Lemoncello

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a bottle of home-made Limoncello (made by me)

a bottle of home-made Limoncello (made by me) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We will be going to Capri, Sorrento & Positano Italy this summer. These are places that enjoy a great lemoncello. Their lemons are much bigger than ours but we can make a decent lemoncello here. My son-in-law approached me to do this and I thought it was a great idea. I normally only make grape based wines. I am not into the other fruits or harder alcoholic drinks. The recipe below is the one we used. I will keep you informed how it turns out.

45 Lemons

6 bottles of vodka (750ml – 100 proof)

12 Cups of sugar

15 Cups of water

DIRECTIONS:

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello. Check out my web page on How to Zest.

Step One:
In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar), add one bottle of vodka; add the lemon zest as it is zested. Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer it rests, the better the taste will be. (There is no need to stir – all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly take on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

Step Two:
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; cook until thickened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture. Add to the Limoncello mixture from Step One. Add the additional bottle of vodka. Allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

Step Three:
After the rest period, strain and bottle: discarding the lemon zest. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

Source: epicurious.com

Kits or Juice or Grapes; That is the question

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Grapes contain certain polyphenol antioxidant ...

Grapes contain certain polyphenol antioxidant compounds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People that make homemade wine are presented with three pasic ways of making their wine:

  1. Grapes – Crush the juice from fresh grapes
  2. Must – Buy the juice in bulk and use it
  3. Kits – Buy a kit of concentrated juice and use it

I usually use the must method since crushing grapes is too much work and is meshy. I sometimes use kits especially for varietals I can’t get as must. This May the Chilean’s are out and for the first time in over 10 years I won’t be doing them. I am getting married! I will however buy some kits and do them in the summer. Kits are about 60% more expensive but in my opinion make a better wine. Many places sell kits now.

Amazing Clarity in White Wine

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This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy)...

This image shows a white wine glass (WMF Easy) with white wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am always amazed at how clear I can get my white wines. When I first move them from the primary fermentor to secondary (glass), they are VERY cloudy almost milky. After 30 to 45 days they have cleared and I rack off the clear wine and throw away the sediment at the bottom. After  or 3 rackings, the white wine is crystal clear! After all who wants to drink a white wine that is not clear? Enjoy your wine making.

2012 Italian Juices

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I just picked up my 2012 Italian juice. I got one Pinot Grigio and one Chianti. I have several thousand bottles in storage so my production is being cut back a bit. I will let you know how these juices go.

California Juice

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20120926-132120.jpg

Pictured here is my Californian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is amazing how cloudy the Chardonnay is now but will be a clear golden color at bottling.

Fall is here which means Californian & Italian Juices!

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A glass of pinot grigio wine.

A glass of pinot grigio wine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just picked up my smallest order to date – (2) Californian buckets of juice. One is a Chardonnay and the other a Pinot Noir. Next month I have (2) Italians coming in as well – one a Pinot Grigio and the other a Chianti. I have a few thousand bottles in my cellar so I needed to cut back and start enjoying the older wines. I also replaced my siphons with new ones. This is important as they can get dirty. Even santitizing them may not clear out all the problems. I am getting Married May 25, 2013 so I made some extra Chilean wines last spring. Some of these we created a special wedding label for. We took pictyures from our trip to Italy and used them to create a nice wine label. I found great labels from onlinelabels.com They are OL150 WR labels. I likethem because they are full size wine labels and are removable. As long as they don’t get too wet, you can easily peel them off.

Winter and Racking Time

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Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Image via Wikipedia

Usually I don’t mind racking in the winter. Afterall there isn’t much else to do when it’s cold outside. This year delivered one of the warmest winters in history to the northeast. With that said, I racked my Californian & Italian juices this week as well as two kits (Rioja). As I rack each wine, I try a small sample to see how it’s progressing. The Californian Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were both great but still young. The Italian Barolo was great and could be drunk now. The Italian Brunello and Chianti were also great but still young. Brunellos typically take 4 to 5 years to reach a great mature flavor. The Rioja kits were magnificent and ready to drink. None of these will be drunk yet. I will bottle them in April, freeing up carboys and demijohns for this years Chilean wines. They will sit in cold storage for 2 to 3 years minimum and then be enjoyed. Hears to the great taste of wine!

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