Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lashings and lashings of ginger beer

I recently ventured once more into the home production of alcoholic beverages. This time it was ginger beer. I looked around and there are lots of recipes, so I adapted a few. I sampled my first bottle this weekend and it was rather delicious!

Highly explosive, but delicious ginger beer and the jar of sediment

To start off the plant:

In a jar, mix together

4g active dried yeast (or 14g/0.5oz fresh)
3/4 pint of water
2tsp ginger 2tsp sugar Leave for 24 hours, then feed the plant with 1tsp root ginger and 1tsp sugar daily.
After a week, mix thoroughly and strain into a jug.

To make one bottle (approx 2 1/2 pints):

Dissolve 170g sugar into half a pint of hot water.

Add the juice of half a lemon and a quarter of the strained mixture.

Add 1.25 pints of lukewarm water and stir well.

Decant into a bottle and mature for another week. The bottle may need burping as a lot of gas will build up.

(This next part is speculative as I've not bottled up my second batch yet)
Put the remainder of the strained liquid back into the jar and top up with warm water to replace what you've taken out, and start feeding
again with 1tsp sugar daily. The ginger may not need topping up.

A week later repeat the bottling process.


I've already got my next drink experiment planned. I've just been out harvesting elderberries!

Your mother was a hamster...

Monday, 6 September 2010

Yet another new hobby

It was only a matter of time before my fibre fetish led me to the world of spinning. I had a very brief go a while back at a Guild open day at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, but I'd failed to get myself organised enough to actually get myself some kit together.

Cue a visit from one of my Newfoundland knitting friends. We took a trip out to the lovely village of Wentworth near Rotherham, to visit the amazing Wingham Wool Work. I'm slightly ashamed to say I was like a small child in a sweet shop, surrounded by hundreds of colours of fleece and a lucky dip bag to stuff full. You would have been proud though, I was very restrained and only came home with a drop spindle, 400g of fleece, and some small carders for the very reasonable price of £25. The owner also gave me a quick demo and I came home with a bit of practice fleece too.

So, without further ado, here are my goodies.

Merino fleece. Yum.

And here is my first proper attempt at spinning with the freebie stuff I got.

My drop spindle and fleece

Close up of my wobbly yarn.

To be fair, I'm pretty pleased with my efforts. I'm yet to ply it, and then Bod knows what I'll make out of it, but that's hardly the point, is it?