So, how are things are going with the “experiments”? Well I’m glad you asked.
Experiment #1 is on its way to sea. Or the water treatment plant. Or somewhere. But not here. On Aug 8th, it did actually start bubbling when shaken – but not much. And the smell was not getting any better. So it’s gone. So much for my tap water. Maybe I’ll try again later with sodium metabisulphite (lots of people suggest doing that anyway for sterilization).
We’ll skip Experiment #2 for the moment…
Experiment #3. Well, it’s been cranking along, but You could see a very defined layer of yellow sediment at the bottom of each bottle. Since that will likely effect the flavor (more on that in a moment), and I wanted to reclaim one of the air-locks, I decided to try and rack the two wine bottles into one larger one that I had forgotten was in the fridge. [It was holding wine I use for spaghetti sauce, and was easily transferred to a small glass container.]
This, my friends, did not go well. That sediment is highly volatile. First time using the siphon hose to rack anything, too. I probably still have about 60% of the yellow sediment. But I did free up the air-lock. And now the fig ferment is all in one bottle, still happily bubbling away.
I had a friend over the other day, and we were talking about these jars of glass. So I let him taste a little bit of the fig, knowing quite well how it tasted. His reaction confirmed what I already knew – a noticeable alcohol smell, the immediate taste of vinegar followed by a long-lasting woody/nutty taste that clings to the mouth once the liquid hits the back of your throat. I gave him a glass of water to wash the flavor away. Hopefully age will fix what is not quite palatable today.
Back to Experiment #2, and #4 as well. Both are about the same. Happily bubbling when shaken. In fact, more than bubbling; foaming aggressively, one might say. But, left unmoved, it still just sits there. Here’s my thought. With such a little volume (quart jars ~4/5 full), the beasties can’t produce enough CO2 to form bubbles that break out of solution. That’s a guess.
Now based on that guess, these two experiments worry me. Half of the “selective environment” being produced is surface CO2 that keeps undesired beasties growing on the top. With it not able to do that, I don’t fully trust it. But, so far, I am letting them continue tightly lidded, releasing the pressure every so often, which does build up.
As for Experiments #5 and #6, I will leave that to another post.