Failure to Froth – – –

Jack gets over the line again – – –

Many years ago when we were living in Scotland I made wine, mostly from things that grew around and about in the fields near our house. Raspberries, blackberries, apples, elderberries and elderflowers. Particularly raspberries, which grew in a sunken pasture at the foot of the lane; we would lift our terrier over the stone wall and remove his leash, clamber down, and pick for hours while he ran about making himself crazy pretending he owned the place.

A few months ago we decided to revive the activity and ordered a kit on-line. The delivery date kept going back and back so we canceled and bought from a local source—which turned out to be cheaper. Shop local, kids; we learned our lesson. When the stuff arrived, I recognized some of the doohickeys but found it hard to remember exactly how I’d done the process years ago.

We put together firethorn berries and black raspberries from our yard, along with various fruit juices plus sugar dissolved in hot water and added the yeast. Then we waited for the frothing to start – and waited, and waited. Nothing! Maybe the temperature in the house was too low, so we upped to 72 degrees and didn’t lower it at night. (Every night about 2 am Wendy throws off the covers and mutters something. I think it’s “I’m melting.”) Still nothing!!

I made a yeast starter with some of the juice, more water and sugar, and yeast and yeast nutrient. It started to bubble and then stopped.

I don’t remember ever in the old days having this problem, so I will be getting advice from my friend Beth in a few days. She regularly makes wine from grape juice and never has this problem; she even made the wine for her own wedding, which for a good Baptist girl is quite something.

Whenever I need to get advice about something that may be going wrong I usually consult Dr Google but she hasn’t been much help this time – lots of differing and confusing instructions.

Likely Dr Beth will have the answers and I’ll get that elusive primary fermentation frothing happily soon. It’s begun to feel personal, this failure to froth….

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