Monday, April 27, 2015

Brewing more officially

I have owned the supplies to test my brews for a long time but have never really cared to find out what the percent alcohol my brews is. Well after having a few bottles explode I'm doing things a little more official this time. So for the record they batch has a starting possible alcohol level of 9% I will see where it is at in a week and report back!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tomato processing is not my friend!

 So I have been wanting to try my hand at making some tomato products and after researching and planning decided to give it a try. I had some cards stack against me in the fact that I didn't have all the ingratiates I needed and was getting some conflicting information about canning the final products.

I was able to finish 7 jars of pizza sauce and 5 jars of salsa. Not sure how they really taste yet because they are still finishing the canning process and I'm going to let them sit for a week or so to age. I don't have high hopes for this batch though. One of the biggest reasons is the tomatoes I used weren't the best quality. But I was tired of just planning so I settled on what I could get at the prices I was willing to spend.

Another strike against processing my own tomatoes is the after effect of all the acid and spices. The salsa I made is a spicy salsa and my eyes and sinus are burning this morning and my wife informs me that some of my children seem to be having trouble as well. Plus my final mess didn't exactly get cleaned up before it was time for bed... no good will come from that!

Like many times when I have tried something new I have learned a great deal and if I try this again I will be altering what I do next time. I will keep you updated if all the trouble is worth the final product.

Friday, March 13, 2015

It finally happened!!

Well after years (almost 10) of brewing I had a blow up while carbonating. Not 100% sure yet but I think it was the bottle to blame and not over carbonation. I have had a few of the tops of my older and salvaged bottle break off. I tried on of the other bottles from this batch and it didn't errupt when I opened it so I think I'm safe. BUT just in case ALL the bottles will be spending the night outside to stop the fermentation process and than they will be moved into the basement where clean up will be a lot easier.

On a funny note we were in the middle of family game night when it exploded and to quot Savannah "THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!" It was a funny!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hard Apple Cider Jelly!!!!

So I finally got around to making a 5 gallon batch of hard apples cider. This has been a project I have been putting and putting off for ever since I got the Large carboy. Well everything went great with the brewing, fermenting, and bottling until I realized that a math error left me with about a litter and a half of left over cider with no good way to bottle it. I really didn't want to dump it out because it was a lot of work and would be a HUGE waste. I couldn't drink because I was on antibiotics. So I needed to find something to do with. 

One option was to just leave it open to the air and let it turn to vinegar. It was a cool idea but my family wasn't impressed with the idea of the smell. So I left the liquid in one of the plastic fermenting buckets while I thought about what I could do. In the mean time my kids wanted to try and make gummy bears candy from scratch. We looked up a bunch of recipes (tried a few... they tasted great but gummies... no by the traditional definition) and one of them called for pectin. That's when it hit me! MAKE THE CIDER INTO JELLY!!! 

I figured that even if it failed epically at least I didn't just waste it and throw it out. Well the jelly turned out AWESOME!!!! This may become a tradition every time I make Large (and possibly) small batches of cider. It turned out that good!!