Your Source For Making Wine and Beer

If The Room Stinks, The Wine May Too

Friday, September 28, 2007




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How To Make Farmer's Cheese

Thursday, September 27, 2007

INGREDIENTS

1 gallon whole milk

1 pinch salt

1 large lemon, juiced

DIRECTIONS

Pour the milk into a large pot, and stir in a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pot.

When the milk begins to boil (small bubbles will first appear at the edges or if using a thermometer 190 degrees F ), turn off the heat. Stir lemon juice into the milk, and the milk will curdle. You may need to wait 5 or 10 minutes.

Line a sieve or colander with a cheesecloth, and pour the milk through the cloth to catch the curds. What is left in the cheesecloth is the Farmer's Cheese. The liquid is the whey. Some people keep the whey and drink it, but I throw it away. Gather the cloth around the cheese, and squeeze out as much of the whey as you can. Wrap in plastic, or place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.




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Beer Myths

Friday, September 21, 2007




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Tips You Can Use



Daily Blog Tips recently ran a writing contest that was geared to tips that you can use. I've read a few of these. Because my tastes in reading material are probably different from yours, I've decided to post the entire list for you to peruse.
Here is the list of food related tips:

Food

Here is the complete list:

Blogging

Business & Career

Entertainment

Food

Health & Fitness

Make Money Online

Photography

Technology & Internet

Travel

Web Development & SEO

Random Topics

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How To Make Feta Cheese

Thursday, September 20, 2007



INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT:

1 gallon fresh goat's milk (You can use store-bought cow's milk as well.)
1 Tbl fresh yogurt
½ tablet rennet, dissolve in 1/4 cup water
1+ gallon pot with lid
1 long bladed knife
2 clean sterile handkerchiefs
strainer
cheese mold: Cut the ends out of a smooth-sided 4 x 5 inch tin can, save one of the cut ends.
table salt

STEPS:

Warm milk to 30°C (86°F) . Stir regularly so that it does not burn on the bottom. (Less stirring is required if the pot has a thick heat dissipating bottom.) Remove from heat.

Mix 1 Tbl yogurt with equal part milk to blend, then stir the blended yogurt and milk into the warmed milk to thoroughly mix. Cover and let inoculated milk sit for one hour at room temperature.

While the inoculated milk sits, dissolve 1/2 tablet rennet in fresh cool water.

After the inoculated milk has sat for one hour, add dissolved rennet to the inoculated milk, stir to mix thoroughly.

Let the inoculated, renneted milk sit covered overnight at room temperature.

The next morning, the milk should have gelled. Some of the whey will have separated. Check for a clean break.

Cut curd as per basic cheese : start at one side, cut straight down to bottom. Make the next cut ½ inch from and parallel to the first, but sloping slightly (the sliced curd will be wider at bottom than top). Repeat increasing angle with each cut . Turn pot 90°, repeat cuts . Repeat cuts and turning two more times. The curd pieces should be about ½ inch cubes.

With very clean hand and arm, reach to the bottom and gently lift the curds to stir. Cut large pieces which appear with a table knife so that they are ½ inch cubes . Let the cut curds sit, with occasional stirring, for 10-15 minutes until curd is somewhat contracted.

Decant off the whey through the strainer lined with the handkerchief, pour curds into handkerchief. Save the whey to make whey brine.

Let drain until no more whey drains out (about 2-4 hours). It may be drained at room temperature, or in the refrigerator, as shown in the image.

Place drained curds into a bowl, mix in a ½ tsp salt, breaking up the curd.

Press into mold as per basic cheese: Line can with handkerchief, place curds inside, fold over ends of cloth, place end on top, and place weight on top of that. Let sit overnight.

Prepare pickling whey brine (12.5% salt): 20 oz of whey plus 5 Tbl salt. Stir to dissolve. The brine must be acidic or else the cheese will melt on the surface

Cut cheese into 1.5 inch cubes, place into wide-mouth jar. Pour brine over to cover . Let pickle for several days in the refrigerator. The cheese will become drier and more easily crumbled with time. Store in the frig. Rinse before use to remove excess salt .

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Bohemian Pilsner

Tuesday, September 18, 2007




Here's a recipe that I got from one of the very first books given to me about brewing beer. The recipe, Bohemian Pilsner comes from Fearless Brewing by Brian Knuath. This recipe should make a 5 gallon batch with an original gravity of 1.048.

Ingredients

Wyeast #2278 Czech Pils lager yeast
1 can Alexander's Pale
3 pounds Laaglander Extra Light Dry Malt Extract
10 Home Bittering Units of Saaz hops (Consult a HBU chart for this) for bittering
1 teaspoon Irish Moss
2 ounces Saaz hops
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup corn sugar for bottling

Steps

Pop yeast pack 48 hours before brew day
Prepare yeast starter 24 hours before brew day
Bring water to boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the extracts. Return to boil.
When boiling starts add the bittering hops. Boil for 60 minutes total.
Add Irish moss for the last 30 minutes.
Add 1/2 ounce of Saaz hops for the last 15 minutes
Add 1/2 ounce of Saaz hops for the last 5 minutes
Cool wort quickly and add yeast starter
Primary ferment at 50 degrees F for 10 to 14 days.
Rack to secondary and dry hop with 1 ounce of Saaz hops.
Lager for 4 to 6 weeks at 40 to 45 degrees F.
Add gelatin 2 days before bottling.
Bottle with priming sugar.




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4 Tips on Making Your First Wine

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Making your first wine can either be a pleasure or a chore. Here are 4 tips to make your first winemaking experience a pleasure.

Use Juice - forget about crushing grapes or any other fruit, buy juice instead. Frozen Welch's works great because it has no preservatives.

Start Small - Don't decide to make a large batch of wine at one time. Instead work at making a gallon or two. Small batches are easy to make and clean up. Besides, making a lot of 1 gallon batches gets you more experience instead of 1 large batch.

Use Kitchenware - Instead of going out and buying tons of new equipment, use kitchenware instead. A new trash can makes a great fermenter. Just make sure it's new, clean and sanitized. Plastic spoons, measuring cups, and measuring spoons can be easily found in most kitchens and will keep your expenses down.

Have Patience - It takes about 4 months before you can even think about drinking your wine. So kick back and wait. Most new wine after a month will taste pretty raw and nasty, so don't rush it.

There 4 tips on making your first winemaking experience a pleasure instead of a chore.



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What Happens When

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Happens When .... Will be a monthly series on how to fix things after things have gone wrong. For example, your fermentation is stuck, so what do you do to fix it?

This month's post is about What Happens When your spouse dies and the house you both lived in is sold. Or, in otherwords, why I haven't posted much during the summer months.

First, a little background. My wife and I had been married for 13 years and were planning on moving to another part of Pennsylvania. We cleaned out the attic and basement in April of this year. It just so happens that she was also battling cancer during this time. At the end of May, she went home to the Lord. Most of June was spent dealing with funeral, family, and friends. Handling the grieving process and tending to final expenses.

Then, at the end of June the house we had lived in was sold and I needed to move by the end of July. First there was the search of finding a place. Then moving from a house to an apartment while working about 40 hours a week. Talk about being stressed.

Finally, at the end of August my routine became a little more normal.

That's when I decided to get back to posting articles. I have spent a little time writing articles for future postings. The one thing that I really learned was that a bank of articles will help during those times when life is upside down.

Thanks for your patience during these past few months. Next month's What Happens When will be on a more blog related topic.

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