Saturday 28 November 2020

Gottle o' geer

Well the beer brewing hasn't gone quite according to the instructions.   It was supposed to ferment out in 4 - 6 days, but, despite being kept at the required temperature, today, after 12 days, it was still slowly fermenting.  I had bottled a small sample a few days ago and I tested it today.  It seemed very fine; smooth and clear, with a nice flavour, and not especially strong in alcohol.   If I had been served it in a pub I'd have been happy.  And the unbottled beer was starting to smell like a well-settled beer perfect for drinking, if my memories from college are not letting me down.  So I bottled the rest today.

Given that the beer doesn't appear to be especially strong, I'm thinking that there is probably still some fermentation left to do, which then gives rise to some concern that the bottles might explode.  There's also quite a lot of it, so I'm going to have to give some away; it could furnish a good excuse to go visiting some neighbours.

I have stored the bottles in the gîte since it's cool in there.   The bottles are in a bag or in a box, all enclosed in the fridge to minimise damage from glass splinters.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Making beer

I got a beer-making kit some time ago during a visit to England.  Carefully chosen among a field of contenders, it had good reviews and looked like a safe bet.   For some reason I haven't used it until now.  Perhaps a nervousness about making beer for the first time, and to be fair I hadn't got all the hardware I needed (although I could have acquired that a long time ago).  But anyway, today was the day.

I had bought second-hand beer bottles from car boot sales, I have a fermentation bin (bought for winemaking) and a plastic dustbin that I bought for storing Dahlia tubers in over Winter.  The dustbin will act as a water bath to keep the brew at a constant temperature using a small aquarium heater.   This heater was the last component I needed and it arrived from Amazon a few days ago, so now was the time to take the plunge.

The heater came with instructions, of course, and a list of advantages, including the claim that the heating element will not explode.  Good to know.   I set the temperature to 19 °C which is the mid-range of the acceptable limits.  I have read that the temperature of the beer is very important while it's brewing, so I wanted to be sure that I can match the requirements.

I followed the instructions, carefully sterilising everything, and now the whole lot is in a cool place, and I'm waiting for the fermentation to start.   I will let you know how I get on.


Update, Thursday.    Bubbling well, smells like beer!

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Protection racket

Before I put the raised bed into place, I have to protect the wooden frame from rot.   I use a bitumen- (tar-) based product that comes in two types - one is a thick paint that goes on the surface and the other is a thinner version of the same stuff that gets absorbed more deeply into the wood.   They both cost the same, so I buy the thick one and thin it with white spirit since that makes it cheaper.  I understand that this might make me an honorary Dutchman.

I put put on two coats, two sides at a time, so it takes a few days to get it all covered.  But it's a lovely sunny day today and it's good to be outside.  The rain is forecast to hold off until next week so I should have it all finished in time.   These four planks do one bed that will replace the old rotten one;  I have another set of four for a new bed to enlarge the veg patch.

The big tin at the back I use to store the paintbrush I use for this stuff, the big tin at the front is the paint I just bought and the little tin contains what's left from last year.   I thin the new paint by pouring it into last year's tin and adding the white spirit, stirring it in with a short length of rebar.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...