My Brewsy kit contained three airlocks, so I can have three bottles of wine or cider fermenting at a time. Plus, my half-gallon glass bottles arrived from Amazon this afternoon. Virginia wanted to try black cherry and the basic advice from Brewsy (which I ignored) was to do cranberry first, so I had ordered RW Knudsen Just Black Cherry and RW Knudsen Just Cranberry – both 100% juice. The slight problem with the juices is that they are only available in 32oz bottles, so I needed two of each. (A Brewsy packet will process between 1.5 quarts and 1.5 gallons, but I’m not going for volume, yet.) The bottle size issue is why I did apple juice first – the Kroger juice is a 64oz bottle, and it is processing in the actual bottle.
I don’t really have to obsess about 100% juice, since some of my co-vintners are fermenting Hawaiian Punch and Dr Pepper, but I haven’t been that brave yet.
This was going to be the same simple procedure as yesterday, and I was going to do Cranberry, since that is supposed to be your first project, and I was running back and forth, checking the Sweetness Calculator, and trying to learn how to use my hydrometer, and measuring sugar and a lot of other steps. Plus, the added “complexity” of fermenting in a bottle other than the bottle the juice came in.
The process still went well, I don’t really believe the specific gravity reading, but I will ask for help on that later. I’m pretty sure I did something wrong or I can’t read. I really need to remember to get large print everything from now on.
So, everything mixed, sugar measured, juice measured, magic packet added, dogs tripped over, and it’s in the closet, ready to become wine. Whew.
Then, Virginia said, “Hey, you used one bottle of Black Cherry and one bottle of Cranberry!”
She was drinking the juice I had left out to leave headspace, so I said, “Wait! What juice are you drinking?” She said, “It’s cranberry and it’s tart.”
So, we have a mistaken mixture, or what a vintner would call a “blend.” It is 32 ounces of Black Cherry juice and 18 ounces of Cranberry. I call it “Happy Accident”, because I don’t think I should put “Dammit!” on a wine label.
So, I have sugar measured to make Cranberry semi-sweet, when 2/3rds of the source is actually Black Cherry. This is going to be interesting.
5 Feb 2021 9:45pm
Source Juice: 32 oz RW Knudsen Just Black Cherry (100% juice), 18 oz RW Knudsen Just Cranberry.
- Removed 14 oz of juice from the bottle – later had to figure out which bottle it was from
- Added 229 grams sugar
- Added one Brewsy packet
Proposed Schedule (updated with actuals):
|Fri Feb 5||9:45pm||Fermentation Began||√||Here’s hoping for a happy accident|
|Sat Feb 6|| |
|Check for bubbles – swirl the bottle||√||Bubbles – had to swirl the bottle to wash some yeast residue back into juice|
|Check for bubbles – swirl the bottle||√||A bit late! Bubbles – still some yeasty residue on bottle, another swirl|
|Feb 7||Check for bubbles – swirl the bottle||√||Bubbling happily|
|Mon Feb 8|
|Check for bubbles – swirl the bottle||√||Slowed down but still bubbles|
|Feb 8||9:45pm||Earliest End for Fermentation||(Will probably need more time) – Decided to leave it until morning, at least|
|Feb 8||9:50pm||Earliest Racking after Fermentation||Postponed||Rack before Cold Crash|
|Feb 8||10:00pm||Earliest Start for Cold Crash||Postponed||Remove airlock, replace cap, into fridge|
|Tue Feb 9||1:35am||Taste Test||√||Wee bit boozy. Think I will leave it until morning and then cold crash.|
|Feb 9||9:25pm||Racking||√||Prior to cold crashing|
|Feb 9||9:30pm||Cold Crash||√||Into the cold|
|Wed Feb 10||Morning||Checking||√||Some sludge developing, will rack this evening|
|3:05pm||Racking||√||Not too much to filter|
|Feb 11||9:30pm||Earliest End for Cold Crash||We have wine!|