Took that SG reading this morning before it wouldn't be a reasonable starting reading anymore

SG was 1042

It's not moved since yesterday, no fizzing, no bubbles. In fact I was a little worried that the sudden added gravity had bogged things down, so I added just a touch of yeast activator (only to the demi, not the overflow bottle). It didn't foam as expected. Not sure what's going on, but I'll just sit on my hands and leave it alone for a month I guess...

To the right a photo of the stopper kludge I made. Not sure if it's not airtight and therefore not building up pressure, or if there's just no pressure because the wine is still. Hmm.

More measuring

Alexis: Started actually bubbling again over the past few weeks, and indeed there is significant change.
SG: 1016
Alc: 15.5%

Brynn: Completely still except when the demi is moved. I want to bottle it but am a bit hesitant after the problems with Caelan. It smells goooood
SG: 1016
Alc: 14.5%

Caelan: still very fizzy when drawn up. The measuring stickything won't really get stable, so the SG says less-than-nothing. I'm still hesitant to re-bottle it.
SG: 1024 going up to 1040 (that's what I mean. wtf)
Alc: 15%

Fennah: Seems to have come to a complete stop - makes sense given the killer alc level! It smells a little green. Distinct mint leaves scent - what I intended, but I'm not sure if I like it!
SG: 1032
alc: 17.5%

Gwyllion: I added some more sugar once or twice over the past weeks, but was hampered by the demi being really full (and not wanting to throw any of it away!). It had come to a slow bubbling. It no longer puts out a scent - it's been inside for about 10 days now, as it was getting too cold at night outside. The wine itself really does smell of red wine now.
SG: 1008 (loooot of sugar eaten!)
alc: 15% (not good enough for port. If I can get 17% out of doux yeast... this ought to be able to get at least that)
Today I added a litre sugar syrup (about 700 ml sugar) and ended up having to create an 'overflow' bottle because the volume is now about 6.5 litres. I have no plugs or yeast caps that fit a litre bottle so had to improvise a seal out of plastic foil. Not too happy with that, but we'll see how it goes.
Sadly I was way too hungry to take an after-sweetening SG measurement. 'Cause that would have been useful. Hum. Maybe tomorrow.

Mass Measuring

Alexis: Still cloudy, and fizzy when agitated. Needs a lot more time.
SG: 1028
Alc: 13.5%

Brynn: Smells good! Very sweet, with a clear honey and vanilla aroma. Yum. It's completely still. It tastes promising too, not good but like it might become good.
SG: 1018
Alc: 15%

Caelan: Still slightly fizzy. It's done a bit of fermenting after I fed it some honey last time.
SG: 1022
Alc: 15%

Fennah: still fizzy, but has slowed down quite a lot. Nearing time to make a decision about what I want to add - citrus fruit or mint leaves. It's still pretty sweet and given the alc level unlikely to burn much more sugar.
SG: 1034
Alc: 17% (whoa)

Gwyllion: still living outside and fermenting very heavily.
SG: 1060 (I think. The meter thing still sinks and rises in the measuring glass. Hmm.)
Alc: 15% (lower than last time. Weirdness. It was hard to measure though because fermentation bubbles are actually affecting the meter thingy)


Gwy has been going so fast (a bubble every second or even slightly faster) that it stank up the room. Clear difference with the meads there, since even at its most vigorous mead only put out a very mild scent. Since it doesn't really get very cold at night yet I put it out on the balcony to get over that first mad fermentation stage. Added side effect is that the cooler temp has slowed it down a tick.

I've fed it some more sugar, but might not give it more because it's almost impossible to get specific gravity off of it. The measure thing keeps sinking deeper or floating higher. Really weird. Alcohol percentage is 16-17, if that measurement is accurate. It seems high for still being in the middle of primary fermentation, but we'll see. Maybe I'm just getting elderberry rocket fuel.

Holy fermentation, Batman!

That's Gwyllion going like a bat outta hell. I added a cup of sugar water today and will probably do that every few days until it has the full amount of sugar the recipe suggests.

Gwyllion - Elderberry wine

I had promised myself not to start anything new until I had some confidence in the drinkability of my first batches, just because I'm a little worried about pouring time and money into making a lot of mediocre brew.
However - the elderberries are ripe. I spotted a bush down the street that yielded half a kilo. I am reliably advised that elderberry wine (rather than elderberry mead) is well worth making, and figured that without the cost of the honey, this is practically a free experiment. Why the hell not. I got port yeast with my last brewery supplies, and it seems like an interesting combination.

Of course, I had not counted on the foraging on the floodlands and cleaning/juicing taking up an entire day!

- about 2 kg elderberries
- 1.5 kg sugar
- port yeast
- teaspoon yeast energiser (because I'm too lazy to make a starter)
- water

Boiled the berries to make juice and let it boil gently for about 30 minutes (according to some reports this removes some kind of unpleasantness from it). Once strained, I dissolved half of the sugar. Let it cool and poured into a 5l demijohn. Filled up to 4 litres with water. Mixed in the energiser, then pitched the yeast. The other half of the sugar is going to be added in a few days, once fermentation is well and truly underway.

grav. 1.072, watered down to 1.064 the next day

Elderberries are fairly acidic and I may need to think of something to tone it down further along the way. One recipe suggested bananas, but that sounds just weird.