February 17, 2013

Today, not much happened to speak of, except a little “worrying” over my mint in secondary ferment. Nothing new, just uncertainty based on the lack of visible signs that fermentation is proceeding. I haven’t seen it bubbling for quite some time, and the air-lock has been bottomed-out. Frankly, I’ve been afraid of having to potentially chuck it if it comes to that. So early in the evening I tested the SG.

I don’t think I need worry. SG measured at 1.006, maybe 1.007. With water base at 1.000, this is a comfortable reading I think. The book whose mint recipe inspires this batch, Terry Garey’s The Joy of Home Wine Making, suggests that herb wines are prone to becoming stuck. I could add yeast nutrient to see if a last little bit of sugars might get handled. But tasting it, I’m happy. Kim will like the extra sweetness anyway. I’ll wait till my “planned” date for bottling, March 8th, unless things take some weird turn.

On the braggot front, a definite difference in color can be noted from yesterday. The opaque caramel has turned a much darker and richer brown, while increasing in clarity. Culprit is likely the first rack of yesterday which pulled too much of the lees, followed by me not giving long enough to settle before the second racking. The tall layer of sediment at the bottom would seem to support this. There are visible, but quite tiny, bubbles rising in the carboy, and a gap in the air-lock indicating where the CO2 is pushing the lock up. Within the 1 gallon jug, on the other hand, I can see no rising bubbles, but the raised air-lock would seem to indicate action. In the “leftover” wine bottle’s worth that I air-locked, I see no bubbles and no movement/raising of the airlock. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

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I also briefly looked at my gallon of apple in secondary ferment. It continues to do about one tiny bubble in one place along the side about every second or two. At this point, I’m starting to think that is just CO2 escaping from solution, rather than ongoing fermentation. By “schedule” it should have completed last weekend. I checked the SG: 0.995. So, I’ll check it tomorrow and we’ll see what to do. May just be time to bottle it.

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