This month we have an article written by a SWIG member, Janet Griscavage! She shares her experiences she had at the Wine Tech Day in May and what she learned from this event. also we have pictures as well. So without further delay. I want to thank Janet for her contribution to the Blog! If you would like to have an article about your experience in Winemaking and would like to share it, please send information to: Communication Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it on the blog. Pictures are welcomed too.
My Experience with the Susquehanna Winemakers Guild
Wine Kit Class and Technical Class
By Janet Griscavage
I have been the Sous Chef for my husband Ed Griscavage for the eleven years that he has been making wine. In the last two years, Ed has encouraged me to learn more. My input has been basically what wines I would like him to make. The next two parts are my education into making wine.
On Sunday, March 10th, Rick Mauro, a member of our wine guild facilitated a class on making wine from kits. Ed started making wine from kits in the beginning. The attendees were Liz and Chris Dettrey, Louisa (Weazy) Dunlap, Nick Pallente, Victor Foose, and Ed and Janet Griscavage.
The class objective was twofold, 1) entailed all the necessary steps to being successful in using wine kits and 2) the effect different types of water has on the outcomes of the kit wine. Ed started his wine making adventure with kit wines, so as Rick went through all the steps it was familiar to me, but I appreciated the detail he added to each of the steps. Rick went through all the necessary preparation. Beginning with specific gravity.
The class was not only instructional, but practical because the participants are making the same kit wine, Wine Expert Raspberry Dragonfruit, to see if water makes a difference in the preparation of a kit wine. We are all using a different type of water. One will be using well water, one will be using spring water, one will be using city water with reverse osmosis, one just city water no filtration, and lastly one will be city water with a water softener. When all of us are finished and the wine is bottled we will get together again to compare what difference, if any the type of water you use makes.
Rick and Lenora Mauro were gracious to open their beautiful home to us for the class with light refreshments provided. Thank you.
Doing a Specific Gravity Check
Mixing Wine and Ingredients together
On Saturday, May 18th, Totem Pole Ranch donated the space for the class to be held on the Technical Measurements of Wine Making. There were 15 wine guild members present for this class. Pat Moyer provided a delicious array of pastries and goodies and the Hopler’s provided the coffee and water.
The presenters were members Mel Heffley, Joan Hopler, Tim Murphy, and Jim Compton. Each presenter had multiple handouts that will help with referencing how to use the equipment. We learned how to use the different types of equipment and the importance of calibrating it or correct measurement. We learned how to read a hydrometer, use the testing equipment to measure PH, Total Acid, Sulfur Dioxide, and Titratable Acidity of Wines. We learned the formulas to correct these measurements to get to where we are aiming our wines to be.
We (Yes, I am the mouse in Ed’s pocket) have done a handful of pails from in the past. We look forward to applying what we learned to wine must pails in the future. I found this class to be very insightful. There were tips on replacing chemicals often to make sure of their effectiveness. Also discussed was where to purchase those chemicals and equipment that was used for testing.
Thanks again to the presenters, Pat Moyer for her goodies, and the Hopler’s for donating the classroom space. I hope to see more of the technical aspects of making wine presented by the Education committee in the future.
Setting up classroom
Instruments used for Testing Wine
Class instructions by SWIG Members
These classes were published on our website https://swguildpa.com/ and were opened up to the public.