Monday, December 29, 2008

Todays efforts!

Well today I swore that I'd sort out my pile of stuff that's been waiting to be done when I can get motivated enough.

I racked off both gallons of "Joe's Ancient Orange" - well gallons I made with lemon and lime that is. The gallon I made using Lalvin 71B yeast is slightly less "citrusy" than the one made with bread yeast. Though it's also got a little background "pithy bitterness", that the bread yeast gallon doesn't have. I suspect next time I make a batch, I'll use exactly the amount of fruit suggested i.e. if it says 1 orange, and I want to use lemon and lime, then I'll use half a lemon and half a lime.

I'm also thinking that I'll "zest" the fruit and then segment the flesh out of it. So there'd be little to no chance of getting any "pithy bitterness" + it'd be easier to get the fruit out of the DJ and it'd drop sooner as it won't have any air pocket places to hold onto any CO2 that might have come out during the ferment and got stuck in the fruit.

To top the DJ's up I used some of one of my experimental gallons of traditional mead.

I also racked off the gallon of plum that I made in September/October, that racked across quite nicely, though I still put a crushed campden tablet in it (as I did the JAO mentioned above). Oh and I topped the plum up with some of the odd half gallon of "barshack ginger mead - with added fruit", for no other reason than it's a red.

I've also started rehydrating the apple and blackberry that stuck (see previous posts). I started off by checking the gravity of both gallons, one was stuck at 1040, while the other was at 1020. So I've mixed them together in a 2 gallon bucket. I've then taken 3/4 of a pint of the wine/must, and mixed that with 1 and 1/2 pints of water, in a half gallon DJ. I then took a small amount of must (about 75ml's) and mixed that into 200ml's of water. I rehydrated a pack of Lalvin K1V in 200ml's of water with 4 grammes of Go-Ferm for 15 minutes, at just under the suggested temp on the packet of 40 degree's C.

That was then mixed into the 275ml's of very watery must, a good shake and then it was placed into a milk bottle and airlocked.

I did think it would take a good while for it to start showing any signs of "movement" but it was bubbling in about 30 minutes, and then it had a lot of foam on the top, so I left it for an hour or so for the foam to subside and then after running some warm water over the outside of the half gallon DJ (to try and get it to roughly the same temperature), added the milk bottles contents into the 2 and 1/4 pints of diluted must/wine. That also had a good shake and then was air locked.

I'm hoping that by tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday, it will be bubbling enough to top up the half gallon DJ with another pint or pint and a 1/2 of wine/must.

Once that's going I'll be able to add it to the 2 gallon bucket and then it should, theoretically, get that going as well (I might put a belt heater round the bucket, I haven't decided yet).

So really it's all a bit "wait and see".

Oh and I made up another 25 litres of wash!