Today we had many beer and wine related chores to accomplish. We went out for our Sunday lunch date, to Vien Dong, then came home and racked the hefeweizen into the secondary carboy. Since the husbeast had to work today I wasn't in the mood to watch football all by my lonesome. So I used the time to finally rack my Chianti into the secondary, as well.
I had to add 4 different clearing agents which involved stirring like mad with a long spoon for 10 minutes. Apparently if you don't stir long enough or vigorously enough your wine won't clear properly. This batch should be ready for bottling in 2 weeks. I think I'm going to have to invest in a carboy dolly. I had to carry this 6 gallons of wine from one end of the house to the other, then back again. It's heavy! In the picture you can see the gallon of mead up on the counter, patiently awaiting its second racking. It's clearing nicely. After racking the mead it was time to start my next wine which is a strawberry rhubarb. I'll pitch the yeast in it tomorrow night.
I am trying to have very little waste from my beer making. I had been freezing the spent grains but am running out of freezer room. We are doing a LOT of brewing and each batch produces over 30 cups of spent grains. I've put them in bread, made dog cookies, fed them to my chickens (and a friend's chickens) but still I can't keep up. So I will attempt to dehydrate them for longer term storage. I've ordered up more racks and some liners for my dehydrator but they won't arrive until late next week. In the meantime I am drying a big batch of the grain in my oven, on cookie sheets.
We are also trying to use the trub (beer sludge) as slug bait. If it works I'll be freezing the trub until needed. I have a trap baited now so my fingers are crossed that this will take a dent out of the backyard slug population.