Category: Homebrewing


Homebrew Update!


Today we have yet another homebrew update. I managed to rack both the plum wine and the Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead, both had developed quite a bit of sediment and I was worried they might develop a bad taste. Both had also almost completely stopped fermenting, there were almost no bubbles in the airlock.

Before racking. This is an old picture, there was actually a lot of sediment in both and they were much clearer.

From the first racking, several weeks ago.

I racked the plum first, there was over an inch of sludge on the bottom.

After racking but before topping off with water. Most of the sediment is gone.

And of course I wanted to taste it.

There are a few floaties, but they should settle in time.

It’s drinkable if you’re an alcoholic – it has a very “hot” taste, like it’s all alcohol. I can taste a little bit of the preserves I started with, after aging a bit the flavor should improve. I tasted it before adding water, that one little shot glass knocked me on my ass – it has a kick like a mule. Hopefully that will smooth out as well.

Next up was the mead.

After racking but before adding water. It's pretty clear, I wasn't able to remove all the sediment so when I added water it clouded up again.

After topping off, with a taster on the side.

I tasted the mead as well, and it was GOOD, sweet with a pleasant orange taste and a very strong orange smell. It smells a bit like fresh orange juice. It doesn’t have the kick or the raw alcohol taste the plum does, so it will finish off quicker. I will definitely be making more of this.

The next day, with a flashlight behind them to show their color.

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Just a quick update on my recent homebrewing adventures.

The plum wine is bubbling nicely – I moved it into the closet after racking it the week before last and there was a sudden flurry of yeast activity. It has since settled down but is bubbling quite nicely.

Doesn't that remind you of a freshly poured soda?

I’m sure the specific gravity has changed, it was very cloudy and now there’s about two inches of sludge on the bottom. I might rack it early just to get it off the gunk so it doesn’t pick up any bad flavors.

Inspired by my net-friend Moira, I have decided to make a gallon of mead. I found a really easy recipe that is supposed to be good, if made completely different from real mead. It’s called Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead and was super easy.

The ingredients were simple – warm water,three pounds of honey, twenty-five raisins, a cinnamon stick, a whole orange cut into pieces and (of course) yeast. Basically you toss everything into your carboy, cap it with an airlock, and wait. No stirring, no racking, the less you touch it the better. After a couple of months, it’s ready. I’m curious as to how it will taste.

On the left, the plum wine. On the right, Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. You can just barely see the band of lighter color at the bottom of the plum wine - that's the gunk.

I left quite a bit of head space in the mead’s carboy – I was expecting a much more vigorous fermentation. (The plum wine frothed like a bottle of soda someone had dropped.) If it doesn’t foam up in a few days I’ll add more water. It is fermenting, the airlock is bubbling very steadily, it just hasn’t gone crazy like I had expected.

BUBBLES!