A Near Thing

We started our fourth gallon of wine the other day… this time it was blueberry with fruit from our own bushes. I followed the normal procedure of adding every ingredient except the yeast the first day, and then “pitching” the yeast 24 hours later. The mixture was then stirred and the waiting began. I did attempt to warm up the proto-wine in the sink prior to adding the yeast. I’ve learned over the years that cool liquid temperatures can make the yeast die off ruining the batch.

This morning one of my first projects was to take a look at the bubbler on the primary fermenter. I would have expected some obvious action by this time. There was nothing. I opened up the lid on the primary and looked inside. I neither saw nor smelled evidence of yeast activity. A bit worried now, I closed the lid and put the primary back in the sink, and added hot water to the sink in an attempt to warm the liquid and thereby perk up the yeast. This went on many times today; as the water in the sink cooled it was drained, more hot was added, the cover lifted up and the contents inspected. Nothing obvious was happening.

Alice and I were in the kitchen talking about this batch, and were about to admit defeat, when a bubble made its way through the top. We both looked at each other, then back at the fermenter. Slowly the cap inside the bubbler began to rise and another bubble escaped. Yes! Houston, we have fermentation! As the day progressed, the bubbles became more numerous, which is exactly what we had hoped for. Now the search is on for some blackberries.

2 Responses to “A Near Thing”

  1. Andy Peed says:

    Ted, we have to talk… do you have any experience with making meads &/or melomels? I have this idea…

  2. Ted says:

    I’d enjoy talking fermented beverages with you sometime Andy. I’ve never made mead, and have never even heard of melomel, but I’m always interested.

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