26/02/2014

Yesterday was beer bottling day! As mentioned in the post of 2nd November, our neighbours T&M have become converts to home brewing. He modified a couple of old stainless steel beer kegs into a mash tun and wort kettle, and not a month goes by without our being invited to a degustation. I must admit, although I have tried full-grain brewing, even BIB (brew-in-a-bag), I prefer the liquid malt extract kits in a tin. It’s much less work, and you can still modify the taste and strength of the final result as you desire. However, last year I ordered a couple of kits from Brewferm which I had mistakenly thought were the usual liquid malt-in-a-tin type. It turned out they weren’t; instead being bags of malted barley. The thing is, our largest saucepan is only capable of holding 12 litres of liquid, so the first kit had to be cooked up in two batches. It turned out fine though.

A week ago I decided to finally use the second kit. This time I borrowed T&M’s mash tun, and brewed the full 20 litres of beer (still using the BIB method). Yesterday it had finished fermenting, and is now bottled.

I also extracted the two demijohns of perry (pear cider) from the outbuilding where they had been fermenting quietly since October last year. I racked them to remove the sediment, and have just finished bottling it. I haven’t forgotten about putting up a page on the apple press and scratter for the manufacture of cider. It will happen!

Next on the list is the bottling of the blackberry wine. After that, the demijohns will be empty, so we intend filling them again by brewing another batch of parsnip wine as we still have some parsnips in the garden. We’ve found it to be really good. It was supposed to have an aftertaste of whisky, and actually, it does!

M&O also paid us a visit yesterday, delivering a large, heavy, black plastic dustbin-bag. They had had the last hunt of the season on the property last Sunday, and had bagged yet another wild boar. This was our share of the spoils. It included the boar’s head (which LSS will turn into pate. Both she and the aged aunt like it, I give it a miss). Our freezer is now practically full. As the aged FIL does not like the taste of game, in previous years the hunters learned not to give him a share of their results. However, they seemed delighted to discover that we do like the taste of game, so they appear to be making up for lost time. We’re certainly not complaining; it’s saving us a fortune in shopping bills.

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