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A year of brewing - oldbloke's mutterings
September 15th, 2011
11:25 pm
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A year of brewing
Just starting a gallon of plum, which is the first one I did, so it's a year now.
How'd it go? Read on. The dates are when each bacth was started, not when it was bottled - that would be weeks later for ciders and beers, months for wines. Note that except for the strawberry, all the fruit for the wines is wild or from our garden or a friend's garden(not the parsnip though)

2010-09-24 Plum
Immediately drinkable but took a few months to get good - at a year old now very good.
2010-10-11 Elderberry
Yummy right from the off. It'll soon be time to try the bottle we kept for the 1yr old test. Looking forward to that.
2010-11-21 Red Diesel
A small test of a gluten-free ersatz beer - immediately decide to make more
2011-01-14 Parsnip
OK the brown sugar may have been a bad idea, or maybe it oxidised a bit. Very drinkable but slightly weird.
2011-02-08 Red Diesel
Very enjoyable
2011-03-08 Mead
Took forever to ferment and clear. Drinkable, and some people like it, but needs time I think
2011-04-05 Earl Grey
Pleasant but the tea-ness a bit upfront when young. Should be very nice later.
2011-04-13 TurboCider a
She turned to me and said "We don't need to buy cider anymore"
2011-04-17 Dandelion a
2011-04-24 Dandelion b
Both very pleasant light whites, even when new.
2011-05-02 Nettle
I really like this one, it has a great mouthfeel - almost creamy.
2011-05-12 Millet beer
Just a 1 litre experiment to see if it's possible: had to malt it myself and everything. It was great!
2011-05-21 TurboCider b
1st lot worked - make more!
2011-06-07 TurboCider c
And more! They seem to want at least 3 weeks in the bottle to develop their true characetr
2011-06-07 Grape Juice
This may be the first real failure. It's possible to make wine from cartons of supermarket grape juice, but maybe not the Lidl ones.
It's being put away for a long time to see if it magically comes good like all those stories say.
2011-06-19 TurboCider d
This one was very yummy, and I suspect it was the yeast choice: Gervin D
2011-06-23 FourStar
A darker gluten-free ersatz beer. Took a few weeks in the bottle to develop into something really tasty.
2011-06-26 TurboCider e
Got to build up some stock!
2011-06-26 TurboPerry
This was awful - so much pulp, it was a nightmare to deal with. She liked it quite a lot, I detected a bitter backnote.
Must try the aged bottles... I'd do it again with a less pulpy pear juice, but they're rare and/or expensive.
2011-06-26 Peach juice
Another with lots of pulp, but as it's wine I was expecting to rack anyway. It's doing final clearing now.
The sneak taste was very promising
2011-07-06 Raspberry
This has just dropped crystal clear - fantastic colour - and stopped bubbling completely.
Sneak taste when racked was a little sharp and a little bitter but drinkable. Age should mellow it.
2011-07-07 TurboCider f
Hey, you can't have too much - people might call round.
2011-07-08 WOW
Nearly clear enough to bottle. Sneak taste looking good.
2011-07-12 Redcurrant
Not done yet but have racked it and the taste promises to be pretty good
2011-07-15 TurboCider g
Trying to compare different yeasts
2011-08-14 TurboCider h1 and h2
Comparing effect of varying amounts of tea
2011-08-18 Strawberry
Stunningly pretty in first few days of fermenting, nearly ready to rack. Looks like it'll taste good.
2011-08-30 TurboCider i
Checking the Gervin D yeast is good - or was it something else in that batch?

Future?
Repeat everything that was good, with maybe recipe tweaks if we think it can be improved.
That's basically all of it except the TurboPerry, the Lidl peach nectar wine and the Lidl grape juice wine. Alternate versions of those juices could well get done though.
A TurboCider with ginger is on the cards for this weekend. There'll be more TCs, for sure.
Should be busy with more plums, blackberries, and elderberries in the next month or so.
In the winter I'd like to do the parsnip properly. And I never did get round to the carrot.
I'll try a different mead recipe sometime. When's honey cheap?
Sometime I have to work out a way to malt a full pound of millet, which will do a gallon. If that works it'll be a regular.

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