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Dear Dr. LJ

I'm running dangerously low on red wine leavings (also known as dregs or lees). Andrei spent a good portion of the morning calling wineries trying to find out where I could acquire more. One place had just gotten rid of theirs for the year, and only did white wine anyway; a bunch of others weren't answering their phones; and another had no idea what we were talking about. (Doesn't give me much confidence in their wine....)

Anyone have any bright ideas? I know wine leavings are used in cooking other things than Cakes of Light - they can't be *that* impossible to acquire around here.



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
If red mead leavings will work I have a bunch.
Jun. 10th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Save the calling
Generally speaking, calling a winery any time besides October/November is folly - most start their vintages at the harvest and the first racking (when lees are most present) is around Halloween.

Two suggestions I have for right now are:
- http://tinyurl.com/4xh36m
- talk to a local homebrewer (such as myself) who is planning a batch for Midsummer, which means leavings will be available by the end of July.
Jun. 11th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Save the calling
Many thanks for this info (and your email). I can probably squeeze out enough for this weekend of my old stash, and will likely chat you up for some of your Midsummer batch :)

Winemaking at this point == yet another hobby I don't have time, energy, money, or space for!
Jun. 10th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
LBV Port usually still has sediment in the bottle. Give it a good stiff swirl, then decant through a wine/tea strainer.
Jun. 10th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
My suggestion would be to contact your local SCA brewer/vintner. If you're uncomfortable with approaching someone unknown, I can arrange an introduction.
Jun. 10th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
make your own
Jun. 10th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
Cakes of Light?
Jun. 10th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
The communion bread used in the Gnostic Mass.
Jun. 10th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Ah, thx.
Jun. 10th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
The L.A area has been pretty much out for a long time... We tried contacting the closest winery... but to no avail.

We have been doing the port reduction method. Kinda sucks.. but we don't really know what else to do. ACK.
Jun. 11th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
May I suggest: - http://tinyurl.com/4xh36m
Jun. 11th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!!
Jun. 11th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: local winemaking groups
I will investigate. Thank you!
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
At a Cakes of Light workshop, tzaddi93 taught us to boil down port. But this was a few years ago so I don't know if she would still suggest it.
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Lots of people still do this, but syrupy port is not the same as leavings. Leavings are actually the bits of mostly dead yeast that collect on the bottom of the fermentation vessel while the wine is being made.
Jun. 11th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
Which begs the question what would happen if one made a batch and allowed the dough to rise?
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
It works, tends to be a little dense and kind of sour tasting (depending on the yeast you use).
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
good to know!
Jun. 11th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
I've seen cakes that had risen.

It is a pretty small dose of yeast, but with all the honey (sugar! yummies for yeasties!), rising is possible.

Which brings up this question: if these are "cakes" of light, why do we make them like "cookies?" If Crowley intended "cookies," he would have called them "biscuits of light" (as the word "cookie" comes to American English from the Dutch, and Brits call a cookie a biscuit).
Jun. 11th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
The first time I read "cookie" it was from (American) On High rather than Unckle Al and it was more to define consistency than components. Of course, we all know that cookie consistency ranges from 'nilla wafer's crispy to Mrs. Fields' gooey, so it really doesn't help.
Jun. 11th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, but whatever kind of cookie you have, it has a decidedly different consistency--it is not the same as 'cake' (be it standard-issue birthday cake or a black forest torte).
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
I have some from the batch that princekermit made.

The problem would be then to get it to you.

Did you read illuminaut's article in Agape'? This might be a good time to try the cream of tartar option.
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
I use mead leavings (and throw in a splash of red wine). Yeah, I suppose it is technically "cheating," but it covers both bases well enough for me.
Jun. 11th, 2008 11:54 am (UTC)
Have you thought of just making your own? The wine brewer/chef/occultist that I talked to suggested just taking a jug of grape juice and some brewer's yeast and starting the brewing process. This typically takes about a month to get a good base of leavings going. Otherwise if I need a quick fix and can't wait the month, I will use a quick rise yeast and juice and let that ferment for a few hours and then use the leavings. It depends on how much rise you like to your cakes for the amount of active yeast is still in the leavings. If you are used to using the dregs, then the yeast is pretty much dead and that can be accomplished by warming the liquid base or leaving the alcohol content to kill off the majority of the remaining active yeast. But if you are getting it from the first pull from the winery, you are probably getting still a decent amount of live yeast in the leavings to give at least a somewhat noticeable rise to the cakes of light.
Jun. 11th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
That would be yet another hobby I don't have time/space/money/energy for :) Looks like I'll be able to get some from a friend that does, however.
Jun. 11th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
A little late, but I posted the handout here:

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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