Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Shower Installed!

And some more bathroom progress - just in time for Thanksgiving visitors:  we installed the corner shower unit and it is functional!  Still need to pretty up the walls surrounding the shower and tub, i.e. more drywall mud, sanding and painting.  But we have another shower - hurray!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

More Wine Chemistry

Another three day Wine Chemistry & Microbiology lab weekend just ended.  We had even more "hands-on" experiment time, using and comparing different methods to analyze various wine components.  From conductivity tests to check for cold stabilization, to ripper titrations for measuring levels of SO2, we were busy the entire time.

This morning we worked with microscopes and learned how to identify different strains of yeasts as well as spoilage organisms.  So now we have another item for our winery wish list:  a decent microscope (which would be right after the ebulliometer)!

By the way,  our chromatograms for checking on malolactic fermentation progress turned out a lot better than during our first attempts:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stalled Fermentation?

About two weeks we added yeast to our apple cider, which was fermenting in the barn.  We checked the progress for the first few days and it seemed ok, but then we got sidetracked with the new baby, and sort of forgot about the fermenting apple cider. 

We finally went out to check on it yesterday, thinking that fermentation should be completed. But the temperature in the barn had dropped enough during the last week to stop the yeast from growing further.  Luckily, the cider was not spoiled, it had a slight alcohol taste - enough to keep it from spoiling -  but it was still really, really sweet (at 19° Brix). 

Jeff racked the cider into carboys and brought them into the kitchen.  Once they warmed up - which took all night - the yeasts "went to town".  Each carboy looks like it is boiling from all the fermentation activity and the airlocks are just bubbling.  It sounds like there is water running in the kitchen.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bathroom Progress

All the drywall is now hung in the bathroom, and the first coat of "mud" is covering the seams.  This evening, we sanded the seams, so that we can install the shower unit.   Slowly but surely, the bathroom project is nearing completion - we really could use the extra show next week when the house will be full for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another Grandbaby

Adelaide Fearn Weyant was born this morning in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  She weighed 7 lbs 11oz and was 20 inches long.  Rachel and baby did great and the whole family is very proud.  Fiona calls her "our baby". Though Sam and Tina left for Ohio at 2:00 am, they did not quite make it there before the birth.  We had a great time though playing with Toben and Fiona and seeing the brand new baby!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

And back to DYI...

Today was just too windy and cold to work outside, so we decided to continue working on our bathroom project - the one that abruptly came to a halt when the weather got warm... about 8 months ago. 

We kind of got used to having a semi-finished bathroom, but in reality, it is an eye-sore.  Half the room is painted, the sink and toilet are installed, and we tiled the floor.  The whirlpool tub is installed and operational, but we never finished the wall around the tub. We never installed the corner shower unit we had bought last winter and two walls and half the ceiling still need drywalled and painted.

We took inventory of all our supplies and realized that the only things we were missing was a shower faucet and two sheets of drywall - which we picked up this morning.  By the end of the day, we had the faucet installed and the walls around the shower-unit insulated. We are ready to hang the missing drywall!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Time Changed - and more Apples...

We successfully processed over 20 bushels of apples this weekend - the final tally was 38 quarts of canned apple sauce and 40 gallons of cider.  We'll can about half the cider and then make wine from the rest this week.

The time change this weekend marked the end of the produce stand season and the beginning of winter "fairy" lights.  We completed the shut down of the produce stand, took down all the signs and planted the remaining mums in various flower beds.  We are still using the pumpkins for fall decorations together with the bunches of Indian corn.  Whatever apples were left ended up in the cider press.  It's a bit sad to see the season end.

Anja and Leif were visiting this weekend and Leif was a big helper with our fall decorations and plantings!

The early dusk this evening prompted us to plug in our winter lights on the barn side of the farm. The fence is lit up, and the barn windows have welcome candles - on timers.   And we made hot mulled cider.