Thursday, 6 August 2009

Sliva Rakia Process Now Started

Sliva Rakia Process Now StartedToday is was back to finish what I started the other day. There was a barrel half full of ripe sliva that had already started fermenting in the ambient heat outside of around 30 Celsius in the day and 18 Celsius at night. The advice was to get the sugar and well water in as soon as possible.

The sugar was bought yesterday evening after searching Yambol for the best bargain. The prices ranged from 1.59 leva per kilo from the supermarket to 1.34 per kilo in the small grocer next to our home. Who says supermarkets are cheaper? The 25 kilograms was in the boot of the Lada and ready to add this morning.

Advice was coming from all angles as the workmen saw me crushing the sliva by hand before added the water and sugar. They got me a drill and cement mixing bit, an extension cable and handed it to me. Within ten minutes the sliva was almost all liquidized and beautifully prepared. The smell of the sliva brought back the memories of three years ago when my last batch of sliva rakia was made – it is such distinctive and almost overpowering smell with a hint of alcohol mixed in already.

Sliva Rakia Process Now StartedMore advice came form the rakia experts around me. This time it was to mix the sugar with the water before adding it to the barrel of sliva. They say that if this is not done the will be a caramel base of sugar which won’t ferment and a weaker wine base results. The name of the game is to get the highest alcohol level possible and to make sure that all the sugar is dissolved initially. This was duly done again using the cement mixer and drill. It took quite a time to do but I was assured it was worth it with the result I would get.

The water was from a well that had been freshly dug and source last year. With a pump in place the cold crystal clear water was ideal for rakia as the tap water has lots of calcium content.

After a lot of walking backwards and forward with batches of water, mixing in the sugar and added it to the barrel, after an hour it was finished. 60 litres of water and 20 kilograms of sugar was now completely dissolved and added to the sliva and a final stir before placing the lid on. This will now be stirred daily and any whole sliva crushed by hand until it is fermented out. This may take up to a month before being ready for distillation.

This was a good morning’s work and the feel good factor had arrived, but the advice still came. This time it was to wash all my clothes and have a shower as the sugary deposits whilst working had splashed over me. If I didn’t want a swarm of flies and wasps after me, take that advice. I did when I got home!

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