Today, the girls and I worked on juicing apples and getting some hard crab apple cider started (which I will post about next). While I was de-stemming the crab apples and cutting off any nasty bits, they took care of sanitizing the gallon jugs and the various items that would be needed.
They usually did the sanitizing part during our few beginner attempts at making alcoholic drinks.
That’s my excuse!
You see, when I used sanitizer to start the crab apple cider vinegar a couple of nights ago, I made a mistake. A silly, forgetful mistake. A laughable mistake, even.
But for the cider vinegar, it was a deadly, disastrous mistake.
As I listened to the girls chatting while using the sanitation solution, then rinsing everything off and setting it aside on a towel to drip dry, I suddenly realized my horrible mistake.
When I sanitized everything for the vinegar, I set everything out to drip dry – but forgot to give them a final rinse, first. Which means, when I made the vinegar, everything had dried sanitizing solution on them.
There’s no way they’d be able to ferment at all!
Later, while my younger daughter and I were juicing apples, I mentioned it to her. Oh, my, the look on her face!
Sweetheart that she is, she took over the juicing while I went and got the jars.
There was, of course, no sign of bubbling in the air lock, but after only 2 days, would there have been any? I don’t know. However, when I opened them up, I could see they were already a loss. There may not have been any fermentation happening, but decomposition had already started at the very top. 😦
Thankfully, since I had prepped all the other apples for juicing, I was able to wash, sanitize and RINSE THE HECK OUT OF everything, then quickly chop apples into pieces for a new batch.
The only thing different from last time, aside from actually rinsing everything after sanitization, was to not fill the jars as much as I had before. The recipe had said to fill the jars 3/4 full. I think I was still over that, but the first batch was full almost to the top. Here, you can sort of see through the container they are in, that there is a fair bit of space under the floating apple pieces.
I foresee only one problem right now.
These are in the old kitchen and, right now, it’s pretty cold. It was cold enough today that the furnace actually turned on – and the thermostat was dropped quite low over the summer! As I write this, it’s already dropped to 4C (39F), and we have frost warnings for tonight. Amazingly, we’re supposed to go above 20C (68F) in a couple of days, but for now, it’s downright chilly! The old kitchen doesn’t have any heat going into it. Back in the day, with the wood stove going, it was a source of heat for the rest of the house, not the other way around! I don’t even know what the old kitchen has for insulation, if anything. It stays cools in the summer, and in the winter, it gets pretty close to freezing in there. We can actually use the room as an extra refrigerator in the winter.
The cider vinegar should be done well before we reach those sorts of temperatures all the time, but the next couple of days might slow things down a bit!
We shall see how it goes.
I still can’t believe I made such a silly mistake!