23 January 2006

Berry cordials, brewing (& vintning), books and biking!

B turned out a bit easier than I expected. There are *lots* of things that start with B that are Good Things(tm), such as..




Berry cordials! The top one is aging - it's a raspberry cordial that got started sometime this fall (I did finally find my B&V journal after the move, so I will start keeping better track of these things again!) and bottled a month or so ago. It will need to age for another 6 months or so and then we'll see how it turned out.

The bottom one is still steeping - at the moment it's just blueberries in vodka, but in a couple weeks it will get sugar added and start aging into blueberry cordial.

As I'm pretty new to cordials, I'm starting out with very small batches - just a bottle each. It can get expensive fast to do larger batches as the liquid base is one of various clear, non-distinct alcohols (vodka, white brandy, etc.)




And while we're on the topic, I might as well throw in the rest of the brewing set up. This isn't all of it (noticeably missing are the two large (one 5-gallon and one 7-gallon)glass carboys and the bottling bucket, along with all the (at the moment empty) bottles), but it's the interesting stuff at the moment.

The two gallon carboys on the top shelf are an apple-raspberry mead that was started in August and has been racked once off the sediment. The funny looking bits at the bottom are actually glass marbles, which work marvelously to take up extra air-space in small carboys when oxidation of wine or mead is a concern.

The front gallon carboy on the second shelf is a pineapple wine that was started at the same time as the mead, but hasn't been racked. I made it with juice concentrate rather than actual fruit, so there's *very* little sediment. Rather than stir it all up by racking it, I've decided to let is sit as is until I bottle it (which should pr'bly happen soon).

The back gallon carboy that you can't see very well is a blackberry wine that was started sometime earlier in the summer - July maybe? - and has been racked once (in August). It's also in need of bottling. The wines should ideally bottle age at least a year, but as these have both sat in carboys a couple months longer than usual, I may age them less than that.

I'm also still doing small batches of the wines as I'm pretty new to them; I expect to get somewhere between 4-5 bottles of mead/wine per 1-gallon batch. When I do beer, on the other hand (which I still do from kits for the most part), I do at least 5 gallon batches and usually end up with somewhere between 22 and 28 22-ounce bottles. I have enough bottles to have 2 complete batches at any given time.



This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - books are fairly central in my life. I love books, as does Jack, so between the two of us we manage to go through quite a number of them. Between hobbies and academic/professional interests (the first picture, though most of my knitting books and all my stats books are missing as they have homes elsewhere) and personal favorites (though, again, several recent reads are missing as they tend to still live on the bedside table), you get a fairly decent picture of the types of things I read.




..and finally, because there's still the hope of a chance that I will compete in my very first sprint-triathlon late this coming summer, my bike (a Novara Randonee commuter bike, currently set up in the living room on the trainer (a Cycleops Mag, for those interested). I've been a slug lately, though, so it's not been getting as much use as it should. But I have managed to be more active this month so far than I was for most of the fall, so there's still hope!

3 comments:

spaazlicious said...

MMMMmmmmm...I like your Bs.
heheheh.

Teej said...

Thanks! I'll like them better (at least the top ones) when I can actually try them as more or less finished products. Not so great with the patience on some of those.. *smile*

Leslie Shelor said...

Oh, yes, love the (b)rews! And they are so beautiful when finished!