Friday, February 19, 2010

Udolphian Mysteries, and Chokecherry Progress, and Halfway There

So, I'm about 5 hours into listening to The Mysteries of Udolpho, and so far there's no mystery (well, maybe just a hint of one that could possibly turn into something sorta mysterious sometime), and there's no Udolpho. It's taken a good long time for sweet Emily to SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER become an orphan, and I imagine the real story starts from that point. It is good to know, however, that idiots with guns in the 1500's were every bit as stupid as idiots with guns can be now (more SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER: Emily's father rashly fires his gun through a closed carriage door in order to save them from robbers, only to discover that he has shot the future hero of the story- I asusme- instead). However, it's an interesting book, and I'll continue on. Lots of pretty scenery, fer shure, if no plot development.

The Chokecherry wine is progressing. The original mixture (the must) in the primary fermenter (the loosely lidded bucket in the corner of our kitchen) reached the proper Specific Gravity fairly quickly.

In order to transfer the wine to the closed glass carboy for secondary fermentation, we had to remove the fruit pulp. We very quickly remembered why it is that winemaking instructions say to put the fermenting fruit in a bag. We had to scoop the floating pulp out by hand. By the way, that pulp was fermenting furiously- we could have added it to more water and sugar, and made another batch of wine (which would have had a weaker fruit flavor, but would have been just as powerful) (we didn't).

Those bubbles aren't foam, they're from the yeast, which is voraciously eating the sugar and pooping alcohol (and releasing CO2- yeah, they're farting).

Our high-tech straining mechanism to get the rest of the pulp from the must (sanitized panty hose). Next time, we'll find the bag.

Racking the must into the carboy for secondary fermentation.

The first couple of days in the carboy- look at all the sediment. Turns out that pantyhose aren't very efficient strainers.

This morning, racked again, and already beginning to clear. It's still fermenting merrily away. Now, we'll put it in a dark, cool place, and let the yeast eat to it's microscopic heart's content. We'll check the specific gravity  every few days, and in a couple of weeks, rack it again. After that, it's a matter waiting for it to finish fermenting, before continuing to the next step.

And speaking of continuing to the next step- this  morning I send the remainder of the first half of my new book's projects to my editor. Wahoo!


MorningGlory said...

Now the last picture you show of this process should be you, goofy drunk on your wine! The color is beautiful, makes you want to knit some socks that color, I bet.

Kathleen Taylor said...

That wine won't be drinkable for a few years, but I'll see what I can do...