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The recipe I have for blueberry wine calls for one ingredient I do not have: yeast energizer. Fortunately, The Modern Brewer, where I buy my supplies, is only about 5 minutes from home.

I rushed home from work yesterday so that I could make it to TMB before they closed at 7. I got there at 6:58, but the place looked dark and deserted.

I'm only working afternoons this week, so I decided to swing by in the morning. I showed up at 11, only to find that TMB doesn't open till 12. So I went home to get the wine started, intending to go back when I was ready for the energizer.

First, I rinsed the blueberries. Then I placed them in a nylon straining bag, tied the bag shut, and placed it in the bottom of my primary. Meanwhile, I boiled a little over 7 pints of water with close to 2 pounds of granulated sugar.

Then I crushed the blueberries. I pressed into the nylon bag with my fists as the plump, juicy fruit inside oozed purplish goodness. Then my fingers felt for any uncrushed blueberries and squashed them. When everything was good and crushed, I licked my hands. (Did you think I was going to let that purple nectar go to waste?) When I had licked as much as I could off my hands, I washed them.

When the blueberries were thoroughly crushed and the sugar water was boiling, I poured the water over the blueberries. Then I stirred, covered the primary, and set it aside to cool.

I went back to the store, as it was almost 12. I got there at 11:55, and they were open. I went in and searched. I asked for assistance. I left. They didn't have yeast energizer.

All yeast energizer is is dead yeast husks and riboflavin. It's a little extra something to help the fermentation process. When I got home, I added other ingredients to the purple liquid: acid blend (a blend of acids important to wine), yeast nutrient (which is basically food-grade urea and sodium phosphate -- growth hormones for the yeasties), and a crushed Campden tablet (to kill off any bacteria or molds in the liquid). Late tonight I will add a little pectic enzyme (which destroys pectin and prevents the wine from becoming hazy or gelatinous). I will also start the yeast starter tonight; i.e., I'll start the yeast fermentation in a separate, concentrated liquid so that they are fermenting vigorously before I add them to the rest of the must. Finally, tomorrow I will add the yeast starter to the must, cover everything, and let it sit for about 7 days, until the specific gravity of the must reaches 1.020, at which point I will rack the liquor into a glass secondary.

Meanwhile, my jalapeño wine should be ready by the end of the month.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 26th, 2003 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that I've got some yeast energizer that's only a year or two old, if you decide you need it. I've only ever used it once, when a batch of mead had a stuck fermentation.

I suspect that if you're making a starter, you'll have a vigorous enough fermentation that you won't have any problems, even without the energizer.
Aug. 26th, 2003 07:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm fairly sure I won't need it either, but I wanted to follow the recipe closely. However, if you're going to be in my neck of the woods in the next day or so (say for Diesel or some other reason), maybe you could bring some with you. ;) Thanks!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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