Ferment: Failures

Over the last week I’ve had a few failures with my ferments.

First I thought a ferment was done. All signs pointed to it being done. Bubbles no longer ran from the bottom to top, the airlock had gone still for over a week or two, and the ferment itself had separated into liquid and solids. I blitzed and then strained the seeds out and put it into storage jars and bottles.

It seems that by using my stick blender I kickstarted a ferment that wasn’t quite finished. The bottle I had photographed looking quite nice had gotten hard with gas by the end of the day and needed to be burped twice a day. The jars also needed burping. I left the lids on loose.

Then the fermenting raspberries leaked out and onto the fermentation shelf.

Raspberry stains a brilliant magenta tinged bloody red.

I dumped them all back into a fermentation chamber and it continues to ferment.

Then I pulled my plum melomel off the plums. I’d started out with commercial plums to give the ferment a plum flavor. It was bland and tasted like booze. I had intended to put plums from my Dad’s farm into the second ferment for the final flavor to be that of those plums.

Upon racking I did a taste test, only to find a very sharp sour flavor. It doesn’t taste like vinegar or even kombucha. It tastes a lot like a lambic or a gueuze. Sour but sweet and boozy. It goes without saying that this does not please me at all. To add to my plight I had intended to attempt a second ferment with the waste plums, and I’d already committed to the attempt by pre-mixing all my fruit and juices in advance of the racking.

In the end, I’ve either awakened a very interesting strain of sour yeast or made two gallons of very expensive vinegar. Only time will tell me.

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