Friday, 24 June 2022
Tuesday, 11 January 2022
|The Delicious Juice begins to Pour|
|Quite a Lot of Cider!|
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Saturday, 17 July 2021
We Live in Interesting Times, Still!
We still take lots of lovely walks; the Devil's jumps' are a series of Bronze Age burial mounds, on the South Downs. They align with the setting sun at Midsummer (if it's not too cloudy). So, this was my Father's day walk/picnic.
In the normal order of things we began collecting Elderflowers as soon as they arrived, the season tends to be short-lived, so we got out of the traps early, when the weather was suitable. I have made extra Elderflower Champagne this year (4 gallons), because we always run out. Two of these gallons are an experimental batch with an added tint of raspberries, which I think sounds very tasty. Only time will tell.
My friend Matthew also joined us picking Elderflowers too. Matt makes really good beer, and following my attempts last February, we collected a good crop of nettles and he produced a lovely strong & smoky ale. Next he wanted to try an Elderflower Ale.
I am looking forward to doing some work with the Scouts and other groups and hoping to organise some public foraging trips, to promote the Southampton parks, in the late Summer or early Autumn. Who knows?, we may even be able to run our traditional Apple Day in October.
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
It has so far been a year like no other but I'm glad to say that some things have remained constant.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
- Large carrier bag or similar
- Demijon, barrel or brewing bucket
- Suitable pressure safe bottles
- 1kg Stinging Nettles - approximately one large carrier bag stuffed to bursting.
- 400g - 1kg Sugar - the strength of the beer will depend on the amount you use, you could mke it weaker still, like ginger beer for kids
- 1 x Lemon juiced
- 1 x gallon of water (I used a demijon)
- 25 g Cream of Tartar
- Pick the stinging nettles (using gloves), collect only the tips, or top 6" of the plants and stuff them into your big carrier bag. Pack them down well, it takes about 30 minutes.
- Boil the water and gradually add the nettles, they will eventually boil down and should all fit in. I used a large preserving pan, but you can adapt the amounts according to your needs and available equipment.
- Let the nettles simmer for 15 minutes, then strain the liquid off. I used a collander over a bucket to achieve this and it worked very well.
- Add the sugar, Lemon juice and Cream of Tartar to the liquid and stir untill all disolved.
- Leave the liquid to cool to body temperature and sprinkle the yeast on top.
- At this point I added the liquid to my demijon but you could also leave it in a bucket covered with a muslin cloth / tea towel.
- Leave to ferment for a week
- Siphon into bottles and leave for a further week.
My Improvised Standing Work From Home Station
Friday, 6 March 2020
What staggers me, is the amount of fear and immediate action over the virus, compared to the inaction and disinterest, over the far more significant threat of climate change. Sadly, I can only put this down to individual selfishness, and a complete lack of foresight.