64 oz room temp Welch's 100% Grape Juice with Vit C
2 pounds clover honey
Skipped the buckwheat addition
SG: 1.070 on the nose at room temp.
Sanitation note: Nothing was sanitized or boiled except the fermenter, which has been kept half full of a light bleach solution for a couple of weeks since it's last use. I shook it up and rinsed it out twice with tap water.
With 2/3 hot tap water at 105 degrees I rehydrated the yeast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. After about 5 minutes, they appeared to come to life and started their little dance. By then, the water was down to the high 80's. I stirred according to the directions, every few minutes, for another 12 minutes according to directions. I saw some tiny little bubbles on the surface, so for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to add a splash of spring water and just a drizzle of the grape juice and honey that I had mixed while the yeast was rehydrating, just enough to give the liquid a light stain, and took it to a full cup total, for the last 7~ minutes.
Important note: I only used half the yeast packet in case something goes wrong, I have some backup.
The Pitch 2:45 PM Sunday Feb 21 2010
I poured in the yeast and topped up to the shoulder of the primary fermenter holding the grape juice and honey. Added a tiny tiny tiny pinch of epsom salt, I'm not sure why. Everything was mixed very well, no boiling of anything. The juice and spring water was all shaken to aerate individually also, I think it's pretty well aerated, at least to the best of my ability. Checked gravity, 1.070. I sipped from the tube, it is light, dare I say weak tasting. Room temp at 74, all ingredients have been sitting out for days, I assume they are the same temp.
Loosely affixed lid. Sitting at room temp until the fermentation appears to be in full swing and I want to keep this in the 60's F for the primary fermentation period to avoid fusel alcohol production and obviously out of the light. I left some headroom so I can swirl some CO2 out of it twice daily and hopefully not have overflows. We'll see how that goes.
I've got some oak cubes on standby for an aging option.
Initial observation: The yeast settled on the bottom pretty quickly.
Thanks to all the Gotmead people who have been helping me out.