Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
Post Reply
User avatar
Brewtrog
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:17 pm
Location: Warrington

Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 293869Post Brewtrog »

I've not been brewing for a few years now - not had the time for bottling days. Now I have plenty of time, but all my gear is back home, so might as well be on the moon. That is until a couple of days ago :mrgreen:

My housemate had bought a 5L PET bottle of blackcurrant squash which ended up being finished off last week, and the empty bottle kinda screamed out at me. A new airlock, a drill and a bit of hot glue later and I have a fully functional demijohn that is now full of apple juice happily fermenting. Once it's fermented out it is getting thrown into empty 2L pop bottles and saving me a lot of money on booze. Luckily my housemate had a load of miltons under the sink, so I didn't have to rebuy steriliser (although it reminds me why I got the non-rinse starsan in the first place).

Feels good to be back to old tricks (sure it'll feel better once the turbo cider is fermented :drunken: )

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 293870Post BernardSmith »

Hi Brewtrog, Out here in upstate NY my yard is producing lots of dandelions. I don't use any chemicals on my grass and we have indoor cats so I am harvesting about a quart of the heads of these flowers every day and storing them in my freezer. Tonight my plan is to take a pair of scissors and snip off the green "receptacle" and sepal leaving me with the yellow petals - for dandelion wine. About 1 kg of sugar to ferment and a little more sugar after stabilizing to back sweeten and apart from the sugar this wine is all but "free". Some folk add some ginger. Others add some lemon juice. I am not sure how much tannin is in the flowers but if they are low in tannin then a tea bag of black tea will provide that..

One last point, if you don't have access to lab cultured yeast you might check your pantry to see if you have any preservative free raisins. The other day I dropped about two tablespoons of raisins into about 500 ml of spring water (chlorine free) and after about 3 days I had an active colony of yeast - active enough to allow me to pitch the yeast (on April 26th) into a gallon of must made from heather tips (a starting gravity of about 1.080). Today, May 5th, the airlock is still banging away but I have not had the time to check the drop in gravity. My point is only that where there is a will there will be a way...

User avatar
Brewtrog
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:17 pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 293874Post Brewtrog »

Yeah, plenty of dandelions here too, but as I say the only bit of kit I have is the one "demijohn", so I don't have kit to strain wine off the petals. I'm also brewing with speed in mind - I want something that'll save me paying for my booze quickly, and wine takes longer than turbocider. Which is a shame, because the dandelion wine I've made in the past was fantastic (if a faff to make), yes it definitely needs the tannin from the tea, but I've never added ginger or lemon (although I can't remember if citric acid wasn't put in there, which does the same job).

So saying, I am really tempted to try nettle beer once the cider is bottled - the nettles are boiled and strained right away, so I don't need to worry about the lack of a fermenting bucket.

I was really tempted to just use bread yeast, given how put together the rest of my current kit is, but I had to buy the airlock from a homebrew supplier anyway (cheaper than amazon, even with p&p), so a tub of ritchies yeast, a metre of syphon tube and a hydrometer went in as well (makes p&p feel cheaper, and makes life easier). I can remember the results from last time I tried to cultivate wild yeast (although for sourdough), and that kinda put me off (again, I'm not in the same location, so could get better results)

BernardSmith
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:19 pm

Re: Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 293877Post BernardSmith »

Sour dough is essentially a mix of yeast and lactobactria but it is fairly easy to cultivate sourdough. If you make regular bread pull off a tablespoonful-sized piece of the dough and simply keep that fed every day with say, a tablespoonful of flour and a tablespoonful of non-chlorinated water. Keep this covered with cheese cloth or a scrap of cloth from an old but clean tee-shirt . After about a week you should find the mixture active but even if it's not it will be full of lactobacteria and I would simply add everything but a tablespoon of the dough to your next bread dough (even if you have to add yeast the first time... and that mix will sour your dough.

User avatar
Weedo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 294646Post Weedo »

OK, no doubt this is on the site somewhere but.... I have access to about 50Kg of quality malting barley (malting, not malted) and thought I might try brewing for the first time. Is this worth following up or is the malting and preparation process too much trouble?
Don't let your vision cloud your sight

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 9284
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: Back to my old ways (in a little way)

Post: # 294647Post Green Aura »

I think if you have room to do it, why not have a go? We looked at it a while back as my OH had a brief flirtation with beer-brewing (just by way of a quick aside, the best beer we've ever made was following the Hamilton's beer on here). It's not particularly complicated, just essentially amounts to sprouting the grains and then drying them at the right time. The more critical factors are space - it needs to be spread out to both keep it moist and then dry thoroughly, and temperature. Otherwise you get either mouldy grains or barley plants.
Space was the deciding factor for us - we'd basically have to do small amounts for each brew, so it would have been a constant conveyor belt of malting grains. Too much of a faff when ready malted grains are not that much more expensive than the raw.
Then we went low carb - no beer for us! :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

Post Reply