In the last post on this subject, I had just finished adding potassium metabisulfite and sorbate to the single gallon batches which had reached the end of secondary fermentation. Did I mention they are beautiful? The honeysuckle, especially, is a crystal-clear light orange.
Well, that was last Sunday. Wednesday evening, I added the sugar to the only one I had decided to sweeten – the pineapple wine. I used 4oz of sugar heated in a small amount of water to create the back-sweetener.
The instructions on my potassium metabisulfite say to wait 3-4 days minimum before bottling. Thursday should have been fine; everything was looking good. But I didn’t find an opportunity until yesterday afternoon. One of the things that held me up was that I was short on potassium metabisulfite for making a sanitization solution for the bottles.
Well, it turns out that I skipped using that altogether. In beer bottling, potassium metasbisulfite is actually detrimental, unless you rinse thoroughly – which has the potential to defeat the purpose. So… I picked up Star San at my local supply store and made a sanitizing solution with it instead. It comes highly recommended. And I’d say I definitely liked using it. Kim always has a hard time in the kitchen when I have been using the other – makes her light-headed. The Star San solution (1/4oz to 1 gallon of water) has no noticeable odor.
One at a time, I bottled the pomegranate, the pineapple and the honeysuckle – in that order. Each produced 5 bottles. I used green for the pomegranate, and clear for the other two. Bottling went smoothly, to my great relief. But corking was not so simple. I had one cork that decided to stop entering the bottle about a 1/4 inch before in (pomegranate bottle 3). And then as I tried to cork pineapple bottle 5, I apparently did not have a good enough handle on the bottle, and ended up with a bottle landing on the floor.
I’m just glad the bottle didn’t shatter. I was able to recover by adding just a little bit of leftover honeysuckle metheglin to that last bottle of pineapple. “Pineapple wine with a hint of honeysuckle mead” is a little lengthy on the label, but that’s the gist of it.
The pomegranate calculated with an ABV of 15.5%, or 17.8% if you go with the alternate high gravity method. I labeled 15.5, but since the OG was 1.118, well… The pineapple wine’s calculation is so unbelievable that I shudder to report it. An SG change from 1.075 to 0.930 gives an ABV of 19.8%. No, no, no. Just not possible. Something is wrong – either with my measurements, or something. I don’t know what. But I find it hard to believe the 19.8%. A small taste bore out that sugar was good from the back-sweetening – but gave no indication that there was a high level of alcohol. I left the ABV off the label, as I simply don’t believe I have good numbers to base an ABV on.
Lastly, the honeysuckle calculated at 14% ABV, and was labeled so. And now…we wait.