Home Brewing

Teach A Friend to Brew Day – 2009

Saturday, November 7th, was Teach A Friend to Brew day.  This year I had a chance to do just that.  I invited Craig over to see how I brew.  I chose to make a milk stout using all grain mashing.  The initial wort (unfermented beer)  came out of the mash tun looking as black as midnite and thick like used motor oil.  The flavor was a nice chocolate/coffee flavor.

We ended up with about 6-1/2 to 7 gallons.  I only have 3 & 5 gallon carboys for fermentors.  The bulk of the wort when into a 5 gallon fermentor with the Wyeast 1099 (Whitbread) yeast.  The rest went into the 3 gallon carboy with Safale US-05.  Both carboys are bubbling away.  I think that fermentation might be done this week, but it might be almost Thanksgiving before I can bottle.

One of the nice things about inviting someone over to brew is that you can get them to help you bottle.  We bottled the Better Red Than Dead – Irish Red ale that I brewed earlier.  It looks wonderful.  After bottle conditioning we will see how it turned out.  Should be ready for Thanksgiving.

Cooking Gardening

Fresh Apple Cider

Fresh Cider 2009
Fresh Cider 2009

Fresh cider, apple juice or sweet cider.  Anyway that you name it, it is truly a sign of the fall harvest.  This year my wife bought a cider press from Happy Valley Ranch.  We have our own small apple orchard, so we were planning on pressing apples from the backyard.  However, when you have a nice cider press, you start looking around for other sources of free apples.

Tina has a friend that has a large apple tree in their front yard.  For the most part these apples get tossed to the horses.  When Tina hold her friend that we had a cider press, the next thing that I knew, we had 7 bushels of apples in our garage waiting to be turned into cider.  Two weekends ago we processed enough apples to press about 14 gallons of apple juice.

This weekend we picked a pickup truck load of apples.  We pressed about 30 gallons.  Most went into the freezer, but some was consumed fresh and 6 gallons when to my friend, Andy, for some hard cider.

I remember as a kid that there were a few houses that we would go trick-or-treating to that had fresh cider.  I can now understand the pleasure of sharing a cup of fresh cider.  I don’t think that I an quite ready to try to bring that tradition back for trick-or-treat, but many of my neighbors will look forward to cider season.