Making Wine and Cheese

August 13:

Yesterday was great fun.  My friend Stacy and I went into Tigard to use a Living Social deal that I had picked up.  We are making Riesling Ice Wine at a wine making shop.  We were able to taste several varieties; our ice wine (fantastic – like syrup), a blackberry Merlot, and a peach chardonnay.  It wasn’t exactly as informative of a class as I’d hoped – there were no grapes involved, just a kit, but it was still a good time and we’ll get some really nice wine.  We should end up with about 12 x 375 ml bottles.

When I got back home, Joe and I finished the addition to the goat/sheep yard.  It’s not much, but it should make watering them much easier.

August 7:

It’s been a busy morning so far:

  • First the water kefir (day 3) – I’m not sure if it’s working.  I see bubbles in the quart jar when I move it, but the finished product is not at all fizzy.  Each day I strain the grains and use the water to make a glass of lemonade.  Then I put the grains back into the jar with 2 cups of filtered water (should it be room temperature?) I have been adding 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar, 1/8 teaspoons of baking powder (non-aluminum) and a small bunch of homemade raisins. Then I cover with a plastic lid and back onto the countertop overnight.

    milk (day 2)and water (day 3) kefir
  • Then the milk kefir (day 2) – The grains came in the mail yesterday.  I rinsed them in room temperature milk and transferred them to a quart jar with a cup of milk (1%).  I waited over night and strained.  I thought it hadn’t thickened, but down at the bottom of the jar there was the thick kefir, stuck to the grains.  I rinsed them in the finished kefir to separate the grains and put them back into the cleaned jar with another cup of milk.  I’m using the milk today to make bread rolls.
  • I checked the cheese again this morning.  I’ve been having a little trouble keeping the humidity up near 85% and also been finding some green mold on my parmesan.  I cleaned the parmesan wheel really well yesterday using a knife to shave off the stubborn parts and salt water to wipe and rinse.  I decided to wrap the parmesan in a bit of barely damp cheesecloth (using salt water) and today the texture of the wheel was nice and there is no mold.

    The “Cave” – Cheddar on top and Parmesan on the bottom
  • I decided to make the kefir-milk bread rolls that I saw on a fabulous blog out of Australia called Just Like my Nan Made.  The blog is incredible and I’ve learned so much from Narelle.  I hope the rolls turn our as beautifully as they are on her blog.  
  • According to my Moon Sign Gardening Guide.  I have nothing to do in the gardens.  I do think I’ll need to water the rhubarb mess and the newly planted seeds.

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