mrrranda and I, inspired by chassy's home beer-brewing operation, bought a book on making wine last Monday. I was attracted to the clove wine, but mrrranda really liked the rose-hip wine. She pointed out that it took less time to make.
We knew we'd need some wine bottles, so we bought some wine and invited chassy, oktiger, and justinbailey over to help us empty them.
On Wednesday we went back to Merchant of Vino to buy the other supplies we would need. After putting lots of individual items in our cart, we opted for the slightly pricier kit that contained all items. We figured all the components in the kit should be compatible.
Then we went to the Peoples Food Co-op and bought a pound of rose hips (for the must) and some orange juice (for the yeast starter culture). As an aside, how can you have "freshly squeezed orange juice" in a bottle? I think they should drop "freshly."
We did our best to sterilize our equipment, using a white sterilizing powder mixed with water. We threw the rose hips, over 4 pounds of sugar, two gallons of water, and a campden tablet (contains sulfites!) into a big plastic bucket.
Last night we added the yeast starter culture, as prepared by mrrranda. I think she used the whole bottle of orange juice (32 oz. -- the recipe called for 24 oz.) but I doubt that will have any ill effect. We had bought two different packets of wine yeast, but we couldn't remember which was which. So much for documentation.
We mixed everything together and then realized we were supposed to take a hydrometer reading to find the specific gravity before we added the yeast. The reading was 1.140--which seemed awfully high. Too much sugar? Since there was no way to extract sugar, I added a quart of water. We stirred it around and closed it up.
This morning the air-lock was bubbling away, so something is happening in there. If it works, sometime around Thanksgiving we'll all be sipping rose-hip wine.