For 14 days, the yeast will work away on the wine. At first, it blooms, which is how we know it’s working. Have you ever met a new Christian who blooms? A baby freshly baptized baby who radiates love? An adult who finds a community who really does want them, just the way they are? Love makes us bloom.
The yeast works it’s way through the whole batch of wine, and eventually sinks to the bottom where we can’t see it working. But we know it’s working. We can measure it.
A gadget called a wine thief sneaks into the pail and doesn’t disturb the yeast, allowing us to draw a sample. We transfer the sample to a test jar with a hydrometer.
watch the wine thief in action
The hydrometer measures how much sugar is in the liquid. SG stands for “specific gravity.” In plain water, it reads an even 1.000. The sugar-rich grape juice reads 1.086.
If it weren’t for the hydrometer, we might not know the yeast was doing its work. By day 3, we’re at 1.085. It looks like the yeast is going away. But by day 6, some real action is happening (1.048!) and it’s all under the surface.
We won’t be transformed by God’s love all at once. Sometimes it’s a little slow to get going, after the bloom fades. You might even be fooled into thinking the bloom is all there is, and when it’s gone, it’s all done. But really, the action of God’s love has only just begun. Over time, love takes hold, and works it’s way through our whole being.
Day 8, and we’ve passed our target. We can move on with the process, but there’s no rush. We can let it go for a few more days. It won’t go much past 0.996, but we can take our time.
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