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Re:

29 Jul 2017 19:21

Tricycle Rider wrote:Right, me again, wanting some more gardening tips. This time I'm trying to grow some figs.

So far I've got this going on (it is in a ceramic pot), will it ever produce any fruit?

Image

I know, I should be googling this, but I think it's much more fun to be consulting with you guys so we can all share our gardening successes, as well as our gardening failures. :( :)


Interesting fruit, TR. Never done one myself, but friends have. Grow it like grapes methinks. Sun, tough constant pruning.
Dazed and Confused
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30 Jul 2017 16:07

An unexpected twist with my first batch of plum wine. It stopped fermenting after the primary fermentation, something that has never happened before in my experience. The primary fermentation is aerobic; the mashed up fruit, sugar and water sit in a large bucket covered loosely to keep out fruit flies. You stir the mixture occasionally, and as you do, you can see it bubbling vigorously.

After about a week the mixture is transferred to 1 gallon jugs with airlocks, so the fermentation can continue anaerobically. At this point the fermentation has typically slowed down considerably—because yeast growth is inhibited by the buildup of alcohol—but you’re still supposed to see bubbles come out of the airlocks.

I saw nothing, and thought the wine must have become contaminated somehow. I just let it sit for about a week, until I finally got around to buying a hydrometer; I had one before but lost it in the long period since the last time I made wine. A hydrometer measures the density or specific gravity of a fluid. When you begin the fermentation process, the SG is high, typically around 1.100, because of all the sugar dissolved in the mixture. As the sugar is converted by the yeast to alcohol, the density falls, and in a dry wine, with no sugar, it’s typically about 1.00. You can actually determine the alcohol content of the wine from the change in SG.

To my great surprise, that was the reading, very close to 1.00, indicating the wine had finished fermenting. It also did not taste sweet, consistent with the conversion of all the sugar. So I went ahead and bottled it, many months before I expected it to be ready.

Why did it finish so soon? I can only guess that the yeast I bought at the wine making shop was unusually resistant to alcohol, so that it was able to ferment all the sugar very quickly. But I’m still very surprised.

I got seven bottles plus a little more from this first batch, but could have made a lot more with all the plums available. This European variety is supposed to yield about two bushels of fruit. That is 64 quarts, about 64 lb, enough to make about 20 gal of wine, or 100 standard size 750 ml bottles!

That tree is done, but I have another one, a different variety, the fruit on which should be ready for picking in a few days. I expect to make another two gallons of wine, or ten bottles, from that. Enough!
Last edited by Merckx index on 30 Jul 2017 16:09, edited 1 time in total.
Merckx index
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Re: Re:

30 Jul 2017 16:07

Dazed and Confused wrote:
Interesting fruit, TR. Never done one myself, but friends have. Grow it like grapes methinks. Sun, tough constant pruning.
I'm surprised you're not growing figs for your moonshine, DC. :p

I'll let you know how it goes, if the fig bush is anything like the sorry lilac I had planted a while back I won't see any results till something like five years from now. (Almost gave up on the lilac and thought of digging it up so I could plant something else, it took years before it started to blossom.)

And on that note...

Update on the gladiolas I had planted in spring (cause I know you guys are just dying for it) - looks like they'll blossom, so they indeed must be easy to grow.
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Re:

30 Jul 2017 16:21

Merckx index wrote:An unexpected twist with my first batch of plum wine. It stopped fermenting after the primary fermentation, something that has never happened before in my experience. The primary fermentation is aerobic; the mashed up fruit, sugar and water sit in a large bucket covered loosely to keep out fruit flies. You stir the mixture occasionally, and as you do, you can see it bubbling vigorously.

After about a week the mixture is transferred to 1 gallon jugs with airlocks, so the fermentation can continue anaerobically. At this point the fermentation has typically slowed down considerably—because yeast growth is inhibited by the buildup of alcohol—but you’re still supposed to see bubbles come out of the airlocks.

I saw nothing, and thought the wine must have become contaminated somehow. I just let it sit for about a week, until I finally got around to buying a hydrometer; I had one before but lost it in the long period since the last time I made wine. A hydrometer measures the density or specific gravity of a fluid. When you begin the fermentation process, the SG is high, typically around 1.100, because of all the sugar dissolved in the mixture. As the sugar is converted by the yeast to alcohol, the density falls, and in a dry wine, with no sugar, it’s typically about 1.00. You can actually determine the alcohol content of the wine from the change in SG.

To my great surprise, that was the reading, very close to 1.00, indicating the wine had finished fermenting. It also did not taste sweet, consistent with the conversion of all the sugar. So I went ahead and bottled it, many months before I expected it to be ready.

Why did it finish so soon? I can only guess that the yeast I bought at the wine making shop was unusually resistant to alcohol, so that it was able to ferment all the sugar very quickly. But I’m still very surprised.

I got seven bottles plus a little more from this first batch, but could have made a lot more with all the plums available. This European variety is supposed to yield about two bushels of fruit. That is 64 quarts, about 64 lb, enough to make about 20 gal of wine, or 100 standard size 750 ml bottles!

That tree is done, but I have another one, a different variety, the fruit on which should be ready for picking in a few days. I expect to make another two gallons of wine, or ten bottles, from that. Enough!
Plum wine, that's interesting. My dad likes to get this stuff called slivovice each time he travels back home to the motherland (Czech R.), it's a plum brandy that his friend home brews. It sounds lovely, but that stuff is so strong just opening the bottle the smell alone will make insects drop. It's just that wicked. I take it that's not what you're aiming for?

Otherwise I'm impressed you're making your own wine, that takes some skill. (I just like to drink it.:D)
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Re: Re:

30 Jul 2017 17:43

Tricycle Rider wrote:Plum wine, that's interesting. My dad likes to get this stuff called slivovice each time he travels back home to the motherland (Czech R.), it's a plum brandy that his friend home brews. It sounds lovely, but that stuff is so strong just opening the bottle the smell alone will make insects drop. It's just that wicked. I take it that's not what you're aiming for?

Otherwise I'm impressed you're making your own wine, that takes some skill. (I just like to drink it.:D)


It’s typical strength wine, about 12% alcohol. Like so many things in life, wine-making is not that difficult to do passably, much more difficult to do really well. I’m not at that latter level. My wine is drinkable, it’s not going to win any awards. For that I’d probably need to experiment with adding some other ingredients. But it is pretty unique; you can’t buy wine with this kind of flavor in the store.

Mostly, I hate to see all that fruit go to waste. In the past, I also used to make a lot of jam. That’s even easier than making wine, and it’s not that difficult to make stuff that’s just as good as what you buy in the store. Many people might be put off by the canning process, but you only need to do that if you’re making large quantities that you want to store for long periods of time. If you just want to make a small quantity that you consume in a week or so, all you really need is the fruit, some sugar, and less than half an hour of time.

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-fruit-jam-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193560
Merckx index
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Re: Re:

30 Jul 2017 18:22

Merckx index wrote:It’s typical strength wine, about 12% alcohol. Like so many things in life, wine-making is not that difficult to do passably, much more difficult to do really well. I’m not at that latter level. My wine is drinkable, it’s not going to win any awards. For that I’d probably need to experiment with adding some other ingredients. But it is pretty unique; you can’t buy wine with this kind of flavor in the store.

Mostly, I hate to see all that fruit go to waste. In the past, I also used to make a lot of jam. That’s even easier than making wine, and it’s not that difficult to make stuff that’s just as good as what you buy in the store. Many people might be put off by the canning process, but you only need to do that if you’re making large quantities that you want to store for long periods of time. If you just want to make a small quantity that you consume in a week or so, all you really need is the fruit, some sugar, and less than half an hour of time.

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-basic-fruit-jam-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193560
Mom and I used to make our own jam, I think picking the actual fruit (such as those freaking prickly blackberries, or those dainty blueberries) is worse than the canning process. But I agree, it's a shame to let any fruit go to waste.

Also, anything you grow or make yourself tends to taste much better, and if not you at least know what ingredients went into it. (I am so not impressed by the overpriced "organic" stuff they sell at the store.)

PS - Mom still bothers with canning her own pickles, they are just the most delicious! (One of these days I'll have to get the recipe and will have to try to can them myself.)
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30 Jul 2017 22:14

I made a semi recipe off the internet for for aged.. whiskey..
I bought a 1.75 liter of bottom shelf liquor from Walmart.. followed one of the simple taste improvements..adds a few drops of liquid smoke(@$1.50 for a small bottle) and a small amount of vanilla..let it sit/rest as suggested and it's not half bad according to the 5 people who have tried it..
food52.com
I didn't add the sherry
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01 Aug 2017 01:08

jmdirt
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Re:

01 Aug 2017 12:59

Never used it myself, but did see it being used last summer when some people I know had to temporarily lift a huge wisteria trellis from its base so they could fit a cherry picker through. (They were painting an apartment building.) I'm assuming the trellis + plant were quite heavy, but the jack posts seemed to have held up well. (And, much to my surprise, they didn't kill the wisteria.)

Whatcha working on?
Last edited by Tricycle Rider on 01 Aug 2017 13:10, edited 1 time in total.
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01 Aug 2017 13:10

Using adjustable support columns (usually call 'lally columns') is very common. But usually the adjustment range is fairly small, and you need to get the tallest one that will fit your space.
With a support like that you need a foundation that is strong enough to support the load, and also the 'supported area' needs to be strong enough so it doesn't crush or distort under load.

Also the column should be solidly attached at the top and bottom to securely keep it in position in case something or someone hits it.
They are usually designed for installation in dry locations.

Typical use is to provide support for long 'load bearing' beams, or to support sagging floors. For sagging floors you'd need a way to increase the total area being supported so the column is NOT bearing on a single small point.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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01 Aug 2017 14:37

TR and Jay, my 110 year old house needs a little extra support where the stair 'hole' goes into the basement.
jmdirt
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01 Aug 2017 17:45

You'll have to figure-out what floor joists are affected, and how to provide a suitable support beam underneath them.
Maybe use a length of 2x2 inch angle iron if it's a single joist. If several parallel joists have to be supported then glue & bolt 2 or 2 pieces of 2X6 wood together as and 'on-edge' beam spanning the joists. Check at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. for metal construction brackets to attach the beam to the joists so it can't tilt, perhaps use diagonal wood braces connecting the beam to the joists. If the floor is poured concrete, then it's probably plenty strong as-is. If you doubt the strength of the floor, then use a piece of steel plate or pressure treated wood to spread the load.
And again, be sure the column is solidly attached at the beam and the floor.

If the framing is all exposed and easy to get at, it shouldn't be a problem. Either DIY or hire someone.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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06 Aug 2017 17:53

....jack-posts and a suitable length of 6x6 can work wonders....

Cheers
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07 Aug 2017 20:55

Update on the climbing pole pea I had planted a while back (cause I know you guys are just dying for it)...

Yep, it's climbing, and it looks like I'll have a few pea pods to cook once they're big enough. I'm so excited! :D

Image

In the picture you'll also see the purple gladiolas I had planted a while ago - they're blossoming and the humming birds seem to like them. So that's cool.

As to the mystery "corn" I'm growing in yet another pot... still not sure it's even corn, perhaps it's wheat. Or some such. If it is the latter I suppose I'll have to learn how to mill wheat. :confused: :lol:
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11 Aug 2017 21:25

Much of Oregon is getting excited about the upcoming solar eclipse, so much so that those special glasses you have to wear in order to not damage your eyesight are already sold out at the places I shop at. So my question is...

These "pinhole projectors", I vaguely recall having to use something like that back when I was a kid living in Germany way back when. So, I'm assuming this is something one could make oneself out of cardboard, or something like that?

https://www.space.com/36941-solar-eclipse-eye-protection-guide.html

I've got about a week to figure this out, but just wondering if anyone here has any insight. :cool:
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12 Aug 2017 12:11

If there's a specialized camera store nearby, they might have filters - but they'd be fairly expensive.
Don't risk your eyesight - with all the publicity about the eclipse, I'm sure some people will get hurt.

Jay Kosta
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Re:

13 Aug 2017 19:46

JayKosta wrote:If there's a specialized camera store nearby, they might have filters - but they'd be fairly expensive.
Don't risk your eyesight - with all the publicity about the eclipse, I'm sure some people will get hurt.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
I have no doubt some people will get hurt, from what I read the eye damage isn't something you would immediately feel as painful, it's something you'll notice later when your vision is screwed up. So yeah, it's bound to happen to some folk.

I'll just make a pinhole projector out of a couple of pieces of card stock, or maybe this gizmo out of a cereal box and some aluminum foil. https://youtu.be/vWMf5rYDgpc

There's a chance we'll be overcast in Oregon anyway, so I'm not going to waste my time buying some glasses online that could very well be counterfeit.

Anyhoo, for those who are in the path of the total eclipse - happy and safe viewing! :)
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17 Aug 2017 18:26

Update on the eclipse "pinhole projector" (cause I know you guys are just dying for it)...

I made the cereal box one from the link upthread, not sure how well it would actually work. I was able to get some legit glasses recently before they sold out again, but the cereal box was a fun little project anyway.

Image

PS - You can have this one, Merckx, in case you aren't able to get some glasses. I'm actually rather proud of it. :razz:
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17 Aug 2017 19:17

Ok, here's another project for us DIY enthusiasts (or cheapos, whichever applies), this one has to do with stand fans.

My old one gave out... it must have been the electrical wiring, which I wasn't even about to mess with because it just wasn't worth it. Being I had another old fan I had saved just for this occasion (this time the very flimsy stand broke) I just took a metal saw and cut the post from one fan so that the other fan would fit on it.

Image

Ta-daa! I had just saved something like $40 by not buying a brand new, stupid fan. I love it when that happens. :)

Image
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Re:

19 Aug 2017 15:21

Tricycle Rider wrote:Ok, here's another project for us DIY enthusiasts (or cheapos, whichever applies), this one has to do with stand fans.

My old one gave out... it must have been the electrical wiring, which I wasn't even about to mess with because it just wasn't worth it. Being I had another old fan I had saved just for this occasion (this time the very flimsy stand broke) I just took a metal saw and cut the post from one fan so that the other fan would fit on it.

Image

Ta-daa! I had just saved something like $40 by not buying a brand new, stupid fan. I love it when that happens. :)

Image

:D
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