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Joe’s Wine Making Adventure: Installment 6 – Time to Oak!

To read the previous installment in Joe’s Wine Making Adventure – Clarifying Times, click here.

*This is a rewrite of the original post due to a data corruption incident – ugh*

Well with this installment we’re pretty much caught up with Joe and the wine making process.  It’s now time to wait a few months and then try the finished product.  Based on my tastings the jury is still out.  We’re wishing Joe the best, as he has done all the work and it would be a shame if he didn’t get some good wine out of it.  Anyway, here are his latest notes:

Where we started!

Where we started!

“Well the time has come, all phases of fermentation and active clarifying were complete, it was time to add the flavor of oak.  Anyone who knows me, knows I like my scotch about as peaty as they come.  But after discussion with Neil and Toni from Silver Lake Wine supply, I decided to go easy.  Based on my tasting to date, this is probably the correct amount since the wine is not super bold.  This was very much a balancing act, so as not to overwhelm the wine by making the oak standout.  I went with French oak chips that were lightly toasted.  I washed them to remove any dust and tannin until the water ran clear.  The chips were then toasted in the oven to dry and kill anything that might be living on them.  This gave the house a unique scent of cooking wood.  The racking process went smoothly; the residual at the bottom was definitely solidified.  Between racking the three 5 gallon carboys and three 1 gallon jugs, I lost just about one gallon to the amount left in the bottoms.  The wine was tasted and a nominal 90 grams of oak chips added to each carboy.  The plan is to try a sample each week for the next few weeks to make sure it does not get over oaked.  After racking the oak off, it should be able to sit for a while to finish its aging process.”

We’ll report back on the final tasting, good or bad or in between.  I’m pretty sure Joe is going to have another go at this one way or the other.  After all, what else do you do with a grape press and all those carboys?

To read the last installment in Joe’s Wine Making Adventure – The Tasting, click here (when published)

A votre sante!

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