I still haven't gotten around to racking the Chianti. I figured I'd start with the smaller, one gallon sized wines, first. I think I'm just more excited about these two, as they're from my own recipes. The Chianti is a kit, and there really isn't a whole lot of challenge to that. I get much more enjoyment from playing mad scientist, and seeing if what I come up with is drinkable. These first two definitely are.
The Orange/Banana is on the left and the Apple/Raisin is on the right. I racked the apple wine first. This was the one with the questionable ferment. The ferment was just fine, in fact this one has an awesome alcohol content. It seems that the Mr. Beer fermenters have built in gas release by way of a groove on either side of the top opening. Even when the lid is screwed on tightly, the gas still escapes. Which makes sense since folks use these to ferment beer and there is no airlock in the kit. I had the husbeast drill the hole in the top of the lid for nothing. Now I get to find a plug for it. Live and learn. But I am happy to report that the Mr. Wine (his new name) is a dandy fermenter. So much so, I'll be looking for more of these.
This morning the husbeast woke up just as I was mid-racking. I couldn't wait for him to sample my apple raisin concoction. His verdict? "Tastes like alcoholic baby food." This from a man who swills gallons of apple juice. I guess he had on his cranky panties. More for me! I think it tastes like Wassail. All it needs is some cranberry juice, orange slices and cinnamon sticks. He declined my offer to sample the orange banana wine. That's OK. I understand that wine isn't his thing. And I really have no problem with not sharing it. The orange banana was tasty, too. This one has less alcohol, but then it started with less sugar. I am especially proud of this particular wine since it used actual fruits from my kitchen. Not just concentrated juice.
I learned a valuable lesson from these wines. A strainer bag for the must is essential. I used a bag for the orange wine and none for the apple. Can you see the raisin bits floating in the apple wine? See, I should've had those in a strainer bag. I will definitely use one from now on.