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Because I know you are all fascinated by 'to do' lists - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Because I know you are all fascinated by 'to do' lists
Tonight, the cranberry liqueur that has been steeping since the beginning of January will be filtered and bottled so it can begin aging for a few months. First taste proved to be lively, tart, and just a touch bitter, so it should mellow into something pretty magnificent in small quantities as a palate cleanser/aperitif. I've plans to get an Earl Grey tea liqueur going, and shortly after, a brandy-based raspberry cordial. Fear my booze.

Also happening soon is the much awaited bottling of the 2005-6 "First Snow" old ale. I've stuck with the base malt bill I've used previously, but tinkered a bit with the hops to see if I couldn't coax a little more flavor out of the beer once it's been aged sufficiently. As part of the final conditioning, I floated a single vanilla bean in the carboy. I anticipate that this will seep just enough vanillin into the beer to give the illusion of mild oaking without overpowering the nose or otherwise feeling forced.

With Johanna's wine still conditioning and the Wit planned for Saturday's HKAB, the closet will not be completely void of carboys. Still, we hates us the lonely carboys, so if you've ideas you'd like to pursue please speak up. Left to my own devices, I'll just brew more bitters and maybe try my hand at mead.
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Comments
From: aphorisic Date: February 1st, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something non-boozy!
komos From: komos Date: February 1st, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interested in making cheese or yogurt?
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 1st, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tonight, the cranberry liqueur that has been steeping since the beginning of January will be filtered and bottled so it can begin aging for a few months. First taste proved to be lively, tart, and just a touch bitter, so it should mellow into something pretty magnificent in small quantities as a palate cleanser/aperitif. I've plans to get an Earl Grey tea liqueur going, and shortly after, a brandy-based raspberry cordial. Fear my booze.

I can't decide if this is like reading poetry, or porn, but either way it makes me giddy.

Also - if you try mead, I wanna know about it. My Joe's is strong, but drinkable and pretty good. My first mead is nearly a year old and almost ready to bottle. I'm still very much clueless about what I'm doing in this area....
komos From: komos Date: February 1st, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I must be doing something right, then...

And will do. I've had a hand in exactly one mead previously (though technically, with as much ginger as we used, it might have been a metheglin or whatever folks call the spiced mead concoctions). It was very dry, and it needed at least a year before it had matured enough to drink without a large scoop of ice cream floating in it.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 1st, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK - first question: Did you actually have some with ice cream? Or was that just for reference? (Because that sounds kind of good...)

What I would dearly love to do, but have no idea how/where around here, is to get somewhere that I can taste other homebrewed meads - to see if I'm even remotely in the ballpark. I've only ever tasted some commercial mead, and I'm told that there IS no comparison. I've looked into some of the local SCA stuff and that's an option, but kind of a daunting one with their level of devotion and the hierarchy of it all.
komos From: komos Date: February 2nd, 2006 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, yes we did. It seemed like a really good idea at the time. Always an adventure.

Homemade mead is quite an experience, though I can't say that I've tried a whole lot either. I'd say first and foremost to trust in your experience as a brewer. If you like it, you're probably doing at least something right.

The next thing I'd say is not to let SCAdians intimidate you. The nigh-on ritual significance given to the elements of mead can really get overblown. I'll grant that because it takes a long time to make, it ends up being dear, but it's a brew just like any other. And besides, even if there are folks in the SCA who know their art inside and out (and some of them are very cool people), it's not always the case. Bring some period beer, go in cocky, and see what you find. ^_^
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 1st, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
OH yes...and I meant to ask you (but got flustered by your prose) if you had recipes or links for the liqueur, as I've been wanting to try something like that. Again. I once tried a raspberry cordial that turned out absolutely horrid.
komos From: komos Date: February 2nd, 2006 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm mostly relying on the recipes in The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible, and they are painfully simple:

1) Combine all flavorings in a container.
2) Add alcohol.
3) Seal container and steep in a dark place.
4) Shake container periodically to keep flavorings from massing together.
5) Strain and filter.
6) Add simple syrup.
7) Seal in another container and age
8) Filter once more
9) Bottle and serve.


The general rules of thumb for the various flavorings are:

a) Fleshy fruits (apples, peaches) steep from 2-4 weeks and age 1 month.
b) Berries steep 2-4 weeks and age for a month.
c) Oils and citrus peels (zest only) steep 1 month and age for 3 months.
d) Whole spice steeps 4-7 days; no aging.
d) Powdered spice steeps 1-2 days; no aging.


As for the recipes:


Simple syrup is made by simmering equal portions of sugar and water for a few minutes once the sugar has dissolved. Sugars can be any cane sugar (except confectioners) or honey of various stripes. I tend to use turbinado or honey.

Cranberry Liqueur
1lb cranberries
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups simple syrup
zest of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/4 orange
Process the cranberries in a blender or food processor until coarse. Add zest and vodka. When syrup is cool, add to mix and seal the lot in a container and put in a cool dark place for 4 weeks. Strain and bottle. Serve at will.

Tea Liqueur
2 tsp tea leaves
1 1/2 cups vodka
1/2 cup simple syrup
Steep tea in vodka for 24 hours only. Strain, add cooled syrup and bottle.


I'll get you a raspberry recipe once I decide on one. ^_^



sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: February 2nd, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
OOOO!! Thanks so much for these! I really have a need to try some other things. I like the off the wall stuff, and the more historical feeling brews (not that it gets a lot older than beer, but you know).

I'll be looking forward to hearing about the raspberry too!
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