A friend loaned me Booze for Free by Andy Hamilton. I'm very impressed with it. So much that I think I'll be buying my own copy soon. I haven't read all of it yet, just the section entitled The Basics and I've already garnered a few new ideas from it. I like Hamilton's style. He is easy to follow and slightly irreverent, reminding us that making booze can't be that hard when prisoners have been known to make it in jail with hardly any equipment at all.
I used one of Andy's ideas when I was straining the apple wine I started last week. It's very simple and if I had an ounce of common sense I would have thought of it myself. I used plastic clothes pegs to pin the muslin straining bag to the edge of the bucket. Previously I put the muslin inside a funnel but it really slowed the process up. I added the sugar, gave it a good stir and decanted it into a sterilised demijohn. No sign of any mad fermentation yet.
Then I saw the fly. At least it looked like a fly. It had wings. I panicked and got Bert's binoculars out. You might wonder what use binoculars would be. But if you reverse the way you look through them and hold them close to the object of interest they make a rudimentary magnifying aid. The fly started to look like a broken apple seed. I do hope so. If the fermentation stops I'll know something is wrong. I have seventeen gallons of wine in jars now. They'll not all be marvellous but I hope they will be drinkable. There is still a lot to learn.
The apple wine recipe is from Pollard and Beech. It's supposed to be a dry one. Unless you're a fly.