Worse yet, let's hope it doesn't get infected with something that makes it INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS and then you're never able to replicate it again.Unfortunately, my brewing container developed a leak, so in my mad dash to save everything, I dumped it into a new bucket--and forgot to sanitize the bucket first. So here's keeping my fingers crossed that I don't infect my batch (which has never really happened before..joy)
A lot of people brew with wild yeasts or Brettanomyces in order to introduce sour or funky flavors into their homebrew. It could happen. The worst thing that could happen would be for me to check on it in a week and see a pellicle growing on top signifying a bacterial infection. Bacteria usually add flavors like wet cardboard, vomit, or mildew. If I see a pellicle, the only thing I can do is dump the batch and sterilize the shit out of my brew bucket.Worse yet, let's hope it doesn't get infected with something that makes it INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS and then you're never able to replicate it again.
*cries with powerless grabbyhands*One of the things I'm dreading about getting back up north is having to deal with the 17 gallons of bulk aging mead that I'm going to have to just dump out at this point. There's no way in hell I have time to bottle them, and I know better than trying to transport long distances in carboys (my car still smells slightly meady on really hot days), so my only options at this point are to dump them, or find someone else local who wants to inherit them. At least I'll still have all of the bottled varieties, and I can start brewing again now that I'm not "planning on moving" and therefore not "planning on having enough time to ferment, age, and bottle." I have a 5 gallon batch of Balathustrius' Heartbound Hibiscus, a 5 gallon batch of hibiscus and cocoa, and a 5 gallon blueberry cinnamon melomel that are all slated to go the way of the dodo this weekend. I guess the one saving grace is that I never managed to save up enough money to buy any really good honey, so it's not like I'm dumping OBH or Tupelo or anything, just plain old Washington wildflower honey.
First time around, I used 8 lbs of fresh berries for a 2 gallon batch, and pureed them in a Ninja blender, and my wife and I pushed the pulp through a 200 micron "yogurt bag", and added the resulting juice to sugar water and nutrients.Are you using frozen berries, fresh berries, or those cans of Vintner's fruit pulp?
I've simplified my brewing life over time. I don't even bother with a hydrometer. Generally I use:So, any recommendations for equipment that I shouldn't be without? The basics I know - brewing bucket, hydrometer, something in which to float said hydrometer, airlock, racking cane, carboy, bottling bucket, bottling wand, bottles and either flip-top lids or a floor corker/crown capper. Any brands I look out for, or other pieces of equipment that fall outside the "basics" category?
Oh, not gone yet, but MOST Of it is gone. And it has been tasty.
I live in the rogue valley. You are only an hour or two away from me! And yes, great pear selection here in the fall.Apparently the main agricultural products (non livestock- or timber-related) in our little valley are blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries. I've made several meads with those berries in various combinations and haven't really enjoyed any of them, so my idea of a local-ingredient/spring-time mead doesn't really work; but the Rogue Valley, just to the south of us (and conveniently located within the 50mi radius I like to set for "local") has pears and grapes. I wasn't overly fond of my one attempt at a concord grape pyment either, but pears are one of my wife's favorite fruits so we're going to go with a pear and star anise cyser. Now I just need to find some preservative-free (or at least sorbate free) pear cider, or a juice press and a bunch of pears, and pick a good honey to go with pear, that won't get blown away by the star anise, but won't overwhelm the pear flavor.
For the information of everybody in the Halifax area (@HCGLNS , @Squidleybits , and Nick at the least... I can't remember username to tag) I recommend the Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville. You can sometimes find some of their stuff at NSLC, but their store is the only "reliable" way to find it. Damned fine cider in many varieties. Gared, you're making me desire some of what we have at home tonight, but I have the whole workday to wait until I get some.I was inspired yesterday to bring this back upstairs for a taste. It's pretty good. It's a little hot, as a young mead is wont to be, but it's also very strong and sweet. I think it's time to find some clean glass to age this one in and move on to the next brewing project. No idea what that's going to be yet.
Mmm.... good cider. We have a couple of local cideries that are pretty good, but a lot of the big names down here are still using shitty applewine and mixing in artificial flavors at bottling time, or adding juice to a dead ferment, so you get a horribly sweet, off-tasting cider that tastes like warm Budweiser and Fruit Loops.For the information of everybody in the Halifax area (@HCGLNS , @Squidleybits , and Nick at the least... I can't remember username to tag) I recommend the Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville. You can sometimes find some of their stuff at NSLC, but their store is the only "reliable" way to find it. Damned fine cider in many varieties. Gared, you're making me desire some of what we have at home tonight, but I have the whole workday to wait until I get some.
This was supposed to be FASTER, but every weekend, I've had something going on. I am just now getting around to bottling this...8 months later.It's a lot more work, but supposedly, will produce a mead that finishes fermenting in 14 days and is drinkable after 30.
We'll see how it goes(And if you've read this far, I've added a secret ingredient. Butterfly Pea flowers. It should make something magical. Stay tuned)
I have near 120 bottles of homebrew in the basement of various sorts. I have plenty to keep me occupied while the next batch works.Here's hoping you don't like it so much that you're like I JUST CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS whenever you want some.