Saturday, October 06, 2007

Update for the weekend 7/10/07

Well, I haven't really done much but things are building up a bit.

"What's building up?" I hear you say.

I've just made the "syrup mix"/must for Strawberry wine, from a recipe in the "Making wines with Canned and Dried Fruit" by C.J.J. Berry. It's out of print so if you wanted a copy you'd have to search the "amazon marketplace" - erm, I got mine for the massive amount of 1 pence. The bloody postage was £2.75, but the book just the 1 pence.

Basically, so far all I've had to do it put the requisite amount of tinned strawberries in my bucket and after boiling 4 pints of water with the appropriate amount of sugar, pour the syrup over the strawb's.

I've now got to wait until it's cooled enough - the book says 70 degrees F (it's an old book, first written in the mid 60's). So I'll add the acid/tannin etc before I go to bed.

The cooled syrup will be transferred to a demijohn tomorrow and then I'll pitch the yeast.

No change in the ginger wine - that's still fermenting like a trooper. I did ask a question at the winesathome forums to find out about whether there's any issue about pectin. Apparently there's no pectin in the ginger, but it's quite starchy so I've followed that up and bought myself some "Amylase" which should sort out any possible "starch haze" problems.

I also asked about whether it might get any "off flavours" because I intend to leave it on the ginger pulp (some methods of fruit wine making say that you should make them in a "primary fermenter" i.e. a wine bucket in my case, then leave them for, say 7 days, sometimes longer, then to syphon them "off the fruit" into the "secondary fermenter", like a demijohn or carbouy and then ferment it out - because letting the ferment complete "on the fruit", can, in some cases cause the aforementioned "off flavours").

There doesn't seem to be any definitive answer to that! So what the hell, as it was a complete experiment, I'll leave this lot on the pulp and when I make another batch (depending on what it tastes like of course) I'll take that off the pulp after either 7, 10 or 14 days.

Lastly, the "Joe Mattoli's Orange and Spice Mead" is looking good, theres only about 2 or 3 pieces of orange and maybe half a dozen raisins still floating. Excellent, nearly ready for bottling. I just hope it tastes like my head tells me it should. And the "Barshack Ginger Mead", well it took about 2 days after I added the extra honey and ginger, but it started to ferment again. It's starting to slow a bit now, but I'm quite surprised that it's been "re-fermenting" for nearly a fortnight now. Doesn't matter I suppose, as it'll just get racked and left too age.

If nothing else, the "Barshack Ginger Mead" saga has taught me one thing. The "corn sugar" mentioned in the recipe has a different name "over here" (i.e. the UK). "Well what's it called?" I hear you say, well it's bloody Dextrose or Dextrose Monohydrate. Some of the online HBS (home brew shops) sell it as "brewing sugar".


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