Archive for the ‘sake’ Tag

05-30-2016 Journal – Sake & Memorial Day!   2 comments

I found myself awake much too early this morning for some unknown reason. I usually like to get moving around 7am but this morning I was awake at 4:45am and wondering why.  Yesterday was a nothing-special day and I had no pressing personal issues  preying on my mind . . . so why? I’ll probably never know but it sure is irritating.

Yesterday was a rainy and overcast day which kept me indoors most of the day.  I decided to get back to my home brewing tasks and to bottle my batch of Sake that’s been needing my attention for more than a week.

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I checked the bottles to be sure that fermentation had truly stopped. Once many years ago I bottled a batch of wine a little too early and was awakened in the middle of the night by exploding bottles.  I can’t have that happen again . . .  what a mess! Wine making isn’t as complicated as most people think but it does require a reasonable amount of common sense.  The minute you forget that fact you’re in trouble.  I began the  siphoning process which takes no time at all and everything went smoothly. 

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I decided against using the standard wine corks with this batch. These screw caps work just as well and require much less work for me.  It also makes reusing the bottles much easier and I won’t need to exhaust my limited supply of good wine corks.

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I was pleased with the overall look and clarity of the Sake and was able to fill twelve half bottles and seven additional full size bottles. More than enough to last me for quite some time.

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I was also able to save and store a pint and one half of the Sake yeast which will allow me to make numerous batches in the future and save me money at the same time.  It’s all about the yeast!

After the bottling was completed the better-half cooked up a delicious chicken and veggie stir-fry dinner. I cracked open our first bottle of the Sake, warmed it properly, and we toasted the great meal and the Memorial Day holiday. 

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

THANK A VET FOR THEIR SERVICE

SHOW THE FLAG

(And maybe drink some Sake too.)

05-26-2016 Journal–Miscellaneous Updates!   Leave a comment

As summer looms in my future I’ve been attempting to close out some existing projects to make room for what’s to come.  My infusion of hot peppers in tequila has finally ended with the hot peppers almost bleached white as you can see. I took a small sample and gave it a taste test and was very very hot.  I can’t wait to give it a try in a my first attempt at a Hot Pepper Margarita. I think it will be fine for me and my better-half but I doubt if most people will be able to handle the heat. We’ll see very soon.

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‘The Tequila sucks the color and heat from them.’

My second project has been the Sake that’s almost ready for bottling. Within the next few days I’ll begin the bottling process and finally be done with it. It’s taken a little longer than usual due to it’s refusal to clear.  It’s looking good now and it also has passed my first taste test.

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‘Nice and clear.’

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Today I’ll be making my second visit to the Saco Police Department. I’m trying to renew my permit allowing me to carry a concealed weapon for another four years.  I’ve held permits in multiple states in the past but I have to say the state of Maine isn’t quite as difficult as some others.  My reapplication was only ten pages long and in comparison to some states it’s rather short. I’ve finished the forms, obtained a new and handsome picture of myself, and a check to the city, of course, for $20.00. By far the cheapest fee I’ve ever paid for this constitutional privilege.

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CAN’T LET THE BUREAUCRATIC MINUTIA GET ME DOWN

05-14-2016 Journal–Home Brewing & Gardening!   Leave a comment

It’s been a week of good weather except for yesterday. The rain forced me inside to take care of something I’ve been procrastinating about.  As I’ve mentioned previously I am in the process of making a batch of Sake.  I began the process on March 18 and it’s been fermenting since then. The point was to let the yeast settle to the bottom of the containers once fermentation was complete and then I could siphon off the clear liquid. Unfortunately this batch decided not to clear and remained very cloudy. I decided to resort to an old stand-bye to clear it . . . it’s called Sparkloid.

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Sparkloid is a very fine clay that is mixed with water and boiled for thirty minutes. As it boils off you continue to add additional water.  After 30 minutes the mixture is added to the wine and thoroughly mixed in.  If it works as expected the wine will begin to clear over a period of days. This first photo was taken just after the Sparkloid was added.

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As you can see the wine is very cloudy.  Normally Sake is as clear as water but due to minerals in our water here in Maine it will eventually be a pale yellow color. This next photo was taken 24 hours after the first.

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It has cleared somewhat but will still need more time. If nothing else winemaking has taught me more than I care to know about patience. This next photo was taken 24 hours after the last.

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I can only guess that another week will probable finish the clearing. I can then bottle the wine and place it into storage.  These jugs will eventually supply me with approximately 17 – 750ml bottles or 34 – 375ml bottles.   Believe it or not it actually tastes pretty good already (I just had to sneak a taste.). It can only get even better with age.

The garden preparation continues and more plants have been purchased today. The next posting will be made after my initial planting has been completed.  I can’t wait to get started.

BACK TO WORK

03-31-2016 Journal – Sake & a Sexy Movie!   Leave a comment

I’m still in Maine complaining about the weather which has once again trapped me in the house for a good portion of the day.  Now I hear there’s a possibility of another snow storm this weekend, hopefully the last one this season.  Mother Nature is hanging on for dear life like she always does. I don’t understand why continue to complain. I guess not being able to control everything irritates me a little.

Some of you have asked in your emails about making Sake. It’s a fairly simple recipe that’s available by email for anyone interested.  My batch has been moved from the primary fermenter where it’s been for ten days. The yeast has eaten all of the sugar and the Sake should have approximately 15% alcohol content upon completion.  As you can see the wine looks like milk.  Yes, that’s how it’s supposed to look.  As the fermentation stops and the yeast begins to settle the wine will become crystal clear.  These jugs should supply me with fifteen 750ml bottles of Sake or 30-375ml half bottles.

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I’m been trying to finish up a second design this week which has become my homage to Amy Winehouse. I’ll post a photo when it’s complete but it might be a little difficult to show all of the details due to it’s size.  We’ll see.

I’ve been watching more movies of late as I wait for Spring to really arrive. Last night the better-half and I watched what they (Netflix) are calling a dark comedy. The movie was ‘Bad Roomies’ and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The cast members were virtual unknowns which more times than not makes for a decent movie.  This movie was funny and sexy with one of the hottest women I’ve seen in a while.  The better-half was disappointed because there were no unicorns and rainbows anywhere in the entire film.  I felt bad for her but for me it was a fun hour and a half that had me laughing a lot even after offering up a dead body at the end. 

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Well I’d love to chat a while longer but demands of the better-half come first. We’re having a small get-together tonight  and they are chores to be done. Fortunately for me I’ve stocked up on plenty of wine to help sweeten my mingling skills. From what everyone tells me, they need all the help they can get.

C’MON SPRING – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

03-19-2016 Journal–Green Wine & Sake!   Leave a comment

Spring Fever has slowly crept up on me and I seem to be firmly held in it’s grasp.  Garden fever has also arrived along with Lowe’s receiving their first Spring shipments of plants and seeds. It’s taking all of my willpower not to immediately run there and start buying stuff.  I’m trying to keep things under control for a while but it’s not easy.

And here’s a picture to prove to some of you that I actually did celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  It looks almost as good as it tasted:

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‘Green Chardonnay on Ice.’

With green wine in mind I thought I might start the Spring and Summer seasons properly by making my first batch of wine for 2016. In my continuing effort to stay "outside the box" and do new things I decided to make some Sake. It’s been a very long time since I’ve made any so I figured why not.  I did a quick inventory of my winemaking supplies and placed an online order for a few essentials.  They arrived within 48 hours which was perfect.  I then searched up a vendor to buy a case of 375 ml bottles and they’ll be here within a week.

Off to the food store to pickup eight pounds of raw rice, three pounds of white raisins, and a ten pound bag of sugar.  My recipe calls for a sherry yeast but I purchased a new product which is yeast specifically created for making Sake. This yeast will tolerate alcohol up to 16% or 32 proof for you amateurs out there.  It was a bit pricey but if I’m going to do this I should do it properly.

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Yesterday I began the process of crushing the rice and chopping the raisins. Along with a number of other ingredients my primary fermenter will hold what should eventually give me three gallons of excellent Sake. Here are a few photo’s of the prep.  The fermenter will sit for 48 hours after hot water is added and then the yeast will take over. Then I can kick back and wait while Mother Nature does her thing.

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‘Empty Fermenter’

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‘Bags of Chopped Raisins & Crushed Rice’

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‘This + Patience = 3 1/2 Gallons of Sake’

I can’t think of a better way to start my Spring season unless it’s a couple of thick and tasty T-Bone steaks on the grill. I’ll be setting our grill up on the deck this week and the steaks will be cooked as soon as possible after that. 

GOODBYE WINTER, HELLO SPRING

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