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Summer savings #thrifty #summer

Summer savings on clothing

I did some laundry this morning, so I have clean tee shirts for the weekend. In the hot weather, we not only need to change our clothes often but also be careful about colours. Lighter colours reflect the sun and so we keep cooler. I bought 3 black tee shirts for £9 not long ago, but I won’t be wearing them this weather. You can make summer savings on clothing by shopping at discount stores like Matalan, they have basic tee shirts for around £4 or more stylish one cost a little more.

summer savings

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How to become an expert winemaker | port and sherry

wine and grapes

Winemakers have always tried to make something that tastes a little like sherry or make their own champagne. I’ve tried most things and the sherry did taste like cheap sherry so it’s worth having a go. You can make something that tastes a lot like port too and so if you like your port and lemon, you can try that too. (more…)


How to become an expert winemaker | foraging

wine and grapes

Last week when I was taking photos by the canal, I saw wild roses, flowers on the elderberry trees and there were lots of flowers on the brambles. That means if you go foraging there will be rose hips, elderberries and blackberries to be picked soon. That will get you some free fruit and then you have to extract the juice. With soft fruit, a juicer that works on centrifugal force works well and you can extract the juice cheaply. The other alternative is to put them in a saucepan with a little water; simmer for a while and mash. Then you can strain the juice off. (more…)


How to become an expert winemaker | acids

wine and grapes

I started this series of blogs on how to become an expert winemaker a few weeks ago, so you can go back and read the first blog. Then two weeks ago I explained how to make your first batch of wine using apple juice. Then last week we went on to clearing and filtering the wine. The more you understand the process and the science bit, the less likely you are to make a bad batch. I chose apple juice for the first batch because it’s cheaper than grape juice and it contains malic acid like grape juice. (more…)


How to become an expert wine maker – clearing

wine and grapes

I explained last week how to make your first batch of wine. After about 3 weeks of testing your wine to see if all the sugar has fermented into alcohol, you should get a reading with your hydrometer of just 1.000 for medium dry wine. You can now stop it fermenting with a stabiliser or wine stopper. Something like Potassium sorbate (from your local supplier or Amazon) will do nicely. I found a stabiliser by Young’s Home Brew on eBay too. Sorbates can cause a few people tummy trouble, but there are other stabilisers you can use. (more…)


How to become an expert winemaker…

Do you remember the 1963 film, the Great Escape? Hilts, the Cooler King makes moonshine from potatoes to celebrate Independence Day, the fourth of July. It’s easy to make, just dig up some potatoes that were previously fertilised by soil from your escape tunnel. Make a ‘must’ by chopping them into tiny pieces and adding water; add yeast obtained by the camp scrounger. Then ferment for a month or two, run it through your still allowing the lighter alcohols to escape and using the heavy alcohols to sterilise your commando knife. Then allow the alcohol from the still to drip into a carboy previously well washed after being used to transport sulphuric acid and hope that the guards don’t notice the smell. Actually, the film was based on a real escape and there weren’t any Americans, no fourth of July and no moonshine…  So being English I will share my knowledge of making real booze… (more…)


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