Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You win some, You lose some

That statement is particularly true of home brewing and wine making. Our homegrown cider seems to be fermenting well.

Note it's promising "krausen" as Billy, the beer snob would doubtless have me point out. ;)

Let's just hope that it keeps on keeping on and doesn't go funky. We unfortunately lost an entire 5-gallon batch of cider last year to some sort of mystery contaminant and had to compost the whole thing. Talk about heartbreak! I feel pretty confident that we will not face that same problem with this batch though, since we not only washed and dried our apples well, but also used a steam juicer rather than a fruit press to juice them, effectively pasteurizing the juice and hopefully, hopefully killing all the bad guys before adding our little yeasty friends.

So, we have 2 1/2 gallons of apple cider, 3 gallons of dandelion wine, 24 bottles of grape wine, 1 gallon of rose hip wine and 1/2 gallon of apricot schnapps to the good. Alas, we lost the blackberry wine this week.

It, like the others, had been somewhat neglected during our move. Somewhere along the way, something funky snuck in and messed it up. My first clue was a bit of white mold in the airlock. Though most of the home brewing websites that I googled said that a little mold in the airlock was no big deal, I'm not really one to gamble with food poisoning and/or going blind. So of course, I had Billy smell it. Our eventual conclusion was that it had probably turned to vinegar, which would have been fine if I could have been sure that it was safe to use. I wasn't, so it too ended up on the compost pile.

Drink up, little wormies!

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