RJ Cole Winery

Insights into the world of an amateur home winemaker.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Cole Wines anagrams to Senile Cow.

Monday, May 22, 2006


So, some people from work got the Winery's Blog URL and have been stopping by to take a look. Well, welcome, all y'all! I know a lot of what you've been looking at has been outdated or provided without explanation. Please look thru the site, maybe check out the archives for some older posts to see what's been going on with the wines, and check out my introductory post to learn more about the blog.

To any passers-by looking for information on how to clear cloudy pumpkin wine, check out some posts from November!

Actually, I've been meaning to talk about that. My pumpkin wine has cleared really well with letting it sit in the carboy and the occasional racking (I believe I've racked it 4 times since secondary fermentation.) However, I believe it has cleared about as much as it's going to on its own. I got in touch with Winethief (the member of Winepress who provided the original recipe which I adapted.) Terry (Winethief's real name) suggested I use a fining agent called Sparkolloid. This should use its electric charge to bond with oppositely charged particles in the wine which are making it hazy. The result is larger particles, which, by the magic of gravity, are pulled down to the bottom easier. This will get everything to settle to the bottom of the carboy, leaving me with a crystal clear (yet still amber-colored) wine.

And if that doesn't work well, I'm bidding on a wine filter on eBay. Right now, if I have the winning bid, it will cost me a total of $51, including shipping. This type of filter normally sales for around $150. Everybody cross your fingers for me!

So that's where I stand with the pumpkin wine. The merlot got bottled (as you could see from the photos) and is resting in the bottles to overcome "bottle sickness". This happens when the wine is disturbed, and goes into shock, usually hiding some of the bouquet and flavor. I hope the Merlot is good in the long run, as I've realized I didn't degas it very well. I'll just have to decant it when I open a bottle to let some of the CO2 escape.

The strawberry, as you could also see, has been racked to a 5 gallon carboy. There it will sit for a while to clear further. I did take a taste of it, and it tasted good, but a little tart - actually, just like a strawberry that was picked a little too early! I'll probably end up adding some Welch's White Grape Concentrate to add body and sweeten that wine. I'm really impressed with how strong the strawberry flavor is! I let it sit on the lees for a little longer than I normally do - a few weeks longer - so I wonder if that might have helped the flavor out. If you leave the wine on the lees too long, all the macerated fruit and yeast cells eventually break down and impart "off" flavors to the wine. This one didn't have any!

Anyway, that's it for now. Enjoy the magic of winemaking, all newcomers, and thanks for continuing to stop by, all family members! Be sure to check out the links at the left of your screen for more Wine Goodness!


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