Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last weekend - racking.....

Ok, so I thought I'd have a "rackfest" last weekend.

I thought I was beginning to get the hang of this wine making lark, but the first bit of racking proved that I'm still making stupid mistakes.

I collected up the 5 DJ's that needed racking and happened to pick my Apple and Blackberry first. Now because the "turkey baster" was in the dishwasher and my "wine thief" wouldn't fit the DJ, I just thought it would be OK and said what the hell and syphoned the first one. I drained the last few drops from the syphon tube into a glass and was absolutely amazed to find that it was as sweet as hell. "Bollocks" thinks me. Ok so I get the turkey baster out of the dishwasher and wash it up by hand, then sanitised it with the campden/citric acid sanitising spray.

Took a measure and dropped the hydrometer into it. 1030, fuck! That means it's stuck for some reason. So I then checked the second gallon to get almost identical results. For the moment, I've dropped a crushed "Vit B1" tablet in each one to see if that will give it enough nitrogen to fire the ferment back up.

If that doesn't do anything, I'm gonna have to do a restart on them, but it will have to be with K1V-1116 - because it should retain more of the fruitiness than if I tried a champagne yeast - not that I know of any "red champagne yeast" anyway.

Here's hoping.

I then checked the gravity of the Raspberry and Apple, great, that's fine at 1002. So I racked it (both DJ's) then when I had the last drops from the tube to taste, I realised what it is about raspberries. I can hardly taste the apple and there's a very strong acidic taste of raspberry there. Not unpleasant, but very sharp. So I'll probably have to sweeten it up to try and hide some of the acid sharpness. Though I'm confident that it'll be Ok, if a little over raspberry tasting. What the hell, I'll just get it cleared and leave it in the DJ forever.

My best effort so far has been my elderberry. After hours of "de-stalking", all the pissing about with the simmering of the berries etc etc it's turned out to be a dry, but very fruity (that non-descript, generic fruity flavour that elderberries have). Overall I've very pleased with it.

Ah well, only the cyser/apple wine to go now and the gallon of plum when it stops fermenting.

Note to self - buy proper laboratory burette or turkey baster specifically for wine making.

Pip pip!

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