Shaving Brush Stand

The Stand

My shaving brush was not drying entirely between uses; the solution: hang it upside down. I recycled some scrap cherry and maple in the burn pile to make a modern stand about 5 inches tall to hold my shaving brush upside down. The stand took a couple of hours to construct.

Kombucha with Herbal Tea

Kombucha with Herbal Tea

I am thinking of making a lavender kombucha. After some research though I discovered that many of the scoby’s nutrients come from the oxidization of tea leaves, i.e., green or black tea. One source suggests I may use up to 75% herbal tea and still have a healthy scoby. I’ll try 50% herbal, and 50% black tea.

New Batch

I immediately contradicted myself. I brewed a batch with about 40% black tea and 60% herbal.

Execution

  1. Fermented the scoby on 9/9 with 3.5 Qrts water steeped in 3 bags of darjeeling, 4 tsp of ginger tea and 1 C sugar.

  2. Bottled on 9/18. Good balance of sweetness with vinegar. The ginger tea shines through as a slight bite.

Kombucha Beer Results / New Batch

Kombucha Beer

A couple weeks ago I tried brewing a kombucha beer. I fed the scoby 2 Qrts of the wort from a Session Irish Red Ale, and 1 Qrt of kombucha starter, 4 tea bags and 1/4 C sugar. This is not worth repeating. The kombucha is vinegary and flat. Perhaps I let the kombucha ferment for too long, between 1.5 and 2 weeks. If one were to try this again, I recommend fermenting for a week only.

I might have more success if I used the pre-boiled wort to feed the scoby. The hops may very well be hostile to the scoby.

New Batch

Brewing a new batch. A simple one.

Execution

  1. Fermented the scoby on 9/2 with 3.5 Qrts water steeped in 4 bags of oolong, 4 bags of English Breakfast and 1 C sugar.

  2. Bottled on 9/9. A little too sweet. Waiting for another three days, so 10 days total would benefit the drink.

  3. Added back to fermenter with scoby on 9/14. It was too sweet.

  4. Bottled on 9/18. Perfect amount of sweetness / vinegar. Average temperature was around 70 deg F.

Oatmeal Stout

I’m brewing an oatmeal stout tomorrow in order to have dinner on the go during the winter. Since I know little about oatmeal stouts, I’ll be using a recipe aimed to reproduce Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout.

Kegerator Fan

Today I installed a fan into my new kegerater.

A fan helps maintain a constant temperature throughout the fridge. The converted chest freezer I am using cools the fridge with plates on the outside. The air is quite stagnant in the fridge, so the cool air settles to the bottom. This can create a temperature gradient of the beer within the keg, leading to foamy pours. The first pour is a little foamy right now.

The solution: a fan. This DIY post describes an example of installing a fan, and outlines the need for one.

The Finished product

I used to angle brackets to mount the fan to the collar. Currently the USB wire for the fan just rests on top of the lip, but does not seem to disrupt the seal between the lid and the lip.

German Gose

Here is the original all-grain recipe which I reformatted into a Brewtoad recipe. If ever I come across this German Gose I will be sure to take notes.

I will be using a bacteria for the first type. The particular strain is called brettanomyces. I will be fermenting the wart with the bacteria alone for one day at 110 F. I will kill the bacteria by boiling, at which point I’ll add hops. Then adding the traditional Kolsh ale yeast.

Kegerator

The Finished product

Today I finished my kegerator. It’s quite a beauty:

The First Beer

The first beer to go in the kegerator is my session ipa.

Construction

Kombucha

The Kombucha from a couple weeks ago was a complete success. The drink was the right amount of vinegary and sweet. It was well carbonated. After about two days, the ginger flavor kicked in. I definitely need to make some more.

Since last time I split the scoby in two by cutting it along the diameter. This isn’t how others would do it, but I figured the scoby is an amorphous blob which wouldn’t be hurt by such a macroscopic disturbance.

Execution

  1. Fermented the scoby on 7/29 with 3.5 Qrts water steeped in 6 bags of black Irish tea and 1 C sugar.