One of the nicest things about living the way we do is the ability to just diverge into doing. . .well. . .whatever the hell we want to do. One of the things we've loved doing over the last year or so was making our own hard ciders, beers, gruit, and the like.
We come to it naturally. We've both been reenactors, and the ciders and what are commonly called "small beers" (so called because of their relatively low alcohol content and that they are meant to be drunk young) were in eras past something you made in the kitchen with no more equipment than a crock and maybe a jug or bottle or two. They're fun, they're easy, they're delicious, and they're a WHOLE lot cheaper than popping for a bottle of decent wine or a six pack of craft beer.
|Doing an initial straining of an oat stout.|
What really strikes me is how common and how easy this all was. Almost anything can be fermented provided it has sugars. Oats, Barley, Ginger, Apples, Pears, Pumpkin. . . .what do you have? You can preserve it by turning it into a drink. You add water, simmer the must for a bit to break it down and kill off any wild yeast, add a sugar like molasses or raw sugar or honey, pitch your yeast, and in a few days strain it into a bottle with a bit of sugar and cork. No elaborate measurement equipment, no computer temperature controls, no anything. Just a daily drink you made yourself.
|This is REAL Ginger beer: Ginger, molasses, lime, allspice, cinnamon. . .you WANT this, trust me.|
Everything we do, every single thing that we have control of, makes us more and more in control of our own lives and, correspondingly, more and more happy with the way we're living.
We'll be publishing the receipes for the stuff that's worked for us shortly. Try em. You'll be happy you did.
Now if you'll excuse me, I feel the need of a libation.
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