No progress to report on the Monkey socks because I'm working on a project I can't talk about, but I hope to get back to them in a day or so.
In the meantime, the Hard Lemonade went into the 3-gallon carboy this morning (SG 1.010- a little lower than necessary). There is a chance that we can drink this by Christmas because all it has to do is finish fermenting. It doesn't have to clairfy, I just need to let the dead yeast settle out a bit because we're not bottling this mixture. I'll add lemonade concentrate to the wine (divided out into several batches- regular Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, etc) before freezing it in buckets. We serve it by mixing scoops with whatever (pop, orange juice, champagne- it's all good). Anaerobic fermentation could take a week, or it could finish in a couple of days. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes. Hard Lemonade is as close to instant gratification as you can get in winemaking.
Note the Riesling carboy in the top picture- the wine is getting that *glossy* look, which means the sediment is dropping already. We'll rack it to a clean carboy in a week or so.
I started a 5 gallon batch of Merlot this morning, using Alexander's Sun Country Merlot Concentrate and the recipe on the can (except that I don't add bentonite to the wine because we use a different fining method. Bentonite is a clay that attracts sediment). I don't think I've posted pictures of the yeast starter yet- the early pic is the warmed Merlot juice with the yeast nutrient and yeast added. The second, is the starter, an hour later, with the yeast awake and multiplying. I stirred it into the bucket shortly thereafter.
And on another subject entirely, I'm really enjoying listening to Pride and Prejudice on the treadmill, interspersed with episodes of Old Time Radio Mysteries. My first, an Ellery Queen, managed to surprise me with the ending. I thought I had it sussed out from the beginning, not so much from the clues, but from the mystery conventions, and social proscriptions of the time. I was totally wrong. I love when that happens.