Saturday, September 24, 2022

Angry Watermelons

 ... make angry watermelon wine.

That's the only thing I can think given the results of my wine making. I finally bottled my Georgia melons last night after having given up that they would ever finish fermenting or take the edge off their hostility. You're supposed to allow them to ferment until the hydrometer reads below 1.0, which indicates that all of the available sugars have been used, but mine stalled out at 1.024 and no amount of waiting around would get it to finish.

A quick tutorial is in order. Water has a specific gravity of 1.0. Alcohol is less than 1 and sugar water is more than 1. As the yeast eats the sugar and converts is to alcohol, your specific gravity falls. You're supposed to take a specific gravity reading before fermentation starts so you get an idea of the percent of alcohol in your wine at the end, but as I'm full on Johnny Reb these days, I rebelled against doing it the right way and skipped that step.

Read: As usual, I was trying to do too much and was in a hurry when I began fermentation.

My bet is that the wine started out with a ton of sugar and a very high specific gravity. The yeast did its job until the alcohol content rose to the point that the yeast died of alcohol poisoning.

Mostly Nothing will tell you that I used to brew beer the same way. These days, my old Schweinbrau would have been considered a double or triple as I would let it ferment until the yeast was killed by the alcohol. No hydrometering for me, no sir!

In any case, Uncle Tubby's Old Vine Pink, as we are now calling it, is a pretty angry wine. Wife kitteh thinks it has a bouquet reminiscent of low quality cough medicine and can't get past that to acknowledge the fact that for a cheesy fruit wine, it's not very sweet. To be honest, as she didn't try it two weeks ago, she has no idea how far it has come. Two weeks ago, I was about to throw it all down the drain. When I tried some sips last night, I actually liked it.

In order to boost the sweetness, I added about 3/4 tsp of sugar to each bottle I left one undoctored and we'll see how that goes. It's got to age for at least two months in the bottle and I'm hoping that further tames the brutes.

I looked up solutions to hostile homemade wine last night on the web and discovered that watermelon wine is difficult to make for just this reason. I guess the unpleasant flavor of the melon rind comes through unless you do everything just right. Oh well. 

Now it's on to label design.


Mostly Nothing said...

I remember when we were both brewing, you did lack a little documentation. I hope the wine mellows some more for you. I really don't miss brewing anymore.

We are visiting our nuclear engineer out in Idaho. Spent the day in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. There are some really awesome sights out here.

Ilíon said...

I have no idea what "angry" means in this context.

K T Cat said...

Ilion, the wine has a harsh taste, hence the claim that the watermelons were angry.

Ilíon said...

It seems to me that alcohol in general has a harsh taste.

Ilíon said...

I was guessing that "harsh" was a technical term in the brewer's craft.