|Todays effort of finally removing the fruit!|
To start with, after we'd picked the fruit, I decided it was time to make a bit of space. The resulting picture is what's left of last years efforts of making sloe gin.
I started with picking the sloes, then dug round the net to find a recipe. The one I picked was 1lb of sloes, 1 pint of gin and 8oz of sugar - I was a little concerned about that much sugar, so after asking a few people, I decided to change it to 5oz of sugar - mainly on the basis that it's a piece of piss to add more sugar if it needed it but it's a bugger to remove it if it's too sweet.
So, the mix was made, though I didn't waste my time individually pricking the fruit with a pin, I just froze it for a couple of days and then defrosted it enough to be able to pour it into the jar (picture later) and then add the sugar and gin - I did actually add a little cinnamon bark as well to give it (hopefully) just a hint of the spices.
I'd had some out of the jar, but the picture is of what's left - me being quietly pleased as after about a month or so (possibly as long as 2) it was good IMO, though some might have thought it a little sharp/sherberty tasting/acid.
I can reassure any reader that the acid/sharpness has mellowed quite well, hence it's been moved to the 1 gallon jar/demi-john and the 3 bottles (plus there was about a further 1/2 a pint so I've drunk that mixed 50/50 with lemonade, and now have quite a buzz as I type this...
|Remaining fruit after it's been drained.|
I've decided that I don't want to do that, so it's gonna end up in the steam juice extractor, to remove any further flavour/juice/colour. Which will then be preserved in a jar so it can go into something later......
|Raspberries in the steam extractor.|
I'm extracting the juice, because we haven't got enough space in the freezer for the fruit at the moment, plus if I extract the juice, I can use it to make a batch of raspberry melomel.
|Mystery liquid ?|
Ok, so what's this ? Well as you can see from the picture above, the raspberries are going into a batch to be made as "Raspberry Melomel".
Now it's fair to point out, that raspberry can be quite over powering if just used as a flavouring on it's own. So as there's about 2 or 3 kg of fruit in the steamer, this picture shows 1.3 kg of honey (part of what's left of the 6 or was it 7 jars of honey that my friend Sebastian brought me back from Poland on a trip home.
The honey isn't really anything remarkable, other than the 1.3 kg (about 3lb) jars as that's a bit larger than we normally see here in the UK - our normal jars being 1lb/454g in weight. Plus I've added 1 litre of red grape juice, not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, and as I suspect that with the honey and grape juice, once I've added the extracted raspberry juice it'll be too high a gravity for a 1 gallon batch, so I'll have to make it up to 1.5 or 2 gallons - only time and the hydrometer will tell.
I've already added 2 tsp of "Pectolase" pectic enzyme, because it's got the red grape juice, and will eventually (after extraction/cooling) get the raspberry juice as well. It might as well have a couple of days to do it's thing to reduce the chance of a pectin haze.......
The ultimate plan, is, allowing for the raspberry juice being quite powerful and only having grape juice and honey in it, I expect to have to make this quite a high alcohol batch, so it's likely to come out as a bit "medicinal" to start with, and hopefully a strong raspberry flavour, so I'll have to back sweeten it. I don't want to make it a "dessert" melomel if I can help it, but if I can finish it so it tastes like an alcoholic raspberry cordial then that'd be brilliant.
This is the first time I've actually thought about how I want the end result to be, rather than just throwing the ingredients into a fermenter and letting them do their thing and see what comes out at the end........
Ok that's about it for the moment........