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Thread: Brewing (NOT a storm)

  1. #1 Brewing (NOT a storm) 
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    The brewing process is quite fascinating, especially if one uses the product beneficially! Curious, is anyone here interested in, or engaged in, making beer or wine at home?

    Is such endeavor frowned upon by law in other countries (me being in U.S.)?

    jocular


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Certainly not in the UK. Home brewing is sufficiently popular for there to be specialist shops selling nothing but stuff for doing so.
    However home distillation of spirits is frowned upon - it requires a licence.


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    I don't bother because I don't drink- but being in Texas (Buncha alcoholics), it's very popular here. You can buy the kit at Wal-Mart.
    I think they sell it in the Sporting guns/ammo section.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I have made a number of different fruit and flower wines in the past, including Rose Petal wine, Dandelion wine and Black Currant wine. I have settled on Rhubarb wine as one that I make most years for it is a pleasant fruit to work with and turns out a consistently good wine. I have a batch on the go upstairs that is due to be racked. I usually add a sugar syrup about the time the fermentation has slowed right down which reinvigorates the yeast and in doing so, I increase the alcohol content from around 11% to 13.5 or 14%. Rhubarb wine benefits greatly from aging for 6 months to a year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    .,..... You can buy the kit at Wal-Mart. I think they sell it in the Sporting guns/ammo section.
    While living in Missouri, a visitor expressed amazement, as well as disdain, for the fact that all three of the stores in Salem which sell liquor, also sell guns! Wal-Mart being one, the other two are specifically liquor stores. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I have made a number of different fruit and flower wines in the past, including Rose Petal wine, Dandelion wine and Black Currant wine. I have settled on Rhubarb wine as one that I make most years for it is a pleasant fruit to work with and turns out a consistently good wine. I have a batch on the go upstairs that is due to be racked. I usually add a sugar syrup about the time the fermentation has slowed right down which reinvigorates the yeast and in doing so, I increase the alcohol content from around 11% to 13.5 or 14%. Rhubarb wine benefits greatly from aging for 6 months to a year.
    Finally, someone here I can relate to, and not disagree with! In case you are not aware of it, a gentleman in Texas, Jack Keller, has a most interesting website dedicated to home winemaking. His Home Page: The Winemaking Home Page His wine list: winemaking: requested recipes (Maraschino-Chocolate Sweet Mead) (list begins halfway down page).

    Black Currant sounds wonderful. Our location in Missouri had the distinction of acres of wild blackberries for the picking, complete with vicious thorns, and occasionally, a tic or two. Several peach and plum trees rounded out the free fruit availability; thus I discovered Jack Keller.

    Living now in Arizona, citrus abounds, and therefore my wife and I have converted locally-grown tangerines into wine. Dates are also abundant, sometimes free for the picking, otherwise quite expensive. There actually is a date-palm treed area near Yuma, small town on the premises, named Dateland.

    As aches and pains associated with turning 70 have interfered with this old fart's ability to work on mechanical things, making wine is still a relatively easy effort! Not wanting to bore with my gibberish for now,.........jocular
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Thank you for the links, jocular. There is absolutely no cause to ever disagree where wine is concerned, for it is all good, and 'better' is a subjective valuation depending on the individual body chemistry (and even mood) of each one partaking. Wine which is agreed upon to be less than ingestion worthy can still find a place as a cooking medium, useful in marinades and such.

    The Black Currant wine comes with a bit of a story. Hubby was still quite new to my wilderness ways and when I went to pick the berries, I took him along to be my back-up as black bears are rife in the region we were going. He is not conversant in firearms, so I took the loaded rifle and he carried the bear spray and we picked rapidly and observantly to get the berries needed. The bears respectfully did their picking elsewhere that day and so no conflicts arose.

    Cleaning black currants is horrendous and so I compromised by pulling out the worst of the leaves and twigs and gave them only a cursory rinse, not wanting to lose any of their juice and deciding that the alcohol of wine making should handle most other concerns. Besides which, after primary fermentation, the brew would get strained and thereafter racked several times.

    The end result was a spectacular full bodied wine. I managed to keep one bottle until it had five years of storage on it and this went with me to Alberta to celebrate my purchase of a lovely Morgan mare from a lady there. Yes, wine is delightful in the making and revisiting of fond memories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    The Black Currant wine comes with a bit of a story. Hubby was still quite new to my wilderness ways and when I went to pick the berries, I took him along to be my back-up as black bears are rife in the region we were going. He is not conversant in firearms, so I took the loaded rifle and he carried the bear spray and we picked rapidly and observantly to get the berries needed. The bears respectfully did their picking elsewhere that day and so no conflicts arose.

    Cleaning black currants is horrendous and so I compromised by pulling out the worst of the leaves and twigs and gave them only a cursory rinse, not wanting to lose any of their juice and deciding that the alcohol of wine making should handle most other concerns. Besides which, after primary fermentation, the brew would get strained and thereafter racked several times.

    The end result was a spectacular full bodied wine. I managed to keep one bottle until it had five years of storage on it and this went with me to Alberta to celebrate my purchase of a lovely Morgan mare from a lady there. Yes, wine is delightful in the making and revisiting of fond memories.
    I appreciate your response to my post! If I may impose a bit further of your time: "bear spray" ???? We are totally unfamiliar with currants of any type, but elderberries also grow profusely back in Missouri, a fact we took advantage of when we could get them picked at the appropriate time, around 1 September or so, before birds had prevailed getting them all. Cleaning elderberries must be at least as time consuming as currants, each berry being attached by a hairlike filament, the berries themselves being very fragile, the juice as staining as ink! They make delicious sweet wine.

    I must admit to being less of a connoisseur than a "kind of sewer" when it comes to wine, having actually lost a significant part of the senses of smell and taste, as age and health issues have prevailed. Hopefully, a quick description of my methods will not sound all to prehistoric! After obtaining a large case of apples to make a first attempt at "hard" apple juice, having no crusher, I used my wife's blender to nearly, but not quite, pulp the cored and quartered apples. This proved so fast and effortless, I have used it ever since, the last two fruits thus prepared being fresh cranberries and blueberries. The latter were priced most attractively, here in Arizona, and were surpringly "product of Canada!" Blueberries produce the deepest-colored wine thus far. I have never suspended fruit mash in sacks within the liquid during initial fermentation, but rather filter the skins, pulp, and seeds through a freshly-washed pillowcase, doing 3 to 5 gallon batches at a time. Surprisingly, of all the fruit types we have tried, cranberries having the quickest settling and clearing time, producing clear, beautifully-colored liquid in two months or less. Though Jack Keller recommends multiple racking, monthly, and tasting after many months, the temptation here has been usually too great......'nuff said! I take pride in using no chemicals, only water, fruit, sugar, and yeast. Disinfecting of vessels is done with 190 proof grain alcohol, a method seemingly unusual, according to one of the brewing forums.

    Your mention of "wilderness ways" hit home. Moving to Missouri in 1999, just before the impending "Y2K" debacle, our property, 277 acres, bordered Mark Twain National Forest on it's north and south boundaries, M. T. comprised of some 7 million acres all told. Our nearest neighbor was perhaps a mile away, and thus, I was afforded plenty of initiative to pursue my hobby of reloading and target shooting extensively. Bears were present, but not in multitude, as were American Mountain Lion, locally called Puma or Cougar. I encountered one in front of our old farmhouse one morning. After staring at me several seconds, unmoving, it turned lithely away, and loped across the road and down toward the creek! At the shoulder, it stood as high as the low fence surrounding the front yard, perhaps 30 inches. Neither of us seemed to particularly fear one another. Living again, now, in the Desert Southwest, the only living things posing danger to us are rattlesnakes, and snakes of the two-legged variety. We enjoy daily walks in the desert, away from the road, and I take advantage of the generous Arizona law allowing unlicensed carry of a handgun, concealed or not. Rest assured, however, certain other state laws here are worthy of deep concern!

    Best regards. jocular
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    .,..... You can buy the kit at Wal-Mart. I think they sell it in the Sporting guns/ammo section.
    While living in Missouri, a visitor expressed amazement, as well as disdain, for the fact that all three of the stores in Salem which sell liquor, also sell guns! Wal-Mart being one, the other two are specifically liquor stores. jocular
    I'm not surprised. I was being utterly facetious when I said that...
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