Oh my lord. I am sure I posted about this earlier but can’t find the original post. I started the first batch off a week ago and I used this recipe Make sure you read all the comments if you’re interested in making this!
So, I let it sit in a stockpot for 2 days. It wasn’t fermenting on its own by then so I added a quarter teaspoon of champagne yeast and half a teaspoon of yeast nutrient (that may have been where I went wrong LOL). It started fermenting – great. Yesterday I bottled it and, thankfully, followed the suggestion in the comments section in the link above and used one plastic soft drink bottle as a tester (if plastic goes hard and bulgy then you know lots of pressure is building up inside).
So, within only 4 hours of bottling it, the plastic bottle was hard and bulging! I undid the screw cap enough to let off some of the gas, then, ahem, tackled the glass bottles, which have Grolsch-style swing tops. Open first bottles – fizz EVERYWHERE! It exploded out! ROFL (what else can you do?). So then I more carefully opened the other bottles – have learned the routine now. Undo the swing cap just enough to quickly let off the explosive first pop, then close it against as fast as you can. Wait a minute or so – repeat. Wait a minute or so – repeat. That way I get rid of most of the explosive buildup of gas without it fizzing every which way. I am going to have to do this once or maybe even twice a day for a while, I think. I don’t want the bottles exploding.
There is always a squadron of fascinated cats sitting around in a circle as I do this. LOL
So, the champagne is still fermenting madly in the bottles. I need to wait a week then I can taste it. Already it tastes fabulous. Can hardly wait for the week to go by. Home-made alcohol with only the cost of the sugar and a few cents worth of yeast. Too cool.
The tomatoes are fabulous now. It was really only that first batch of seedlings that died. The second and third batches of seedlings are doing great. So I can’t start them off too early – I think because we have such long dark days down here in late winter and early spring that they don’t like the lack of daylight hours.
The rock melons have also started to germinate – was having huge hassles with them, too. They did nothing in the greenhouse, but over the past week have shifted pots onto a set of sandstone steps that sit in the sun all day long and what do you know – rock melons.