First things first: I have made my Rebel Rhubarb wine labels! They print four to a page, so one bottle will just get a note on the side in Sharpie. If the wine turns out as well as my label, I will be very pleased.
I’ve also made some progress on the Peach Perfection, though I can’t say I’m a fan of the directions. I find the recipe unnecessarily confusing and headache-inducing. But here’s the pre-sugared wine in its carboy. With the sugar, it looks quite different. This is only one pound of brown sugar and four of white, but it’s so dark!
I’ve also added the yeast nutrient and pitched the yeast. There’s about half a gallon of overrun left, so I will hold that back for when the active fermentation is over– there’s more room here, but not for all that frothin’ and fussin’. I’ve also taken the leftover fruit from this wine and cooked it with a little sugar, maybe to become ice cream or something.
It turns out that a five-gallon carboy is quite a cumbersome thing. It’s sort of shoved into a corner for the primary fermentation, but the big jugs don’t come with nice little handles like the little ones do, so to move this sucker any distance, I have to get my hands under it and lift it up. Once it’s safely in my arms, it’s not hard to deal with, but there’s that brief moment of terror as I juggle it initially, half expecting the whole thing to tip over.
Finally, here’s the melomel:
It’s fermenting quite nicely, and the kitchen smells nice and yeasty, and slightly peachy. The wine was pinker at first, but clearly the pink has faded. The orange juice I pitched the yeast into didn’t help. I do hope this goes a little pinker when it clears, but my last mead hasn’t started clearing yet, so I’m mentally prepared to have great patience with this one. This is just a single gallon, and may be joined my a pyment (grape mead) if my Concords don’t give me enough for regular old wine. Sarah and Tom next door also say I can have some fruit or juice if I don’t have quite enough. I hope I do, because I do want to try my hand at a more traditional wine!
I also gathered some windfall apples on campus yesterday with a friend (also confusingly called Sarah), but I haven’t weighed those yet so I don’t know what I’ve got. Not a lot– most of what was available to us was squirrel- or bug-eaten, or half-rotted. I’m guessing two pounds max, but if I keep collecting, that will eventually be enough for apple wine!