Making a wash

Drinks, Spirits No Comments »

Maybe should also be “making a wish”? 😉

To make beer, wine or spirits, you need alcohol. How so you get alcohol? You use yeast to ferment sugars anaerobically (means without oxygen). If you do the ferment aerobically then you won’t get alcohol – really – you won’t.

Ok – so I can just get some sugar and some yeast and I get alcohol and we are done? In theory – yeah – but it won’t taste too good. You are missing a lot of things, possibly the main on being taste. Also – there is a really good chance that it won’t ferment properly. Yeast, like all living things, needs nutrients as well as just food. Without nutrients – those little yeast cells just won’t do what you want them to.

Where do those sugars come from?

Well, for beer, they come grains. Grain is heated in hot water and then left for a while. The grains release their sugars into the water. The water is then cooled. The resulting liquid is called a “wort“. The wort forms the base for the taste of the beer. The taste can also be affected by the type of yeast used and what else is added.

For wine, the sugars come from the grapes (if making grape wine) or from the fruits used. Grapes are an ideal source of sugars for making alcohol as they not only provide the sugar, they also have an almost ideal level of nutrients for yeast. To get the sugar from grape, the fruit needs to be pressed and thats about it (other than you call this a “must“). Throw in water and yeast, leave and you get wine on the other end.

So for spirits, I just need to grab some sugar and some nutrients and water and call it a funny name? Then add yeast and get whiskey or gin?

Partially this is right but – if only it was that simple…

First off – it’s a called a “wash“. Second – there are a few other things to add to give it flavour. Third – after you have added the yeast and it’s finished fermenting – you get something called a “fermented wash“. This is almost like a wine but isn’t too good to drink as it contains potentially all sorts of things besides alcohol. Fourth – it doesn’t contain the amount of alcohol required to call it a spirit. It’s typically between 8% to 12% ABV.

Sediment, lees, trub?

A little side step – after fermentation, there is a lot of junk in the bottom of the container that you used to do the fermentation in. This is the dead yeast, bits of stuff that didn’t get fermented and general gunk. This is a useful source of nutrients and also potential new yeast for your next fermentation. More on using this in later posts but for now – know that it’s got a name and is useful.

So I need to make a wash?

Yup – simple as that. And here is a simple wash to begin with. This would allow (in theory) a simple wash to be made suitable for (after distillation) making rum…

  • 4 kg Molasses (food grade, no sulphur)
  • 3 kg raw cane sugar
  • 14 g instant bakers yeast (2 sachets)
  • Enough water to make up to 25 l
  • 7.5 g DAP
  • 25 ml Magnesium Sulphate
  • 75 g Potassium Nitrate
  • 0.15 g plaster

To make this, sterilize your fermenting vessel, dissolve the molasses in 5 l of hot water (ideally about 80 deg C). Add this to your vessel. Dissolve the sugar in 3l of warm water (again around 80 deg C). Top up with cold water to around 25 l.

An initial SG reading should be around the 1065 to 1080 range. This will give you a potential alcohol of around 8% to 12%. In general this is an ideal percentage for a spirit wash. Wines will typically by higher. Beers usually a bit lower.

The idea is to have a finishing temperature of around 30 to 35 deg C. Using a clean long handled spoon, stir things up and add the chemicals (except the yeast). Don’t forget to leave some headspace (the space between the top of the liquid and top of the vessel) because fermentation can be quite vigorous.

Note on Nutrients:

Nutrients are needed for yeast growth and development. Simple as that. If you are using grape juice then there is (usually) sufficient of everything for the yeast. Unfortunately, we are not using just grape juice, we are using mostly just sugar and whatever else is in the molasses and sugar. Typically this is nowhere near enough for the yeast to do their thing. So we need to add. The items included above are perhaps not directly available to everyone. In this case, there are alternatives (including using tomato paste) that should be used. A good place to start would be a local home brew/wine making store. They will have a range of nutrients. Start with an all in one mix. Even better, maybe ask them for advice?

Move the fermentation vessel to somewhere out of the way and relatively warm. You will need to be able to keep the temp of the thing above 20 deg C.

When moved and the temperature is correct (30 to 35 deg C) – “pitch” the yeast. This means just sprinkle it on top of the wash. No need to stir it in. In fact, it’s better that it isn’t stirred. Put the top on, make sure the airlock is in place and leave.

Bakers yeast? Yes – this is a good choice for rum. It adds flavour. If you were making other products (say a brandy) then you would use a wine makers yeast. This would give a cleaner finish.

If everything is correct then fermentation should finish in 4 to 5 days. In any event, leave the thing for maybe 10 to 14 days to finish. There should be no more bubbling. If you take an SG reading – then it should be below 1000, meaning it’s gone to completion.

And thats it. You’ve made a rum wash. And now you are ready for the next bit – distillation.

Spirits

Drinks, Spirits No Comments »

In this blog (which I admit isn’t updated anywhere near enough) there are numerous posts about electronics, food and drink. Electronics is fun. Food is fun and drink – surprisingly enough – is also fun…

Let’s have a look at drink though.

I’ve made beer (not a lot and a long time ago), it’s probably something to do again but it always seems such a messy process.)

I’ve made wine and is something that I will certainly do again. It’s a fun but yeah, slower process than beer making, not as messy though.

I’ve made liqueurs, quick and tasty. Tasty and relatively simple. To make though they do tend to require a constant supply of vodka as a base. It gets expensive quickly.

What I haven’t made, until now, is (hypothetically) spirits like rum or gin. Sure, at school we all did the distillation thing and had a giggle at something so subversive but to make the real thing? For yourself. From scratch? For real? Won’t I get arrested?

And that’s kind of the issue…

In some countries, distilling your own spirits is (very) illegal. Some countries (hello New Zealand) it’s perfectly legal. In most countries however, it’s a grey area. It’s (probably) ok for personal use but most certainly not to sell. There may be a permit required and records needed to be kept and shown to the customs and excise man.

There is also the question of safety…

Whilst it’s not difficult to distill your own, it’s very important to do it correctly. Two main hazards spring to mind:

  • Methanol poisoning
  • Explosions from alcohol vapour.

Couple that with cost of equipment, the potential cost of energy and all the materials, then maybe it’s not like making a bit of tea wine or milk stout. But…

Then again…

Whats life without a challenge?

I will put up a few posts about hypothetically making spirits. Rum in particular. It’s relatively simple to get a reasonable product. It can be done at home and it can be done safely.

A great introduction into a rabbit hole of a hobby 😉

Watch this space for a series of posts on how you could (if you wanted to) make your own rum.

Celery Wine?

Drinks, Soup, Wine No Comments »

Making your own wine seams kinda cheap sometimes. The average bottle price is well below 1 euro per bottle in general when you are using found ingredients. Even if you buy them – it’s still relatively cheap.

WHATS THE DOWN SIDE?

Well – many home made wines don’t have grapes in them. They taste different from “normal” wine and can be cloudy or be a little unpredictable with taste. Add to that the idea that they are often made on the kitchen top or the shed and folks get a bit of a bad opinion. They are used to being sold wine as an exclusively grape based product and that the more you pay, the “better” should be the taste.

This is a shame. There is a whole world of taste experience out there to be had. Trying different fruit, vegetable, berry or herb wines expends your taste experience. It gives you more food pairing options. It even gives you more stand alone drink options. Not a beer, not a cocktail, not a spirit; a home made country wine. A chilled light peach wine on a warm summer afternoon or a heavy celery wine on a cold winters evening.

WHAT, CELERY?

You mean that sort of long green bitter thing that uses more calories to eat than it actually contains? The love or hate vegetable of salads? Like, celery?

Yup, celery. Plain, simple, green, crunchy celery. Without salt because the yeast doesn’t like salt but yes, celery.

As a little side bonus – this is a two for one show – for main course you get the wine, for. starter – you get soup. What could be better?

What could be better? The cost. It’s cheap to grow your own and even if you buy, then it tends to be not the most expensive green in the veg shop.

OK – NOW I’M INTRUIGED…

Celery wine. Slightly bitter, makes a great aperitif. Here’s the recipe…

  • 2 kg celery, finely sliced
  • 1.5 kg regular white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon citric acid
  • 4.5 l of water
  • Regular wine yeast and nutrient.

Wash the celery and finely slice it. Put this in a large, clean pan and add the water. Bring to boil and leave it simmering until the celery is soft and the juice has been extracted. This could be 30 minutes or longer (possibly shorter). It all depends on your celery. This will make your “liquor”.

Strain the liquor into a sterilized 10l fermenting bucket or other suitably large bowl. Add the citric acid and the sugar. Stir using a sterilized stirring thing (ideally RVS or plastic) until all the sugar is dissolved. Loosely cover and leave to cool to around 21 deg C.

When cooled, tip in the yeast starter that you had made, cover and leave for 4 days.

At this point, take a hydrometer reading. This is your starting specific gravity (SG). It tells you how much sugar is dissolved in the liquor that can potentially be converted to alcohol by the yeast. In my case the SG was 1102. This give a potential of around 13.5% alcohol. Always take a starting SG and a finishing SG. Whilst is is possible to estimate the alcohol content from the recipe, during the process, fluid values may vary, sugar content of your veg or fruit can change etc.

After 4 days, give a good stir with a sterilized stirrer and put in a sterilized fermenting vessel (5l glass Demi-John), stopper with an airlock and leave to bubble until complete. Rack once, and bottle or follow your own gut on this one.

The result is an interesting aperitif wine, light and a little bitter.

When the liquor has cooled,

WAIT – YOU SAID…

Soup and whats a Yeas Starter?

SOUP…

Yup – when you make this wine – you have a lot of cooked celery left. You could just throw it out or put it in the compost or whatever. You could also make soup out of it…

Put the cooked veg in a pan with 1.5l of water, a couple of veg stock cubes and bring to boil. Stir for a little, remove from het and then blitz with/in a blender.

Makes a fantastic soup base, or even on it’s own, with a little cracked pepper and a blob of Greek yoghurt with crispy brown bread. Can be frozen.

YEAST STARTER…

If you don’t normally do this. Or are unsure of the process – this is really something that is worth doing. It gets fermentation off to a healthy start and well just do it…

Get a sterilized jam jar. Add some lukewarm water (maybe 100ml). Add a teaspoons of sugar and dissolve. Add yeast activator or nutrient at the prescribed dose (it will be written on the container) and shake. Then add your dried yeast, loosely cover and leave in a warm place for an hour. The liquid in the jar will bubble and smell a little like wine.

Why do this? Yeast comes dried.It’s in a dormant state and needs to be woken up. You can either give it the short sharp shock of being thrown into it’s work environment with no preparation OR you can be kind, give it a bit of time to wake up and acclimatize, have some breakfast and then get on with work. Which would you prefer?

Allowing the yeast to wake up and start reproducing in an ideal situation really does get it off to a good start. Your fermentation will be stronger and better. Your end product will reflect this.

AND THEN WHAT?

Well, erm, eat your soup and then wait for 6 months?

Actually, that. The soup is a bonus but don’t look gift horse in the mouth. Try and (re)use your bi-products where you can. The wine it’s self. That needs time to go to completion and then rack out before bottling. It’s worth the wait (as it is with all homemade wines)…

It’s worth the effort and time and waiting to be able to taste the fruit of your labors. Amaze friends and family with your skills.

Liqueur Recipes

Drinks, Food, Liqueur No Comments »

This is a list of some of the recipes I’ve tried and some notes to go with them. It will grow over time.

Southern Comfort

A traditional drink from the South. Usig this recipe and also a bit of history.

DIY Southern Comfort

Its a simple and also not sugar heavy – which is a good thing. There is a bit of honey in it whih may or may niot be your thing but make sure to put at least some in. It’s needed.

From wiki – a little bit about the history:

“An inch of vanilla bean, about a quarter of a lemon, half of a cinnamon stick, four cloves, a few cherries, and an orange bit or two. He would let this soak for days. And right when he was ready to finish, he would add his sweetener: he liked to use honey.[9]”

Chocolate Liqueur:

This is a seriously good chocolate drink. It’s like really thick creamy chocolate milk with a big kick.

Easy to make and saves a LOT money compared to shop bought drinks. It’s not exactly low calorie and is pretty much addictive – be warned.

The recipe can be found here:

https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/chocolate-liqueur/

You have been warned 😉

Pineapple Liqueur:

http://www.oneacrevintagehome.com/homemade-pineapple-liqueur/

Pineapple – day 1

Simple to make and takes one month of shaking daily before sugaring and straining. The left over fruit will make for a nice ice cream topping;)

Orange Liqueur:

This one can be found here http://themellors.org/cooking/?p=503:

Orange – day 1

Very simple and even after only 2 weeks, it’s already starting to taste like it should. A winner.

Limoncello

A classic Italian liqueur. Full off lemony goodness with a kick like a mule.

Here: http://themellors.org/cooking/?p=499

Limoncello – day 1

If you follow the (my) instructions then not only will you get some really good limoncello, you will also get a good bit (2l -3l of lemon cordial) as well.

Cranberry

Ideal for Christmas and where I really learned that if the recipe says “big” pot, then use a “big” pot. There is only 600ml of vodka in this one but the fruit makes it difficult to fit.

As this was a Dutch recipe – I’ll write it here:

  • 450g cranberry
  • 500 ml Vodka
  • 2 mandarins (always scrub fruit before you use and use organic where you can)
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves

Wash the cranberry’s and then chop them finely. For this I used a blender but you can chop them by hand. Zest the mandarins (difficult so it’s perhaps easier to use a potato peeler than a rasp) and squeeze the juice out.

Cranberry liqueur – day 1.
NOTE the BIG pot.

Put everything in the BIG pot, tighten the lid and then shake. Leave in a dark place for 3 weeks and shake twice daily.

When ready for bottling, remove the cinnamon stick. Use a cheesecloth to strain the liquid into a container. Then squeeze out all the moisture from the remaining fruit – you want to get as much out as you can.

The liqueur is good to drink at this point but as with most things, if you leave it a little longer, it will mature out.

Note to self – maybe the remaining fruit can be used in some way???

Liqueurs

Drinks, Food, Liqueur, Uncategorized No Comments »

A request for a post about making liqueurs…

First off – a disclaimer…

I’m no expert. I’ve made a few and I’ve been very pleased with the results. That said – I’m sure there is a lot of room for improvement and also many other ways to make delicious sweet alcoholic drinks:) So – what I do and say is only part of a large world and you need to make your own choices:)

Second – health and safety…

Not because I want to put a downer on anything – it’s more about making sure you don’t poison or infect yourself…

You are dealing with alcohol, fruit and sugar. You are extracting oils and chemicals from ingredients that aren’t in the regular stream of “home cooking”. Make sure everything is clean. Make sure you sterilize any equipment and jars etc that you use. It’s true that alcohol above a certain %’age will kill (or at least stop bacteria from growing) but there is always a chance.

Now – the downer stuff is over – time for the fun to begin…

What is a Liqueur?

Really it’s alcohol with an infusion of fruit and or other stuff and sugar in the range 15% to 30% alcohol by volume but not always:) There are a number of exceptions to this.

Image result for liqueur glass"

How do you make?

Get some alcohol, get some flavor base, get some sugar, mix in various ratios and leave for a while. Alcohol is a string solvent and so will extract all the oils and taste from the flavor base. The sugar helps make the thing a little more balanced for taste. You don’t even have to leave the thing for years to improve the taste (although this can help with some).

Orange liqueur in the making

How to drink?

Usually cold, either as an aperitif or a digestive. Or whenever you want 😉 Mix with other things for cocktails.

Ok – so what about the alcohol thing – what can I use?

Typically, you use a neutral tasting alcohol as a base. So, vodka is a good start. Use as good a quality as you can afford and always where possible, a minimum of 40% ABV. It maybe that for somethings you can only get 35% (Dutch Jenever is an example). Thats ok – just be aware that if you add water to it – you need to add not so much.

But of course – you can also use whiskey, cognac or whatever as a base. It’s your choice.

Why not add too much water to the mix?

Many liqueurs are good drunk from the freezer. If there is lower than say 30% ABV in there, the liquid will begin to freeze and separate out. You will end up with slush puppie. Maybe not a bad thing but probably not whats intended. So – be careful with adding water.

Another reason is that if you have solid fruits in there – the alcohol needs to be above a certain concentration to prevent nasties growing. Does that mean more is better? Nah – not always. Too much and it will be undrinkable for most. Also, to be fair, quite dangerous as you won’t know just what you are drinking and that can lead to “issues”.

So – it’s legal, right?

Generally, yes. But I’m not a lawyer – so -check your own locations laws. Making liqueurs should be not problem. What generally upsets governments and agencies is making your own pure alcohol (aka moonshining). Many countries won’t allow the use of even personal stills. It maybe legal to sell them but to use them for alcohol; nope.

Image result for small still"

There is a grey area here as many little stills are used to also concentrate oils from herbs (and other things).

What equipment do I need?

  • Big wide mouthed jars with a easily removable air tight lid.
  • Ingredients
  • Pan to make sugar solution or extract juice
  • Strainers
  • Cleaning/Sterilizing stuff

General kitchen stuff in other words. Nothing special. But if it says BIG jars – use big ones. As a rule of thumb – a jar should be one and a half to two times the volume of liquid you but in.

Why? Because when you add fruit and sugar – these take up room as well. And you need a bit of space in the jar so you can shake it up properly.

What do I do?

Start off with using recipes and instructions from books and/or internet. Stick with them before you start messing around. Then, once you have experience, you can start tweaking and creating your own. Just like any other thing. Get a bit of experience first and then expand.

What can I do with the end product?

Well – other than the obvious “drink it”, you can use it as a basis for cocktails, as an ingredient for cooking, a present or any one of a number of other things.

Many online stores have fancy bottles for putting your finished product in. Label it and put a fancy ribbon in it; Bingo. A great personalized birthday present.

But I have other questions?

Send an email or leave a comment below – lets see what we can do:)

Orange liqueur

Drinks, Liqueur No Comments »

We’ve done the limoncello and that’s going nicely.

Vodka was on cheap at the store so we’ve stocked up on a few extra liters for just-in-case. I mean, it’s not as if it will go off. Right?

Oranges are starting to come down in price.

Alcohol and oranges? Hmmm – I wonder what could happen there?

So I went looking. Turns out there are a lot of different recipes for making “Orange liqueur” and some sounded better than others. On the basis that simplicity is often the best option – I decided to go with this one:

  • 1l Jong Jenever (Dutch young gin – any grain based alcohol will do I guess but not vodka) at least 35%.
  • 1 orange
  • 40 coffee beans
  • 40 raw sugar lumps
  • 1.5l preserving jar with WIDE mouth.
I forgot to include the sugar in the picture but it’s needed:)

And what do you do with all that lot?

Scrub the orange under warm water, this removes the wax ans also makes it a little more pliant. Get a sharp knife and make holes in and around the orange and press the coffee beans into each hole (so that’s 40 holes right, probably at this point you may need to think about the size of orange you are using). Hint: make sure you go INTO the orange so you can access the juice.

When you’ve done that, put the orange in a large jar, add the sugar lumps and then cover with the gin.

Shake it a little to dissolve the sugar and thats it.

Leave this for 40 days:)

Put it in a dark place and leave for 40 days. Why 40? Probably because of the 40 beans?

After the 40 days – it’s ready. Filter the liqueur into a nice bottle (maybe give the orange a squeeze or just eat it?) and serve.

Orange wine – pitched

Drinks, Wine No Comments »

5 days ago, I spent the night with a bunch of oranges and lemons. Zesting, peeling, pithing, crushing etc. Today, i spent some more time with them. this is what it looked line:

The must after 5 days. This also included pectinase which helped break down the cells walls and release more juice.

As a reminder – I’m making the wine from this recipe:

I heated them up to just below 100 deg C (don’t want any bugs in there that shouldn’t be. I strained them to get all the bits out. I fed them 4 kg of sugar solution (found out the 1 kg of sugar in 1l of water increases the volume by just over 0.5l) and nearly drowned them with another 5l of liquid.

Straining the original must. It needed a bit of help to make it through the straining bag. This may cause it to go cloudy later on although the pectinase added at the start “should” prevent this.

And then we get to the magic part.

Giving them yeast and letting those little animals eat them and the sugar, pooping out CO2 and alcohol.

This part of the process is called “pitching”, where you pitch in your yeast…

In this case I made a “yeast starter”. So – got a bit of juice from the bucket, added some yeast starter nutrient, a bit of sugar and left it to cool a little (to lukewarm) . Shook it. Then added the yeast. Leave it for a little while till it starts to bubble (around 3 to 6 hours) and then thrown that directly into the orange and sugar mix.

Yeast starter. Sterilized jar used.

Put the lid on tightly. Insert the airlock and leave it. I did take a sample and measured the SG – it was pretty high (possibly too high) – >1120! Assuming the yeast holds out – it’s going to be pretty potent stuff at the end of it.

Shortly after, the air lock starts to bubble and you know them yeasts are doing what they should be.

They will carry on for a week or maybe more. At that point I’ll rack it from the bucket into glass demijohns and leave it to finish. This is what sometimes is called “the secondary”. You get an initial or “first” fermentation – so sort of fast and furious. Then it dies down and proceeds really slowly. This is where it’s a good idea to rack it off the lees and just leave it to do what it does – finish turning all the sugar into alcohol and then clear.

How long will that take? I honestly have no idea. I’m guessing 2 weeks for first and then maybe 2 to 3 months for secondary. After secondary – I may bottle if it’s clear or rack again and leave to clear before bottling.

In any event – we are under way.

When life gives you lemons…

Drinks, Liqueur No Comments »

Make Limoncello (and Lemon Cordial)…

Limoncello is great. Point out. As an aperitif, as dessert, as an anytime drink. Ice cold in a small glass. Wonderful.

But, shop bought is expensive and also not always that palatable. What to do?

Easy – make it yourself.

Doing just that though leaves you with a problem…

Waste!

You need only the lemon zest and not the whole fruit. Dilemma.

Or not really…

Be smart – use the lemon juice for lemon cordial. It’s not the harsh, acid drink you imagine. It’s rather smooth, tasting of lemon and great as a basis for mocktails (I know, I know).

Anyways – below are two recipes that make what they say.

As a side note – get 12 lemons. Scrub them and then zest them. Keep two of the lemons zest separate (perhaps a little more). Also, when you have the boiling water to soften the lemons (cordial), juice them and throw the skins in the boiling water. This makes it extra lemony. This doesn’t make much sense now. It will do when you’ve read the recipes. Honest.

For Limoncello…

(read the whole page – contains very useful information about alcohol strength):

And for the cordial:

https://www.kilnerjar.co.uk/lemon-cordial

Have fun making.

Planning and record making

Drinks, Food, Outside stuff, Technology No Comments »

So – you have a few batches of wine (or indeed, whatever) on the go. You wrote everything down in your book and now you go to your notebook and find out that one of the kids has used it for school. Disaster has struck…

No notes.

It’s not exactly the end of the world but it’s inconvenient at best.

Here’s an online idea for you that may help save some frustration and a few batches of wine.

The internet has many useful tools and services that you can take advantage of for free. Of these – I would like to introduce you to:

OneNote is a Microsoft program and may not be free – sort of depends on your license. EverNote is free for all, although you may be limited in the amount of records you store (but for our purposes – it will do fine).

Trello uses a “board” to store a number of Lists. Each list is made up of cards. A card can have various information with it (due date, photos, text etc).

If we use one board called say “Wine” and then make a list per batch of wine. We call a list after a batch of wine e.g. “strawberry”. We create a card for “Starting” and in the card we put a due date of the day started. I also put in a link to the recipe and some other stuff in there.

Then, when you rack the wine, you create another card called “rack” with a due date the day you rack. Continue with adding a card for each time you do something. A nice way to keep records. But, wait, there is more…

The “Due Date” field can be used to plan. Create a card for say “Bottling” and put a due date in the future – and you get the basis of a planning system as well. Nice. When you’ve done the job on the card – mark it as done (and make sure the date is the date you did it) – so you can have a good indicator of where you are.

How does that look in practice? A bit like this:

wine planning on trello
A Trello Board.

And this is what a card looks like:

A Trello card

Give Trello a go – it’s kinda cool. You can also share your boards with other people. This lets people work together for say maybe if you have a shared room or such and need to see where certain things are. (I don’t want to use the term “project management” but you get the idea).

This is all well and good but it’s not a real notebook – more of a scheduling tool. This is where we bring IFTTT (If This Then That) into play.

We can make it so that when you enter a new card – it adds to your online notebook. By connecting Trello to IFTTT and then into OneNote or EverNote then you can take your note taking to a new level.

First, make sure you have a OneNote available online. EverNote is always available online so it may be a little easier to deal with.

Then go to IFTTT and create an account. There are some good resources there that explain the next step – linking IFTTT to Trello and also to your OneNote/EverNote. When those two services are added – you need a recipe like the following to do the lifting of creating notes from cards:

Example IFTTT recipe.

When this recipe is run it will add a new page to your notebook. For me – this is OneNote and looks something like this:

OneNote in action.

This is just the start of where this can go. Using services like IFTTT, we can link numerous things together to get some useful and handy solutions in place.

Orange Wine

Drinks, Wine No Comments »

We’ve done the Pear wine – now lets try something a little more Christmasy (maybe)?

Orange Wine.

Oranges and Lemons
Oranges and Lemons

From this link:
https://www.lowcostliving.co.uk/home-brewing/simple-orange-wine-recipe/

Look there for instructions – there is a bit of preamble before you get to the nuts and bolts about half way down. Anyways – here’s my version. They main difference for what I’ve done (so far) is I added a bit of Pectolaze. This is an enzyme that breaks down pectin.

Why do this?

It turns out the oranges contain some of the highest pectin concentrations in the fruit world. It’s concentrated in the peel and pith. You don’t want those in the wine anyways as they leave a bitter taste so you remove those where you can.

Why don’t we want pectin?

Pectin is really useful if you want to make jam. It helps the jam set. But, if you want to make wine, then it can leave a cloudy presence in the finished product that makes clearing harder. Also, pectin is contained in the cell walls of the fruit and we want the juice out. So we can use pectinaze (it’s an enzyme) to help break down those walls and get the juice out.

What was a problem for me was that I don’t have any fine measuring scales (I’ve fixed this problem and ordered a set). So – adding a fine powder at 3g to 10l is not the easiest thing to do when you can weigh blocks of 10g. Long story short…

I added half a teaspoon. See how it goes.

The process?

Zest the fruit (remember to scrub the fruit first with warm water to remove any wax coating). Peel and remove what pith is possible (taking the pith?). Then cut up and mash the fruit together with the zest in a fermenting bucket. Add 6l of boiling water and mix. Important to have it boiling as this will kill and bugs that may have wandered in.

zest and fruit
zest and fruit
6l water added
6l water added

Once the lot had cooled – I added the pectinaze and now have to leave it for 5 days.

Be back then.

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