Alexis update

I've just returned from a few days abroad and noticed that Alexis has slowed down almost completely - bubbles happening once every 5 minutes at most. I guess that means it's done, or near as - I will consult the book tomorrow to see if it's clearing and bottling time or if I should give it some more time. It is quite exciting to finally get to this stage!

More racking

Yesterday it looked like the B, C and D batches were about due a racking. Drake dropped an enormous amount of sediment sludge in the few days it was in a demi, and seemed to be fermenting robustly enough that I figured it'd be okay racking it so soon.

They've since all started bubbling again. And.. Drake has dropped more sediment, almost looks like I didn't take anything out at all.

Moving Notice

Last time I had the bucket fermenter (home of Drake) open the strawberries were looking pretty pale (and, to be honest, disgusting). I figured it was about time to re-home Drake to a nice glass demi.

My auto-siphon is a godsent (not regretting that expense at ALL) because it went without a drop (of sticky smelly protomead) spilled. I made a little more than 5 litre so I just discarded the last bit with the strawberries and dead yeast and still have a nice demi full.

I wasn't sure if the strawberries had coloured it at all until I saw it in the demi - lovely reddish blush in there. It's already bubbling away like there's no tomorrow.

Bored now

I knew this was coming! I have four batches bubbling away, so now... I wait. Not my strongest point! I have capacity for a 10 l batch but right now I want to see how the first batches turn out before I go anywhere near a large batch.

The next batch is going to be called Ehle and I think that will be a summer honey (the good stuff, no more supermarket honey) with mint leaves. But I'm not allowing myself to start it before Alexis is bottled. Impatience, I has it.


I drove down to the orchard outside town and bought 1.5 kg gorgeous strawberries. They made the car smell soooo good. (Oh, also half a kilo cherries for boozemaking, see other post)

The D batch is called Drake *. It's a strawberry melomel that's currently sitting in a plastic fermenter. Made it with supermarket honey and aforementioned really nice strawberries. First time I used yeast activator, which is supposed to kick it off, but so far hasn't. Only been a few hours though. Will see how it's doing tomorrow.

Using the plastic bucket fermenter for ease of getting the fruit out later, but damn it's annoying to not be able to see into it! I like the glass demi's much better, it's fascinating to watch what's happening in there.

*) a naming reference that only works if you're Dutch/English bilingual. And me.

Boozemaking - Euphoria

Something non fermenting today. In the book about meadmaking is also this recipe, and when I had extra fruit I figured it'd be a nice surprise for myself in the autumn.
Plus, I've picked up these nice litre bottles in Ikea yesterday :-)
It's fruit (one cherry, one strawberry), sugar and vodka - should be nice in about 4 months. I've given it labels which say "Do not open before graduation" as I hope to graduate uni in October and it'd be a nice treat!

Caelan de-berried

A few more supplies arrived; new siphon* , a straining cloth and some more cleaning agent (love the active oxigen stuff but it does go pretty fast)

Now I had the straining cloth I could take Caelan off the berries. Since I didn't see a way to siphon it off without getting the siphon horribly clogged with berry pulp, I settled for gently pouring it into the cloth-wrapped funnel. Don't know if the aereation has done it harm, but it's already bubbling again a few hours later.

Sadly the new siphon does mean that one of the 5l demi's isn't useable because the neck is too narrow to fit the siphon into. I only intend to have 4 small batches going at one time (and 1 10l batch) so I'll always have a free demi to rack to, but it would have been handy to have an extra so I can use a demi to let stuff age. Ah well.

Tomorrow I think I shall go on an expedition for fresh strawberries. The farms are selling them in stalls along the road at the moment.

*) I know just a bit of hose will do, but I am not the most well coordinated person in the world and one mouth full of yeasty honey water was enough for a lifetime. This one is more practically sized and also has a much nicer pump-start system that does not aereate the proto-mead.

More bubblings

Interval between each bubble:

Alexis: 10 seconds
Brynn: 4 seconds
Caelan: 8 seconds