Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Lincoln Head Cent is approaching it's 100th birthday and as such, it is the longest running coin in continuous production in United States History. From 1909 until 1959 the reverse bore an impression of two sheaves of wheat, from which originated the term "Wheaties". From 1959 until present the Lincoln Head Cent reverse bears and engraving of the Lincoln Memorial, so they are called "Memorial Cents".
From their inception until 1942 the coins were composed of a bronze alloy, 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. During the War year 1943 the coins were composed of zinc coated steel. From 1946 the composition changed to brass, 95% copper and 5% zinc. After the War, the composition changed back to the pre-war alloy until 1962. From 1962 until 1982 the composition was brass again. From 1982 until present the coins have a 97.5% zinc core and are plated with copper. © 2012 THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts Back to Coin Collecting
Monday, June 23, 2008
The Lincoln Head Cent is approaching it's 100th birthday and as such, it is the longest running coin in continuous production in United States History. From 1909 until 1959 the reverse bore an impression of two sheaves of wheat, from which originated the term "Wheaties". From 1959 until present the Lincoln Head Cent reverse bears and engraving of the Lincoln Memorial, so they are called "Memorial Cents". From their inception until 1942 the coins were composed of a bronze alloy, 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. During the War year 1943 the coins were composed of zinc coated steel. From 1946 the composition changed to brass, 95% copper and 5% zinc. After the War, the composition changed back to the pre-war alloy until 1962. From 1962 until 1982 the composition was brass again. From 1982 until present the coins have a 97.5% zinc core and are plated with copper. © 2012THC Toys, Hobbies and Crafts Back to Coin Collecting
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The flying eagle cent was designed and produced to fulfil a need. Coinage in the United States in the 1840's through the 1860's was a confused state of affairs. Large cents were being produced, but were not considered legal tender. Thus, many merchants would not accept them as payment. There was also a large amount of foreign money circulating, most of it Spanish. It was also costing the US Mint more to produce the Large Cent than it was intrinsically worth.
So in 1856 a small number of the first Small Cents in US history were produced. These were supposed to be sample pieces and returned to the mint. But most weren't. In 1857 the first Flying Eagle cents were minted for circulation. These would continue in production until 1859, when it's successor the Indian Head Cent would be minted.
The Flying Eagles would consist of an alloy of 88% nickel and 12% copper. The main problems with the Flying Eagle was in the design, which allowed the two high points in the obverse in the same area of the coin, causing a weakness in the strike. In addition, the designer, James B. Longacre, was by trade a painter and not a sculptor. He had trouble carving the dies out deep enough, which caused more production problems. Thus, the Flying Eagle exited the stage after a run of only two years. © 2012 Hobby Hobnob Back to Coin Collecting
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The penny has had a long and distinguished history in the annals of United States coinage. The small penny we know has its beginnings in the Flying Eagle cent which began production in 1857. This penny was produced for three years.
In 1857 the US Mint began production of the Indian Head Penny, which was circulated from that year until 1909 when it was superseded by the Lincoln Head Penny, which continues in production today.
The Lincoln Penny was produced from 1909 until 1959 with two sheave of wheat on the reverse. These are the so called Wheat Pennies, or Wheaties. Although the Lincoln Penny has been changed in composition over time, the design has remained basically the same since 1950 when the Memorial cent came into production.
The small penny we know today has circulated for 151 years with only four major design pages. © 2012 Hobby Hobnob Back to Coin Collecting
Friday, June 13, 2008
The yeast used in wine making and beer making is similar in appearance and function. But there are different types of yeasts for wine making and beer making and each type will impart its own particular flavor to the finished product. Wine made with a beer yeast may have a slightly "beery" flavor as a result.
Most yeasts are sold in packets of dried yeast. This yeast will remain viable for a long time, but it will lose its vigor after awhile. Opened packets in which not all the yeast has been used may be stored in the refrigerator for a while, but it will only keep a few weeks to a few months stored like this.
The yeast should be introduced to the unfermented wine or beer only after it has been "started". Do this by dissolving the yeast in warm, not hot, water and adding some sugar. Stir the mix until all is dissolved. Allow this to stand in a warm place for a day or so. The yeast should start to ferment. The container should form a brown scum on the top. This scum should be removed and the fermenting starter added to the wine or beer.
Yeast converts the sugar in a wort (unfermented beer) or must (unfermentated wine) to carbon dioxide and alcohol. The bubbling of fermentation is the carbon dioxide escaping from the mix. About half the sugar is converted to alcohol, and about half is converted to carbon dioxide.
If you are out of yeast, some fermenting wine may be removed from its container and, with some sugar added, used as a starter for a fresh batch. Make sure you siphon your starter from the bottom of the fermenting wine, as most of the yeast is located here. Back to Home Wine Making Home Beer Making © 2012 Hobby Hobnob
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The fermentation lock serves as a tool to keep fermenting wine from being invaded by fruit flys and other pests. The fermentation lock is not indispensable, and any way which can be found which blocks the fermenting vessels mouth, allows the carbon dioxide being produced to escape can be used.
One way to do do this is by simply putting the screw cap on loosely enough to allow the gas to escape. Another is to plug the opening with cotton or a clean cloth. But there is something soothing about hearing the bubbling of the fermentation lock as the wine ferments, especially in the early stages when the ferment can be quite vigorous.
Just make sure, if you use one, to replace the water in the fermentation lock periodically, as it can get quite nasty and become a source of contamination to the wine.
Home Beer Making
© Hobby Hobnob 2012
The hydrometer is used in both winemaking and beer making and is an essential instrument for both hobbies. Most hydrometers are made of glass, with a weighted bulb on the bottom and a graduated scale on the top. A trial jar is used to float the hydrometer in either the must of the wine, or the wort of the beer. The hydrometer measures the sugar content of the unfermented media and will help determine the final alcohol content of the mix.
Because sugar saturated liquid is denser than liquid after the sugar has fermented out, by taking a measurment before fermentation begins and after it has been finished the final alcohol content can be determined. You can also determine if you need to add more sugar to the brew to bring it up to desired levels, or to dilute it if there is too much sugar. In this way you can make your wine or beer to your specifications using the hydrometer.
The hydrometer is also used to determine if home brew is ready to bottle. If the sugar level is still too high, then bottling must be put off or you may burst the bottles. Similiarly, this same method can be used to make sparkling wines at home. If you are even semi-serious about wine making, you will want to have a hydrometer.