Chapter 303: Fermenting Wine
Parker plucked a whole load of grapes from this grape tree. Thankfully, when he went out, he had layered an animal skin over Bai Qingqing, else it would be inconvenient to bring back.
Bai Qingqing, who couldn’t bear to leave the cooling forest, sat down next to the small mountain of grapes and started munching on them. Parker crawled down the tree, gazed at his surroundings, then suddenly said, “Qingqing, let’s mate here while Curtis isn’t around!”
“Pff!” Bai Qingqing spat out the grape in her mouth. Choked on the sweet grape juice, she went into a bout of coughs. Blood gushed up to flush her cheeks, reddening her entire face in an instant.
Feeling terribly awkward, she glanced at Winston by the side, then scolded him. “You don’t want face!
Parker touched his face. “Since when did I not want my face?”
Although he didn’t understand what Bai Qingqing’s words meant, it obviously wasn’t something nice. Parker decided to ignore that. He had been feeling defeated about not succeeding in impregnating Bai Qingqing with his cubs the last time. So, this time around, right after Bai Qingqing’s estrous cycle ended, he requested to mate with her. However, he was still worried.
“Food is in abundance at the moment. If you give birth to our cubs now, we’ll be able to provide them with the best food. Moreover, I feel that you’re probably too nervous when Curtis is around, which makes it not easy for you to conceive. That’s why I’m thinking of mating with you outside once.”
Parker’s words seemed to make sense, and Bai Qingqing had no words to rebut that.
Looking down the bridge of his nose and shutting everything out, Winston removed his animal skin and transformed into his tiger form. From the looks of it, he was prepared to keep a lookout for the two of them.
Bai Qingqing’s cheeks flushed even redder. She had just thought of how she was going to refuse Parker when he circled his arms around her waist and brought her to a patch of lush gra.s.s.
“No! That’s too shameful… ooh!”
The voice of a female was heard from the gra.s.s, and right away it sounded m.u.f.fled like a hand was laid over it. Shortly after, that voice—with its regained freedom—transformed into a series of soft moans.
By the time the three of them returned to the castle, the sun had slanted west, and the temperature had fallen.
Bai Qingqing jumped down from Parker’s body, then ran to the river to take a shower with cheeks that were puffed up with anger. From how she saw it, the biggest advantage of staying in a castle was to be able to bathe in the river any time she liked. So long as there was someone guarding the door at the backyard, no one would enter.
Parker gleefully chased her to the river with the bag of grapes. From the way the footsteps sounded, Bai Qingqing knew it was him. Without even turning her head, she said, “Don’t come over! I don’t want to talk to you!”
“Okay. If you don’t wish to talk to me, just let me do the talking.”
Too choked by anger to utter a complete sentence, Bai Qingqing turned around and splashed Parker with water. At the sight of the purple grapes by the sh.o.r.e though, her mood eased. “Go and carry a larger stone basin over.”
Parker tossed his head, splattering water droplets all over Bai Qingqing’s face. She was about to retaliate when he dashed off like a streak of vapor.
“Hmph!” Bai Qingqing was so mad that she slapped the water surface a few times.
Because they were plagued with the drought recently, these grapes were very sweet. If they could be fermented into grape wine, it would certainly be of superior quality.
Bai Qingqing washed the grapes with her body soaked in the river, merely shaking the grapes lightly in the water to wash away the dirt upon them, trying her best not to touch the white frost in the grape skin.
There was a large quant.i.ty of wild yeast on the white frost, which could make use of the glucose to ferment into wine. However, this method had a high level of difficulty and really tested one’s skills and the fermentation environment.
After was.h.i.+ng the grapes, Bai Qingqing rubbed a piece of tree bark into a rope, using it to hang the grapes on a tree branch to drain off the water. After dinner, the grapes were fully drained of water, and only then could the grapes be used to ferment wine.
Since there were plenty of grapes, Bai Qingqing carefully chose from the bunch, only selecting those which were complete and fully ripe; even those with spotty skin were eliminated as those spots could be due to bacteria. If she was not careful, a bad apple could spoil the whole barrel.