Back to my old ways (in a little way)

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Brewtrog
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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
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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...

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Brewtrog
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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
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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.

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