Thursday, November 16, 2006

11.16.06 - Must it be a yeast infection? - THE CONCLUSION

The grape juice is now fermenting! I can now see it fizzing from the carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the yeast converting sugar to alcohol. This is very exciting stuff, or I am very easily amused. Probably the latter. See Chapter 1 for more details about the problems: 10.30.06 - Must it be a yeast infection? (a.k.a. "Why won't my grape must ferment?") (view more).

Here's the recap: I pressed a little over five gallons of himrod grapes almost two weeksago. I added way too much sulfite, let it sit 24 hours, and then pitched the yeast. Nothing happened. I aerated repeatedly and then pitched a package of yeast two days later. Nothing. I then transferred it back and forth between the carboy and a plastic bucketsix times. I waited 24 hours then pitched the yeast, still nothing. The temperature of the must was always at the package's recommendation. I tried three different yeast varieties. Then, I transferred it back and forth again (20 times) to try to get the sulfites to dissipate. Then, I pitched more yeast after 24 hours. Nothing.

Then I separated out 2 liters and pitched some yeast in it. Nothing again. It keeps killing my yeast. Nothing is alive in there. I made that must so sterile that you could wash a wound with the grape juice. Then, two weeks later I re-hydrated a double batch of yeast and pitched it after adding some yeast nutrient and yeast energizer. And the next day, this is what I saw (see video for the exciting conclusion).

Since then I've been adding a couple of liters of must to the fermenting batch every day. I should have the full 5 gallons in a good fermentation by week's end. I'll then transfer it back to a carboy with an airlock and let it finish up. I hope to make this a sparkling white wine since Himrod grapes apparently don't taste too good as wine because of their low acidity. I bet it will taste better than my tomato wine though (see blog from 9.16.06)

Saturday, November 4, 2006

11.4.06 - Our neighbor's double-buck day (from her NRA prize-winning deer stand)

Our neighbors are super-cool. Check out their prize-winning deer stand and the two bucks she shot in one day last week. From the NRA Website:

Is That Tree Armed? Faith Walton, Creswell, Ore.

Walton says, "My favorite stand is an old-growth fir log that my husband hollowed out with a chainsaw and then pulled to my favorite hunting spot. He stood it on end and put a roof on it." She says it has been a very successful stand and no wonder, the hollowed-out tree hides everything but her head and firearm.

Here's last week's harvest from the deer stand:
WARNING: If you are opposed to deer hunting, you are cruel for wanting the deer to die of starvation or from having mangled limbs from being crushed by my SUV. Without hunting, my SUV would get crappy gas mileage while dragging along little baby deer fawns from an overpopulated deer herd. Then, George Bush would have to go invade another country for oil. So, you oil-loving hunter haters are also for the war in Iraq.

And if some PETA member's car hits a poor deer, you are insensitive for killing the PETA member who's little fuel-efficient import was mangled by bucks like those pictured above.
If you are vegan, you are super-cool too and I can't quarrel with you. There's milk and eggs in everything; I would starve. That's some dedication to your beliefs.
NOTE: No animals were killed in the making of this blog. Oh wait, I guess there were two. So, never mind.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

11.1.06 - How my vote almost didn't count (a.k.a. How I Forgot How to Sign My Name)

Oregon's vote by mail system apparently has a built in literacy test to go along with the poll tax (post office stamp): You have to be able to follow simple directions.

In order for your vote to count, the signature on the secracy envelope must match your voter registration signature. I sign my signature the same way dozens of times each day. However, this election, for some reason, I felt compelled to sign my ballot with my full name. I think I had some sort of flashback to when we bought the farm (literally - we didn't die) a couple years ago. I had to sign dozens of documents, all of which required me to sign my first, middle, and last names (instead of my first initial, middle and last like I usually do). Back then I tried to explain that they were having me write my name, not sign my name. They just blamed home office or something. Anyway, this election I failed the poll test by signing my first/last/middle and was almost derelict in one of the few responsibilities of a republican (little "r") citizen.

Additionally, I almost failed part 2 of the test, which is the "Be Able to Recognize an Envelope from the County as an Attempt to Warn You of Your Inability to Follow Directions" test. Luckily it didn't get thrown into the junk mail file until after the election.

Wednesday I did manage to find my way to the elections office and sign a new signature card which matched my own signature. Now my vote counts and I am a true republican (little "R")! If I were only a Republican (big "R") in a state with computerized ballot boxes.....then my vote would count twice.