Author Topic: Natural wines and other ferments  (Read 22361 times)

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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #20 on: Friday July 11, 2008, 10:12:46 AM »
How do you assure that you will get vinegar instead of wine?
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Offline M@t

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #21 on: Sunday July 13, 2008, 08:27:27 AM »
I'm not entirely sure that it is 100% vinegar, although I think vinegar is further in the fermentation process, so it's "past" alcohol. Could be wrong though.

If I remember correctly, the recipe is a pound(weight) of fruit, a pound of sugar and a pint of vinegar.

The fruit is soaked in the vinegar for 3-4 days, and then mashed and strained to remove all the solids.

The remaining liquid is put into a large pan, and the sugar is added. All boiled up for about 20 minutes, cooled and bottled.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #22 on: Monday July 14, 2008, 05:37:14 AM »
Well that makes sense after soaking the fruit and the sugar with vinegar, no interloping alcohol producing yeast is likely to be able to stand up against these sober sourpusses.  (At least I presume there are glacial acetic acid producing yeasts).  It sort of needs to be that way.  Certainly the first person ever to make vinegar didn't do it by adding a pint of vinegar.

Seems like wine can turn to vinegar because the alcohol producing yeasts are all fairly stupified and the sober vinegar organisms just invade and energetically take over.  That must be it.  Maybe the vinegar yeasts even get the drunk yeasts to turn over a new leaf.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #23 on: Saturday July 26, 2008, 03:52:52 AM »
I had an old bottle of pomegranate/tea which I started fermenting Kambucha style a few months ago in a glass POM bottle.  I wasn't worried about excess pressure buildup because tea, with little sugar, will be slow to ferment.  I had not previously been successful in producing the characteristic kambucha growth at the top.

Time went by.  The bottle got shifted to the back of the array of wines of diverse juices.  I got involved in designing a new product and let everything take care of itself, since everything else was in plastic, which is fairly forgiving, pressurewise, once the bulk of the fermentation has already occurred and the high pressure of the CO2 in the most active and rapid part of the fermentation is over.

My wife decided to be helpful, applying her own independent criteria, judging by appearance alone, that all this wine had all spoiled.  Gone; almost two quarts of plum wine, and maybe six quarts grape, pomegranate/blueberry, grape/apple.  Reasoning?  There was stuff on the top surface.  It couldn't have been any good.

Uh, folks, I believe in a real commercial winery, a great many procedures are employed which result in a lovely clarification of the wine.  They remove the yeast in one fashion or another, and then add sulfite's and engage in other procedures to assure that no further fermentation is possible once the wine is in the bottle, ready to go to market.

When I ferment my own hooch in the kitchen, I do not filter the wild yeasts.  I let them settle to the bottom.  But it doesn't all settle.  Some of it floats.  Quite a bit of it remains in solution.  From my perspective, this is a very important and healthy part of the wine.  I trust my nose and tongue to inform me if anything is wrong.  (And in the case of that fermented tea, a solid growth can form on the top, often referred to imprecisely as a "mushroom."  And my wife's reasoning was, with regard to the tea, was that it actually had a layer Of "dough on top.)

Want to live a long time?  At times like these, do your best not to react.  Of course, you may not be completely successful.  It;s like agitating one of the actively fermenting wines.  Pressure builds up almost instantaneously.  You don't want it to get pent up either.  No, what you need to is wrench your focus away and find some blessings.  Hard to be ****** ( :o Ed Bot! :-X) when counting your blessings.  That doesn't mean go back through your life and try to dredge up some of the high points.  It is better for the blessings to be directly related to the -- improvident incident. 

You really want to play the "It could have been a lot worse!" game.  I had certainly been neglecting the wine.  Even Plastic bottles can get overpressured and burst.  One of them could have made the whole kitchen sticky.   And that would have been MY fault.  Or, an even remoter possibility, the glass tea bottle could have exploded and my honey could have been struck by a shard of glass.  But I still need to find some more happy things, more concrete, not the absence of some low-probability accidents.

She didn't throw away the glass quart POM bottle!  Not only that, she didn't wash it!  And down at the bottom was about a tablespoon of the fermented tea.  She left me something to play with.

All right.  Now I'm starting to sort out what to do with that tea, but still I sense a certain insistant pressure.... Ah, and then I saw it,  The Crown Royal bottle, two/thirds full of absinthe which I made before my stroke, with the assistance of a brilliant friend, now dead.  That is irreplaceable. 

I am so glad my honey only smelled it.  Had she actually taken a sip, the bitterness would have floored her, and she could very well have dumped that too.  So I complemented her on salvaging the absinthe and then went about inoculating a bottle of pomegranate juice with the tablespoon of fermented tea.  Theory:  the organisms came from fermented tea and are probably not the same set of organisms that normally set up in a wine.  Question to be resolved: Will some of the variety of tea fermenting yeasts make the transition to fermenting a fruit juice?  My guess is yes.

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Offline Bamawing

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #24 on: Saturday July 26, 2008, 11:06:53 AM »
Best of luck with your wine, Anthro, and thanks for not being mad at your wife. That sounds like exactly the sort of thing I would do... :blush:
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #25 on: Friday August 08, 2008, 06:02:37 PM »
The pomegranate juice is a little slower to ferment, either because I used organisms that had been doing the backstroke in a puddle of tea, or because this juice has less sugar than grapes.  But I just had a glass to celebrate making the cataract monocle for my left eye. The wine is exceedingly tasty.

I doubt I will make it too often though.  Not at over ten bucks for one and a half quarts of juice.  Concord grape is 1/4 that, and has substantial resveratrol content.
« Last Edit: Tuesday September 02, 2008, 06:53:41 PM by anthropositor »
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #26 on: Friday August 29, 2008, 05:17:35 AM »
I have a slowly diminishing quart of pomegranate wine.  Just had a glass.  It has gone from sweet to quite tart.  Carbonation is high but not foaming over.  I started this with the wild yeasts from Kambucha style fermented tea.  I wouldn't be too surprised to see this bottle turn to vinegar in a month or two.  If it does, I'll be anxious to see how it is on a Shmooo salad.  I might inoculate some blueberry juice with this tea culture.  That would be an interesting vinegar.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #27 on: Wednesday September 03, 2008, 02:18:54 AM »
I just had another glass of the Pomegranate wine.  It wold be a crime to let this wine turn to vinegar.

It is exactly dry enough.  I'm going to drink all but a glurg, which I am going to put into some juice with blueberry, blackberry, apple, and some banana puree.  I don't recall ever drinking any banana hootch before. 

All by itself, banana seems like it would make a really sweet drink which would probably be as disgustingly sweet as mead (made from honey).  But these other juices ought to cut into that some.  And if I have to, I can always throw a wedge of lime in the glass.  My guess is it will ferment fast, but may still take quite a while to become dry.  I'll only make a liter.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #28 on: Saturday September 13, 2008, 06:33:50 PM »
It is eleven days since I began the banana-berry-apple hootch fermenting.  When I cracked the cap, it foamed with some vigor.  Had to tighten it down four times before the foaming was over.  From a taste perspective, I can't say it is my favorite.  Still too sweet.  I like my wines on the dry side. 

But in a couple more weeks, I expect it will strengthen and improve a lot.  The carbonation is already just fine.  As wines go, it is pretty thick, which of course, gives rise to a new idea; actually adding some thinly sliced bananas, some raisins and a cup of rice, making a fermented pudding instead of a wine.  Chilled well before serving, the carbonation should make it light and airy.  Even freezing it is not out of the question.
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Offline itchychick

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #29 on: Saturday September 13, 2008, 09:01:50 PM »
I can't say that that sounds like it would be to my liking, anthro, (I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and I'm not a big fan of bananas...), but I'm curious to find out how it turns out!

Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #30 on: Sunday September 14, 2008, 01:51:04 AM »
I would really like to increase my banana consumption because of the potassium.  It is difficult to eat over one a day.  That is why I consume potassium chloride and gluconate to a certain extent to balance out the sodium load.  This is very helpful keeping the blood pressure numbers in line. 

Even though I am not overly enthusiastic about this beverage yet, it would already make a fine dessert wine for many who like their wines -- excessively sweet.

At the moment I am debating with myself on if I should just go ahead and dump in some raisins and rice.  And if I do that, how about some cinnamon?  O don't really have much trouble thinking the wild yeasts are going to like the rice and raisins just fine, but I don't think they will like the cinnamon at all, which means that it should probably go in after all the fermentation I wish to occur has already happened.

Some barley might be nice too.  I wish I had some hops.  I'd throw them in in a heartbeat.  If anyone grows any hops, I'll trade for some dried Shmooo.  But for now, I guess it will just be rice, barley and raisins...
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #31 on: Tuesday September 16, 2008, 11:53:31 PM »
Well, it slipped my mind to add the rice, barley and raisins, but I just drank another glass of this banana puree and berry juice concoction.  It seems to be thickening without the additives.  It was less sweet, but the extra thickness was not appealing to me.  Now I have to turn it into a pudding or something.  At the moment it is about as thick as gravy, but I like my gravy to taste like meat.

Hey, I wonder if anyone has ever fermented a steak?

(Just kidding!  It would be truly dangerous to make Hootch out of meat.)  While there is a certain aging that goes into some sides of beef before they are trimmed into steaks, carefully regulated temperatures in the food locker are essential, and the exterior portions are carefully trimmed away.  Not only that, the chef doing the meat cutting uses a specialized instrument to monitor the exact condition of the meat as he works.  The instrument, of course, is his nose.  And when meat has been aged in this way, maybe Steak Tartar is not the best way to serve it.
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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #32 on: Monday September 22, 2008, 07:48:25 PM »
I have just made a jug of tea which I thought of over on the Kombucha & Kefir thread.  It combines half a dozen tea bags, a generous tablespoon of dried Bittermelon leaf and a generous half cup of dried Shmooo leaves.  I added maybe 3/4 cup of brown sugar.  I tasted it hot, expecting it to be too strong.  I drank about four ounces.  It was just fine. 

I wanted to drink some more, but this being the first time I have combined these particular ingredients in this way, I should be sort of cautious.  It already appears that the Shmooo generates quite a bit of energy, and I don't yet know why.  The Bitter Melon leaf was to counter the slight elevation of blood pressure which may be from eating such large amounts of the Shmooo.  Combined with the caffeine in the black tea, I could get more stimulated than I would like.  Frankly, it feels like I have had about five cups of coffee, when I only had two for breakfast.  It will be interesting to check my blood pressure after the chess class tonight. 

I could even make the tea stronger as far as taste goes, but as stimulating as it seems to be, I don't think I will do that.  I don't think there is a problem with any of the three kinds of leaves or with later adding more sugar to increase the alcohol content a bit.  But I wanted to take it easy with the sugar because in the early fermentation I want to reduce the chance that it will overpressure the glass jug.  I am a lot more cautious with glass than with plastic.

I can always add more sugar after the tea has been partly fermented.  That will keep the bottle pressure a lot lower.  And I will leave about a cup worth of volume of space in the bottle.  I suppose I could screw the cap on slightly loose, but if I did that, I wouldn't get the little hiss of pressure when I loosen the tight cap, which is the best early indicator that fermentation is taking place.

« Last Edit: Wednesday September 24, 2008, 04:58:46 PM by anthropositor »
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #33 on: Wednesday September 24, 2008, 03:54:54 PM »
If memory serves, the last time I made Kombucha style fermented tea, I used mostly black tea, sugar and a little wine with the wild yeasts to initiate the action.  It seemed to take quite a long time to get started, and the fermentation continued to go slowly.  It was made in a plastic bottle rather than glass, but I doubt that is of much importance at all.  I don't remember how much sugar was used, but it was probably roughly the same amount.  It seems to me it took several weeks to build up any pressure that I could detect.

I made this jug two days ago and already, when I loosen the cap, I hear a hiss of pressure release, and I can taste the mild carbonation.  I speculate that the addition of the big pile of Shmooo leaves, or the smaller amount of Bitter Melon leaves, or the combination of both, may have had an impact on the fermentation rate, speeding it up to the rate expected for wine. I agitated it a little and poured another little dollop.  I could no longer taste the carbonation.  The flavor is mellow and refreshing, even though I was drinking it at room temperature instead of over ice.

If it turns out to be correct that the reason I have lost ten or fifteen pounds since beginning to eat (and now drink) the Shmooo in substantial, even excessive quantities, both as a vegetable, and as a spice, and now as a drink, every day, with the obesity epidemic that is happening, this could be quite a useful food in the diet.

My own personal interest is improving my nutrition, increasing the consumption of highly nutritious raw greens, compensating for my dislike of cooked vegetables in general.  But if it turns out that it efficiently helps people lose weight without the strains of dieting, it might be a boon to those who have considerable weight to take off.

I doubt that using Shmooo as a spice, blended with your other favorite spices is going to have much impact on weight, but eating it as a main vegetable component of the diet and deliberately loading up on it, eating unusually large amounts as I have, has to be the main contributor to my weight loss in the past few months.  I have not dieted.  If anything, I have increased my food consumption over all.  I have continued to eat at buffets once or twice a week, sometimes eating for as long as two hours. 

I can think of no other reason for the weight loss that I have experienced without dieting.  I guess I'll need to find obese people who are motivated to participate in a study in which the central change is eating a couple cups of dried Shmooo leaves mixed in their other foods every day as I have.  Of course, most of my Shmooo, probably 3/4 has been eaten raw and fresh.  That won't be possible for study participants though.  They will have to consume the dried leaves added to their other recipes.  Since I add it now, in dry form, to just about everything I cook, I don't think this will pose much of a problem at all for anyone who is motivated to lose weight.  Interested people who need to lose, oh say, fifty pounds or more, might want to get in touch. 



 
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #34 on: Friday November 21, 2008, 05:06:15 PM »
I try to learn what I can about a subject by some sort of experimentation before I start delving into the details known to others.  There is good reason for an inventor or innovator to do this, but it probably is not the best idea in the world for most folks.  One must be particularly careful about how this is done.  Fermentation is a good example.

The process of wine making differs from that of making vinegar in ways I wasn't paying much attention to, because my central interest is in homemade wine.  It has no sulfite's and has not been pasteurized to kill the organisms that did the work.  Also, commercial wines have been filtered to produce crystal clarity.  All of this may be more visually pleasing to the consumer, and probably extends the shelf life of the product.  But nutritive value is certainly changed as well.

If wine is made in an artisan fashion, you may findthat the top surface looks like it has a layer of some whitish powdery material on the top surface.  I have never found that this posed a problem to drink, using the assortment of wild yeasts from the air.  On rare occasions, I have seen a few organism colonies form of other colors, like green, gray, blue or black.  I discard such a batch rather than drinking it, just in an abundance of caution.  But I have never been concerned about the whitish or pinkish residues which almost always develop.  I just pour and drink.

The alcohol producing yeasts are very active early on.  Vinegar seems to take a lot longer.  That is why, under natural conditions, wine forms, and perhaps months later, it turns to vinegar.  When they make commercial vinegar, they skip the wine step by adding a culture of acetobacter which sets about making glacial acetic acid instead of alcohol.

It is probably possible to purchase acetobacter cultures to skip the wine portion and just make vinegar alone.  It doesn't hold much interest for me.  I produce my wine to get a much more nutritious product at a much lower price.  But I can already get plain white vinegar at three dollars a gallon.  That is why I think there are a great many more artisanal wine makers that vinegar makers.

I also note that some processes go only one way.  Often a bottle of wine will eventually turn to vinegar.  But never will a bottle of vinegar turn into wine.



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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #35 on: Monday April 13, 2009, 02:47:48 AM »
Due to my previous blindness and a fried modem, I haven't been around for a while.  Now, with eyes, and a borrowed laptop with WI-Fi, I am occasionally back.

The new thing here is, I have begun to accumulate the yeast froth from the various wines and drying it out.  I ought to have enough to do some baking with it pretty soon.  I hope it will do something worthwhile to the bread.
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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #36 on: Thursday May 21, 2009, 05:20:43 PM »
I doubt I will be doing much baking this season.  Our central air conditioning is out and what with the uncertainties of our fight to keep our home, it doesn't seem prudent to expend our limited resources which may be required for more essential survival needs than keeping cool.

But the home ferments, as wine, save us quite a bit, and now that I'm reasonably experienced, requires practically no labor.  I imagine there are some people who have some sort of difficulty with yeast, but I have detected no such difficulty in myself, and I doubt that such yeast difficulties are particularly widespread.

I do not even filter my wines, or use any flocculation procedures to clarify it.  So it may have some turbidity.  It just means that you are drinking some of the wild yeasts.  Added nutrition from my point of view.
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Offline anthropositor

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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #37 on: Monday July 13, 2009, 09:46:52 PM »
I have not historically been a big fan of sushi.  Yet I eat regularly in a Chinese Buffet which has a sushi section.  Recently, all the things I like best were in short supply, at least in part due to my own efforts.  Rather than wait for them to be replenished, I took a hard look at the fare in the sushi area.  I chose some shredded seaweed on a bed of rice in some sort of edible shell.  The seaweed was a fairly intense bright green.  After the first tentative nibble, although I was already reasonably full, I literally wolfed it down and went back to the sushi bar to get three more.  I ate them with considerable dispatch as well.  Clearly, there was some component of this dish which my body craved.  The question was what and why?  I have concluded that I was very short of iodine.  Kelp and other seaweeds are high in this trace mineral in organic and digestible form.  Now that I have come across this new food item, I expect I will be adding it to my meal each time.

As to Shmooo, I still eat it every day, but I am no longer consuming the half pound a day that I was during the loading experiments last year.  My intake is somewhere between an eighth and a quarter pound, at a guess.  I can't really tell with precision.  I do quite a bit of nibbling in the garden.  Some days, I may still be eating a half pound.  I don't think that will happen with the seaweed sushi.  No matter how much I currently crave it, I expect that when the thyroid gets its' fill of iodine, my body will no longer be ravenous for it.  Time will tell.

I have not been learning too much with my wines lately.  They have just become so easy to do, that I do it without much thought or imagination.  I have lost interest in making Kombucha, largely because the fermented tea is much milder than the wines.  I have no need for distilled spirits, but it seems sort of a waste of time to ferment something, and get only a percent or two of alcohol at most.  My wines seem to be somewhere in the 5 to 8% alcohol range.
« Last Edit: Monday July 13, 2009, 09:56:01 PM by anthropositor »
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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #38 on: Saturday September 05, 2009, 02:13:57 AM »
I had another drink of my fermented Shmooo tea.  I didn't date the bottle, but it is about two months old.  It showed no sign of producing the Kombucha "mushroom" but I expect that even with tea, that may take longer to form.  I may have had it in an earlier batch of tea, but my wife threw it out without asking, thinking it must be bad.

Frankly, fermented tea is probably my least favorite way of consuming Shmooo.  I had about a gallon, and it was perhaps two percent alcohol.  I poured it on a 1 square meter patch of young Shmooo about eight inches tall.  I did add some spray.  Later in the day, the Shmooo did not appear unhappy.  I'll know more in a week.

I'm glad the Shmooo goes so well in my coffee, since that is almost invariably how I start my day.  I haven't been a regular drinker of tea for a long time.  I may try mixing the Shmooo with black tea, drinking it hot.  But with the daily coffee, my wife notices when it is not there.  She doesn't eat plain fresh raw or dry Shmooo as much as I do.  Her favorite ways are in soups, and in the breading, marinades and dry rubs for roast fowl, barbecued fish or mixed right in with burgers.  I do a lot of outdoor grilling from spring through fall.

My wife is amazed at how little food satisfies me these days.  She too is far less hungry than she used to be.  So when she cooks, making the same portions she always has, we have to save some leftovers for another meal.  Traditionally, my wife has been one always to serve a full plate.  It amazes me now that I used to eat a full plate like that.  Now I need about as much as the British Chef, Gordon Ramsay on "The F Word" puts on the plate.  This is a reality cooking show which can be quite interesting if you are not overly sensitive about that other F word, with which his dialogue is liberally seasoned. 

He is not only skilled in the culinary arts, but also has an excellent handle on the rest of the management skills that go into the running of a fine restaurant.  A couple of years ago, I would have said, how can he serve so little food in the middle of those big square plates, but now his portions seem just about right.

Maybe this is why I am over forty pounds lighter than I was twenty years ago.
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Re: Natural wines and other ferments
« Reply #39 on: Friday November 13, 2009, 01:03:02 AM »
Having just finished something on the Shmooo thread, because I was hunkered down over a bookshelf in a Wi-Fi establishment and was getting exceedingly uncomfortable, I was ready to leave.  But a table opened up.  Now, more comfortable, I can say a bit more about the meat rabbits I have been learning to raise.

Once, maybe a quarter of a century ago, I traded three pounds of my jerky to a farmer for a Black Angus calf.  I had read about Kobe beef from Japan and was wondering if I could produce something similar to this meat I had never tasted, which was, even in those days, selling for in excess of a hundred dollars a pound.

Well, I did indeed raise that calf to about a thousand pounds or so before I cut it up, and did produce the best beef I had ever tasted.  I can't tell you if it was as good as Kobe beef, because I still have never tasted the real thing.  All I can say is that I have been a steak chef, and have eaten some of the best Chateaubriand in the country.  This was better.  It may have cost me about six dollars a pound for the finished meat.

But now that I am older than original sin, I can't be raising thousand pound animals.  Yet still, I am a carnivore, and I hate to mow the grass and weeds, and I have a big crop of Shmooo.  More than I can readily consume no matter how much I like it.  Rabbits were the perfect animal to convert my Shmooo and other foliage into high quality meat.  Well, so far I haven't eaten any of the rabbits.  I may not until spring.

But it also occurred to me that one of the things that made that Angus steer so good was that it got a certain amount of beer in its rations, and toward the last, it was getting a gallon of Rhine wine every three days.

But since I ferment my own wines these days, and am now raising these meat rabbits with my experimental Shmooo and other greens, I have begun to add some of the wine to their water supply.

The rabbits didn't quite know what to think at first, but they have taken to it.  I didn't quite know the dilution, but I just krept up on it until one of the rabbits began to seem a little  wobbly on its feet, then cut back.  The rabbits seem pretty happy so far.  If they turn out as well as that steer, between the Shmooo and the home-fermented wine, I will have produced the best rabbit meat on the planet.   
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Chinese Proverb.

"What all men speak well of, look critically into; what all men condemn examine first before you decide"-- Confucius

Pray to the Gods, for the Gods are not unless you pray to them.--Don Marquis