February 16, 2013

Today was a busy day –  expected for a Saturday, I suppose. When I went to check specific gravity on my batches in primary fermentation, I found that my braggot was tapering off at 1.020, down from 1.021  from Valentine’s day.  So I knew that I would be racking today. The strawberry mead/melomel that I racked on Valentine’s day was happily bubbling away, so I let it be. The show mead that I have in primary I also checked, finding it at an SG of 1.052. Not sure why it is going as slowly as it is, but still looks fine for now.

I do have a gallon each of apple wine (from concentrate) and mint (from my own garden) in secondary ferment. I left them be this morning.

Back to the braggot – I racked it from my ~6G plastic primary to a 5G carboy (5G was the recipe size). Unfortunately, it did not quite come to fill the carboy, with more room than was reasonably going to be made up with water. Even to get it to that fill level, I had ended up with quite a bit of sediment and surface hops. So I decided to rack again once the must had settled. Little while later, I had it racked to a 3G carboy and another 1G jug (both air-locked). The remaining (about 2 wine bottles worth) was moved to another gallon jug and allowed to settle again. I tried it and was quite happy with the results.

A braggot, if you’re not familiar, is a mead, but the early process is more like prepping for a beer. Not a big beer fan, honestly, but had gone with the recipe and used hops. Honestly, when I hear that some ingredient is going to make something bitter, I don’t exactly take that as a good thing. But the recipe was right, the bitter of the hops, combined with the sweet of the unfinished mead and malt was excellent.

Once the last bit had settled in its jug, I racked off as much as I could to a wine bottle and air-locked it. The remaining not-quite-full bottle’s worth was placed in the fridge. This “young” version isn’t going to get to fully ferment, poor thing. It’s not cleared out like the rest will, of course, and is probably a little too sweet and unbalanced. But it made a nice accompaniment to dinner anyway.

So that leaves the show mead as the only thing now in primary ferment. It’s been going for two weeks, and has gone. From 1.120 to the 1.052 it’s at now. It’s been going down fairly steadily, not as fast as the braggot or the strawberry melomel. I would imagine it getting to 1.030 before it tapers off. But I may be wrong.

And that’s it for today.

UPDATE:  I forgot to add pictures!

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