We’ve had a busy day outside our living room window!
We’ve had quite a few deer visiting the feeding station, and just plain hanging out. The piebald has been standing around the old junk pile (maybe we should start calling it something else, since we cleared out the junk and there’s just old stacked boards now), chillin’ for at least a couple of hours. Others have just been wandering around the area, sometimes at the feeding station, sometimes nibbling lilac twigs, sometimes among the spruces, nibbling whatever underbrush they happen to be next to.
Keith had front row seating to watch them all, with his ever tragic expression!
Now that Saffron is gone, other cats have been sitting on the warm light fixture over the seedlings. Especially Fenrir and, pictured above, Beep Beep.
It must feel nice on their still nekkid bellies!
Today, I finally got around to sterilizing bottles and equipment, and bottling the second carboy of hard crab apple sider.
The one I meant to bottle months ago!
The other other we had fermenting was bottled back in August. If you follow that link, the post has links to the whole process of making it, starting from when we picked the apples back in September, of 2020. We had no apples in 2021, so no new crab apple brews of any kind, sadly.
So… yeah. This carboy has been fermenting since September of 2020.
When the other carboy was bottled, we didn’t do a hydrometer reading, so I did that from the last bottle we’ve got of it, while preparing to bottle the second batch.
I really hate doing hydrometer readings. I can’t read the tiny numbers and have to take pictures to be able to see them – but the camera does NOT want to focus on the hydrometer.
After – hopefully – reading the hydrometer right, the ABV calculator I’ve got came to 10.5% Alcohol By Volume.
For the second carboy, I did a reading before starting to bottle, and the calculation came to 11.8% Alcohol By Volume.
Not too shabby!
The jug we’re using as the carboy after racking the initial brew was repurposed from a 3L wine bottle. I was able to fill three 750L bottles, plus a 250ml bottle, before it was down to the dregs.
Of course, we had to do a taste test to compare the two.
The first thing you’ll notice in the pictures, is that the cider I was about to bottle is a darker colour compared to the one already bottled.
The previously bottled cider had a strong, almost bitter, taste to it. It tasted stronger of alcohol, too, though it had a lower percentage.
The newly bottled cider had a fruitier, smoother taste.
Both tasted good, but I prefer the one that stayed in the carboy for 1 1/2 years. That extra 7 months seems to have made a positive difference.
I do hope we have crab apples this year. I look forward to making this again!