Sommer Breeze Wines - May the flavor and body of the wine be as smooth and refreshing as a Sommer Breeze.

Be sure to check out the Equipment page for everything you need to get started.

Here is a general overview of the wine making process:
These are the primary steps in making wine.   Usually, you'll only perform one or two at a time.  It may be a full year from the stemming/crushing time to the day you bottle your wine.  

bulletStemming and Crushing - Stems are removed and berries are crushed to have the skin break, the grape or fruit being used does not have to be pulverized, just break the skin so the yeast can do its work when it's time.
bulletDetermining sugar and acidity of the juice - Sugar content is approximately equal to the percent of soluble solids (Brix)
bulletAdding sulfur dioxide (SO2) - This is needed to inhibit growth of spoilage organisms and prevent oxidation.
bulletAdding pure wine yeast starter culture - This produces a clean strong complete fermentation.
bulletPressing - The skins and seeds are separated from the juice at the beginning with white wine and after some fermentation on the skins in the case of red wine.
bulletFermenting - Yeast converts sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide.  Make sure you have a well ventilated area for your primary fermentation if you plan on large batches.
bulletRacking wine from lees - This removes the clear wine from the dead yeast and other solids which settle in the carboys during secondary fermentation and storage.  I recommend racking the wine every three months after secondary fermentation has completed.
bulletAdjusting SO2 content - This prevents spoilage and oxidation.
bulletAging / topping and / or clarification - It is best to "age" wine in bulk versus bottles.  One thing to consider though is that if something would taint the wine in a carboy, you lose 25-30 bottles of wine, compared to just one bottle if aged in the bottle.   I carboy my wine for a full year after secondary fermentation has completed.  Then I bottle and allow to sit in the cellar.
bulletBottling - See the web page for bottling information.

Before you begin.......
Everything has to be clean.  I mean really clean too.  I use and recommend two products by "Logic".   The first is for initial cleaning of dirty carboys, bottles, removing labels, etc.  It is called "Straight A".  This is really good when you get a case or two of used bottles from a local winery which have not been completely cleaned.  This will remove any sediment along with your bottle brush.     The second cleaning product is called "One Step".  I use this on everything right before I begin to work with my wine.  I rinse the cleaned carboys out with it, my equipment and my bottles.   They're easy to use, just add one tablespoon of which ever you're using to one gallon of warm water and stir to dissolve.

Here is a list of the wines I have made or am currently working on
in my basement for now.   I still have a lot of bottles to wash before I can bottle any more.

Before beginning, I have found this log form to be incredibly helpful in making your wine and keeping track of what has gone into it.   If two years down the road, you think, "wow, this really does taste good." and you want to try to duplicate it, you'll have a record of it.   You can download this .pdf file here....   Be sure to print out several copies.

bulletApple - 12 gallons
bulletMulberry - 6 gallons
bulletConcord - 12 gallons
bulletElderberry (kit) - 6 gallons
bulletCalifornia Blush (kit) - 6 gallons
bulletPinot Noir (kit) - 6 gallons

Here is a list of the wines I would like to make in the future:
It's nothing fancy, but its a start.  The following list are wines I'd like to make.   If you have any recipes for the wines listed below, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing them with me.

bulletChambourcin
bulletPeach
bulletStrawberry
bulletBlackberry
bulletWheat

 

 

 

 

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Learning Curve
I'm just trying to learn a good routine or way of creating a consistent wine from various fruits. 

Try and Try again
There are so many tasteful fruits out there that I just want to make to see how it comes out.   If it's not the best, let it sit for 3-5 years in the cellar if I have to let it age.  Never, upon never, do you dump any out I am told.

 

 


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