A while back I started making jelly, and it was fun to come up with a name for the jelly-making “company”, and I started using WWMD? (What Would Mark Do?). After all, Jesus is rather restrictive in what he allows you to do. I, on the other hand, don’t care, as long as it’s not illegal…
I used WWMD? for a lot of things, including at the end of several videos I made for work. They did not see the humor like I do. It was quite small, one of those end-of-credits things that says something like “Copyright MXCMMI WWMD? Productions”. You could barely see it.
So when I started making Jelly and growing grapes, it didn’t really fit. So I had to think up a new name.
So, once I was asking what kind of something I should buy, and my wife said “It doesn’t matter.” What a great name for a product! Wives and girlfriends ask for it by name.
I really think there should be a restaurant called “It doesn’t matter”, or “I don’t care”. When a significant other is asked what they want for dinner, and replies, “I don’t care!” you could drive them right over. Of course, the best house dessert should be called, “no thanks, just bring the check”, for obvious reasons.
Anyway, I’ve used “It doesn’t matter vineyards” for years wherever a mail-order company wants a “company name” included on an order. Now, thanks to a 7.5 gallon bucket in my foyer, I can call myself “It Doesn’t Matter Winery”.
A bit about my house. I’m on a corner lot, you see. My driveway comes up to the kitchen/side door, which is where everyone goes. Only one neighbor ever used the front door for anything. So my front door foyer is a “no man’s land”. 25 square feet of dull, empty space. Perfect for storing odd things like a big ass bucket of grape juice, and the vacuum cleaner.
So when I bit the bullet yesterday to make wine, I thought, what better name to use for my wine than “It doesn’t matter vineyards”? Of course, each kind needs a name. Maybe to separate batches from each other they should all have different names.
I don’t care
It just doesn’t matter
Things like that… My first batch is a white (actually, pretty yellow) scuppernong wine. I followed the instructions from a few different books and sites, and after doing a lot of research, was able to come up with somewhat of a plan for this experiment.
1. Thaw and crush 4 gallon bags of grapes. My grapes have been frozen in the big freezer since last fall. Yes, you can freeze grapes. ONLY if you intend on coking with them, or juicing them. When thawed they get mushy and soggy and are usually broken open. So don’t freeze some for lunch in a month. That wont work.
2. Put crushed grapes in big-ass mesh bag in bucket. Easy…
3. Dissolve 10 pounds of sugar in three gallons of water. Easier done than it seems. Taken small bits at a time it works. A half gallon of water holds a heck of a lot of sugar when it’s hot (not boiling!). Pour all sugar water into big 5 gallon pail. stir it up and dump over grape mushiness.
4. Add yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme (for southern grapes, the yeasts need more nitrogen and crap than is available naturally). The pectic enzyme is there to keep you from making jelly in a bucket instead of wine. Stir in five crushed “campden tablets”, which kill wild yeasts in preparation for the wine yeast I will add tomorrow.
5. Let grapes and juice and stuff mingle for 8-16 hours or so. Lift out bag of mush, leaving juice behind. Cover juice with a towel. Tomorrow the “campden tablets” will have finished expelling whatever gas they give off, and I can add my wine yeast.
6. Take hydrometer reading to get idea of specific gravity. Right now I’m sitting of 16% potential alcohol, which means if my yeast do their job right and don’t join a union a quit working early, that my wine will have an alcohol of 16% (8 proof for you likker drinkers), which would be a fairly strong wine, most of them are between 10 and 14%, according to the labels I’ve read. Of course, a little sugar would be okay… I prefer the sweeter wines.
What will follow is a month of work, which is as likely to produce some weird nasty drink as it is a decent drinkable wine. I’ll add the yeast tomorrow, and as it’s warm here (between 74-77 inside), they should work hard for about four days, before they finish up their primary job. Then I have to transfer them to a smaller container, leaving the dead guys behind, and wait a few months.
Once in the bottles, the wine has to sit around and do nothing, much like a kid off for summer vacation. It will mellow out and take up space. They tell me wine right out of the fermenter tastes like crap… So, by New Year’s Eve I MIGHT know what it will taste like eventually…