Spring Newsletter 2012

Spring 2012 Open House           

Join us on Saturday March 3, 2012 from 11-4 pm for our Open House.  We will have samples of homebrew including new beer recipes from our forthcoming book,  homemade wine, mead, cider and more.  Light fare will be provided by My Place Restaurant from Newtown.  Breweries who will be sampling their beers are: Bru Rm Bar, Sierra Nevada, Cambridge House, Willimantic Brewing and startup brewery Beacon Brewing from New York.  The local homebrew club, the Underground Brewers will be signing up members and sampling home brew. DiGrazia Vineyards from Brookfield CT will also be here sampling their delicious and unique wines.  We will be tasting our favorite hot sauces from our local hot sauce company, Connecticutly Grown. All of the ingredients are organic and locally grown. We will also be sampling chocolate cookies with a secret ingredient, Salemme hot pepper! Salemme pepper is also locally grown in Cheshire and is the best hot red pepper we have ever tasted.  We have also expanded our line of cheese making equipment and supplies! Wine maker Steve Balog will be providing the musical entertainment with his accordion.  Please bring your home made beer, wine, mead and cider to share with other customers. 



We are fortunate to have Burton, Annamarie, Karl and Paul from Delta Packing of Lodi California at our Open House.  Delta Packing selects, contracts, picks, packs and ships the grapes that we sell during wine season.  They have been in business for over 30 years and are experts at what they do.  Please stop buy and talk to them at our open house about the state of the grape industry in California and what we can expect in the coming season, new varieties of grapes and have them answer any questions you may have.  We will be going out to California in late August to tour the vineyards and contract new grape varieties and buy what looks great so we can get the best produce for our wine making customers


This year we will be again carrying two types of Chilean juice and Chilean grapes!  We will be carrying Mosti Modiale juice and Toro Negra/Estrella Del Sur juice along with grapes from the Bio Bio Region. The Bio Bio region is comparable to the Napa valley area of California.  The grapes and juice from Chile have been high in quality and we will be bringing in the following grapes:  Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viogner.  For juice we will be bringing in Muscat and Pinot Grigio in addition to the varietals mentioned above.  These will be arriving in early to mid May.  Please ask for the order form.  Orders must be in by March 10, 2012.



Wine educator Jon Haight of Wines Unwrapped will be instructing a wine tasting class “ A Wine Lover’s Tour of Italy” on March 15th from 7-9pm.  Jon will take us on a tour of some of the best wine producing regions of Italy.  Tess will be preparing appetizers to accompany the wines.  Pre-registration is required by March 12, 2012.

Cost: $35 per person.  Fee is non-refundable.  Reservations can be made in person or by phone.



White Labs has a product named Clarity-Ferm that is used to prevent chill haze in beer.  As a side-effect, it appears to sharply reduce the gluten content of a beer.  Current methods for brewing low gluten or gluten free beers involve using grains other than barley such as sorghum, corn sugar and rice and it can be difficult to blend these into a great tasting beer.  Clarity-Ferm is added to the beer immediately after chilling before yeast is pitchedPlease keep in mind that everyone has varying levels of gluten sensitivity.  We have brewed a beer at Maltose Express using Clarity-Ferm.  If you or someone you know has celiac disease this may be a way to drink great tasting beer again.  Ask us for a sample if you would like to try our beer brewed with Clarity-Ferm.



Hop rhizomes will be arriving in mid March and we will have a wide variety to choose from.  Brew your own beer and now grow your own hops!  If you are unable to plant the rhizomes right away, place the bags in a refrigerator until planting.  We recommend planting the rhizomes in peat pots first. Stand the rhizome vertically with the buds pointing up and cover with two inches of soil.   Monitor the soil moisture to keep it moist, but not saturated.  As the shoots grow you will need to provide climbing supports.  We always suggest that you start the rhizomes inside in pots first and then plant them outside when there is 3-4 inches of growth.  There is a problem with moles and voles in our growing area and they will not eat the rhizomes if they have growth on them.  Growing your own hops will enable you to brew a wet hop beer.  Right off the vine and into your kettle!


Due to the great turnout for our recent winemaking class in February we will be holding another wine making class.  They will run two consecutive Saturdays from 10am-2pm.  The cost is $75.00 per person.  Become an expert in just two weeks.  The next session is being held in April.  Please call or stop in to sign up for the class.   The maximum limit is 18 people.



We received our last trailer of California juice in November and still have some 6 gallon buckets available in our freezer and coolers.  Please call for availability.


During the 2010 and 2011 wine seasons we selected the best grapes we had, destemmed and crushed them and poured a case and a half into each 6 gallon bucket.  We cold-soaked these grapes for two weeks and then froze them.  The cold soaking and freezing will give the wine made from these grapes deeper color and flavor.  Each bucket will make approximately 3.7 gallons of wine.  We will have a wide variety to choose from.  Please ask for the availability at the front desk.



We now carry 3, 5, 10 and 15 gallon oak barrels which were manufactured in Arkansas by the Gibbs Brothers Cooperage.  These barrels are of the highest quality and can be used for aging wine, beer and spirits.  We have a limited amount of these barrels.  We also have 59 gallon oak barrels for wine or to make furniture.  The un-swelled barrels are $130 and we have swelled barrels for $140 that are ready to have wine put into them.



There are many great beers being produced in the world and we have been making home brew recipes of these beers for you to brew.  These new recipes include our clones of:  Adnams Broadside, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, Dorothy Goodbodys Stout, Founder’s Red’s Rye IPA, Fuller’s London Pride, Hook Norton’s Hooky Bitter, J W Lee’s Manchester Star, Lagunita’s Little Sumpin, Malhuer 10, Marston’s Old Empire Pale Ale, Smuttynose Robust Porter, The Alchemist’s Heady Topper and the Naughty Nurse from City Steam Brewery.



We carry a large selection of stainless steel pots including pots that can be used with induction cook tops.  Our pot sizes include 20, 24, 32, 40, 42, 60, 80 and 100 quarts.  Some of the pots are equipped with thermometers and welded spigots that can be used for ball valves and bazooka screens.  We also carry weldless fittings and other mashing equipment.  Please stop in to see our selection.  



This year we have been working on our new web page that will include a full list, description and pictures of our products and an option for on line buying.  Chris Palazini who edits commercials and videos for a living has been taking the pictures of all our products and is doing a great job.  We expect to have this new site up and running in March. 


Thank you for your continued patronage and support.


Mark and Tess Szamatulski



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