Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ginger Pear Wine, Day One & Two

Started a ginger pear wine with a bunch of canned pears and a few fresh ones last night. I don't know what variety the canned ones were, but Aradia got me four pounds of golden pears for the fresh ones. So, here's the recipe.

8 lbs canned pears.
4 lbs golden pears, cores & stems removed
5.5 lbs sugar
~1 lb chopped raisins
2.4 oz ground ginger
~3 gal water, including water the pears were canned in (and yes,it was water, these were home-canned w\no preservatives or sugar added)
1.5 tsp Pectic enzyme
4.5 tsp acid blend
0.5 tsp tannin
3 tsp yeast nutrient
3 crushed Campden tablets
1 packet champagne yeast

The pears, raisins and ginger went into a must bag. The canned pears were mashed and the fresh ones were sliced very thinly using a mandolin. The sugar was dissolved in the water and poured over the must bag. Then everything but the Pectic enzyme and the yeast was added. I waited twelve hours, and just added them about an hour ago. I'll wait about twelve hours and check the density. If it's not ~1.085, then I'll have to adjust with sugar or water to get it right.

Because I'm using canned pears, the must water is really, really brown. I hope it clears up some. I know it's going to have a dark cast to it, no matter what.

This recipe has been adapted from one I found here: Pear Wine Recipe

Wish me luck!


Carrot Wine, Day Something-or-other

We back-sweetened the wine with a cup of sugar and a quart of carrot juice last night. (Little tip, btw. Strain the carrot juice before you use it!)

Then we added two Campden tablets, sorbate and a shellfish finig agent. You'd be amazed at how much orange crud settled out over night.

Anywho, we bottled it this morning, and got seven and a part bottles out of it. We put the part in a recapping beer bottle and stuck it in the fridge.

Will it be any good? I think so. I was going to scrap it when I tasted it a couple of weeks ago, but now I have high hopes. We'll know in a year.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Carrot Wine, Day Eight

It's been too cold the last few days to ferment properly. I was afraid to crank the heat in the house in case it got too hot during the day. But it's finally back up into the 70s I here, so we added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and an extra cup of sugar. Hopefully, it will stay warm overnight and we'll be making gas again in the morning.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Dogs Trump Cats

Part of me hopes this is true, and part of me is horrified, and part of me is fascinated, and part of me is.... Oh, the hell with it, just go read it yourself. I think dogs just trumped cats in the awesome department for the next century. Sorry, Pandora.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Carrot Wine, Day Four

Talked to Aradia's brother today. He seemed to think it was time tomtit the airlock on the primary fermentor. I was going to let it continue doing primary fermentation until Friday, taking the must out on Thursday. I figured I'd transfer to a carboy either Friday or Saturday and then fit the airlock. But Bub has done this more than me, so I'll trust his judgement. We'll just have to wait and see.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Carrot Wine, Day Three

Okay, so I checked the wine this morning, and there was no more froth. I figured that it had gotten too cold last night and suppressed the fermentation. So I bumped the thermostat a bit, and Aradia called me at work later to tell me that it was hissing like Alka Seltzer. It was still doing that when I got home. Don't know if that's normal, especially for a vegetable wine. We'll see.

Oh, btw, the house currently smells like oranges and grass. It's ... not ... unpleasant. But it is a little odd. "Make wine, it will be fun!" Aradia's brother said. At this point, I just hope it's potable.


Paternal Quandry

I went to visit my parents today. It was the second time I've seen Dad since he got out of the hospital. It was the second time he didn't string two sentences together in my presence. The last time I saw him, Mom had to make him speak to me. She didn't even bother this time. He did tap me on the shoulder as he walked by me just before we left. It was the first time he felt like my Dad again since he came home. He has been more and more distant the older we both get. From what I've heard, his Dad was the same way. That's really weird because my grandfather has always been really warm towards all the grandkids. People are funny, I know, but still...

The distance between Dad and I has gotten to the point that I didn't even want to call him in the hospital. I found myself shamefully relieved to find him doped up on pain meds. I couldn't screw up the courage to call him again, much less go see him. His brother and elderly mother managed to get up there, but I didn't. I wish I were a better son. I wish he'd make it a litte easier to be one.

It terrifies me that I might turn out like him, closed off from the people that WANT to love him.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Carrot Wine, Day Two

Okay, added the yeast today. Also added the nutrient. The brand I am using called for a teaspoon per gallon, instead of a 1/2 teaspoon. It's frothing away nicely. I am worried that I put too much orange zest in though. The stuff is starting to smell like sour orange juice.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carrot wine, Day One

Just put the filter bag full of carrots, raisins & orange zest in the fermenter. Should have carrot wine in about, oh, a year or so. :)

Here's the recipe:

4 pounds carrots
1 pound golden raisins
5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast nutrient
6 oranges, zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon tannin
1 campden tablet
1 package wine yeast
1 imperial gallon water

Boil the carrots in 12 cups of water for 20 minutes.
Strain the water into the fermenter.
Boil the carrots a second time for 10 minutes.
Strain the water into the fermentor.
Bring water level up to one imperial gallon. (I didn't have to.)
Chop raisins and put them in a filter bag with the orange zest and boiled carrots.
Add tannin, campden tablet, sugar and orange juice.
Allow to sight overnight.
Add yeast and nutrient.
Stir daily for three or four days, until frothing stops.
(Do not let the wine stand on the must for more than 5 days. The orange zest will start to make it bitter.)
Remove filter bag. Siphon into secondary fermentor and place airlock.

For a dry wine, rack in three weeks, and every three months for one year. Bottle.

For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

BTW, this recipe was adapted from one found HERE.


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Military Debate Thread

My friend said something last night that I just thought was way out of line about the military. He was very derogatory toward silicate in general and soldiers who have joined since the Iraq war started in particular. For some reason, probably because of my fondness for Robert Heinlein and the Baen stable of pro-military writer/lunatics, I flew a little hot. Okay, I flew a lot hot. But I promised him I would put up a blog post about it all, so we could discuss without so much acrimony. So, here we go.

First, we should establish the necessity of a military. The United States is a world economic power. For that reason alone, there are always going to be forces that want to do US interests harm. The Somali pirates that Obama had taken out in the first months of his presidency prove that. And those weren't even back by a nation. Start factoring actual national interests into things and the need for a military goes through the roof.

That being said, serving in the military is a valid thing for patriotic people to do. If someone wants to do right by his fellow Americans, the military is perfectly acceptable, right along with being a paramedic, a police officer or a firefighter. Notice that all those things carry significant risks. And they all have their occasional moral quandaries. But something tells me that my friend doesn't have the same attitude towards a paramedic that he has toward soldiers who have joined the military in the last few years.

I welcome your responses, my good reader.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Halloween's a-comin'

I'm not sure this would work with us. We're pretty cold-hearted bastards.

But we do give points for originality, so it might. It would be cool if someone tried it, though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reason #892 To Become An Author

You can come up with lines like this:

"... Obama’s real problem is that in Congress, his allies are incompetent cowards and his adversaries are smug dicks."

Scalzi's my hero.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu