April 13, 2013

Batch 5, Bottle 1 - First Successful Opening

Batch 5, Bottle 1 – First Successful Opening

Today marks my first successfully-aged bottle of wine! Yay!

The Mar grape wine is semi-dry, and unintentionally quite carbonated. That was one powerful cork! Also, it is worth mentioning that the color is a beautiful ruby red. Quite pleasant to look upon. And something I would not be ashamed to show off to friends.

Now, Mar is not a normal “wine” grape. It is rather a “table” grape. So I wasn’t expecting miracles. But I have enjoyed the flavor so far. It is a flavor that sticks around, long after the liquid has passed the throat. I could do without the carbonation – I’m not the largest fan of the “sparkling” wines. But I’ll drink to a little success.

In other news, today I collected the yeast and grains to formulate another batch of braggot. This time, I intend to not use hops. I haven’t decided what to do in its absence, though. I could do nothing – the result a very, very sweet mead best useful for after-dinner enjoyment in small dosage. I have thought about trying another spice or herb – nutmeg, lavender, star anise, juniper berries, cardamom seeds and coriander seeds all come to mind (and I have relatively fresh and whole ingredients on hand). Your opinions are welcome.

Toward this end I do have an idea bouncing around in my head. My five gallons of plain mead in secondary ferment could be racked into smaller vessels… I could then test out some of these spices and herbs, and get an idea for what flavor they might develop. Won’t be exactly the same as the flavor they would give the braggot. But it can’t hurt to try. And it would also give me some guidance for future metheglin attempts.

Only thing left now is acquiring some honey. About 10 lbs (~4.5kg) for the braggot, to be exact. I think I have 3 pounds already, though. Oh, and maybe another 15-18 pounds of a varietal honey to test out a 5G  sweet “show” mead recipe that is calling out to me…

My Pretty Mar Grape

My Pretty Mar Grape

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