Over the past few weeks, I have acquired some other fermentables. If you’ve never seen 24 pounds of honey in a bucket, you’ll want to check out this post.
So yesterday, my brother dropped by Poverty Lane Orchards on his way back from a business meeting in Burlington, VT and bought some pressed apple juice (the label says sweet cider, but we know better). When I got home from work, I had three, mostly frozen solid, gallon jugs of this stuff on my front porch.
I put them in the beer fridge with the fermenting New England hard cider. They are slowing thawing out and keeping the temp in the fridge steady. I don’t think I have heard the compressor kick on since I put the jugs in there.
This juice is unexpected – I asked my brother to pick up some of their Farnum Hill cider, not the sweet, unfermented stuff.
That’s not to say these 3 gallons are unwanted. I will put them to good use. I think I will make a simple scrumpy – just juice and yeast.
The only decision I have to make is what yeast strain to use. Do I use a champagne strain or an English cider strain? I have used a champagne strain before and that’s what all the expert say to use.
I may use a liquid version this time around rather than a dry one.
I have Campden tablets and I plan to add them at the end of fermentation. Then, I will add a little sugar to sweeten it just enough, bottle it, and let it age a couple of months (if I can wait that long). It will be a nice still cider.
In the beginning of November, I bought some honey in bulk – a raw local wildflower honey and a Maine blueberry honey.
The honey is packed in white plastic buckets like this one:
It’s marked BB for blueberry. Sweet.
I don’t know how hard it is going to be to work with this much honey, but learning will be half the fun, right?
The honey in the small jar I bought from Merrimack Valley Apiaries was all crystallized. I had gently and slowly heat it up to get it back into a liquid form. I was afraid that the buckets would be in the same shape. I opened this one just to see what condition it was in.
This honey is also raw and unfiltered so that is why it’s a little foamy on the top, but it appeared to be not crystallized which is what I was hoping to find.
I am not sure when I will get around to making some more mead, but I think I have the right raw materials to do it.