Pitched the yeast in my crab apple wine this afternoon. I definitely added a liter or so too much water! After I squeezed out the juice from the fruit pulp, I took the specific gravity, which was very low so I added sugar to get it up to 110.10, and then promptly broke the hydrometer– again. Next time I think I’ll buy two. Someone really needs to make hydrometers for clumsy people. Anyway, then I pitched the yeast– no starter this time, just straight in. I’m considering taking the fermentor out of the kitchen because it’s hot in there and I keep reading that cool ferments taste best. The slower fermentation apparently lets more complex flavors develop. Everything else has fermented pretty hot, though.
Then, since I had a little over 4 lbs. of crab apples left, I decided to try crab apple butter. It’s a bit labor-intensive: you cut off the blossom ends and then quarter the fruits– which is a lot when there’s 4 pounds of small apples! Once they’re cut up, you cook them in a small quantity of water until they’re tender, and then you pass them through the food mill and measure out 6 cups. Also kind of a lot of work, but probably because I’m not used to the food mill. Anyway, the finished product looks good:
I’m a little concerned about the air bubbles in some of these, but I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of them because the butter was so thick. The recipe said it would make about 6 jars, but I got 7 that I canned and one more that I just refrigerated, so the return on investment is good, at least.
There’s about 6 ounces of crab apples (I keep wanting to call them crabs, but either way you take that, it just doesn’t sound right) left so I chopped those and put them in the freezer. They will likely go into the Christmas Tutti-Fruti. I’m also slowly collecting raspberries, but they’re not quite there yet, so I probably have about 3 ounces– not quite the 2-3 lbs. I need for wine. But there are lots of little white ones on the canes, so fingers crossed!