Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2008 Sacagawea Golden Dollar

The 2008 Sacagawea Golden Dollar is now available at the US Mint web site. The gold dollars are available in rolls and bags. The obverse of this beautiful coin is engraved with a likeness of Sacagawea, the young American Indiana woman who guided the Lewis and Clark expdedition. The reverse features an eagle soaring among seventeen stars, one for each of the states which made up the United States at the time of the expedition.
The Sacagawea Golden Dollar is legal tender, and may be used as money, if you so desire. The coins were minted at the Philadelphia mint, thus feature the "P" mint mark.
© 2011 Hobby Hobnob
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Dandelion Wine - Part 3

The dandelion wine was ready for the next stage in the wine making process - straining the pulp and putting the fermentation jug.

Today I used a plastic colander to strain the raisins and other pulp from the must. Then I used a plastic spoon to squeeze the excess juice from the material in the colander. The must didn't quite fill the gallon jug, so I added one half cup of sugar syrup to the jug and topped it up with water.

Then I fitted a fermentation lock on the jug and put it on a plate on the kitchen counter. This is a precautionary step, in case the fermentation goes crazy and overflows. In a day or so, if it stay relatively quiet I will move it to the wine cellar.

The color is a bit more pink than I wanted. I used grape wine as the starter for the yeast, so the normally golden colored wine will probably have a tint of pink to it. Back to Dandelion Wine © 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dandelion Wine - Part 2

That evening I placed the raisins in the bucket I used to pick the blossoms. This bucket is only used for wine making. I squeezed the juice from the two oranges and added the juice from a lemon. I added three cups of sugar syrup, the equivalent of one and a half pound of sugar. Then I topped up the water to the four quart line on the side of the bucket. I used a hydrometer to measure the sugar content. It was only around 1065, equivalent to about 8.5% alcohol content. Since wine should be at least 10% to be good, I added another cup of sugar syrup. This raised the specific gravity to around 1085, which is just over 10%. Since the raisins add sugar and this is impossible for me to measure, the finished wine should be around 11% or so.

I then added my fermenting wine yeast culture which had been previously prepared. You can add the dried yeast directly to the must, but it will take a bit longer to start. I then covered the must with a clean dish towel and let it stand in a warm area. By the next morning the wine had started fermenting. This should sit for around five or six days, fermenting on this pulp. Stir is two or three times a day with a plastic or stainless steel spoon.

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© 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Making Dandelion Wine - Part One

On Monday I picked the blossoms for a one gallon batch of Dandelion wine. My mother made a mean dandelion wine when I was a kid, and I have her recipe.
About two quarts of picked dandelion blossoms. Pick off the green base of the flower, it will provide a bitter taste to the wine.
Two oranges
One lemon
One one pound box of white raisins
One pack of wine yeast
Four cups of standard sugar syrup or two pounds of sugar
One tea bag.

The first step in making dandelion wine is to pick the blossoms. Choose a sunny day when the blossoms are at their fullest. Pick the blossom, then pluck the base of the flower off and discard. Place the blossoms in a clean container. I have a water bucket which had quart graduations marked on the inside. This bucket is used only for wine making, so it is not contaminated with anything.

Once the dandelion blossoms have been gathered, boil two quarts of water. Place the tea bag in with the blossoms and pour the boiling water over the blossoms. The tea bag will add tannin to the wine, improving its flavor. Allow this to steep for several hours. I let it stand overnight. In the morning, I didn't have time to make the wine, so I strained the blossoms using a plastic colander. Don't use a metal one, which may impart a metallic flavor to the wine. Press the soggy blossoms with a plastic or stainless steel spoon until most of the juice is removed. I then placed the mixture in a plastic pitcher, sealed it with the lid and placed it in the refrigerator.

I would make the dandelion wine that evening.

Dandelion Wine - Part 2

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Dandelion Wine - Part 3 © 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Making Wines From Grape Concentrate - 4

Add the grape juice concentrate, the two cups of sugar syrup and three quarts of water to the bowl and stir them well. Next, add the fermenting yeast starter. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or other covering and allow to stand for four or five days. The ferment, in its initial vigor, will froth up, possibly overflowing the bowl if it is not big enough.

After the ferment has calmed down, using a funnel, pour the still fermenting wine into the gallon jug. Fit a piece of plastic food wrap over the mouth of the jug and secure with a rubber band. Place in a cool, dark area to ferment. The wine will take about two to three months to complete the fermentation process. Back to Home Wine Making © 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Making Wines From Grape Concentrate - Standard Sugar Syrup

It is helpful to dissolve the sugar in water before making the wine. To do this, you may use a recipe for standard sugar syrup, used by many home wine makers. To make sugar syrup, dissolve the sugar at a rate of two cups of sugar into one cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then slowly add the sugar a cup or two at a time. Stir the solution until the syrup clears, then add more until it is all added.

The sugar syrup will clear when all the sugar has been dissolved. Allow the solution to cool. One cup of standard sugar syrup is equivalent to one half pound of sugar. Back to Home Wine Making © 2011 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts