Homebrewing, fossils and whatnot.

January 22, 2008

Last night I started a batch of mead. I didn’t take pictures because, frankly, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. One pot of steaming honey/water mixture (the must), a few odds and ends disinfecting in the sink and, finally, a sealed bucket with a little water airlock thingie on top. Now we wait. The recipe I’m following says to allow up to two weeks for the first fermentation stage, then the mead is siphoned off to a secondary vessel for about a month of aging/settling. After that, it’s bottled and let to sit for upwards of a year. My plan is to have this stuff ready, more or less, for this coming winter. Here’s hoping I haven’t created 5 gallons of honey-flavored vinegar. Once I’ve moved the stuff to the secondary (which is glass), I’ll take a picture. We’ll actually be able to see the stuff then. I was originally intending to try beer next, but the local homebrew shop has some nifty wine kits that look pretty idiot proof. Further reports as events warrant.

Tank is doing well…we think. The nitrites are still high, but the ammonia seems to have come down so I think we’re nearly done with the cycle. We’re down to one lone surviving glass shrimp, but the wood shrimp seems to be pretty happy. Fish are perky; plants are green.

Our guests have come and gone and I feel pretty safe in saying that a good time was had by all. They have six children as well, so for a glorious 48 hours or so there were twelve kids running around and 4 adults doing their best to stay out of the way. I took some of the older ones fossil hunting on Sunday afternoon, and we had a pretty good time pawing through piles of rock looking for crinoids and brachiopods.

The tiramisu was stellar, by the way. Easily surpassing anything we’ve had in a restaurant. The November issue of Cook’s Illustrated has it, but registration is required to see it at their website.

Otherwise things are going well. This will be a curtailed week on both ends, thanks to MLK on Monday and the cave trip this Friday.

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