Cerebral Gibberish

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Archive for the 'Homebrewing' Category

Adventures in Homebrewing

Phew! Strawberry Picking

Posted by heymoe on 2nd May 2009

Just got back from strawberry picking at farm up the street from my house. The owners of the farm are really nice and they have been running the strawberry patch for at least 5 years now. I must have been out in the patch for almost 2 hours picking. I ended up with about 20 pounds of fresh strawberries that I’m going to make into a strawberry wine.

My Blueberry + Mango wine is in the aging stage now but won’t be ready for consumption for at least another 4 months. I figured I better get another wine queued up since the aging process takes so long.

My Blueberry Hefeweizen (wheat) beer is almost done. I got it in the keg a little over a week ago and under co2 pressure to get it up to the proper carbonation level. It should be ready in another week or two.

My Keezer / Kegerator build is stalled while I wait for the drip tray to arrive. Once I get the drip tray in hand I can finish laying out / designing the table top. Right now I leaning toward having the table top done in tile, which I’ve never done before but this is as good of a time as any to learn. I finished the base last weekend, I just need to sand and stain it along with the table top when it’s done. I’m looking forward to having 3 taps in house with my home brew ready to be served.

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Adventures in Wine Making: Part 1

Posted by heymoe on 23rd February 2009

Adventure in Wine Making: Part 1

Getting ready to pitch the yeast

Well, I decided I needed another hobby this weekend so I’m jumping into the world of home brewing.

I did some research online and found two local homebrewing supply shops (American Brew Master & Brew Master Store) and decided to stop by American Brew Master on Saturday on my way to a photography meet-up. While there I picked up one of their Deluxe Home Wine Making Kit (IE: Hardware) along with a few other supplies.

Now I could have also purchased one of the many pre-package wine recipes which include all the ingredients (IE: Juice, Additives, Yeast, etc..) you need to make 6 gallons of wine but instead I decided to jump directly to making wine from whole fruit / berries using a recipe from the book that came with the Deluxe Home Wine Making Kit as a guide and throwing in a few custom changes of my own. So for my first wine I’m making a Blueberry Mango blend so if it works I’m going to call it Moangoberry 🙂

I stopped by Costco on the way home from American Brew Master and picked up 15 pounds of blueberries and 8 mangos along with a 25lb bag of sugar.

Once I got home I spent some time sanitizing the primary fermentation bucket and other hardware that would come in contact with the must as I was getting it ready. Everything I’ve read so far about wine making says sanitization is the most important step(s) of the wine making (or beer making which I’ll be trying next) process. By sanitizing everything you’re killing all of the other wild yeasts, molds, bacteria, etc.. that would love to feed on your must thus turning your wine into some nasty and unappetizing.

Next I pulled out my Blendtec blender, which I sanitized as well, and started to blend the blueberries and mangos which was then placed into the primary fermentation bucket. I then mixed in 12lb of sugar, 6 tsp. of Yeast Nutrient, which adds nitrogen to the must to help the yeast reproduce faster and helps clear the wine, 9 tsp. of Acid Blend, which is used to raise the acidity of wine, 6 tsp. of Pectic Enzyme, which helps break down the fruit prior to fermentation and aids in clarifying the wine, and finally 6 Campden Tablets, which kills certain bacteria and inhibits the growth of most wild yeast. Once all of these ingredients were well mixed, I added enough water to bring the total volume of the must to 6 gallons. I mixed the must one more time and placed the primary fermentation bucket into my bathtub.

The must needs to sit for 24 hours to let some of the ingredients to do their work before pitching the yeast which I’ll be doing around 9pm Sunday. Then we wait a week or so while the yeast does it’s thing before performing the first racking.

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