The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Famous Last Words


It was time to pump off the cleared wine into a clean trash can for inoculation of the MLB.  My hubby was nice enough to help me, since wrangling the wine pump could get a little hairy;  both hoses need to be held under the wine, while plugging in the pump and sucking air through it to prime it.  After plugging it in, he said, “do you want me to start it?” meaning priming it, and I said, “no, I’ve gotten good at this.”  And I think I knew at that point that I jinxed myself, but it was way too late.  I blew out all of the air in my lungs, then drew in air through the tubing – way too efficiently – it came spurting out and I got 2 lungfuls of wine, plus wine all over myself including hair and yes, WHITE t-shirt, and also into hubby’s eyes.  Lovely spatters of wine all over the floor and the cabinets.  Super.

But, the pump did a great job.  The wine was transferred in no time.  I fired up the malolactic bacteria VP41 with some acti-ML, and while waiting for that to stew I wiped down the cabinets and major puddles of primitivo on the floor.  Since I knew what the wine felt like in my lungs, I thought I should also give it a proper taste.  Really good fruit, with good acidity.  With some oak, this is going to be great!

When the bacterial soup was ready, I dumped it into the can o’ wine and stirred it in well.  Then we pumped again, and this time I let my hubby start the wine flowing.  We transferred the wine to 4 6-gallon better bottles, with some head space.  I remembered last year that the primary wasn’t quite done after pressing, and it backflowed into the airlock.  I did put a layer of CO2 over the top of each carboy, then put airlocks on them and transferred them to the shower.


Half an hour later, I had showered and hubby cleaned the kitchen floor, and it was like nothing had happened – except the persistant burning in my throat and lungs …

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