Not Quite Normal

Archive of July 2009

First all grain brew July 21

Finally got round to doing my first all grain home brew - Old Yella from Barley Bottom.

It went pretty well - the mash tun was the main problem as I'd not cut enough slits in the filter so the runoff stuck, but the boiler and chiller worked very well :)

Things I've learnt:

  • Start early - possibly prepare the water the night before
  • Write down quantities with the instructions on the checklist
  • Spending a little more time on your equipment saves you a lot of hassle later on - see mash tun filter problems
  • You lose a surprising amount to evaporation, trub and deadspace - I lost almost 30%
  • It's better to ferment for longer at slightly cooler temperatures than too quickly at too high a temperature
  • Not everyone loves the smell of mashing grain or boiling hops ;)

I've done a write up of the brew day with photos and added it to the home brewing section.

First things from the vegetable garden July 12

We've recently been harvesting the first vegetables from our vegetable garden. The potatoes have gone a bit mad in the recent mixed sunny and wet weather and are a lot bigger than just a couple of weeks ago.

We dug up one of our second early plants yesterday evening to make a potato gratin and a spanish omelette - here is what we found :)

second early potatoes

These were very tasty and more than enough for what we needed them for.  I've been told to grow Pink Fir Apple next year which are apparently even tastier. 

The beetroot has also started growing well recently so we've pulled a few up already to make pickled beetroot.  Following a simple recipe we boiled the beetroot until soft before skinning them and slicing them, after which we poured over boiling vinegar that had been infused with peppercorns, coriander seed, bay leaf and cloves. 

Here is final result next to another vegetable thats doing well, a big radish from the garden.

Pickled beetroot and a radish

We'll leave it for a few weeks to mature then it's beetroot and cheese sandwiches galore.