Heavenly Smells

Well, you may have thought I gave up on blogging, I have been silent so long. But no, I am still here.

I left you talking of a yeast starter for my quad. Since then my quad is well under way, racked and upstairs happily bubbling away, Its cousin the oatmeal porter had a shy streak, so I brought it upstairs and shook up the trub. It too is now happily bubbling away. New batches cherry and blackberry finished, and made it into the bottle (5 wine bottles apiece), but the blueberry is a slowpoke, and both gallons have yet to finish secondary ferment.

The sweet mead finally made it into bottle (26 wine bottles, to be exact). The hefty braggot, too, made its way, primed for carbonation, into crown-capped bottles (54 of them). But Braggot II, my attempt at an un-hopped braggot, ended as a beautiful foam in the sink, which though beautiful was unpalatable thanks to the burn sustained early in its making.

I started a plum wine, which is still bubbling away. The bubbles will likely stop before it is truly cleared. Things aren’t quite as intended; the starting gravity is much lower than intended, and I ended up with 4 gallons rather than three at the first racking. But I’m still expecting good things.

And that brings us to today. Wasn’t planning on doing much along these lines today, but a change of plans left us with time.

So first, I checked on my strawberry melomel. I found an SG of 0.996, no more bubbling, and a quite dry but very tasty wine. I racked it onto 3/4 tsp. of potassium sorbate and  a little under 1/4 tsp. of potassium metabisulfite (enough for the 3G  batch). It is a lovely pink-red in bulk, but in smaller doses it shines a brilliant light orange. After letting Kim taste it, and at the suggestion of the recipe’s author, I’m going to bottle dry. I only need wait the time for the potassium sorbate to work in.

Then, the family took a trip up to The Happy Berry, and we spent a good part of the afternoon picking muscadines. Can’t think of a much better way to avoid the crowds and traffic during a Clemson game day – especially homecoming! We came away with just under 80 pounds worth. I’ve measured out 36 pounds of that for tomorrow, with which to start a 3G batch of wine. Another 2.5 pounds made its way into a batch of muscadine liqueur (2 cups of sugar, the muscadines halved or quartered, and enough Stolichnaya to fill up a 2 quart mason jar). The kitchen smells richly of the stuff. And my hands are sugary-sweet and fragrant. What a wonderful season!

I tried to get Kim to crush the muscadines tonight, for the wine. My suggestion of washing her feet first made her question my sanity. Maybe I can convince her tomorrow! In any case, we still have plenty of muscadines for jelly making and eating (Jenna is devouring them!)

And apple picking Monday!

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