So, I am heading to Porto, Portugal; actually in the airport, though my plane is delayed (a resigned, ugh).
Seeing that I would be gone for the next couple weeks, and that of my current batches in secondary ferment, all but the strawberry melomel had fairly sizable layers of lees, I decided to rack before leaving. Oh, the strawberry melomel had lees, of course, just not as much as the mead or braggot.
I started with the braggot (okay, actually I sanitized equipment first with a potassium metabisulfite solution), checking specific gravity and then racking. I was shocked at first to find my reading at about 1.022. If you recall, the last reading was 1.020, which would actually make that an increase in specific gravity, so I rechecked the measurement, twirling the hydrometer to throw off bubbles. That did the trick, and I ended with a reading of 1.017. I then proceeded to rack to a temporary primary fermentation bucket, then again back into the original carboy and glass jug (3G and 1G respectively). To fill back up the gallon jug, I had to use most of the “leftover” bottle of braggot still standing air-locked on the baker’s rack in my kitchen. The result is a beautiful reddish brown and quite cleared ferment. I hope it is finished when I arrive back in town. There were still quite a large number of bubbles rising to the surface before racking – which I’m thinking were coming off the layer of sediments at the bottom. With those removed, not sure if that will keep up.
I then moved on to the melomel. It is a glorious reddish-yellow tint, but still quite opaque in volume. With an SG of 1.001, it is moving along. I racked similarly (bucket then back to the carboy), and had to top off with water. My brother-in-law tried some, and noted its tartness. I quite agree, and as he commented – that is not necessarily a bad thing!
Finally, I got to the mead. The mead is just as opaque as the melomel, if not more so. It is a deep yellow, as expected, and has quite a bit of sweetness – not so unexpected for the measured SG of 1.010; and tons of bubbles still surfacing prior to racking. Once again, I racked to the plastic bucket then back to the carboy, topping off with water.
That’s all for now. I hope to share with you samplings from Porto. Maybe I will get to see some wine-in-progress. May not have time to do so while there for work, but when my wife arrives to vacation with me, it is much more of a likelihood. Até lá…