Slow Days: Peach Wine, continuing

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Wine is not something we discuss on a Fast Day. Too many empty calories. But the nice thing about the Fasting Lifestyle is that since you Fast only two days per week, you can enjoy wine [responsibly] on the other 5 days. Three months ago we began to make a batch of Peach Wine. The wine has been sitting on the floor of the dining room, while the yeast cheerfully ferments sugars into alcohol. All the while, fine particles — dead yeast cells and fruit pulp — have been settling to the bottom of the glass bottles. These are called “lees.” At the three month point, the wine above the lees should be fairly clear. To see how clear the wine is, we can use the Tyndall Effect. If you shine a strong flashlight beam through the wine, you can see how much suspended residue remains.

Our job today is to “rack off” the wine. That means to pour off the clear wine into a clean bottle, leaving the lees behind. Use Camden Solution to rinse out a gallon jug and a 750 ml wine bottle, returning the rinsing Solution to its storage container.

Pouring off the cleared wine takes a sustained effort and a steady hand. You must pour the wine without stopping — if you pour out some, then put the jug down again, the lees will have kicked up and clouded more of the wine. It will settle again, but that will take a month or two. So: in one steady, slow stream, carefully pour the wine into the clean jug, but stop pouring when the cloudy liquid starts to come out. In chemistry, the process of pouring clear liquid off from a cloudy liquid is called ‘decanting.’ DO NOT think that you can use a filter to strain out the lees — it does not work. It is not cheating to use a funnel to help you to pour.

On left, the wine decanted from the smaller bottle into a 750ml bottle. Next, the wine decanted from the jug into a clean, sterilized jug. Third from left, the clearer of the cloudy wine poured into a 750 ml bottle for further clearing. On right, the really sludgy lees that will be poured down the sink.

Top off the jug with clear wine from the smaller bottle. You can pour the lees down the sink. The yeast that remains will give a nice boost to digestion in your septic tank. Seriously. There will be some wine left over in the first jug and 750ml bottle, which is now cloudy with lees again. I put most of that into a small bottle to settle out again so I can save that wine. I’m such a Yankee!

Here is the gallon jug with a gallon of peach wine inside. Also, the bottle with cloudy wine that needs to settle out.

Fit the jug with the airlock, transfer the label to the wine jug, write in your wine notebook the date that you racked off, and put the jug aside in a cool, dark spot to clear again and to mature.

That didn’t take long. See you again in six or seven months for bottling. NB: at that time, you will need 5 clean, empty 750 ml wine bottles [you can use empties — no need to buy them]; 5 new wine corks [I use the size called #9]; a bottle-corking device; the hydrometer and the graduated cylinder from before; and maybe some sugar.

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