* The Home Brew Thread *

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Robdeo
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Robdeo » December 11th, 2013, 8:43 am

Wow Missus. That's a cool idea. Never even new those kits existed.

The Missus
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by The Missus » December 11th, 2013, 12:13 pm

OK, first up I am not, never have been and never will be any type of long-haired, tid-dyed shirt wearing hippy.

But I do like to be as self-supporting and self-sustainable as possible so I grow most of the vegetables we eat, do heaps of bottling, drying and freezing, bake our bread, buy in bulk, cook mostly from scratch and yes, make cheese. I also make washing powder and soap, shampoo bars and knit my own dishcloths :)

These are all dying skills. Since the 1960s we have been brainwashed into thinking it is more convenient, healthier, more efficient to buy everything we eat/wear/use. Not true folks, trust me. I've been doing all these things for years, with three kids under 4, a mortgage and one wage. Mind you I started doing these things so we could manage on one wage and I could be a full-time mother (and interest rates were nudging 18% - we had friends paying 21% - back then).

Since then it's become our way of life. We live in suburbia. We have hot and cold running water, a dishwasher and ducted heating. We have most of the trappings of life in Australia in 2013, bar the debt.

So trust me when I say anyone can make cheese. Anyone can make the mildest, purest, most moisturising soap, perfect for even newborns. Anyone can grow at least some of the food they eat and preserve it.

It is not hard. Most of those things don't require any special equipment. And really they save so much time and money you'll be stunned. I make a 12 month supply of washing powder in 20 minutes. It costs around $9. I do 12 - 14 loads of washing a week. Cost is about 1.5c a load.

I digress - back to cheese making.

Soft cheeses are so easy to make. Hard cheeses like your tasty or Swiss or cheddars are also very easy, but require a little more equipment by way of a cheese press (about $90?) and of course they take a few weeks to a few months to mature. Are they cheaper than bought cheese? Sometimes. Are they better than the commercially batched cheeses - always. You control what goes into them by way of the milk and salts you use.

I do a lot of ricotta because I use it in cooking. Also make a lot of mascarpone and neufschatel, I use it instead of Philadelphia cheese in cooking/cheese cakes/dips etc and mozzarella for pizza/pasta bakes/nibblies - stuffed mozzarella is to die for.

The hardest thing about cheese making is getting good quality milk. The homogenised and pasturised milk be buy at the supermarket on it's own won't make cheese - would you believe because the calcium is depleted during the homogenisation process! Go figure - we are led to believe we need milk for calcium and yet it's actually destroyed in the milk we are told to buy for the calcium!

Anyway you can add calcium chloride to full cream milk to overcome this obstacle or if you are really lucky you'll have access to lovely raw milk - if you do thank your lucky stars and go make cheese :)

Not sure if this is allowed - if it's not someone please remove it, but I bought the kit for SIL from Mad Millie - they have a good range of beginner kits and any accessories you might want. Do a search on cheese making classes - your local neighbourhood house may well have one coming up and it would be a great place to start.

We only did a half batch yesterday and we used it all last night so I can't show you what it's like - next batch I'll take some photos :)
Adventure before dementia!

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » December 12th, 2013, 4:28 pm

Missus, OK, first up I am not, never have been and never will be any type of long-haired, tid-dyed shirt wearing hippy.

And why not? :lol:

I might raid a mango tree or two for an idea of brewing.

Goldylux
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Goldylux » December 12th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Missus, I'm impressed at how resourceful you are,pretty rare
to find people fixing and making things themselves,hopefully
it never dies out.I'm actually going back in time,getting older cars
and machines/tools as they are just better.

Have you put rosemary in any cheese? i reckon that would be georgeous.
Rosemary and black pepper over a glass of red.Yummo!

AGU, It's not good to keep secrets mate whats this idea you have? :D

Next mango brew i'm going to double up or more. 4-6 mangos i rekon.
The bre i did had only a slight waft of mango,maybe it will develop over time.
I pulled one of the chunks out after i bottled and ate it,tasted like nothing,
probably a good sign that the flavour has gone into the beer.

The Missus
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by The Missus » December 12th, 2013, 8:53 pm

I'd never make a good or even bad hippy, I like my creature comforts far too much :)

Went with the Coopers kit for my brother, I can't wait to give it to him - I'm thinking gazillions of sisterly brownie points :lol: :lol: :lol: He'll love it, as long as he's allowed to use it.

Herbed ricotta is divine - add whatever finely chopped herb you like - rosemary, basil, oregano, mint - try mint and a little honey in ricotta as a dip on fruit - yum. OR make a neufchatel or cream cheese and add chopped dried fruit or glace figs or glace mango or pineapple and roll in finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts. You can add just about anything that appeals to your taste buds -

As for being resourceful, don't know about that, I'd just much rather be pottering at home than shopping - shopping is chore, not a recreational activity. Because we've always done these things our kids know how to do them and hopefully when they make their own homes they'll be able to use the skills and knowledge to make their lives a little easier and more comfortable.
Adventure before dementia!

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » December 13th, 2013, 7:38 am

I was thinking of fermenting a few mangoes Goldylux. Have about 8 that are going soft at the moment and I`ll scab a few more that have fallen off the trees and even the ones on the trees. The ones on the ground, should be riper than the ones up in the trees. Might make a mango drink of some sort. Thought of making it like Ginger Beer, but with mangoes only, or a mango plonk / port. If that fails, could always get it distilled and see if the flavour carries over. I haven`t set my mind on one way, but I am definite on the last option though if the other options fail. :lol:

Missus, You would get brownie points from your brother, but they`ll probably be taken away by the other half. :lol:

I have thought of making cheese, but when the time is right and in the mood for some thing different, I`ll do it.
Last edited by AGU on January 18th, 2014, 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Goldylux
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Goldylux » December 13th, 2013, 7:55 am

That should be interesting,i would imagine you would need
to be pretty careful just letting the mango's ferement because
the alcohol level would be super high,maybe i'm wrong.

I watched some prison show and guys put oranges in a bottle
with some sugar and apparently it made very pungent alcohol.
Not exactly what relevance that has but anyway...

My grandad used to make potchin back in northern ireland from
potatoes.That stuff could be used to lift paint. :lol:

Well for christmas i've got this stashed away

-2xcarton stubbies ginger beer
-2xcarton stubbies mango beer
-1.5 carton of australian bitter

plus whatever we buy on the day.Hopefully we'll save some coin
and get a ham so i can do my honey,mustard and brandy glazed ham.

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » December 16th, 2013, 8:09 am

I have noticed the empty beer bottle rack has filled up and I`ll need to brew another beer now. Getting lazier in my old age and think that there`s enough beer to see us through. Finished our last stuff up that I brewed the other day. I had put powdered Corn Syrup in a unlabeled can and Dextrose in to another and of course, drongo here didn`t do a taste test before using. After a couple of weeks being in the bottle and came time to have a drink, there would be 4 inches of head in the glass and about 4 inches of clear beer as well. :lol: Would`ve been a good xmas party drink. Tell every one that it`s snow.

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » January 13th, 2014, 2:02 pm

Well, I marinated a couple of over ripe mangoes in about 2 litres of vodka a few weeks back and have a nice mango flavoured spirit. I`ll use the alcohol soaked mango when I make a fruit cake next time `round when I decide to get of my bum. Have a Brigalows Munich Lager on the go at the moment.

rgren2
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by rgren2 » January 15th, 2014, 3:06 pm

Has anyone tried mixing molasses with the rum essences? I use a Willards rum essence with Coral Sea Rum essence. Tastes great but just wondering about the molasses.
Silver Patrol '08 6.5 NA Chev plus a few bits and pieces.

Foo
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Foo » January 17th, 2014, 8:45 am

^^ Watching this space!^^ :)

Foo

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » January 17th, 2014, 8:58 am

I know a few people put molasses in to their coffee and tea to sweeten it up. It also gives a molasses flavour as well. It`s similar to if you are use to white sugar and then going to raw sugar for the first time, you can taste the raw sugar flavour. You be better of brewing with raw sugar (or molasses maybe with sugar as well) and then add the rum essence to the final product. I think putting molasses in with the rum essence would ruin it, but then again, it might make a liquer out of it if you add it. Give it a go and see. As the saying goes `I`ll give any thing a go once and if I like it, I`ll do it again.`
Last edited by AGU on January 17th, 2014, 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Goldylux
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Goldylux » January 17th, 2014, 10:06 am

I'm putting a brew on next week,any suggestions?

I'm tossing up another mango brew,but with loads of mangos.

AGU
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by AGU » January 17th, 2014, 1:49 pm

You can give ripe to over ripish bananas a go, if they are cheap enough. Plums are a good option as well. Are you making beer with added fruit Goldylux or are you making a wash?

Goldylux
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Re: * The Home Brew Thread *

Unread post by Goldylux » January 17th, 2014, 3:25 pm

Just gonna boil something (plenty of it) and chuck it in the fermenter.
They have mangos i think theyre $20 a box.Kengsington prides.

One thing i'm worried about is the gas.The last brew i did with just two mangos,
if you opened one warm the bottlecap would just about hit the moon then it would
throff like mad.

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