Home Grown - A Project by Carl

Messages
1,608
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#82
Hey a reason to use a digi camera o_O rather than waste lovely film to include a label which might ruin your shot ;)
Must be digital to make sense so you know the date taken and relate it to growth and planting date — unless you are meticulous with labelling prints or include a card in the shot :)
 
OP
OP
Carl Hall
Messages
3,063
Name
Carl
Edit My Images
Yes
#85
Time for some more photos! This time it's cider :beer:

Following on from the previous photos where I collected the apples, I cut them into quarters so that they could be pulped. The contents of this bucket is about a third of a crate, and I had four crates to pulp. After cutting so many apples I got a bit careless with the knife, and I now have a nice deep scar on my thumb!

[/url[
url=https://flic.kr/p/2aPSqjP]Cider
by Carl Hall, on Flickr

Now to pulp them! I used a scrap piece of studwork timber from when I was building the shed. Nothing high tech here, just basically bashing the apples up with a piece of wood :LOL: You can get apple scratters which are purpose made for this, but I'm too tight to buy one!


Cider
by Carl Hall, on Flickr

Next comes the pressing, which can take quite a while to do. I filled the steel basket up with pulp and then wound the handle to bring the press down to extract the juice. You have to keep tightening the handle down every so often so you can get as much juice out as possible.


Cider
by Carl Hall, on Flickr

The juice is then strained through a muslin cloth and into the demijohns. Sodium metabisulfite is added to kill the wild yeast, and then 24 hours later the new yeast is added along with some nutrients to keep the yeast happy. From then on it's just waiting to see if the cider ferments properly. I've had cider ferment so fast before that it's blown all the liquid out of the airlock and covered the inside of a cupboard in foam!


Cider
by Carl Hall, on Flickr
 
Messages
3,289
Edit My Images
Yes
#86
I've had cider ferment so fast before that it's blown all the liquid out of the airlock and covered the inside of a cupboard in foam!
Don't mention that... when I was about 14 I decided to make some blackberry wine and that was quite a vigorous ferment too, one of the blackberries must have escaped the sieve and got into the demijohn, then got pushed up by the foam and lodged itself in the U-bend of the airlock.

The pressure built up until the glass airlock detonated at about 4am that morning, waking my parents up (the airing cupboard was next to their bedroom), decorating the interior of the cylinder cupboard with purple gunge and writing off three of my Dad's shirts in the process! Strangely, that was the end of my winemaking whilst living at home! I can't imagine why, but my parents chose to periodically remind me of this incident, usually prefixed by the words "You've done some terrible things in your time". :whistle:
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
7,739
Edit My Images
No
#87
Don't mention that... when I was about 14 I decided to make some blackberry wine and that was quite a vigorous ferment too, one of the blackberries must have escaped the sieve and got into the demijohn, then got pushed up by the foam and lodged itself in the U-bend of the airlock.

The pressure built up until the glass airlock detonated at about 4am that morning, waking my parents up (the airing cupboard was next to their bedroom), decorating the interior of the cylinder cupboard with purple gunge and writing off three of my Dad's shirts in the process! Strangely, that was the end of my winemaking whilst living at home! I can't imagine why, but my parents chose to periodically remind me of this incident, usually prefixed by the words "You've done some terrible things in your time". :whistle:

:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot'13/14 <span class=poty>FPOTY'17</span>
Messages
10,321
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
#90
Well to continue to keeps the mods happy that this a forum for photography and not about growing veggies o_O ;)
This is my first attempt at growing grapes in a pot, so easy and every one should try it.


Thats a seriously impressive crop for a grapevine in a pot, when did you plant them?
 
Messages
3,289
Edit My Images
Yes
#93
When I first bought the vine I grew in my parents' greenhouse I'm pretty sure the nursery told me not to let it fruit for the first year (or was it 2 years?). Mind you, your potted one will have less growing to do to get established to the size of the pot than the one in the greenhouse did. It was like a triffid if I didn't keep it under full control! :D
 
Last edited:

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
9,572
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
#94
Amazing I can't remember whether it was last Autumn or this springtime I'll have to look up when I bought them
Well I eventually found that I paid by credit card on June 2017 and the grape was in a 3L pot and transferred into the larger pot (in the photo) in June 2017. But I do remember at a boot sale, early this year, a guy was selling the same grapes (a little bit smaller) for £4 each and I paid £12 each on line. :banghead:
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,608
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
#95
Well I eventually found that I paid by credit card on June 1917 and the grape was in a 3L pot and transferred into the larger pot (in the photo) in June 2017. But I do remember at a boot sale, early this year, a guy was selling the same grapes (a little bit smaller) for £4 each and I paid £12 each on line. :banghead:
Amazing, 101 years and still in that pot — is it a bonsai vine?
 
Messages
5,781
Name
Steven
Edit My Images
Yes
#96
Well I eventually found that I paid by credit card on June 1917 and the grape was in a 3L pot and transferred into the larger pot (in the photo) in June 2017. But I do remember at a boot sale, early this year, a guy was selling the same grapes (a little bit smaller) for £4 each and I paid £12 each on line. :banghead:
Wouldn't thought you'd have had a card in 1917, wasn't there a war on?
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
9,572
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
#97
When I first bought the vine I grew in my parents' greenhouse I'm pretty sure the nursery told me not to let it fruit for the first year (or was it 2 years?). Mind you, your potted one will have less growing to do to get established to the size of the pot than the one in the greenhouse did. It was like a triffid if I didn't keep it under full control! :D
Well I bought three Vines and put these two in the soil and trained the vines through the windows into the greenhouse. But odd that the grape in the pot, receiving sunshine half the day, were just as plentiful and larger. Anyway the one in the pot is also going to be trained into the greenhouse (on the other side)
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot'13/14 <span class=poty>FPOTY'17</span>
Messages
10,321
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
#98
Well I eventually found that I paid by credit card on June 2017 and the grape was in a 3L pot and transferred into the larger pot (in the photo) in June 2017. But I do remember at a boot sale, early this year, a guy was selling the same grapes (a little bit smaller) for £4 each and I paid £12 each on line. :banghead:
Thanks Brian
 
Messages
3,289
Edit My Images
Yes
#99
It was only a small greenhouse (6x8) that I had, so I dug out about 12" of soil out to form a central walkway, put two or three square concrete flags down and built a brick wall around the walkway to retain the soil banks, then built a step down into it. This effectively made a U-shaped raised bed around the edges of the greenhouse and meant that the eaves of the greenhouse were at about head height, which meant there was plenty of clearance between the top of my head and the central roof ridge. I planted the vine in the bed (inside) at the end of the greenhouse then trained three leaders, one along the central ridge, and one each along the eaves, then encouraged staggered fruiting spurs and sub-branches off that.

3' of double shelf staging went along part of the western side, the remainder of the raised beds were then used to grow tomatoes, cantaloupe melons, cucumbers, etc..either in the beds and/or in grow bags. This maximised the use of a small greenhouse, increased the headroom, and the vine gave good shading by mid-summer. The brick walls retaining the central walkway also heated up during the day and helped maintain the overnight temperature. If it got too warm and dry then I used to water the concrete flags and walls to cool things down a bit. Hope these ideas might be useful to someone. :)
 
Last edited:
Messages
809
Name
Janet
Edit My Images
Yes
We discovered a blackthorn tree literally just around the corner yesterday so we picked the remaining few berries, all 133 grams of them! I've cleaned them and bunged them in the freezer ready to make a small bottle of sloe gin. It's a bit of an experiment because I've not made it before but, if it goes well, I'll be making more next year. :D
 
Messages
8,592
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
We discovered a blackthorn tree literally just around the corner yesterday so we picked the remaining few berries, all 133 grams of them! I've cleaned them and bunged them in the freezer ready to make a small bottle of sloe gin. It's a bit of an experiment because I've not made it before but, if it goes well, I'll be making more next year. :D
I'm sure there must be many, many more trees by local footpaths, Janet.
 
OP
OP
Carl Hall
Messages
3,063
Name
Carl
Edit My Images
Yes
All my home made foods and drinks are now bottled and in the cupboard to have over the winter :)

I took a few photos of the sloe gin at various points as part of this project. Looking at them afterwards I thought, "hey, these would be good for a 'how to' guide". So I made one :D - http://www.carlhall.co.uk/entries/20181221-sloe-gin

F199S02.jpg

Cider. It's really tricky to make sparkling sweet cider without using artificial sweeteners. To make sparkling cider you add sugar to the cider when bottling, so the yeast eats it and produces carbon dioxide to carbonate the cider. However, this means that the yeast will eat ALL of the sugar, giving you a fully dry cider. If you want sweet cider then you need to kill the yeast, meaning you can't carbonate it. In the end I went with a medium sweetness flat cider because I'm from Somerset and sparkling cider is a crime :D I made about ten litres of cider and it's delicious :beer:

F199S09.jpg

Tomato soup. Managed to get over twenty pounds of tomatoes this year, so a big chunk of them ended up as jarred soup, totalling 7 litres.

I used a 23 litre pressure canner to preserve it in Kilner jars with two part lids that are made specially for pressure canning. Canning isn't very popular in the UK so I had to import my pressure canner from the USA! They should last a year or so in the cupboard if I've canned them properly!

F199S08.jpg


And finally the delicious blackberry jam. About half of our blackberries went in to make blackberry and elderberry wine, and the rest were used to make six jars of jam.

F199S11-Edit.jpg
 

RaglanSurf

Forum Idiot'13/14 <span class=poty>FPOTY'17</span>
Messages
10,321
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
Looks like its going be a very enjoyable Christmas down your way, it all looks fantastic.
 
Messages
3,289
Edit My Images
Yes
A very good performance there Carl, it just goes to show what can be achieved through diligent observation and foraging and the proper conservation of such finds. As something of an expert in these matters I've have spent many years perfecting the art of foraging and waiting for the most opportune moment to harvest the produce:

Act before the optimal time to gather the crop and it may well be uneconomical to do so. Leave it too long after the optimal point and you may well find that other foragers have beaten you to it and there's nothing left to gather. Like you, I've worked hard this year, kept my eye on the produce and moved in at just the right time to harvest the crop at the most opportune moment, beating other foragers to it.

Like you, I can now sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labours over the Christmas and New Year period. (y)




































You've got to watch those supermarket shelves and prices like a hawk! :D ;)
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,302
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
Well done that man. Only comment I'd make is that the sloe gin looks very pale compared to what I'd expect (a dark cherry-ruby colour, darker than many red wines) so if the flavour is less exciting than expected try upping the quantity of sloes next time.

I still need to rack off our sloe gin and Apple vodka.
 
OP
OP
Carl Hall
Messages
3,063
Name
Carl
Edit My Images
Yes
Looks like its going be a very enjoyable Christmas down your way, it all looks fantastic.
Thanks Nick

So it's all round to yours then :)

Really good photos to round off a good project (y)
Cheers Chris

Brilliant Carl. I'll be round tomorrow for a taste.....;)
Thanks Janet, there might not be much left by then :D

A very good performance there Carl, it just goes to show what can be achieved through diligent observation and foraging and the proper conservation of such finds. As something of an expert in these matters I've have spent many years perfecting the art of foraging and waiting for the most opportune moment to harvest the produce:

Act before the optimal time to gather the crop and it may well be uneconomical to do so. Leave it too long after the optimal point and you may well find that other foragers have beaten you to it and there's nothing left to gather. Like you, I've worked hard this year, kept my eye on the produce and moved in at just the right time to harvest the crop at the most opportune moment, beating other foragers to it.

Like you, I can now sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labours over the Christmas and New Year period. (y)

You've got to watch those supermarket shelves and prices like a hawk! :D ;)
Cheers Mr B

Well done that man. Only comment I'd make is that the sloe gin looks very pale compared to what I'd expect (a dark cherry-ruby colour, darker than many red wines) so if the flavour is less exciting than expected try upping the quantity of sloes next time.

I still need to rack off our sloe gin and Apple vodka.
Thanks Toni, I think it looks a bit paler in the photos because of the light coming through, the bottle looks slightly darker in normal light. Next year I'll stick quite a few more sloes in and see if I can get it a bit darker (y)
 
Messages
3,289
Edit My Images
Yes
Joking aside, it's great to see someone making use of all that fruit that so often goes to waste these days. People seem to have such busy lives that it's easier for them to buy an apple pie from the supermarket and watch the fruit from their own trees rotting on the ground. Every year I say I'll make some sloe gin, and every year I never get round to it. Still, we did have a few damson crumbles from the trees in my Mum's garden. Unfortunately I was too busy scoffing them to take a photo for this thread! :whistle:
 
Messages
10,302
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
Well I chop apples into small pieces and store them in the freezer to add to curries, Chilli con carne etc.
I made apple vodka, though I'm not sure I'd bother again. Maybe it will get better given time. This year's sloe gin is OK, and WILL get better over the next 12 months. The plum gin is OKish, but tastes of plums, which is not completely ideal since plums taste a mix of good and bad.
 

Andysnap

<span class="poty">POTY (Film) 2015</span>
Messages
15,324
Name
Andy Grant
Edit My Images
Yes
@Carl Hall Thank you so much for the little surprise! :)

We weren't expecting a parcel so were a bit surprised to find a missed delivery card yesterday.

Merry Christmas to you and Angie. We'll raise a glass to you both!


2018-12-23_02-47-47 by Janet

:ty:
Well, it tastes pretty good to me, although I've only had a sip, we shall have to wait until Mrs Snap sobers up before we get a definitive review :D:beer:
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
9,572
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
I made apple vodka, though I'm not sure I'd bother again. Maybe it will get better given time. This year's sloe gin is OK, and WILL get better over the next 12 months. The plum gin is OKish, but tastes of plums, which is not completely ideal since plums taste a mix of good and bad.
About 30 years ago used to make cider and still have the bottles and stops...I really should have another go as I have 10 apple trees (well 8 are more miniature than large ones so I can easy pick apples off).
 
Last edited:
Top