Planned Projects of 2011

May 31, 2011

I got to thinking the other day about what I should be fermenting this coming summer and fall besides the obvious cider. Last year at about this time, we tried to make a dandelion beer, but we decided not to try doing that again. Later in the year, my husband tried to make a modified lemon balm gruit, but I think I’ve done a decent job eradicating that from what is now my garden.

Thing is, I’ve sort of cut back on fermenting stuff in an attempt to save some money. I’m part of a winemaker’s club, and right now they are taking orders for grapes. They can’t quite seem to band together enough to purchase a ton of grapes to get normal prices, so that means it could cost $1.25 per pound, and to make 5 gallons, you need 100 lbs. Granted, that 5 gallons would make 2 cases worth of wine, which would be about $6 a bottle after the yeast and chemicals and stuff. That is much cheaper than buying a bottle! Maybe I would feel a little different if I wasn’t volunteering out in a vineyard.

Of course there will be berry wines: blackberry and strawberry. I think I’ll leave raspberry alone except maybe as 10% of a batch because they like to push out the airlock when fermenting. I also hear blueberries are tricky to ferment, and besides, we eat them like crazy so it would be hard to gather up enough to ferment them. Though, gathering up strawberries is tricky, too.

I need to start another whey wine. My husband just reminded me that we have a lot frozen bananas, so maybe I should give them a try. I think I want to try and make a mead, and of course I have to try a pulque again.  I have a feeling I’m going to end up with a lot of green tomatoes later this fall, and so far I’ve been impressed with fermenting them that I will probably try again. I was not impressed, however, with carrots, but I think I would just try and buy carrot juice if I ever tried that again. Of course, there is also the threat I’ve had for years of making an onion wine just for cooking.

So many options!

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