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View Full Version : An Embarassment of Riches?



wildoates
05-29-2012, 11:26 PM
My daughter has been busy trying to organize all the mess of bottles we have in the garage, HAVE had in the garage for about three years.

Check out the photo of the BEFORE (http://thingsthatmakelife.blogspot.com/2012/05/entropy-is-not-always-our-friend.html) and tell me you haven't had a similar situation, collecting various bottles from all comers and never quite getting them put to rights. :)

A cousin has a small cherry orchard on her property and she is going to give me some of the honey collected from the bees that service it. I can't wait to taste it and to make mead with it. Heh heh heh

Chevette Girl
05-30-2012, 02:44 AM
If I told you my basement/garage/kitchen never looked like that, I'd be lying... probably be lying if I said the basement didn't look like that right now. Although I did get 20 beer bottles scrubbed and unlabelled, 10 more are soaking...

But I've given up on being embarrassed by it. If at first you don't succeed (especially if it involves housecleaning), lower your standards, step around the heap ;D

Echostatic
05-30-2012, 07:41 AM
I have my own messy collection of bottles. I got a ton on a table in the game room, and a 4 bottle deep line of them at the foot of my bed, for lack of a better place. I guess it comes with the hobby... (I must really look like a raging alcoholic to those who don't know!)

TAKeyser
05-30-2012, 09:07 AM
WOW, that picture could almost be my basement. I really do need to get it organized.

Guinlilly
05-30-2012, 09:14 AM
My dining room looks like that right now. It's an explosion of bottles, boxes, meads to be racked, meads to be bottled, meads fermenting, and boxed meads going to a festival with us next week. I honestly can't wait 'til after the festival because I'll have my dining room back! (Seriously we need to get the inside of the building finished, and I need to get cracking on paperwork. J needs large fermentors to work with. lol)

TAKeyser
05-30-2012, 09:22 AM
Well I'm hoping to get the yard finished today, so starting tomorrow I'll get to work on the basement (and the stuff that has overflown into the kitchen).

TheAlchemist
05-30-2012, 01:43 PM
Eeeek!
It reminds me of the time my friend Julia threw all the tupperware out of the kitchen cabinet with a shreik, threw it all on the follr and reorganized it.

Whatshisface
05-30-2012, 02:23 PM
Okay I have to admit, I was doing pretty good keeping all my empties stacked in boxes behind the bar downstairs. That of coarse has changed since I got those last 3 cases of flip tops off of Craig’s list. They are all now sitting in the middle of the floor downstairs waiting for me to wash them. Once I get them washed I have no Idea where they are going to go. Please no suggestions on where to stick them! :)

Chevette Girl
05-30-2012, 04:20 PM
Eeeek!
It reminds me of the time my friend Julia threw all the tupperware out of the kitchen cabinet with a shreik, threw it all on the follr and reorganized it.

I'm almost there with my plasticware drawer... "why do I have 4 matching lids but can't find any of the containers???" Yeah... I totally understand.

wildoates
05-30-2012, 04:47 PM
My dining room looks like that right now. It's an explosion of bottles, boxes, meads to be racked, meads to be bottled, meads fermenting, and boxed meads going to a festival with us next week. I honestly can't wait 'til after the festival because I'll have my dining room back! (Seriously we need to get the inside of the building finished, and I need to get cracking on paperwork. J needs large fermentors to work with. lol)


He's got to get going on that wedding brew, eh?

All that mess is back in the garage now, but good thing the maids come on Friday because the dining room floor is a dusty mess. We'll start making wedding beer next week...it's got to be done before I leave for England on July 2nd or we won't have time for it to finish before my niece's wedding in August.

With all those bottles, though, we still don't have enough to bottle the FOUR batches of lambic we've had aging for a year and more. Silly us. :)

Chevette Girl
05-30-2012, 05:09 PM
I was just running the math last night to figure out how many beer bottles will need for each common batch size and that comes out to a LOT of bottles fast...

Guinlilly
05-30-2012, 09:42 PM
He's got to get going on that wedding brew, eh?

All that mess is back in the garage now, but good thing the maids come on Friday because the dining room floor is a dusty mess. We'll start making wedding beer next week...it's got to be done before I leave for England on July 2nd or we won't have time for it to finish before my niece's wedding in August.

With all those bottles, though, we still don't have enough to bottle the FOUR batches of lambic we've had aging for a year and more. Silly us. :)

The mead is in a very large barrel as we speak. Beer will be started in August I think for early-October nuptials! By the by our (partial) wedding menu was featured on Offbeat Bride! (http://offbeatbride.com/2012/05/buffet-style-locally-sourced-eastern-shore-wedding-picnic-menu#comments)

wildoates
05-31-2012, 01:30 AM
That's an awesome lot o' food you're planning to serve. WOW!

Guinlilly
05-31-2012, 09:46 AM
That's an awesome lot o' food you're planning to serve. WOW!

Thanks! Honestly, I don't think we'd be able to do it if my father wasn't a chef with mad connections! lol

Chevette Girl
05-31-2012, 10:04 AM
Yeah, no kidding... We had very good mostly local food for our wedding, we never could have afforded something like your proposed spread! :) (of course, not being coastal, seafood really doesn't fall under "local"). At least our cake was cool (a gingerbread castle, complete with landscaping, our D&D miniatures, a dragon, a catapult loaded with allspice berries, and a cauldron for boiling oil, and if we'd remembered to pack some corn syrup, it even would have worked).

TAKeyser
05-31-2012, 11:38 AM
Back to the original topic of messy basement/garages. Started trying to clean mine up last night and it involves cleaning and de-labeling 12 cases of wine bottles. 1st case went nice and smooth, soaked it hot water and the labels just fell right off. Started on a 2nd case and they are the most stubborn bottles. Soaking made no dent in the labels, so I scraped which just left a sticky mess on the bottles, so I soaked some more. That did nothing so I went to the Goo-Be-Gone, all that seems to have done is spread the stickiness around. Uggghhhhh!!!

Chevette Girl
05-31-2012, 11:55 AM
Yeah, I've found the trick with goo-gone is every wipe has to be with a clean section of paper towel, otherwise yeah, it just smears around. Next time I get one of those really smeary labels, I may try saturating the adhesive with goo-gone, then giving it 5 minutes to loosen it up, then putting straight dish soap on it and seeing if it'll scrape or scrub off then, the dishsoap might keep it from sticking to the bottle again.

Some labels just aren't worth fighting with. And when I find one of those, at least I get a deposit back for returning it to the beer store for recycling...

TAKeyser
05-31-2012, 12:00 PM
Sadly I have 2 cases of these wine bottles. I'd hate not to use 24 nice wine bottles.

Chevette Girl
05-31-2012, 01:06 PM
Since you know know the nature of these labels already (I usually don't know they're going to be like that till after soaking), maybe try hitting the whole dry label with the goo-gone, give it 5 min, and see if most of the adhesive comes off when you scrape the paper off? Might work...

TAKeyser
05-31-2012, 02:24 PM
worth a try

wildoates
05-31-2012, 07:09 PM
Yeah, no kidding... We had very good mostly local food for our wedding, we never could have afforded something like your proposed spread! :) (of course, not being coastal, seafood really doesn't fall under "local"). At least our cake was cool (a gingerbread castle, complete with landscaping, our D&D miniatures, a dragon, a catapult loaded with allspice berries, and a cauldron for boiling oil, and if we'd remembered to pack some corn syrup, it even would have worked).

You've GOT to post a photo of that. :)

Chevette Girl
05-31-2012, 09:00 PM
You've GOT to post a photo of that. :)

LOL, they're on facebook but not in a public folder, I'll move one over to the public folder now...

Edit: good grief, Facebook is slow tonight!


Aah, there we go. Doesn't have to be in a public folder after all I guess.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/22577_104888182868958_6960592_n.jpg.

TheAlchemist
05-31-2012, 10:14 PM
You've GOT to post a photo of that. :)

Hear Hear! I second this request!

Chevette Girl
05-31-2012, 11:32 PM
Hear Hear! I second this request!

Is the embedded photo not showing up for you? Stupid Facebook. Fine. Here's the wedding photo album (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.104885636202546.10019.100000433302346&type=3&l=551a4411a1)... enjoy...

wildoates
06-01-2012, 12:12 AM
That's the perfect wedding cake for you. :)

TheAlchemist
06-01-2012, 11:58 AM
Is the embedded photo not showing up for you? Stupid Facebook. Fine. Here's the wedding photo album (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.104885636202546.10019.100000433302346&type=3&l=551a4411a1)... enjoy...

No worries, my fingers were typing faster than my eyes were seeing, and I saw the photo straightaway after I'd posted my request.

Anyway, I enjoyed the wedding photo album!

And, yes, FB has its troubles, today, at least.

Matrix4b
06-01-2012, 05:41 PM
Is the embedded photo not showing up for you? Stupid Facebook. Fine. Here's the wedding photo album (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.104885636202546.10019.100000433302346&type=3&l=551a4411a1)... enjoy...

That's an awesome cake. I wish mine turned out so well. Instead I ended up with a candyland type of castle. We ended up getting a couple of Pocket Dragons for the topers.

It's definitely what I was imagining when someone says Castle cake.

Matrix

Chevette Girl
06-01-2012, 07:57 PM
Thanks, the lady who made it has one of her latest creations featured on a couple of blogs and I think the food network... She's going big-time now! :)

I tried making my own castle prototype cake one year for my birthday (yes I make my own cakes, it's the only way to be sure I don't end up with a crappy grocery-store cake made up entirely of hydrogenated fats and sugar), I made two square ones, used one for the base, cut a square out of the middle, put the remaining ring on top of the base, and cut the square I'd removed into 4 pieces and stacked them on as towers... put black food colouring in the chocolate icing, decorated it with chocolate pebbles... Had to use bamboo skewers to keep it together (I camoflaged them by putting flags on them) because I didn't square off the tops of any of the cakes so there was a bit of gravity involved, but hey, it was still tasty and it looked pretty nifty.

Matrix4b
06-11-2012, 05:26 PM
Sounds great. My wife makes her cakes herself two. From scratch. She loves using my home made vanilla extract and wont use anything store bought again. Do you make your own extract? I highly recomend it.

Recently a friend made chocolate fondue while campling. Putting a touch of ameretto into it. It tasted good but I think that I am going to convince her to use my orange extract next time. It was a good quality semi-sweet chocolate. Sigh, I really wish that I had the patients and energy and tools to make my own chocolate too but alas too much investment. I found a great process off of Chocolatealchemy.com and wow I didn't know that making chocolate was so involved.

But I have a friend that has a birthday coming up that is a bit of a science geek. I wanted to make a cake into the shape of a pi symbol. For some Cake Pi or would that be Pi cake. Ok, I like puns.

Brewing has lead me to some interesting directions in cooking and in helping out my wife's baking. She once brought just a plain yellow cake made with my vanilla to work and had to hide it to get the cake to make it to the start of the potluck. The vanilla scent was so strong and good. And she doesn't use much in her recpie. It really made a differnece.

Matrix

Chevette Girl
06-11-2012, 09:05 PM
I found a brand of extract I like that's not too horribly expensive, and vanilla beans are generally too frigging expensive up here to do it myself, although I do always have some sitting in a mickey of white rum (which is also not cheap here).

Matrix4b
06-18-2012, 12:51 PM
I found a brand of extract I like that's not too horribly expensive, and vanilla beans are generally too frigging expensive up here to do it myself, although I do always have some sitting in a mickey of white rum (which is also not cheap here).

Hmm, odd. I didn't know that rum was not cheap there. I can usually find very inexpensive rum for inexpensive here. As far as the beans, I ordered them on Amazon.com in bulk for inexpensive. Like $25 for 1/2 pound of burbon. Which is about 54 beans. Ofcourse, I am not sure what the shipping and the like is to Canada.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bulk+grade+b+vanilla+beans&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abulk+grade+b+vanilla+beans&ajr=0

And the recipie I use, is 1 cup to 6 beans, where you can use the beans twice. Rum, vodka, or any other alcohol over 30% and under 45% would work but for neutrality of flavor, I prefer rum.

Is it illegal to home distil in Canada like it is in the US? perhapse that could be a solution.

But if you are happy with the vanilla you use, eh, maybe it is best not to change it.

Matrix

Crane_Dell
07-11-2012, 02:40 AM
LOL, they're on facebook but not in a public folder, I'll move one over to the public folder now...

Edit: good grief, Facebook is slow tonight!


Aah, there we go. Doesn't have to be in a public folder after all I guess.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/22577_104888182868958_6960592_n.jpg.

I know this is an old thread, but I just have to say. Epic castle cake!!!!! Bravo!

Chevette Girl
07-11-2012, 11:37 AM
Hmm, odd. I didn't know that rum was not cheap there. I can usually find very inexpensive rum for inexpensive here. As far as the beans, I ordered them on Amazon.com in bulk for inexpensive. Like $25 for 1/2 pound of burbon. Which is about 54 beans. Ofcourse, I am not sure what the shipping and the like is to Canada.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bulk+grade+b+vanilla+beans&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abulk+grade+b+vanilla+beans&ajr=0

And the recipie I use, is 1 cup to 6 beans, where you can use the beans twice. Rum, vodka, or any other alcohol over 30% and under 45% would work but for neutrality of flavor, I prefer rum.

Is it illegal to home distil in Canada like it is in the US? perhapse that could be a solution.

But if you are happy with the vanilla you use, eh, maybe it is best not to change it.


Just realized I never answered this, in my province, alcohol's controlled by the province and far as I know they set the prices and tax it to their heart's content and you can't just get beer at the corner store, you have to go to licensed establishments like The Beer Store, the LCBO or there are a few small wine stores. And about the cheapest mickey of anything that I can get is about $13 these days. I like vodka for making fruit liqueurs but I'm good with rum for my vanilla, but the stuff I buy is better than the stuff I've made so far, vanilla beans are also cost-prohibitive unless I buy online.

And though freeze-concentration at home is not illegal, I think operating a still is, although apparently the rules are pretty ambiguous and it could be argued for personal use... but I'm not getting into that... apparently the only place it's truly legal to do your own distilling is in New Zealand (http://wiki.homedistiller.org/Legality):)

And about the cake, my friend who made it can be found on facebook, I'll post a link when I find it (I hate facebook, I really do)...

Matrix4b
07-11-2012, 02:07 PM
And though freeze-concentration at home is not illegal, I think operating a still is, although apparently the rules are pretty ambiguous and it could be argued for personal use... but I'm not getting into that... apparently the only place it's truly legal to do your own distilling is in New Zealand (http://wiki.homedistiller.org/Legality):)

And about the cake, my friend who made it can be found on facebook, I'll post a link when I find it (I hate facebook, I really do)...

Hmm, wow. Alcohol is even MORE regulated than in US. I thought that we in the US were just being silly on it. I wonder why distilling is so harshly regulated. From what I read it's even a very simple process that given the equipment can be done safely. But alas, I can't do it here in the USA.

I haven't done any freeze concentration either. I'll admit that I am curious a bit. I have some foul watermellon mead that I was thinking may be improved by distiling of some sort. My friend that enjoys my mead wants me to make him bourbon. So Not Happening, mostly due to the law. Also, I am not that much of a drinker. I like brewing mead and drinking some but overall, I usually only have 2-3 12oz bottles at a party and never on my own.

Matrix