Scottish amateur winmakers

This was certainly an interesting weekend! I was ill last week so it was also quite an old weekend, I did not go to work on Thursday and Friday. So lazy days. I felt sick though so it was not only pleasant. But sleeping late is good from time to time. The bad thing is that the last week I did not really go by bike, ill on two days and went by bus on two others. This week did not start very well because I still did not feel like biking.
I went yesterday and it was greate to be able to bike and not wait for this silly bus, always late and taking a long time to get to your place. Biking makes you fitter too, 400 kilocalories one way (about as much) so about 800 both ways. Seems decent and makes you feel muuuuch better. Today though... it is the bus again, my throat felt a bit rough and I felt too tired to go by bike, lazy lazy Panda, loosing money on tickets instead of loosing fat / blubber / speck / lard on biking. Bad bad.

Actually, I made my way to the blog today with the intention of writing a bit about the homebrew competition.
S. and I were stewards again so we were actually helping the judges with the testing and grading of wines. We enjoyed this very much although this time I was not too happy with my judge who was a lady I believed to be a very dry person. She was not too bad but the last time I had a nice guy who did not spit the wine out and was rather pleasant. Well I had great fun anyway. The wines were varied and although my judge thought the overall quality was poor, we enjoyed giving them bad marks. One wine was really nice but it oxidized and was really like sherry (actually quite good). There were a few wines that had a taste of strong medicine that as I learned later might be the result of not adding enough acidity. In the meantime S was a steward for a different judge. They had 17 or 16 bottles of wine (do not know which one ) to test so it took them a lot of time. She was one of the two stewards this judge had, the second one was the French husband of S's scottish colleague. Unfortunately she was ill and could not be a steward since she had no sense of smell and taste. As you know she makes her own wine in hectolitres so I believe she was secretly amuzed by the whole competition :D

We had 3 wines:

White grapefruit table wine, Red dry wine and Rose. Unfortunately we did not win anything. The problem is that we put the wines into wrong categories... The White should go to medium sweet white wines. The Red should go to rose and the so called rose should go to red. We might have a chance of winning something then since they were not bad at all. The white grapefruit was very pleasant indeed  although a bit harsh in the aftertaste, grapefruit after all . The Red (which was actually definitelly Rose) was normal decent Rose, rather dry and pleasant. We might have some today maybe. It was easy to make actually, although I was fermenting it for a sparkling - was a good sparkling wine too, bit more sugar could have helped though becuase it would neutralize the acid and dryness. The one that was meant to be in the Red category is really nice, made from red grape juice and black currants from a can - they give it superb colour but the taste can be easiliy too acidy. This one was not the best but even so rather nice. I have one more going now.

Uff, still a bit more to write, I am enjoying myself too much today with the writing (hope you are going to read this S-chan)

The five beers fared much better. There was nothing or not much wrong with them.

The categories were Lager, Export, Light Gravity, Stout and one Belgian type. All were made from kits with various additions - such as sugar, malt, flavoring hops. I was very glad about the beers, all were very nice. We have one or two bottles left. We even won 3 prizes. Second prize for the lager and two third prizes for the stout and export beers/ales. Actually I though the lager was not too good and the stout and export are my favorites.

I like it so much that I am going to make some more beer this Saturday and it is going to be something dark, maybe Stout? With some nice yeast and hops. I am also going to make some more wine from a kit so that we have some decent stuff to drink.

In two weeks there is a small party at my place so I have enough time to make a 7-day kit :D he he he. They are supposed to be quite good.
By the way, some financial calculation.

A small kit makes 7 bottles for about 11 pounds and the average price for this wine is 1.5 per bottle. In the shops you can buy comparable stuff for 3-4 pounds per bottle.
If you buy a big kit you get 30-35 bottles. The price is about 23 Pounds so you have good quality wine for less than a pound per bottle.
There are very high quality kits for 60 Pounds a kit. It also makes about 32 bottles so the price would be about or less than 2 pounds per bottle for really good quality wine. Lesson is that it pays to make your own stuff.

Nevertheless, the wine we got from S-chan's friend, the one who makes her own wine, was really nice and not really likely you could make such wine at home. It would be educating to drink something commercial.

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kojiczuk (kojisato & Pa-panda)