10 year old wine found in basement

10 year old wine found in basement

Post by Alec Saunde » Wed, 16 Feb 1994 02:26:47

Over the weekend my brother-in-law and I were discussing
(actually drinking and discussing) brewing a large batch
of belgian beer in a demijohn that had been his fathers.
He (the father) passed away 2 summers ago and the gear has
been sitting there ever since.

To make a long story short, we went into the ba***t of
my mother-in-law's house to retrieve this thing, and discovered
that the demi-john was full.  The tag on the outside tells us
that this is a batch of "white wine" started in October 1984.

We sterilized a siphon and removed some into a glass.  It tastes
like a sweet sherry, or some other kind of fortified wine. My theory
is that he was probably brewing it on the strong side and put in a
little overmuch in the way of sugar.  It's a little cloudy, but very
smooth.  Comparing it to, say William's and Humbert Dry Sack, it's
probably a little less ***ic, and it lacks the oak that you find
in a commercially prepared sherry.

Other than that, though, it's quite pleasant!

Anyway - we think we would like to keep it now.  My belgian ale is going
to have to wait until we figure out what to do with this stuff.

My questions:

        1) Does anyone have any ideas about how we can remove
           the cloudiness?

        2) Would adding some sherry yeast bring the *** content
           higher and make it dryer?

        3) Would moving it into an oak barrel and aging it for another
           10 years improve it?  Does anyone know where I can find such
           a barrel?

        4) Rather than add sherry yeast, does it make sense to add brandy
           to bring the *** content up -- a la port?