to make. Pick the rhubarb. Put in a container. Pour boiling water over it. Then, the stringy rhubarb stalk is removed. Then sugar is added. I don't recall adding any yeast. Some of those fruits have their own yeast on the skin.
Doesn't grape stomping make you curious. Does grape stomping work better if the person has a natural fungus between their toes?
Ugh. [Sorry if I made you throw up a little in your mouth.Smile]