Goddamned Fruit Flies

Fruit flies had colonized the waterlocks on carboys #5 and #7, as well as the un-named 3 gal. carboy of mead that had been slowly mellowing its way toward potability. I had to pour all 13 gallons of alcoholic goodness down the !@#$!@#$ sink — one of them smelled a bit strongly of vinegar, and while the others didn’t, the notion of emptying out a bunch of half-drowned flies from the waterlocks and reattaching them really didn’t appeal. I declared them violated, and am just glad that the majority of carboys (the remaining ones, as it happens) are all feeding blow-by tubes into a large mason jar of water instead of waterlocks. Perhaps someday soon I’ll bottle them.

All Done

There was more sludge than I thought initially, but the final yield was 39 12oz bottles and 5 double-deuces. Capped in green.

I found that I had left a convenient note-to-self on the glass, in Sharpie, which was unreadable against the dark cidery background. Filled on November 12 of 2002, Carboy No. 5 was 4 gallons of Skurdahl blend and 1 quart of pureed blackberries from Ian’s backyard patch. No mention of the yeast pitched, if any, but that’ll be in the Logbook, wherever it’s gotten itself to.

Regrettably, I had the racking tube set a bit too low when I started bottling, so some of the first few have a fair bit of blackberry sediment in them. Feh. So there are a few seeds… it’s a distinction of the handcrafting process 🙂

The Old No. 5

I have been remiss… the 2002 vintage has been languishing in its carboys, waiting to be bottled. Some time back I brought carboy No. 5 up to the kitchen, anticipating a bottling which never came to pass. Time to rectify that, and get the stuff into convenient 12oz bottles for consumption.

I don’t seem to have my cider log anywhere handy, so I’ve no idea what No. 5 is, in terms of yeast, additives, etc. I’ve a strong suspicion that it’s either a blackberry or cranberry mixture, since it has rosey, purplish tones. Must dig up that logbook.

As of this writing the bottles are undergoing a final sterilization run in the dishwasher and the crowncaps are simmering on the stovetop. Should yield 48-50 12oz bottles, as there’s not much in the way of lees.

May, and Not Yet in the Bottle

The cider looks great… but it’s still sitting in the basement in 5 gallon carboys. I need to rack them once more, top ’em off with some commerical juice (I didn’t freeze enough of the must), and allow them to precipitate a bit more before bottling. I just never seem to rack often enough.

The Slakethirst 2002 Blend

Regrettably, circumstances precluded my hand-picking or pressing the apples this year. Instead, I purchased 24 gallons of already-pressed cider from Skurdahl Farms on 3 November ’02. This was her Batch #3.

Lori Skurdahl has her cider pressed at Daum’s Mill, where I took my apples in ’01. Unfortunately, Lori doesn’t track the precise percentage of each variety included in the blend, but these are the varieties:

Pounds Variety
N/A Medaille d’Or
N/A Kingston Black
N/A Tremlett’s Bitter
N/A Michelin
N/A Chisel Jersey
N/A Belle de Boskoop