Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bok Choy and Cabbage gets Bigger -- Garden Update 10/30

How are my plants doing today? I removed some unproductive tomato plants because it's starting to get cold again. I think this year will be much colder than last year, so I'm taking steps to remove tomato plants before frost comes.


Bok Choy looking nice

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Baltic Porter didn't make it

It comes with great sadness to announce that our batch of Baltic porter is undrinkable. When we went to transfer it to secondary, we could see and smell that an infection. It's a great disappointment to lose such a potentially good beer. However, there are some lessons learned from this.Always sanitize and sterilize your equipment. Additionally, we'll need to purchase a new bucket/airlock to replace the old one, as we don't want to risk the infection lingering in the same bucket until next batch. Here are some photos of the infection for those who are interested in that sort of thing.

Homebrew infection 1

Homebrew infection 2

Homebrew infection 3

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Apple Hard Cider

It's fall again, and pumpkins are in season. As many other breweries have pumpkin beers, I too will experiment with pumpkin. It wasn't easy finding a recipe for pumpkin cider, but I found one to modify.
It isn't fall without pumpkin

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leafy Greens -- Garden update 10/22

Don't think I forgot about my garden, it's still alive. The content has been changing so much lately. Here are photos of how it looked this morning.


Tomato plants till alive

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lathe compound nuts

Since I still have the wreckless tendency to overtighten things, it was no surprise when I stripped the T-bolts for adjusting the compound angle on my lathe.  I obviously had too much leverage with a long 14mm wrench to tighten the nuts.  Another concern when the compound has a nut to tighten it is stripping the hex off the nut, which is no fun.  I opted to repair it by making some nuts to go in the base of the compound and secure it with an Allen screw.  This way I won't be as likely to overtighten it because the Allen wrench is much shorter than a 14mm wrench, it's also less likely to be obstructed by other things.  Also the bonus of not needing a 14mm wrench, ANOTHER VICTORY FOR AMERICA

Farmer's Market Apple Cider

I got a request (and a jug of apple juice) from a friend to convert the apple juice sold at my local farmer's market into cider.
Ironic that we want the juice to ferment

Monday, October 14, 2013

Beer Batch 4: Baltic Porter

After seeing how well the brew-in-a-bag method was, it was time to make our second all grain beer. I convinced the others that a strong, dark beer should be a good addition to the beer cabinet.
Porter Grains
16 lbs of grain

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Let's make more sauerkraut

Following the success of the first batch of kraut I made, I decided to follow up and make another batch. This time with red cabbage, onion, and caraway seeds.
Finished green sauerkraut
A successful experiment
Materials for red sauerkraut
Materials for this batch

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bottling Day: Centennial Pale Ale

Today we bottled our first all grain batch. The first step to bottling any beer is sanitation.
Delabeling bottles
Most tediously boring part of the process

Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY Sauerkraut

Since I have a cabbage finishing up soon, I'm considering making sauerkraut out of it. First I'm going to make some from farmer's market cabbage to see if that is really what I want to do with it.
Growing Cabbage for sauerkraut
It's getting there

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Downstairs Fall planting

My tomato plants in the Kratky system have lived out their lives. It is time for me to plant some fall season plants. I will be trying Bok Choy/Cabbage in one bin and lettuce in the other bin.

Original setup before cleaning

Upstairs Garden reorganization Fall 2013

Since it was getting harder to water the plants on my stack system, I decided to do some renovation to the left side of the upstairs balcony. I removed the cardboard box (which had rotted away) and slid the subirrigrated planter over to fill the gap. Luckily, the box fits perfectly in its new location. Now I no longer have to reach over so many plants to water those further away from my door.

Newly reorganized