Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homebrew Shop visit - new toys for Lee!

So, with the weather frosty, cold, wet and foggy all day (max temp at +0.5C) we didnt make it to the plot again today, but instead did a couple of other things instead! Whilst I potted on the peppers, chillies, aubergines and tomatoes, then planted a few more pepper seeds in the heated propogators, Lee made a batch of Traditional Mead (flavoured with cloves and cinnamon), then we had a trip to the homebrew shop in Northwich, called Brew2Bottle!

We'd heard about the shop from a friend who lives in Northwich, and decided to have a trip over to get a few bits n bobs, more bungs and bubble traps (air locks) to go into the 3 demijohns Lee picked up yesterday evening (courtesy of freecycle), plus a couple of things we'd seen on their website that would make our brewing tasks a bit easier!

The first thing we had wanted was a 2 lever corking machine, we'd inherited a cheapo one (the type you hit with a mallet to force the cork into the bottle), but found it not only difficult to use, but also doesnt force the cork all the way into the bottle, which doesnt look great!

The next thing we wanted was a bottle dryer, trying to wash, sterilize and dry up to 30 bottles at once is a right pain, especially as we cant fit more than 18 on the sink drainer, so the bottle drying tower (that supports the bottles neck down one above the other) that holds up to 80 bottles is something that will make bottling a lot easier!

Lee also spotted a Cherry Brandy strong wine kit, basically a 22percent ABV wine kit with a cherry brandy flavour, they had a few flavours (the shop owner gave us a small glass of the peach schnapps flavour one, which tasted great), but we decided to try the cherry brandy one first, if we like it, then we may well get some more flavours and try them! In addition  to the main purchases we got the extra airtraps and bungs we needed, plus some oak chips (for adding that oak aged taste for the wines and meads) and more corks! AAll in all a productive trip, if not a particularly cheap day (although I have to admit, Brew2Bottle's prices are very good, especially his bottles, thet are as cheap as any we've found online, and with the added advantage of no postage to pay!)!

So, we've now got another flavoured Mead (Melomel to give it the proper name) on the go, and undoubtedly will have a batch of the Prohibition 'Cherry Brandy' on the go tonight aswell! I hope the high alcohol spirit kits are as good as they look, as it would be a great way to brew our own spirits without going to the expense of buying a 'still' (which is unfortunately illegal to use for the distillation of alcohol within the uk! You can own one, and use it to make distilled water, or essential oils, but not for making your own spirits!)


The Idiot Gardener said...

Blimey, the bottle dryer looks like ...

Change the subject: I love brew shops, I always end up spending more than I expected. Brew shops, kitchenware stores, game farms and Cambodian strip clubs with attached underground casinos; all of them charm the money from my usually unvisited pockets.

Christ, it's cold!

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol IG, you are a card!!

I'd agree with brewshops, litchenware stores, but the others that entice me to spend money are more likely to be Garden Centers and Camera shops, cant say Ive ever seen the inside of a strip club, sorry! lol!

Yes, definitely cold out there!

meemsnyc said...

Those are great new toys! And I love the name of the shop.

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