Osoberry Piquette

Piquette, or pomace wine, is an inferior hooch formed from the skins and other solids left over after pressing grapes for wine. My osoberry pomace was the leftovers after making jam, not wine, but I bet it’ll still make a nice inferior hooch! If not, well, I’m not out much.

I milled about 2.5 quarts of osoberries, dumped the leftover skins and seeds into a bucket, and added 2 quarts of water. I took a hydrometer reading (1.02); then I felt sorry for the yeasts and added 2 cups of table sugar, a pinch of yeast nutrient, and a couple tablespoons of bottled lime juice. Did not take another reading. Stirred ‘er up and dumped in a jar of champagne yeast from the fridge (leftovers from the lilac hooch).

Update, 6/21: Opened it up and there was a thin layer of mold on top, which I think may have been because I used a too-big bucket combined with possibly not enough yeast – usually yeast will produce a protective blanket of CO2 which prevents aerobic organisms from colonizing the top of the brew. I skimmed off the mold, and what was underneath tasted good, if syrupy, so I racked it to a growler. Gravity 1.092. Maybe next time I am tempted to impulse-add arbitrary amounts of sugar I will look up some recipes first to improve my sense of proportion. Poured in a bit more leftover yeast – reinforcements!

Update, 8/31: There was still a steady stream of visible bubbles coming up through the growler, but I was fussing with other wine last night so I decided to rack it anyway. Added a pinch of pectic enzyme, too, for good measure. There were a LOT of solids; I filtered it through some nylon mesh fabric. I am worried about the amount of oxygen that got in during the rather messy transfer – I guess the worst that happens is that I end up with osoberry vinegar.

The wine tastes great though. It has the kinds of fruity flavors you expect out of a nice red table wine, balanced by a little acidity and … well, whatever it is the yeast did to the weird rubbery undertones you can sometimes get in osoberries, it worked.

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