That’s about the best way to describe the state of the grapes as I picked over them to remove stems and bad berries. Unfortunately, there were simply a lot of bad berries. Describing what I saw would make some squeamish, so I will refrain from details. Jenna, who helped me in spite of the stickiness and distasteful smell of fermentation, had a harder time than I determining which berries were “good enough.” I think in some cases the grapes had not fully ripened – lots of green, rather than red. But even in “green’ cases, I enjoyed the flavor of an occasional taste test.
Long story short, after picking through and then washing the good, I bucketed 18 pounds for wine, and bagged another 3.5 pounds for jelly. Maybe an ounce or two short, actually. So that is 21.5 pounds out of the 25 picked. Not as efficient a pick as the Mars grapes, with 26 of the 27 pounds kept. Still, not a bad haul!
With the destined-to-be-jelly grapes in the freezer for later, I moved on to crushing the wine grapes. As expected, I put them in a straining bag in the bottom of the fermentation bucket, and tied it off. Then I began to crush. Crushing these Saturn grapes was much more difficult than the Mars. It took a little more elbow grease, and a lot more time. But the end result was nearly the same, nearly 2 gallons of grape slurry, roughly a purple-grey/brown.
As with the Mars grapes – maybe even more so with these Saturn grapes – I decided it was necessary to add potassium metabisulfite. 1/8 tsp. should once again be a decent amount to knock out the “native” yeast for a 3 gallon batch. I mixed it in well, and was greeted by the odor of sulfur. I could have gone ahead and started adding the extra sugar and water, plus chemicals, to get the Mars grape wine going. But, instead, I decided to sync these two up. So I expect that will be a task for both these wines tomorrow.
I ought to take the Venus grapes out of the freezer…