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Thread: They say to try new hobbies during deployment...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post

    Come and talk to me over here in quarantine. We can nerd about fermentation as much as you like It's a surprisingly straightforward concept - bacteria or yeast, something for them to metabolise and time.

    The pineapple cider has been a lifelong thing. It's a permanent Christmas fixture where I grew up, but where I live now essentially doesn't understand that it exists (Australia is a land of uncivilised plebs ). Being unable to buy it, I had to experiment until I found a way to make it. The recipe is still being tinkered with, but I haven't had complaints for a while, so...
    Oh, I'm so there. DB is the only person outside my family who's as interested in food and preparing it as I am, and it's hard to talk to him right now, so I need an outlet! My mom and I have been wanting to try fermenting something for a while (mostly kombucha and kefir haha). I'll gladly nerd out with you!

    I think the number of craft breweries opening up in/near my college town combined with the fact that my friends and I are just now starting to turn 21 means that we're getting exposed to all sorts of different kinds of drinks, like pineapple cider. And a craft brewery just opened up in my small rural hometown last year and it's really taken off. Sounds like North Carolina might have more uncivilized plebs than Australia since we're so behind

    Quote Originally Posted by sassyspoonicus View Post
    I had no idea milk silk (which is really fun to say) existed until I found it at that shop! My cousin bought it to spin it and I'm soooooo impatient waiting to see the yarn.

    Thank you!!
    Say it five times fast! I've seen yarn spinning processes directly from the animal fibers, but never from an existing fabric. How does that work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by _andimcosette View Post
    Oh, I'm so there. DB is the only person outside my family who's as interested in food and preparing it as I am, and it's hard to talk to him right now, so I need an outlet! My mom and I have been wanting to try fermenting something for a while (mostly kombucha and kefir haha). I'll gladly nerd out with you!

    I think the number of craft breweries opening up in/near my college town combined with the fact that my friends and I are just now starting to turn 21 means that we're getting exposed to all sorts of different kinds of drinks, like pineapple cider. And a craft brewery just opened up in my small rural hometown last year and it's really taken off. Sounds like North Carolina might have more uncivilized plebs than Australia since we're so behind



    Say it five times fast! I've seen yarn spinning processes directly from the animal fibers, but never from an existing fabric. How does that work?
    Australia gets cider in general. Just not pineapple cider, which is a shame, because pineapple cider fills the same niche for me that eggnog might for you. It’s just not Christmas without it, damn it.

    I’m still somewhat of a novice, I think, but I’ve brewed a few things that I’m genuinely very proud of. I became a giant nerd and made maple mead (hello Vorkosigan Saga) because I wanted to know whether or not I could get it to work - the answer was yes, and even though it’s an expensive recipe (real maple syrup isn’t cheap!) I’m desperate to do it again. There was a strawberry and apple cider blend from about two or three years ago that came out as pink and soft and pretty as a rose.

    ...the funny thing is, I WORK at a brewery now. Not in the brewhouse, but nevertheless. I haven’t had the nerve to tell them what I’m doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by _andimcosette View Post

    Say it five times fast! I've seen yarn spinning processes directly from the animal fibers, but never from an existing fabric. How does that work?

    It's actually from silk fibers 'grown' from proteins extracted from spoiled milk. The liquid is removed and the proteins are ground which later become threads that are spun into yarns. It is soooo soft and buttery feeling and apparently drapes just like silk.

    I might have to go back and revisit that fiber shop when we go home for the holidays, just to pet all the things.
    I live dangerously - I drink whiskey while knitting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Australia gets cider in general. Just not pineapple cider, which is a shame, because pineapple cider fills the same niche for me that eggnog might for you. It’s just not Christmas without it, damn it.

    I’m still somewhat of a novice, I think, but I’ve brewed a few things that I’m genuinely very proud of. I became a giant nerd and made maple mead (hello Vorkosigan Saga) because I wanted to know whether or not I could get it to work - the answer was yes, and even though it’s an expensive recipe (real maple syrup isn’t cheap!) I’m desperate to do it again. There was a strawberry and apple cider blend from about two or three years ago that came out as pink and soft and pretty as a rose.

    ...the funny thing is, I WORK at a brewery now. Not in the brewhouse, but nevertheless. I haven’t had the nerve to tell them what I’m doing.
    Mmm, eggnog. I actually bought eggnog kefir at Lidl yesterday, so I'm excited to try that. Clearly kefir has become my drink of choice

    I'd say that's more than novice. My dad's been brewing for years and hasn't brewed anything that cool! But what do I know, I don't drink it lol. I LOVE strawberry drinks (strawberry lemonade literally got me through finals my first year of college), so that strawberry and apple sounds yummy. And I'm a sucker for pink drinks because I'm a #millennial lmao.

    You can cook AND brew, you basically own the place, whether they know it or not lol


    Quote Originally Posted by sassyspoonicus View Post
    It's actually from silk fibers 'grown' from proteins extracted from spoiled milk. The liquid is removed and the proteins are ground which later become threads that are spun into yarns. It is soooo soft and buttery feeling and apparently drapes just like silk.

    I might have to go back and revisit that fiber shop when we go home for the holidays, just to pet all the things.
    It's literally made from milk??? That's SO cool! I can imagine how that fabric would be fun to play around with!
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    Quote Originally Posted by _andimcosette View Post
    Mmm, eggnog. I actually bought eggnog kefir at Lidl yesterday, so I'm excited to try that. Clearly kefir has become my drink of choice

    I'd say that's more than novice. My dad's been brewing for years and hasn't brewed anything that cool! But what do I know, I don't drink it lol. I LOVE strawberry drinks (strawberry lemonade literally got me through finals my first year of college), so that strawberry and apple sounds yummy. And I'm a sucker for pink drinks because I'm a #millennial lmao.

    You can cook AND brew, you basically own the place, whether they know it or not lol
    Sadly, ownership and seniority around breweries would seem to be decided by who has the best hipster beard. I just can’t get hairy enough


    About the brewing, in some ways it’s a lot easier to be inventive with ciders (and to a lesser extent with meads) than with beer. Your dad mostly makes beers, I assume?

    I put a brief walkthrough in the Ask Matchbox thread months ago, but I can recap here...

    Basically what a homebrewer is doing is taking yeast, putting it in an environment it likes (warm enough to grow), giving it something to eat (sugar) and waiting for it. Alcohol is produced as a byproduct of the yeast eating all those sugars. The key difference between beer, cider, meads et al is where you get your sugars from.

    Beer uses starchy sugars from grain - mostly barley (dried out to make malt) but some varieties use wheat as well, and the dark stuff like your stout or porter may use oats.

    Cider uses fruit or fruit juice, most commonly apple or pear. You stack other fruit (like the strawberry, or my pineapple, or really almost anything you want to use) on top of the apple or pear base layer by including it in the juice blend, but in its simplest form you could just buy a bottle of apple juice and add yeast directly to the bottle, or even use your own apples and use whatever yeasty microorganisms grew on the apple skin. I’ve done the latter (friend with an apple tree!) but didn’t like the lack of control over the result.

    Meads use honey. The most basic mead in the world is just honey, water and yeast. My maple mead (the technical term for a maple-influenced mead is an “acerglyn”) substituted some of the honey for maple syrup.

    With beer, you can play with the strain of yeast (some yeasts make sweeter, some yeasts make drier...different yeasts will get through the sugar at different speeds, and the sweetness is largely down to how much sugar they couldn’t finish before they died), you can play with the “grain bill” (the grain mixture), you can add different varieties of hops but basically it’s barley.

    With cider, you can start from almost any fruit. See how much wider the scope of possibilities is for a novice when you can use mango or blackberries or peaches? Or different kinds of apples? Right away, it opens right out. And THEN you start experimenting with different yeasts, adding in hops, or spices, or adding tannin from teabags.

    Mead, you can start with different kinds of honey - clover honey tastes quite different to orange-blossom tastes different to thyme. A jar just labelled “honey” is probably a blend, but it’s not THAT hard to find single variety honey...and once you have, you’ll see how different each variety can be. I had a batch of mead made specifically from ironbark honey aging in a cupboard for months! Then you can start adding spices, or a touch of fruit, or flowers (I’ve always wanted to try roses or rosehips). Then the yeast variation.

    See how much room there is to play?

    It’s also worth noting that he probably has a much better strike rate in terms of successes vs failures than I do! Occasionally my messing around doesn’t work out well!
    Last edited by Matchbox; 12-23-2017 at 06:06 PM.
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