Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Racking in the Winery!

A full book of winemaking can still leave several unanswered questions. Therefore, I can't offer in the confines of a blog a recipe for making wine but I can relate my experience. Last summer, while I was up to my elbows in tomatoes, Chris (bless his heart) brought me over 20 pounds of freshly picked blackberries. Because I was too busy to work with them at the time, I cleaned and froze the luscious berries and thought happily about what I would do with them.

Being the schoolie that I am, freezing them gave me time to study about winemaking with blackberries. I had heard that it was harder than making grape wine. I've known people who just put blackberries, sugar and water into a crock, covered it and left it until it stopped working. Looking for something more scientific, a wine that would be semi-sweet and full-bodied as well as safe to drink, I studied C.J.J. Berry's book First Steps in Winemaking since God had blessed me not only with the berries but, also, the gift of time to let a bottle of wine finish properly. I studied others who thought wine was only made from grapes. I also studied E.C. Krauss for a basic online guide that can be downloaded. To make this wine, I blended ideas from both Berry and Kraus.

I recently went to the winery. Like every time before, I took meticulous notes(remember the schoolie in me) and can tell you that I started the wine with boiled water poured over the blackberries to purify the fruit and utensils, hoping not to use chemical additives, chemicals found in Campden tablets such as sodium metabisulfite. Pectic enzyme was added. It is safe and increases the release of juice from the berries. I wanted a pure product and have grown increasingly concerned about the array of chemical additives that may be found, only after deep searching, in mass-marketed wine. Many of these additives are uncontrolled and are used in an effort to speed up production and increase profits, not to give you a better wine experience, although it might taste good. There I go again. I'm a big DIYer! I believe you can make better wine at home. After the first day, I added winemaking yeast. A few days later, I strained the juice onto sugar.

Six weeks into my blackberry winemaking project now, I have racked the wine into carboys for the second time. Racking takes the wine off the sediment caused by yeast action and results in a clearer wine. Time filters out suspended particles. You don't need chemicals to do this. You don't need a winery, a basement or a cellar to make wine. You can easily use a hallway or the kitchen counter. Scroll down through the sidebar for items you may need to make wine.

Each time I rack this wine, I record my observations as to color, clarity, aroma, legs (or viscosity) and flavor in my attempt to reach the perfect balance in a semi-sweet, medium bodied wine. I also use a winemaking hydrometer that indicates the sugar/alcohol content. My readings of winemakers tell me that a thicker, sweeter wine is preferred by those who don't know wine. HA! OK, I believe that. My observations of wineMAKING tell me that, if you make your own, you can have whatever suits you, and for pennies on the dollar! I will continue this racking and observing process until all the CO2 escapes and the flavor and feel of the wine suits me. The water in the airlock has to remain perfectly still, no more bubbling. This may take many months but, judging from my experience in the winery yesterday, I don't think so! Everything in its own time.

Winemaking is a fun hobby! A delicious hobby! But not for everyone. Sorry I can't give you a recipe for wine but, like teaching a child to read, you can't explain how to do it in just a post! Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, please keep us posted on the progress.