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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Some Sundays

There is a rumour that some people use Sunday as a rest day and even sleep in. We of course are a bit different (or just strange) and got up early for no good reason other than to get on with some chores. John was off to the monthly amateur bee club meeting this morning at 9.30 am but between us and before leaving the chooks were let out, gardens watered, a bit of cleaning up in the kitchen and some computer work was completed.

The milk collected two days ago finally got skimmed. Some of the cream (just a little bit) was kept for a future meal, 6 litres of milk was bottled for teas, coffees and 4 legged kids and the rest went into Provolone (including the rest of the cream). The success of the last one spurred some more experimentation (fully documented of course).

The calibration of the Hygrometers is working thanks to now using a plastic bag which doesn't have a hole to leak out the humidity. As it takes 12 to 24 hours each adjustment has to be retested over that period. Slow but successful. With one the digital Hygrometer there wasn't an obvious adjusting screw and the variation was just written on the case.

The Mandarin wine has still not commenced fermenting. Put the juice into smaller fermenters with almost no space between the liquid and airlock to prevent oxidisation. The only thing that comes to mind as the problem is maybe too much SO2 has been added or that there is not enough yeast nutrient. Will examine the options shortly.

The bee club meeting was packed. Lots of new comers in attendance. The planned commencement of the training course in September is booked out, The scheduled bee field day at Tocal in late September is organised and is regularly well attended. One of the members is planning for her PhD and is looking at bees to test for heavy metals in the environment.

After the club meeting and back home a little time was spent with our own bees installing the Small Hive Beetle trap. They are settling in and busy (the bees not the SHB). Later this week a full inspection will be conducted.

All that brought us to 2 pm. Just to show life is not all drudgery we adjourned to the Provencal Garden and conducted a taste comparison between our mock Roquefort and a shop bought Roquefort collected yesterday at Gloucester. This was aided by a shop bought beer. A German beer on sale at Aldi which is made to the German standard of using only Grain, water, hops and yeast. Also in attendance was a good book and a hat to shelter from the warm late Winter sun. At some point before commencing the afternoon chores a little nap was held with the sun warming the back.

It may seem pretty silly buying cheese and beer when there is a pantry full of the stuff but it's important to always be evaluating your own products against the industry standard so as not to narrow the palate. To that end we purchased about 8 cheese samples in Gloucester. Not that extravagant as they were only small slices. And to come completely clean we also purchased six different bottles of Pinot Noir to compare against our own which was made for the first time this year.

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