RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Slow Going

Who would've thought it would take so long to gut, cut up, and scrape of 25 pounds of pumpkin meat from 3 pumpkins? Of course, there are other things that have slowed me up, such as the Panthers' game on Sunday. Well, I should finish getting all the pumpkin meat out tonight. I'll go ahead and add my sugar water and some cinnamon sticks and about 3/4 of a ginger root that I decided to add as well. I've been taking some pictures of the process, so as soon as I can get them developed, I'll try to post them up here.

Here's what I've done so far:
I needed a few supplies, so first thing on Saturday morning, I got up and went to Alternative Beverage to get a nylon straining bag and an acid test kit. Then I headed over to Kat's place to check on it while she was out of town (and to steal an ice cream scooper and a big pot to boil the water - thanks, hon!) Next I made a stop at Harris Teeter to get the Pumpkins, Ginger Root, Sugar, and Cinnamon Sticks.

Total cost of everything: $29. That's one nice bottle of wine, 2 decent bottles, or, a little more than 3 bottles of what I normally buy. I should end up again with 24 bottles. That's pretty good.

I cleaned the primary fermeter bucket with B-Brite, as well as my airlocks and bungs. The next step was to cut up the pumpkins. It took me a while and a few tries to figure out the easiest way to do this was to cut up the pumpkins into small pieces the scrape using the ice cream scooper. At first when I tried this, it wasn't working out too well, so I innovated. I love to say that those who adapt survive. I first took a smaller knife and sort of scored the pumpkin meat. Then I sliced it off, and usually had to repeat this 2-3 times per piece of pumpkin. Later I figured out that if I scored it first, then used the ice cream scooper, that worked out better. Then I was getting tired, so I figured out that I hadn't been using enough force at first, so I quit scoring the pieces and just started using the scooper again. That's where I'm at now.

I've finished with 2 pumpkins and I got around 16 pounds of meat from them - 8.5 from the first, and 7.5 from the second. I'm guessing the third will be somewhere around the same, so I'm predicting 24-25 pounds of meat total.

Well, I'm learning that it's hard work to get started on this, but I'm hoping that it will all be worth it this time next year!


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