Went over to Whole Foods and picked up 5 gallons of "Mrs Gooch's" apple juice, complete with 1 gal. glass carboys. These were the last 5 gallons they had at $5.99. Here is the recipe I am using....
48 oz. R.O. filtered well water
3 lbs. dextrose
2 pkgs Red Star Montrechet
3 gallons--minus 48 oz-- "Mrs. Gooch's" apple juice
Dissolve 3 lbs. dextrose in 48 oz. water heated to 170 degrees. Add apple juice, cool to 76 degrees. I pre-hydrated the yeast in 1/2 cup of (R.O. filtered well) water with 1 tblsp of dextrose when the applejuice was added to dextrose/water. Piched yeast at 76 degrees. We re-used the glass carboys that the apple juice came in for fermenting. Had a little bit left so I put it in a sanitized mason jar. I figure I can use this for hydrometer readings....Durring this process Katie (my wife) and I imbibed the 48 oz. of removed "Mrs Gooch's" with liberal amounts of E&J Brandy. Lubricates the process....
OG at pitch was 1.099
Potential ABV at pitch about %13
I hope I read the hydrometer right, first time reading one as I just bought it today.
Once it hits the target ABV I plan on racking it over 4 lbs. freshly stewed strawberrys, mixed with 1lb Mesquite Blossom Honey and 6 Tablespoons of Vanilla extract.
SWMBO likes a sweet drink.....
Meanwhile I also bottled my first hombrew tonight from a kit, so far nothing to be paranoid about ( no bad flavors/smells/growths/unidentified floating masses) so I think my first brew will be a success
I will keep y'all posted on the outcome.