Whenever folks ask me if it’s difficult to make homemade wine I always answer that it can be as easy as sitting on a calm lake fishing for bluegills with a cane pole or as complex as wading a narrow, brush-clogged stream using artificial flies to catch wary trout.
I tell them if they want to make wine as simply as possible they’re like anglers who prefer using elementary tackle and uncomplicated procedures and they’ll be perfectly happy making wine from concentrated kits or from fresh fruits and vegetables guided by a book of basic recipes. If they like delving into the nuts and bolts of a hobby they will probably want to take their winemaking to a higher level and will adopt advanced winemaking techniques such as measuring brix, conducting titration tests and taking pH readings.
Whether the home vintner opts for the easy route or the one that is more complex, Siciliano’s stocks everything the hobbyist needs to make good and even great tasting wine. If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge into this gratifying do-it-yourself hobby, keep in mind that most equipment and supplies will be discounted first week of September during our annual beer and wine making sale. Go here for complete details.
In other winemaking news, we will again be offering the free on-site use of our fruit crushers and basket presses from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on four consecutive Saturdays in the parking lot behind the store. Dates for the free use of the equipment are as follows:
- Saturday, September 17
- Saturday, September 24
- Saturday, October 1
- Saturday, October 8
New and Returning Beer
- Genesse Oktoberfest, $0.79/12oz - "When we think of a beer brewed for celebration, we think Oktoberfest. Genesee Oktoberfest is a recipe inspired by centuries of brewing and our proud German heritage. Our Oktoberfest is a deep-golden lager, big on malt flavor and complimented by subtle herbal notes of noble hops. We hope this beer gives you good reason to raise a stein and celebrate" (source).
- Bell's Best Brown, $1.99/16oz - "A smooth, toasty brown ale, Best Brown is a mainstay in our fall lineup. With hints of caramel and cocoa, the malt body has the depth to stand up to cool weather, but does not come across as heavy. This balancing act is aided by the generous use of American hops" (source).
- Bell's Octoberfest, $1.79/12oz - "Smooth and highly drinkable, Octoberfest opens the door to the coming autumn with a light, dry toasted malt note without too much sweetness" (source).
- Roak Roaka Cadabra, $1.69/12oz - "Spiced apple Belgian style Brown Ale" (source).
- St. Peter's Dirty Tackle, $4.99/500ml - "This smooth, moreish full-bodied, malty ale is red chestnut in colour with a complex fruity and roasted aroma. Medium bitterness" (source).
- Boulevard Funkier Pumpkin, $12.99/750ml (1 per) - "Never content with brewing "to style," our brewing team's approach to Funkier Pumpkin is far from your standard take on pumpkin spice beers. Choosing to focus on the complexity that brettanomyces can bring to a beer, Funkier Pumpkin offers subtle pumpkin flavor accented by traditional spicing in a beer that showcases the hallmark earthy/forest floor notes of our house wild yeast strain" (source).
- Atwater Aphrodite, $1.79/12oz - "Spiced American Amber Ale" (source).
- Anderson Valley Holy Gose, $2.19/12oz - "Originating in the town of Goslar, Germany in the early 16th century, the Gose style (pronounced “Go-zuh”) was traditionallybrewed using salted water and 50% malted wheat and was spiced with coriander and hops. It was fermented with both traditional yeast and lactic bacteria, giving it a slight tartness, similar to that of a Berliner Weisse. The brewing of Gose eventually migrated to Leipzig, Germany by the turn of the 18th century and became the most popular style in the region by 1900, only to virtually disappear after World War II brought destruction to the breweries and hard economic times" (source).
- Crankers Ill Connect, $10.69/22oz - "Pine forest and lemon zest notes" (source).
- Jolly Pumpkin Cucurbitophobia, $15.29/750ml (1 per) - "Cucurbitophobia is a 6.1 percent ABV sour ale brewed with blood oranges and spices that was brewed at Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, Mich. on Dec. 9, 2015" (source).
- Short's Bucktricutioner, $1.99/12oz - "Bucktricutioner is a light bodied Berliner Weisse brewed with 50% malted wheat, strawberries, and limes. This beer is pink in color with notable aromas of wheat and yeast esters that combine with some subtle citrus scents, creating a pleasantly refreshing nose. Delicate grain flavors give way to bright, tart lemon – lime qualities and sweet fruit before slightly drying the palate for an over all crisp and clean finish" (source).
- Dark Horse Oktoberfest, $1.99/12oz - "Delicious, on the sweet side, spicy, malty" (source).
- Arcadia Jaw Jacker, $1.79/12oz - "This spiced amber-wheat ale is our celebration of the arrival of Autumn. Using the finest malted barley and a small amount of wheat for mouthfeel, Jaw-Jacker displays a brilliant orange-amber color, despite the absence of pumpkin in the recipe. The addition of cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg (in the exact proportions of a family pumpkin pie recipe) creates a refreshingly spicy, season brew" (source).
Michigan Hops Make National News
Brian Tennis of Michigan Hop Alliance is ready for his close-up.