Archive for Wine

Brandy & Guinness

I have excelled myself this year, not only have I made brandy out of my not so good homemade wine.  I have even made a fair stab at ‘Guinness’ type beer.  This is my first attempt at beer and it really is not as difficult as I thought, so if you ever wanted to have ago I would highly recommend it, a few hours prep, 7 days of fermenting = 30 litres of beer!


Here is what I used for my dark stout (Guinness)

  • 3kg Pale Malt
  • 900g Flaked Barley
  • 400g of Roasted Barley
  • 50g of Dried Fresh Hops
  • 1 x Protofloc Tablet
  • 12g sachet of ale yeast

All these things are available on-line or in your local brew shop and for the thirty litres of good beer you will get will probably set you back not much over a tenner!

How to make it:

    • Mash the grains in hot water – 65C for about an hour.
    • Top up with 30 litres of water and bring to the boil.
    • Add the hops

  • Boil for 45 mins then add the protofloc tablet
  • Boil for another 15 mins then allow to cool to 30ishC
  • Syphon off your ‘wort’ in to your fermentation vessel and add the yeast sachet
  • Wait 7 days or so…(this is the hard bit)
  • Drink and be merry!

I have also made 6 litres of Brandy that will probably send me blind, and even if it is no good for drinking I can always use it to start the fire throughout winter.

I have plans to get an oak barrel to let it mellow a bit before I attempt too much drinking of this!



The Weekly Shop……….

I have just been into Djebel, the local town to do some shopping and get my gas bottle refilled.  I don’t buy much, coffee, washing powder, and rice.  Things that I have trouble doing without, and have yet to work out how to make my own.  So to depress all those that do their weekly shop in ‘every little helps’ this is my shopping bill.

300 g of Coffee – £1-70

500g Washing Powder – £0-80  (I have guests coming normally I don’t bother)

5 Litres(nearly 7 bottles) of Red Wine (Essential) – £4-30

Loaf of Bread – £0.29  (at < 30p a loaf it really is not worth making your own, and there are no preservatives in these loaves)

750ml Gin (Essential Again, it is summer!) – £3.51

2 x 1.5l Schweppes Tonic (see above)  – £1.70

1Kg Rice  – £0.70

Total (excluding new Liver)     =  £13.40

Think you would be hard put to get the bottle of gin for that in the UK!  I have a lamb lined up for dissection to be put in the freezer  (15Kg of meat for £44) and I get to select it from a field full, and keep the wool if I want.


I have just a had my quarterly water bill (£12.55) and that is with the hose going daily and I even have a wash whether I need it or not.


Red Wine

With the weather stopping play in the garden (cold and very wet) the last few days, although the promise of sun is on the horizon. I have had to
saw some more wood for the petchka as winter has extended into the second half of April. I have also been enjoying some very nice red wine.

I have several wine grapes growing in my garden but they are only two years old an so only produce enough juice for an odd bottle between them. So
I have been testing the local stuff and for 2 lev (1 euro) a bottle you just can’t really go wrong.

So whilst buying some cat food in the local Bila shop the other day and I stumbled upon a demijon of red wine(5l) for 10 lev. Thinking that the container would
come in handy for storing my homemade vintages in the years to come I decided to get myself one.

My new red wine container

The downside being that I have to empty the damn thing before I get the chance to use it. Oh well we all have a cross to bear! Mine just happens to
a be a Carbernet Sauvignon variety!

As you can see from the pic I have made a good dent in the contents, the only problem that remains is that I could do with another 10 of them!

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