Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bottling Day: Cider batch 3

I had the opportunity in my busy schedule to bottle the 9 gallons of cider I brewed. Step 1 of bottling is always sanitation. I wanted to put my cider in beer bottles this time instead of plastic jugs since the bottles carbonated the drink better. Also, my empty bottle stockpile had grown too large, so I needed to use some. My limiting reagent here was bottle caps; I only had 64. Even though we had several 22 oz bottles, I like to save those for beer.
Empty Bottles before cleaning
A nice collection of empty bottles

Monday, July 29, 2013

Chard Harvests and Peppers -- July 29 Garden update

First, I would suggest looking at the harvest page to see some of the stuff I picked on the 22nd.

Swiss Chard Harvest
Chard picked on the 22nd
Today I had the opportunity to take some photos of the garden. Upstairs, the tomato canopy is getting larger. The pepper and tomato plants in the subirrigated planter are taking off. I planted some green onion seeds in between my tomato plants last week and those have begun to germinate. Lettuce seeds I planted in vacant pots have begun to germinate too.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Tomato Canopy Emerges -- July 16 Balcony update

So how is my balcony doing after my major renovations? Let's take a look. I last updated to show the transplanting of tomatoes into bins 2 and 3 about 2 weeks ago.


Tomato Canopy
It's like looking through a canopy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brown Sugar Hard Apple Cider -- Recipe + Upgraded Brew Closet

Since there was nothing fermenting in my closet, my roommate and I upgraded it. We replaced the old table with a nightstand we found at a thrift store for only $4. For what it was worth, it can do much more than the previous table. It can hold two 5 gallon fermenters and a 1 gallon fermenter on top simultaneously without collapsing.
Upgraded Brew Closet
The lower shelves are good for equipment storage

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Don't buy aluminum sprockets

If you or someone you know is planning on partaking in the phenomenon known as aluminum sprockets, please consider the following:

Here is a steel 50 tooth sprocket that I used for at least 4 years.  I used this sprocket almost exclusively and would only shift the back gears.  Notice the lack of wear.  I replaced it because I was having drive train problems across the board and I thought it was part of the problem, also some of the teeth were chipped off on the end.
Steel sprocket
Here is the tiny sprocket from the same configuration.  This was seldom used and therefore the teeth on it are almost immaculate.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Balcony renovation: DIY Sub Irrigated planter

As I had mentioned in the last update, I replaced the desk drawers on the left side of my balcony with a new sub irrigated planter box. I found a wooden box on the street corner and it happened to be the perfect size.
To make the planter sub-irrigated, I needed some 2 liter bottles and a piece of PVC pipe. I had these lying around my closet, so it was a piece of cake.
Wooden box found on the side of the road
The box
First step was the clean out the interior of the box and remove some screws attached to the side.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tomato plants, tomato plants everywhere

Following the success of my cloning experiment, I had several tomato plants with no real place to plant them. Then a heat wave struck and killed off everything in bins 2 and 3. So it was natural to plant some cloned tomato plants there. Here's a current look to the right side.
New Tomato Plants
That's a total of 10 tomato plants on this side so far