Wine Watch 2014 – Day 5 – Lightening

Hey, how is everyone doing today? You drinking your milk and eating your vitamins?

Whatever. I don’t really care about your lives. Let’s look at how the Mini Wine Paks are doing. I’m much more interested in them.

a photo of some merlot and chardonnay fermenting in transparent bags
This is getting boring…

Nothing much new has happened with the wine, except that it’s definitely gotten lighter in colour.

Wine Watch 2014 – Day 3 – Leak

It’s the third day of my Mini Wine Paks fermenting. Let’s have ourselves a little look-see, shall we? SHALL WE?

a photo of a bag of merlot and a bag of chardonnay fermenting
They’re still doing their thing.

The bags seem to be bubbling just as much as yesterday. Everything seems to be progressing splendidly. Well, except for one problem…

 a closeup photo of a duct tape patch on a hole in a fermenting bag

The merlot bag sprung a small hole where the pouch attaches to the cap, even though the cap was loosened to allow gas to escape. I used a bit of duct tape to cover the hole. Everything should be fine as long as it’s only gas escaping and no air getting in… I think.

I’m going to end up with a metric crap-tonne of red wine vinegar, aren’t I? Bleh.

Wine Watch 2014 – Day 2 – Foam

It’s day two of the magical Mini Wine Pak experiment! Let’s see what going on with the fermentation pouches.

a photo of merlot and chardonnay fermenting in clear pouches with foam forming on their tops

Well, this looks pretty much the same as yesterday. The chardonnay might be slightly lighter in colour, but I’m not sure. The pouches are bubbling quite a bit and there is a fair amount of foam forming on top of the liquid.

a closeup photo of some yeast foam on fermenting merlot

Is it supposed to be this foamy? Is that yeast floating on top of the foam? Is this turning into poison? I DON’T KNOW!

Wine Watch 2014 – Day 1 – Preparation

So I was wasting some time on Amazon, when I came upon these Mini Wine Pak dealies that promise to make you some delicious wine, at home, in just 10 days and for less money than you’d pay for wine instore (in Canada at least. Bleh Sin taxes can eat a butt.). And I was like, “Hey! I’m a stingy alcoholic. This is perfect for me!”, so I bought the merlot and chardonnay winemaking kits.

Fun Fact: since grape juice and yeast are technically grocery items, I wasn’t charged any tax for this stuff and they didn’t verify my age either!

a photo of merlot and chardonnay mini wine pak boxes
Look at the graphics on these boxes!

The boxes arrived in a couple of days. They weren’t refrigerated or anything, because the contents are pasteurized and shelf-stable, I suppose.

a photo of the items that come inside a mini wine pak kit
What’s in the box?

Everything in the boxed seemed a bit jumbled-up. I think that mailman that hates me has been throwing my boxes around again. Everything was still intact, though, so whatever.

a photo of the mini wine pak items laid out on a table
Alphabetically Ordered

The things inside the box were: a dispensing pouch, a fermenting pouch, grape juice concentrate, yeast wine starter, sulphite sorbate wine stopper, keiselsol clearing wine and chitosan clearing wine. Everything has a big letter that corresponds to the step-by-step instructions.

a photo of pouches of yeast, wine stopper, kieselsol and chitosan

It’s amazing that you need such small amounts of yeast and chemicals are required in the winemaking process. Each of these pouches is only about 4 centimetres wide and almost flat.

a photo of the mini wine pak instructions
This looks complicated.

The instructions are easy to follow, but the guy on them is making Dreamworks Face, so I dislike them.

a photo of a fermenting pouch half-full of water
Is this half-full? I don’t know!

The first step call for filling up the fermenting pouch halfway with water, but there is no halfway line on the bag, so you have to eyeball it. I’m bad at guesstimating and having to do so causes me anxiety.

a photo of red grape concentrate added to a fermenting pouch

Then you have to add the grape juice concentrate to the water. I couldn’t for the life of me get the stupid stopper on the grape juice pouch out, so I had to cut a hole in the corner in order to pour it out.

a photo of a fermenting bag full of grape juice with yeast added
Almost done!

Once you have your grape juice added, you fill the pouch to the line with more water, then add the yeast wine starter, close the pouch’s cap tightly and shake the pouch vigorously. After that, you open the cap a bit, so that gas can escape during the fermentation process.

a photo closeup of yeast foam

The yeast activates immediately and starts to foam-up.

a photo of merlot and chardonnay wine fermenting in pouches
Soon, my pretties, SOON!

Here are my pouches of merlot and chardonnay fermenting side-by-side. They don’t look very appetizing at the moment.