Cranberry Pomegranate Wine Update

March 13th, 2013

Yesterday I racked the wine successfully. S.G. was 0.992. No off-tastes. Practically no lees. I will stabilize and bottle the wine soon.

Here is the diary of the cranberry-pomegranate wine link.

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Summary of Concord Wine Grape Adventure

December 14th, 2012

I posted the entire diary of the Concord grape wine adventure at dougthecook.

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Homemade Cranberry Pomegranate Wine Adventure

October 29th, 2012

I started a new batch of wine from store-bought cranberry pomegranate juice. The details, diary, and wine log of how to make your own cranberry pomegranate wine are under winemaking on I decided to keep the diary on dougthecook as one contiguous page rather than a dispersed set on this blog. It makes for easier scanning and printing.

The last batch, Concord grape wine adventure, turned out surprisingly well. The diary on that batch was copied to dougthecook, too.

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CWGA: Opening a Bottle

August 5th, 2012

A few days ago, I opened one of the screw-top bottles of CWGA (Concord Wine Grape Adventure) wine. The wine was very clear; as clear as I’ve seen. This is encouraging because no fining agents were used; just months of bulk aging. The taste, however, still needs improvement. I don’t know all the wine-related adjectives but, bottom line, the taste was a little harsh. Much better than the last bottle, though. Not bad for 9 month old wine.

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Pulled Pork in the Oven

June 9th, 2012

I have always been an aficionado of pulled pork, especially after tasting East North Carolina pulled pork. Though cooking pork butt, more properly called Boston butt and don’t worry, the butt is the upper part of the shoulder at the front leg, on the grill is the best tasting, I do not have the patience to monitor the pork for eight hours so in the oven it goes. Oven made pork butt tastes very good. I have made this several times and always turns out well.

Here are directions for creating pulled pork in the oven though it can be done on the grill or crock-pot as well.

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Post Bottling: Day 196

May 16th, 2012

I put the corked wine bottle on its side and left the two screw-top bottles upright. It is recommended to let them age for two years. Since they have already bulk-aged half a year, only one and a half left. I’ll try the corked one in a few months.

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Bottling: Day 185

May 5th, 2012

Finally! Time to bottle.

I ended up with three 750 ml bottles of wine (and a little extra for my effort :)). The taste was pretty good but could have used a smidgen more sugar.

Originally, I poured boiling water into the bottles and let them simmer for several minutes. The bottles, screw cap, were soaked in sanitizing mixture for 10 minutes, along with the caps and siphon. The wine was siphoned into the bottles, leaving 1 1/2 inches of headroom (not by design). I lifted the wine bottle up to stop the siphoning, but some wine was sucked back into the cubitainer. That was not expected. Next time, I’ll get a shutoff to prevent this.

The bottles will sit in a container for a few days then age for several months.

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Stabilizing and Sweetening Done: Day 167

April 12th, 2012

Yesterday I stabilized the wine by adding 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate and 1 crushed Campden tablet (in a sanitized mortar and pestle) to one cup wine. Stirred until dissolved then put into sanitized cubitainer. Then I racked the wine into the cubitainer and let it sit overnight. See this post for more details.

Since I have about 3 bottles worth of wine (1 bottle loss due to racking), I added a sugar formula of 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, boiled one minute. After cooling to room temperature, I poured it into the cubitainer and gently stirred with a sanitized long stainless steel spoon.

The wine will sit about one week to make sure no fermentation starts; then it is bottling time.

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Making your own Hot Sauce

February 13th, 2012

Making your own hot sauce is very easy. I will add more to this as necessary.

  • 5 red jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bottled water
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • glass jar with lid (I use old mayonnaise or peanut jars)

Wash and destem the jalapenos.

Toss jalapenos into a blender and chop up (5 seconds).

Add water and chop for 2 seconds.

Add vinegar and chop for 2 seconds.

Add salt and chop for 2 seconds.

Transfer to glass jar.

Heat to a boil (to sanitize) then simmer for 10 minutes. I use a microwave and cook it right in the jar.

Age in the refrigerator for 30 days.

Strain the mixture and return to storage jar. I use a fine mesh strainer.

Age. The longer the better.

A few days later…

I sampled the hot sauce. It was pungent and thin.

Tabasco hot sauce, which is very thin, is made up of Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. Period. But it is aged three years in white oak barrels.

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Cleaning Stainless Steel Pans

February 4th, 2012

I bought a stainless steel dutch oven a while back. Eventually, it had some burnt food on the bottom which could not be removed. I tried hot water/dishwashing liquid, vinegar, and soaking overnight. Nothing worked.

According to Cuisinart, stainless steel pans should not be subjected to steel wool or scraping with metal appliances. The instructions had vinegar, a mild acid, as a possible solution.

Visiting a Williams Sonoma store, I spoke with someone who suggested Barkeeper’s Friend (BKF). Luckily, I had some. I dampened the bottom of the dutch oven with water (BKF says to apply to a damp surface), added some BKF (about a teaspoon), and scrubbed with a sponge. Wow. It worked.

BKF uses oxalic acid as its main ingredient (originally derived from rhubarb leaves) whereas Ajax or Comet is a form of bleach.

Case closed.


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