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Ferment Nutrients

The additives that proved so successful this year:

10 gal. water, warm
25 lbs. sugar
115 g tartaric acid
80 g yeast nutrient
40 g diamonium phosphate (DAP)
05 g calcium citrate

Makes 12 gal total or scale as needed. Water temperature between 70F and 90F will make the yeast feel welcome and helps the sugar dissolve. Yeast nutrient is nutritional yeast, the same as that sold for humans at the grocery store. Diamonium phosphate is a nitrogen fertilizer. Some yeasts need more than others but a little extra is better than not enough. The tartaric acid could be another acid, even lemon juice or an acid blend. Yeast is happy in an acidic environment and most bacteria are not. If for red wine the acid addition would be 230 g to give the correct acidity in the finished beverage. Calcium is needed for yeast reproduction. If the water has less than 15 ppm calcium you need to add some. You can also use calcium carbonate (shells, antacid) or calcium sulfate (plaster of paris).

General formula in grams per liter:
1000 water
300 sugar
3 tartaric acid (6 for wine)
2 yeast nutrient
.1 calcium citrate

Makes 1.2 liter


Sean Thackery

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I found an excellent syrah in Dallesport that I believe would make a fine base for a port. A barrel taste of the 2006 had rich but balanced fruits, no obvious dessert flavors, and a surprisingly long finish featuring solid acid and an evolution of flavors. This is above average stuff selling for about 1700 per ton or about $34 per case for the fruit (assuming 50 cases to the ton). I have enough of the other ingredient to make more than a barrel of port. If anyone wants “in” get back to me in a week +/- so I can gauge interest and get an order in. The process last time involved no barrel aging but an extended (week?) soak on the skins after adding the brandy. Following this procedure we would bottle in time for thanksgiving.
BTW this grower has some cabernet sauvignon left.


Balsamic Vinegar

I have begun experimenting. I know it’s wrong, I just can’t help it. Was it you, James, who was talking about B V? Just twelve short years in a succession of casks made of various woods. (I’ll have to use wood chips.) Now, some of you out there may be in a position to enable me. I believe B V is unfiltered and has cells of the authentic micro-organisms in every bottle. If anyone out there has a little, a teaspoon full, of B V that they could donate to the vat to help innoculate, I would be grateful. The formula is start with white grapes, boil down the juice to about half of the volume, dose it and put it in a cask in the attic. It might work.

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2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Note

23 May ’07, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon seems to have turned a corner and may be entering it’s maturity. Color is a little rusty at the edge, flavor is smooth and it has precipitated a fine pile of tartaric crystals. Drink a bottle today!

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Free Vinyard!

Yes! it says free vinyard! Sounds too good to be true? Well friend, your right to be suspicious but this here is the real thing! Decide for yourself based on these easy-to-understand facts. 1) My mother is ready to live somewhere that is not next door to her other daughter in law. 2) Suddenly the pacific northwest looks pretty good. 3) Prefers country and views. Conclusion: With a little “help” making the right decision my dear, sweet, kind mother might end up owning land near Portland that will support viticulture. I know it sounds crazy but thats how great things usually begin. So here’s the plan: I feed her info and pix about great places she could live that, coincidentally, might suit other purposes as well. What I need: information about where grapes are succeeding within two hours or less of our burg. Example: I know that syrah is working out near White Salmon. I’ll go there and check out the area, then send a glowing report to esteemed mother. Washington side preferred for tax purposes and dry country won’t do for reasons of taste. I doubt this would be bigger than hobby size, an acre or two perhaps. But think of the fun trading in the easy purchace of grapes for year round back-breaking labor! WOW! Send me your ideas now!


Dandelion Wine

A dandelionFirst attempt failed because soaking the flowers at room temperature for more than a week makes the liquor go off. Second batch soaked in the fridge. Ferment has begun. It smells a little like artichoke. In case you were wondering, dandelion wine is a flavored sugar ferment with some added lemon juice. I presume the latter is for acidity. I have not make it before, or even tasted some, but it seems like it could end up tasting like a thin gewurztraminer.

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