fermentation update

ma and i are leaving town for about 9 days, which means much as i really like to do it, i won’t be able to skim the scum off my kraut that i made a few weeks ago.  I frankly hadn’t been all that good about skimming the scum off in the first place, so i felt it best to call it good and put it in the fridge.

kraut packed into jars

i’m too embarrassed to show you the thick layer of white and blue mold that managed to form on this in the last week without skimming.  it’s pretty remarkable how quickly it grows, especially because i had absent mindedly, moved it near the heating vent, where it seems to reproduce even faster.  some looking at this mold might feel tempted to pitch the whole batch, but i do belive that would be a classic example of pitching the baby out with the bath water.

i scraped all the mold off plus the top layer of kraut that came in contact with it, gave it a taste, and it seemed perfectly fine to me.  packed into a jar and thrown in the fridge, it will be ready to eat when we get home.  it’s an especially sour batch, but still pretty crisp, so this might be a batch best for cooking to mellow out the sourness and soften up the cabbage.

the lemon pickles

i also wanted to check on the lemon pickles before i left.  unlike the kraut which i had at least checked on from time to time, the lemons i’d not even taken one peek at.  first thing i noticed is what a great job the oil did at keeping any bit of mold from growing, only the slightest bit on an edge where i’d not put enough oil on.  the lemons had developed a wonderful color, and were bubbling slightly when i pulled them out.  i gave a taste to one, the rind was starting to become softer and the flesh mellower, but still needed a few more weeks to go, but i think they are gonna be really good.  i had added plenty of spices to the mix which i thought might be too powerful, but they only gave a subtle flavor to the lemons.

i needed to make sure the meads were in good shape to be left alone.  you may remember my adding fruit to them a few weeks ago in this post.  i had used a champion juicer which seemed to leave a lot of pulp in the juice.  i’d hoped that somehow this pulpy stuff on the top would go away in a couple of weeks, but for the most part it didn’t, a bit settled out, but most remained as can be seen in the image below.

apricot mead on fruit for one month

so seeing no real good answers i decided that the best course of action was to filter them all.  i sanitized 5 glass jugs, a funnel, and a sieve.  it ended up taking hours longer that i wanted it  to take because the particles are so fine and kept clogging the sieve which had to be cleaned out.  in the end i was able to get most of the pulp out.  it was good that i had that left over jug of straight mead to top them off with, since after filtering out fruit pulp there was plenty of space left on top, not something you want, as it exposes the mead to oxygen which can make for a less that pleasant tasting mead.

filtered mead

a taste of each of them shows them coming along nicely, not too sweet or too dry, but still plenty of time for them to age, so who know how they will turn out.  i might have to add some honey in order to keep them from getting too dry.  if one thing has been learned from this whole process, it’s that now we know why most people use a fruit press for making juice and not a juicer.

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