A bit of Korean martial arts, some weekend-after-school activities, and a bit of bottling, and here I am to record the day’s activities!
With no visible activity after the addition of sugar and potassium sorbate, today was the day to bottle both the mint and the apple wine. I started by sanitizing bottles. While waiting a ten minutes for the sanitizing solution to finish, I added two drops of green food coloring to the gallon of mint, and stirred gently. A beautiful light green. Nothing ridiculously bold; no forest greens or lime greens. But as suggested by the recipe author, the green does help out a rather muddled yellow natural to the mint wine.
Once bottles were finished being sanitized, I started bottling – first with the apple wine. Five clear 750ml bottles left just the smallest remainder in the jug, which I had some hopes of eventually mixing with any leftover mint as an experiment. You will find that that was not to be, as I did. No harm, though.
Similarly, the mint wine bottled to just over five 750ml bottles. I bottled in green, which will unfortunately keep the green of the wine covered up until it is poured. But, I hear that mint and other flower/herb wines tend to have issues in light. Thought a dark bottle was in order. Ten bottles down.
Well, there just happened to be more mint in a 1.5L bottle that had also been air-locked alongside the other gallon. If the one was ready, I was pretty sure the other was, too. In fact, tasting it, it seems a little drier (not much) and not as bold of a mint flavor. I chose to go ahead and bottle it as well; it definitely couldn’t stay in the 1.5L bottle as there was a thin layer of lees that needed to go away. I racked it to a the jug the gallon of mint had been in. I then added a little less than an 1/8th of a tsp. of potassium sorbate (a little less than half of what had been used for a full gallon), as well as a single drop of green food coloring. I figure that I can trust it won’t blow based on having watched the matched gallon already, so I bottled after sanitizing two more bottles, rather than waiting as I did when I sorbated the original gallon.
I could have used green glass as I had with the gallon, but chose to go with clear. It’ll be nice to have at least some of the mint in clear glass, with people able to see the colored wine. Unfortunately, the racked 1.5L of mint didn’t quite fill the two clear 750ml (one was marked 75cl, oddly enough) bottles, due to the wine lost to the lees. So I used the remainder of the gallon of mint, plus a little bit of purified drinking water to top up.
I have the bottles (12 of them) now sitting on my kitchen counter. While prolonged aging is done with bottles on their sides, I hear that if you leave the bottle standing up for a short time (a couple days?) it will allow for the pressurized gases from corking (and any in solution) to be released through the cork. Otherwise, these gases would be caught behind glass when the gas bubble sits at the highest point in the side-laying bottle. So I’m going to give them the evening, at least.
I then briefly looked at the meads in secondary ferment. Braggot – the tiniest of slow moving bubbles, but a decent number of them. Traditional mead – wow. At least it isn’t filling up the air-lock with honey bubbles any more. Strawberry melomel – about what it was before.
All that taken care of, I was left with a little bit of apple wine – too little for even a small bottle. Looks like time to sample. And unfortunately the flavor is not all that impressive – this apple wine is made from a “starter” recipe, based on frozen apple and a small amount of frozen lemon concentrates. Wasn’t expecting the best; we’ll see what it’s like after some aging.