Saturday, July 2, 2011

The raisin wine follies

Brace yourself.

No foolin'!  Yeah it went down like this.

I started brewing raisin wine.  I altered the recipe slightly from the original conception.  Only a half cup of rolled oats.  I used a lot of raisins.  I used too many raisins.  I spiced it with cinnamon and cloves.  I threw in some sugar.  Also some pectic enzyme and acid to help clarify and break things up.  Did I buy that stuff or inherit it from my roommate?  Maybe it will help break down some of the starches, but I doubt it.

I used the yeast from the old slurry.  Previously I saved the slurry in a jar in the fridge.  Care was taken to activate it before pitching just in case I screwed something up.  I've never reused a yeast cake in this way before.  I even used a bit of yeast food just in case, since I've never pitched yeast in this manner before.

In the morning no activity.  In the evening when I got home no activity; a little bubbling on top but no real action.  I suspected that the must ended up too thick.  This could spoil the whole batch.

After shaking it up a bit the activity grew more vigorous.  But I knew trying to ferment porridge would cause problems.  So action!

This can't end well, can it?

First, I freed up another container by racking the pineapple coconut wine into two smaller vessels, their final container.  Then I cleaned the old vessel and dumped over half the raisin porridge in and shook it up and dumped some back so that they were equal levels.  I then topped them both off with water which was allowed to sit and de-chlorinate.  I basically diluted the wine.  Now I have twice as much raisin wine fermenting.  One batch, having more of the bottom contents, is more viscous than the other and is consequently less vigorous in its fermentation.  But they are both brewing.

At this point I actually ran out of airlocks and had to MacGuyver some new ones with tape and some piping I found on the handle of Mrs Booze's purse.  I'm also out of carboys so no new batches from me.  Probably.  Though there was a slight sulfur smell greeting me this evening.  Oh noes, contamination!  Well hopefully not.  It was a very slight smell, especially considering there is twice as much brewing as usual.  It was awfully hot today and now that it has cooled off the smell seems to be gone.  Maybe.  I hope I don't have to dump all this hooch.

You know who has the heebie jeebies? My wine, bitches.

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