Mother Nature is still up to her old tricks – with Sunday marking the first day of Spring, you'd think she'd get her act together and start sending us some warmer weather instead of continuing to freeze us out at night. She's threatening to bring a chance of snow showers by the end of the week, after teasing us with upper 60's yesterday. No wonder my sinus infection never really went away even after antibiotics – my whole system is being confused by Mother Nature.
Princess Nagger and I have started playing the sports games on wii again – she kicks my butt every single time we bowl. One of these days I'll have to figure out how she does the funky little dance she does just before she ‘throws' her ball. Though I'm sure I'll look like a dork where she just looks cute. She loves getting a ‘turkey', because then she struts around the living room going “Gobble gobble, gobble gobble!” while flapping her arms like wings. I'm sure my lack of skill in trying to get strikes of my own are inhibited by me laughing the whole time. That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.
We haven't been working as feverishly on the Summer House renovation as we started off doing, because schedules have conflicted along with the weather. But we're finally getting to a point where we might be getting closer to painting the walls, now that the sheet rock has all been hung and the mudding has started. Hubby brought home a sample paint color for me to approve based on what I said I want to paint the downstairs walls. It's appropriately named ‘Vino'.
Speaking of wine, I've been busy with the winemaking, too. Although with the time change last week and my brain being a little fuzzy, I was all ready to rack a batch of wine over the weekend, got all my equipment organized and sanitized and ready to go when I realized I had only started that batch earlier in the week. The primary fermentation needs to go at least 7 to 10 days, not 5. At least the work of organizing and sanitizing my equipment wasn't completely in vain, I did bottle the batch of Blackberry Malbec since it was ready. It turned out even better than I expected!
I'm going to have to take pictures of the next step on the batch of champagne I'm working on, the boring stage is almost complete (as in the hurry-up-and-wait-and-let-it-clear stage) and the next stage will be fun because it entails adding more sugar and yeast for a final fermentation, then bottling it so it can ferment (and produce all the lovely champagne bubbles) in the bottles. Then it'll be another ‘hurry-up-and-wait' mode since they'll need to sit tight for two months while it ferments (and creates those delightful bubbles), which will then lead to what's called riddling. That's where the bottles will get placed either in a riddling rack like this:
or a sturdy box and turned daily for a month to encourage the yeast that dies off and turns into sediment to relocate to the neck of the bottle. I've decided I'm going to use some of our old barn lumber and make my own riddling rack. It'll be a fun project and a great way to use some of the old barn lumber.
After that, the real fun happens when those bottles are either put in a freezer or neck-deep in a rock salt and crushed ice brine mix upside down to freeze the sediment that will be in the neck of the bottles. Once that is frozen, I'll be finding out how quick my thumb can be when I remove the cap (I'll be using crown caps to seal the bottles during the fermentation and riddling stage) and ‘dégorge' the bottles. You have to hold the bottles either upside down or at a sharp angle pointing into a bucket and remove the cap, allowing the frozen capsule to eject itself, then right the bottle and cover the neck with your thumb so you won't lose too much of the good stuff from the bottle. I bet it's going to be very messy – hope my thumb's big enough!
I decided to go with the traditional mode of Méthode Champenoise to make it real champagne. I've been spending a lot of time researching and reading to educate myself on how to do it, and over the next three months will probably read and re-read and make sure I (mostly) know what I'm doing when the time comes. I also discovered that the ‘dosage' you add to top off the bottles after the dégorgement is not a universal recipe – every winemaker puts together their own secret ingredients for the dosage, so I'm doing some fun experimenting to figure out what I'll be doing for my own dosage when the time comes. Should be interesting!
That's enough for this week – still not quite as random, but hopefully somewhat interesting. Don't forget to head over to The Un-Mom – the queen of randomness who never disappoints. Feel free to get your random on and join in the fun!
I'm also participating in Follow Me Back Tuesday – if you are a new Follower, please be sure to leave a link so I can follow you back!
Once again I'm hopping aboard this fun friendly train – if you're traveling on the train, be sure to leave your link so I can follow you back!
I have to agree with you on the weather situation. Wish it would just stay nice.
I had no idea there was so much to wine making…
I’m still trying to find one I like for the wedding. I like sparkling reds… but sweet, really sweet with little or no aftertaste… only found it once, in Italy.
Prehaps I could plan a trip…
I didn’t know you could make home made champagne. My hubby makes White Zinfandel for me. I only have one bottle left. Time to clean and sanitize the demi john…
I figured wine making was involved but that was crazy. Thanks for the info. Happy Tuesday!
You make the BEST WINE EVER. I am on a drinking hiatus for a while and have one bottle left and I plan on drinking it as soon as I start up again. I miss it.
Hello there.. Loving your blog, off to indulge in more posts..Officially Following You from hop ). I’m Marilyn from http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com, hope you can stop by sometime.
My kid kicks my butt at bowling too. Little stinker.
I like hearing about the wine process. I don’t think I’d have the patience to do it myself though! Love that rack though, might have to get one just for fun 🙂
we are well into spring weather, including all the rain, but warm…oh well…i like playing in puddles any way…
Mother Nature’s doing the same thing to us. I’m not overly fond of Her right now.
Can’t wait to hear all about the champagne making!
Turbo likes to box. I’m good at the bowling, but can’t hit the ball at all in the baseball game. So sad that RTT is ending–hopefully for only a while.
Please video the degorging process…that sounds like it’ll be fun to watch.
I’m not a wine drinker, but reading about the process is fascinating!
It snowed here too!
Looking forward to hearing more about the champagne making!! I may have to give the wine a shot! (send some over 😀
Thanks for riding the train today!
The Survival Mama
I think I’m going to be a rebel too and continue with Random Tuesday Thoughts. I just can’t imagine Tuesdays without it. My life would be so empty.
I’m giggling at PN walking around like a turkey. How cute!
Wine making sounds so complicated and yet intriguing as well, but I doubt i’ll ever have the patience for it.. 😛
Happy RTT! 🙂
It’s been a couple of years and I still can’t believe you know how to make wine. And champagne. Wow. That vino paint color does sound like it’s the perfect fit for you guys.
You may have inspired me to drag the Wii out.
Interesting hearing how to make champagne! I had no idea of the involved process! Thanks for stopping by my place for a visit today 🙂
My allergies have been going crazy. I’m ready for the wind to stop blowing and the air to stay warm!
I don’t drink wine but my husband has learned how to make his own rootbeer 😉
You make your own wine? Are you serious???? That’s freaking awesome. Those racks are crazy expensive (even here in Europe). Did you know that they were created by Mme. Cliquot (as in Veuve Cliquot-my personal favorite champagne) in the 1700’s along with her master vintner? Prior to this, champagne had to be filtered before serving because it had so much sediment in it. We’ve been to the V-C and Moet cellars in Reims. And they give you samples!!!! Huzzah! I have dreams of owning a vineyard in France. Of course in these dreams, I own it with Johnny Depp, but whatevs.
BTW, if you don’t have Wii SPorts Resort, you should totally get it. They have this game called 100 pin bowling and it is weirdly awesome. Indy kicks my bum in it too. I rule at table tennis though. It’s one of the few times I get to say “In your face!” I’m such a good mom. 🙂 Happy RTT.
Wii bowling is so much fun. I’ve thrown my arm out trying to get me some strikes. Some might call my technique spastic, but I prefer the term ultra-unique. Sounds fancy!!
Good luck building your new rack. That has nothing to do with your chest! 😉
Good luck with your Champagne!!
Well, that was a mouthful ~snicker-snicker~ ! Good luck with your tasty project there! As far as the Princess N. are you letting her win or is she honestly whipping your butt? hahahaha Hey, if you get a chance stop by me tonight I have something for you!
Maybe post some inbetween pictures? Progress is always cool!
My kids beat me all the time Wii bowling, too! I think my oldest is a “pro”… I don’t think I’ve broken 100 yet.
Mmm, blackberry malbec.
My 3 yo beats all my Wii sports scores. I think his dad helps him cheat.
We are getting snow tomorrow. You would think that Spring would put an end to these horrific past few months of weather. I can’t believe how the weather is getting bad again, especially with our three 70 and 80 degree days we had last week. It’s depressing, I just want the bad weather to be DONE with!
Following you from FMBT! I hope you can visit us as well and follow us back! Thanks so much and I hope you have a great day!
Krissy @ Mommy Miscellaneous
Have you gone completely mad woman? Ha! You are amazing!! I can’t wait to hear more, see more, and most importantly, taste more!!!!
Our weather has been funky here in Seattle too! Amazingly we had the warmest day of the year thus far … 60* wahoo!
Yeah, I’m glad my security clearance took a bit longer, I’d much rather get stationed there closer to Summer. I’m loving this SC weather!