Sunday, November 25, 2007

A new brew and some updates.

The other week, we were in the local Tesco and they had some frozen fruit that was reduced (end of line or whatever), there was 6 packet so I bought the lot for £6 - it was 2 packs of blackberries and 4 packs of cherries.

Another recent addition was a book called "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing". Now it's mainly about brewing beer, which I'm not really into, but it had the original recipe for the "Barshack Ginger Mead" as well, so I read up on it and then, as my partner wanted the freezer space, decided to make another batch.

Except, this time, I've followed the recipe as closely as I can. Plus as it says about using optional fruit, I've defrosted the cheap stuff I got in Tesco and used that.

Having the original recipe and accompanying notes explained a bit about the questions I had last time. Oh and also having tracked down some "corn sugar" a.k.a. Dextrose or Glucose might help as well.

The notes explained that the use of a lesser amount of honey than a normal mead was to do with making a subtly flavoured sparkling ginger mead, that's dry in taste. Yet the addition of the corn sugar is about upping the alcohol level, the use of champagne yeast to ferment it to dryness. It should be aged for 6 to 12 months as well (or more judging by the authors notes and description). So that's exactly what I intend to do.

On the updates side of things, the canned strawberry currently tastes rather like an alcoholic strawberry ice cream syrup. So I'm presuming that something's gone wrong with it. I've tried adding some additional yeast nutrient, in an effort to "jump start" the fermentation, but as yet it doesn't seem to have made much difference. I'm suspecting that it may be too cool in our dining room for it. Which means that I'm probably gonna have to check the spec's on the yeasts I have available and then use one of the champagne/high alcohol ones to re-start the ferment. It will have to be one that will take lower than normal/wide ranging temperatures so that fermenting it in the dining room doesn't cause it any hassle.

Ha! I nearly forgot, I've also made up a batch of the "Winter Mead" (Metheglin/Melomel). I had to help my elderly aunt sort a problem with her computer (she wanted to try a different version of the Ubuntu Linux that she runs). I mentioned that I was intending having a go, so she gave me 2 packs of frozen cranberries. Now the recipe didn't use the actual fruit, just the juice, but as the only cranberry juice I could get was made from concentrate, I figured that I'd put the fruit in as well and then just rack it off the fruit after about a fortnight. It's now sitting in the dining room and looks to be fermenting well.

I think that that's it for the moment, so TTFN

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