Beer Bottling and Wine Making…

Today was the day we bottled the homebrew that we made about 3 weeks ago.  Uncle Rod and Julia and Jr. came over and we got started.  First up, you rinse the bottles in the sanitizing rinse and get them ready for the bottling.

Then you add a little bit of sugar to each bottle.  3/4 teaspoon for 12 ounce bottle.  The sugar feeds the yeast and creates carbonation for your brew.  Pretty simple stuff.

Then you fill up the bottle with the brewed wort from the brewing keg.  You leave a little gap at the top so that it doesn’t blow the top.

We found out the hard way that you can’t use my bottler on bottles with twist tops…  they don’t seal right!  We got a bunch that are smooth tops, so that worked out okay.  Each of the three batches made about 22 bottles.  We had two batches of beer and one hard cider.

Our first bottle finished up here at the farm!  Another couple weeks and we’ll have a nice stash of beer for the year!  (We’re not really big drinkers for sure…  haha…  took me a year to go through 22 bottles!  haha… I think we will need to invite a bunch of folks over for a party, eh? )

After we were done bottling, Uncle Rod showed me how to make home brew wine!  That’s what’s nice about sharing skills.  You can help others to learn how to do neat crafts and such.  He’s made some very nice wine and I can’t wait to see how this first batch turns out!

First thing, you need 10 cans of 100% juice.  I thought about trying either raspberry or strawberry but our little grocery store only had grape, so traditional grape it was!  I got the Welches, so hopefully it will be super good!  This recipe makes a sweet type of wine, which is fine with me.

Then you add 8 pounds of sugar to a bit of water to create a nice simple syrup.  You warm it up so that the sugar will get all nice and dissolved.  You don’t want it to be lumpy and all that.

Once you add the simple syrup, you add a half a cup of lemon juice…  and then a package of yeast.

Once that’s done, you give it a little stir and add water to make it up to the 5 gallon mark.  And once that’s done, you add several crushed campden tablets and install a bubbler.  The tablets help to control wild yeast and such…

Campden tablets (potassium or sodium metabisulfite)[1] are a sulfur-based product that is used primarily in winecider and beer making to kill certain bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast: this product is also used to eliminate both free chlorine, and the more stable form, chloramine, from water solutions (i.e., drinking water from municipal sources). Campden tablets allow the amateur brewer to easily measure small quantities of sodium metabisulfite, so it can be used to protect against wild yeast and bacteria without affecting flavor.


Pretty neat, eh?  Home brewing is a good lesson in chemistry.

Once we got the bubbler in place, we dripped wax right around the cork base so that it was good and sealed.  That way the brewing gases will only escape through the bubbler.  After 31 days and the bubbles stop, then you can bottle it.  I believe after that, it gets better and better the longer you leave it be.  Should be interesting!



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New Mailbox…

Santa brought us a new mailbox.  We really needed one.  Our old one is all nasty and rusty and at some point a bird made a nest in the back and left a bunch of yucky stuff in there.  And it’s small.  Very tiny.  So our poor mail lady has to bring stuff into the house a lot of the times because it won’t fit in our mailbox.

So, we got this nice HUGE rural mailbox.  It’s really big.  About 12 inches tall!  And wide too.  A lot of our smaller boxes and envelopes will fit nicely in there.   I showed our mail lady it a week or so ago and she was so pleased!  She’s super nice and said she didn’t mind bringing in all our stuff, but I did.  Just because we have a crappy, teeny, nasty mailbox doesn’t mean she should have to work around us.  Especially because we get a LOT of our supplies and such off the internet and eBay…  we do get a larger amount of little packages and such.  I told her I wanted to paint it up nice, and she said, she couldn’t wait to see how cool it was!!!  (Did I say that she is super nice???)

Well, I debated in my head what I wanted to paint on it.  How I wanted to do it and all that.  And to celebrate our finishing of our art studio (photos and info to come) I decided that on one side I would put the numbers nice and big, and then on  the other side the farm name would get top billing.  Our house marks the first address that transitions into being Main Street as opposed to Route 20.  And I know how I dislike trying to find a house number and it’s way teeny or not even there.  So, I made it nice and big on the way coming from Toledo.  That should work nicely!

It needs a spray of sealer, but that shouldn’t take long to dry and I hope I can pop it outside tomorrow!  That will be fun!  Can’t wait to see how it looks!  I hope we can get the old one off the post easily!



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