July 23, 2014

It was a busy day of work, not to mention mowing during lunch and weeding the garden after work was over!

All that wrapped up, I decided to get to the blueberries I picked over the weekend. Not enough for a batch of jam really, and certainly not enough for wine. Too much for eating. But I probably could have frozen them all for smoothies later, which would have made my kids happy. Instead, I decided to try something new. Well, new with blueberries.

Blueberry Liqueur

Thinking back, the recipe I’ve used for liqueur was originally for raspberries…and I don’t think I’ve actually ever used raspberries. In any case, it is really very simple. Get a 1 quart mason jar – that’s a rather big one – and add 1 cup of white sugar. Then add your crushed up fruit (1-2 pounds of it). I used just over 1.5 lbs of blueberries, leaving another 3/4 lb for eating. Yum.

To crush the fruit, I decided to use the blender. I augmented the blend with a little bit of vodka (Veil); I was going to be adding the vodka later anyway! Took more than one round in the blender for that many berries.

With the sugar and fruit/vodka in the jar, I add more vodka to top up. I then put the lid on and shook, to get the sugar wet. Not quite worried to get it into full solution – that takes time. Enough to free up extra room, though. I removed the lid, and added enough vodka to top up again. No need to waste space, right?

So now I have a purple-blue slurry of vodka, berry guts and sugar. Should be wonderful in about a month, given daily shaking and kept out of the light (maybe more important for raspberries, but why chance it?).

Vagabond Gingered Ale

Throughout the day I kept an eye on the airlock and head of my newest batch. Everything is looking good. I might have expected the head to form a little quicker, but no complaints. Took pictures at just under 12 hours and 24 hours from pitching yeast (see below). My hope is that the 6.5 gallon carboy provides the room for the 5 gallon batch, without having to remove the air-lock!

Muscadine Liqueur

And, since I was already in the liqueur mindset, I remembered the Muscadine liqueur that was ready to be strained and bottled. This round of Muscadine liqueur was made from the pulp after making jelly earlier in the spring. And I will definitely do it again. It’s a little lighter in flavor than the stuff made with whole chopped Muscadine, rather than leftover pulp and skin, but not by much. It’s a beautiful pinkish red – I imagine the color of wet pink cotton candy, a candy-like red. And it strained nicely, though I won’t say the end is crystal, it is pretty clear.

And that is it for the day. Probably it for the week, so far as anything new is concerned. Though if I got motivated I could make more Muscadine jelly from the grapes in the freezer. I’m going to say, unlikely

 

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