Fall Harvest Notes – 2019

Fall Harvest – 2019

Summer is winding down, but our Fall Harvest season is just starting to kick into gear! Our growers in the Central Valley of California are seeing veraison (part of the ripening process where the ‘green’ grapes become red or white) and expect picking to begin around Labor Day. This means that the first shipment of grapes, usually whites, are expected by the second week of September. Red grapes and the first shipment of ‘Juice Only’ varieties are expected by the third week of September. Northern and Specialty Regions will prepare their shipments around the beginning of October. Our premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ Juices are expected around Columbus Day. Keep in mind that we are dealing with fresh fruit, so these timeframes are subject to change.

MORE INFORMATION TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR SELECTIONS

We are winemakers and take great pride in providing you with the best grapes and fresh juice available. Spoilage is easy with fresh fruit especially when it is not handled properly. You can be assured that all of our offerings have been kept refrigerated from packaging to when you receive it. We never ‘repack’ any of our fresh fruit, as this invites contamination.
Fall Grapes come in 36 lb containers called ‘Lugs’. As a rule of thumb, it takes around 75 lbs, or two lugs to make 5-6 gallons of finished wine. It is important to keep in mind that this is a guideline, the amount of juice produced is not only the result of the grapes – but the size of the ‘batch’ and your fermentation procedure. For this reason, we recommend five lugs when making double batches. The grapes are carefully packed, sprayed with a light solution of Metabisulfite and kept refrigerated to ensure freshness.

Fall Juices come in six gallon pails and are available in two packing styles. The ‘Juice Only’ style comes from grapes that are simply crushed, destemmed and pressed. Metabisulfites are added to prevent spoilage. The premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is initially processed like the ‘Juice Only’ style. The juice is then tested and ‘balanced’, ensuring that the sugar, acid and pH levels are correct – then it is inoculated (pitched) with the proper yeast.

The ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is the most popular as it produces exceptional wines with minimal effort – we definitely recommend this style for new winemakers. The ‘Juice Only’ style also produces exceptional wines, but additional testing and balancing is required. Our seasoned winemakers who make larger batches like this style, especially when they are blending grape varieties and want to pitch a specific yeast strain. It is important to note that even though the juice has been refrigerated, some fermentation during the shipping is likely to occur.

REGION BY REGION

LODI All of our growers are governed by the new ‘Lodi Rules Sustainability’ program. Exceptional varieties this harvest are the Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinotage and Viognier.

CENTRAL VALLEY The King’s River region offerings are expected to be as great as they were last year, with the Tempranillo being the standout. We are pleased to offer the Black Muscat variety this year for the first time in over 25 years!

LANZA/SUISUN Certified once again by ‘California Sustainability’ program, this region will produce the finest offerings. This year’s standout is the Petite Syrah.

WASHINGTON STATE This year’s standouts are the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

PASO ROBLES / CONTRA COSTA All of these specialty varieties look fantastic this harvest season!
SPECIAL OFFERINGS The Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley is a one-time offering and not to be missed. The Sonoma Attwood Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and Chaulk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon will make the finest of all wines.

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OH, COME ON! I WANNA GO TO A BREWFEST!

Brew Fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HERE AT THE HOMEBREW BARN, WE RECENTLY KICKED OFF OUR 2013 BREW FEST TOUR! WE TYPICALLY ATTEND ABOUT A HALF-DOZEN, AND ALWAYS HAVE AN INCREDIBLE TIME. NOT ONLY DO WE GET TO SAMPLE SOME DELICIOUS STYLES, BUT GET TO MEET FANTASTIC FELLOW BREWERS AND DISCUSS WHAT WE WILL BE CLONING NEXT!

SOME OF THE EVENTS WE USUALLY FOCUS ON ARE THE AMESBURY BREW FESTTHE NEW ENGLAND BREW FEST, YANKEE HOMECOMING, CRUISIN THE 50’S, WICKED AWESOME BEER & WINE FESTIVAL, THE EXETER POWDERKEG BEER & CHILI FEST AND THE DOVER APPLE HARVEST DAY. BUT AS MUCH AS WE LIKE THE LOCAL SCENE, WE THOUGHT YOU MIGHT ENJOY SOME INFO ABOUT THE BEST OF THE BEST, THE FEISTIEST OF THE FESTS:

HANDS DOWN THE MOTHER OF ALL BEER FESTIVALS IS THE 16-DAY OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH GERMANY. IT IS KNOWN AS DIE WIESEN TO THE LOCALS. THIS HAS BEEN 

GOING ON SINCE 1810 AND ATTRACTS OVER 6 MILLION PEOPLE! IT PROBABLY SHOULD BE KNOWN AS DIE DRINKIN, AS NEARLY 2 MILLION GALLONS OF BEER ARE CONSUMED.

SO, AS FAR AS THE USA GOES, THE TOP TEN:

10.) AMERICAN CRAFT BREW FEST
HELD AT BOSTON’S SEAPORT WORLD TRADE CENTER IN JUNE, THIS 3 SESSION EVENT ATTRACTS 15,000+, WHO GET TO SAMPLE 300+ STYLES FROM 75+ BREWERIES!

9.) CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST
A SPRING EVENT HELD IN ATHENS, GA, FEATURING INFO SEMINARS ON HOW THE BEERS ARE MADE AND EMPHASIZES RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION.

8.) FRESH HOP ALE FESTIVAL
THE BEER SUBMITTED TO BE JUDGED AT THIS YAKIMA WASHINGTON EVENT HAS TO CONTAIN HOPS THAT WERE PICKED NO MORE THAN 24 HOURS PRIOR TO SUBMISSION! UNIQUE!

7.) GREAT ALASKA BEER & BARLEY WINE FESTIVAL
WHERE BETTER TO SAMPLE WINTER-STYLES THAN IN THE MIDDLE OF ALASKA IN THE DEAD OF WINTER! BRRR!

6.) WORLD BEER FESTIVAL
150 NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PRESENT 300+ SPECIALTY BEERS AT THIS CHARITY FESTIVAL WHERE THE PROCEEDS ARE USED TO REHAB DIFFERENT PARTS OF RALEIGH, NC EACH YEAR!

5.)BELGIUM COMES TO COOPERS TOWN
THIS LATE JULY BONFIRE BEER PARTY FEATURES 200+ BELGIAN-STYLE & TRUE BELGIAN BEERS! OH, BROTHER!

4.) GREAT TASTE OF THE MIDWEST
MADISON WISCONSIN’S LAKE MONOMAN HOSTS THIS EVENT WHERE 100+ MICROBREWERIES & BREWPUBS FROM THE MIDWEST GET TOGETHER

3.) VERMONT BREWERS FESTIVAL
THIS LATE JULY FESTIVAL IN BURLINGTON VT IS HELD OVERLOOKING SPECTACULAR LAKE CHAMPLAIN. PATRONS GET TO SAMPLE BEERS FROM 36+ NEW ENGLAND BREWERIES! 

2.) OREGON BREWERS FESTIVAL
(ALSO RANKED #14 WORLDWIDE) THIS 4 DAY PORTLAND EVENT IS ONE OF THE LONGEST-RUNNING IN THE USA, AND SERVES OVER 80,000 PEOPLE!

AND NOW FOR THE #1…

1.) THE GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL
(ALSO RANKED #3 IN THE WORLD) COME TO DENVER IN LATE SEPTEMBER/EARLY OCTOBER AND SAMPLE 1600+ BEERS FROM 450+ BREWERIES! SEE WHAT 100+ WORLD-RENOWNED JUDGES FAVOR AS THEY EVALUATE 2300+ BEERS! AMAZING, MAYBE ONE WILL BE YOURS!

WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! LET US KNOW WHICH ONES YOU HAVE BEEN TO!

Kirby
The Home Brew Barn

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SUMMER STYLE BEER – ARE YOU READY?

ImageYou know there is just something special about having an ice cold bottle of beer on a hot summer day – it’s a Tradition…. The ‘up’ of our ‘down time’. We work hard. Disorder has tried to screw with us all week and we stood tall. Ahhh, the first sip of that crisp Lager, Hef or Pale Ale.

…Ready to break Tradition? What about those ‘other’ summer beer styles? One of our Facebook friends brought our focus to Porch Rocker, a fantastic summer beer with a name that helps put you there. S A has presented us with this seasonal ‘Radler’, but what is it? Well, a Radler is typically a German-style beer blended with lemon soda. In this case, it’s a Helles made with lemon.

We wanted to turn you on to some alternative summer drinks that you can make up – just take your favorite beer, preferably your homebrew, and mix it 50-50 with something, basically anything. Turns out there are a number of these traditional summer beer drinks:

  •        Alster                     Pilsner/Lemon Soda
  •        Bismark                 Scwartzbier/Champagne
  •        Black Shandy        Stout/Lemonade
  •        Brass Monkey       Beer/Orange Juice
  •        Cincinnati              Beer/Lemon-Lime Soda
  •        Diabolo                  Lager/mint or grenadine
  •        Flieger                   Weizen/Cola
  •        Kivela                    Lager/lemonade
  •        Mazouts                Lager/cola
  •        Quianti                  Beer/Orange Soda
  •        Radler                   Beer/Lemon Soda
  •        Russ                     Weizen/Lemon Soda
  •        Shandy                 Beer/any Soft Drink
  •        Snakebite             Beer/Cider

And then when the ‘soft’ drink added to the beer becomes ‘hard’ we have:

  •        Diesel                    Lager/Cider/Black Currant liquor
  •        Dragon Bite          Diesel/Vodka
  •        Red Witch            Diesel/Pernod Liquor

Be creative and give it a go!

Let us know if you have one you really enjoy that you have created! Maybe we can design a new beer style!

Kirby

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There may be things that even a good beer can’t save…

Interesting read this week from azcentral.com written by the brewmaster of Tempe’s Four Peaks Brewery on trying new brews to pair with food… if you haven’t yet read it I’d recommend reading but Wow…Andy – I can’t tell if you need a beer or you had too many when you wrote this article. Wading through the content of the article basically left me with one thought: there may be things that even a good beer can’t save.

First off, beer is an icebreaker, a social conduit. If you’re going to saddle it with a task like pairing it with food, start with appetizers. “Befores” typically should be light alcohol content. They’ll go with anything from the spicy to the bland. But beware: the spicy will need to be watered down with more of the same beer, and the bland will cry out for the next style.

Which brings me to the next point: I liked the suggestion for each of the guests to bring some beer. I always like this suggestion. As a matter of fact, at our dinner parties, if you don’t bring some beer you wash the dishes. This rule has resulted in a concerted effort by the guests to not only bring beer, but to garner some sense of what the hell it is they have brought so that everyone in attendance knows it’s their beer.

Kirby

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