How I Became A Brewer - Part 2
Fast forward from a freckle-faced kid baking "Apricot Bubble Bread" and other yeasty delights, to the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire in 1979. During my sophomore year we were required to take a Speech class, and one of the speeches we had to give was a "How To" speech.
My speech was on how to load a backpacking pack for proper weight distribution. My fellow classmate, Patti Ruff, gave a speech on "How to Make Wine." I was completely entranced and ran straight out to pick up some Welch's Grape Juice. Here is Patti's original recipe (from my original notes, which I still have):
PATTI RUFF'S BALLOON GRAPE WINE
oz. Welch's grape juice concentrate (1 large & l small)
In large bowl combine ingredients plus warm water to reconstitute (65°-70°). Pour into gallon jug. Add warm water to make one gallon. Adjust water or sugar to determine sweetness and alcohol content. Cover with balloon and rubber bands for about 3 weeks - until balloon deflates. Transfer to pop bottles with tight lids (with tubing or pour off). Makes one gallon.
That winter I made a lot of very strong wine for our household of five college girls. (Legal drinking age was 18.) I experimented with every blend of grape juice concentrate the store offered: grape-apple, grape-raspberry, grape-peach. We offered them to our party guests and cut the alcohol with 7up. It was a heady time.
Photo Above: Teri at 20 years old, bottling home-made wine. With a white daisy in my hair.