Paper, Persona, SCA Life, Vinegar

Post about Posters

At Duchess Wars, Hrefna held a class on SCA:iri and other ways to present information. She mentioned tri-fold posters are popular in the science community to give quick updates on research. And one of the things she stressed was develop your own “brand” or “theme” so people can readily identify your posters. I do have more current drafts; below are the images from before the more recent revisions.

I like the idea. Here are three mock-ups on posters I will put together for upcoming craftperson’s displays.

I have chosen to use my device colors to help brand them. On the more recent versions, I have included my name and contact information.

Here is a persona study poster. I talk about Bath, and the three Oswyns and where they are in development.

I think this is my favorite one. It is about vinegar and why I call it anti-brewing.

Then lastly one about paper. It is medieval recycling; especially compared to modern paper.

SCA Life, Vinegar

Bring me a Shrub (-ery)

One of the things I have discussed with my brewing mentor and the proprietress of The Drunken Duck is the need for non-alcoholic drinks. Elspeth often supplies with her very fine and delicious syrups. But there is often the need for outside water or some other mixer. Verena will sometimes make a root beer or something well.

I figured this is where my vinegar habit can help.

There is an old traditional drink called a shrub. Sekhangeben is a shrub. Lemonade is a shrub. So it is a very old drink.

I just did the calculations. Basically, when serving a shrub, it is about 1 Tbsp of shrub syrup per 6 to 8 ounces of water. Doing all of the calculations, basically a quart to a quart and a quarter per 5 gallon keg of water. I can do that! I can do that several times per year! I have an entire small refrigerator that I can fill with shrub syrups! Running it out of the keg means not needing outside water and the CO2 for the keg can provide some of the efforvence (msp).

If you go back in this blog, you will see I made about a new cordial per two weeks or so at one point. I make vinegar very often. It takes about 6 weeks to make a quart but I often run 4 to 6 at one time.

If I can get a keg or use one of Verena’s, I can make a keg-able shrub in time for Baroness Wars (or Duchess Wars). Let’s do it 🙂

Uncategorized, Vinegar

Starting Bourbon vinegar

Let’s go back to a safe topic, vinegar.   I started some new vinegars this weekend.  On the left is the bourbon vinegar.  The bottle of Jim Bean Maple said it was 70 proof so 35% ABV.  It was a 750 ml bottle so I added four cups of water (~ 1 liter) to drive the ABV down.  It should be about 12% or so.  I may need to cut it further.  The bacteria should be able to deal with less than 20% ABV but they really like it below 10%.    The middle one is an Orange Pale Ale.  The mother is floating.  That is always a good sign.  The right is a sake.  I added the same volume of water as the sake.  Should be around 8% ABV.


SCA Life, Vinegar

Why Vinegar?

Here is a question that I don’t think I can really answer completely:  Why vinegar?

I know how I started.  I was looking around for something else to do.  I make glass things but let’s be honest, it is all modern glass.  I don’t like lead came, can’t really paint, and I don’t have access to a hot glass setup.  That puts most medieval glass out of my reach.

I make cordials.  I like to think I do pretty well at it.  But again, cordials are only sort of period and are really very easy to do.  Alcohol, sugar, flavoring.

I started teaching a class (now a series) on cordials.  But I wanted something more than how to.  I wanted why.  So the Sweetening the Spirit series (see class notes section) focuses on changing one variable at a time.  The same cordial but let’s change the base alcohol.  The same cordial but let’s change the sugar.  I discovered I wanted people to think more.

I had bits of cordial left over.  What to do with them?  A sane person would have drunk them.  I started planning a series of meads to do the same principle as my cordials.  A basic mead but with different honeys.  Let’s explore how a different honey makes a different flavor.

I had mead leftover.  Again, a sane person would have drunk them.  I started thinking about what else do we take for granted?  What other ingredients are treated generically?  I was probably at a feast or something when vinegar occurred to me.  Recipes often call for vinegar but how much do people consider the type of vinegar?  Stand back, I am going to try science.

I started making vinegar.  But true to form, what vinegar should I make?  I read about how to do it.  It was pretty easy.  It would happen by itself giving the right conditions.  So I made four red wine vinegars and four white wine vinegars to determine which I liked best.  Each tasted a bit different.  My first vinegar class we compared the vinegar to the source alcohol.  Cider and beer make vinegar even easier than wine.   Mead becomes vinegar.  Sake becomes vinegar.  Even leftover cordials can be vinegar.

I had to admit by this point, I had an alcohol problem.  I mean, I am sure Schnuck’s already thought I had one as I tended to buy at least one 750 ml bottle of some alcohol per week, often more. The trash collectors probably also thought I had a problem as several wine bottles and a 6 pack of empty beer bottles were often in my trash per week.   It was worse than that.  I would taste a great beer or read the ingredients of a weird beer and wonder, “what would that taste like as a vinegar?”  I am still in the doghouse for turning Gertie’s favorite beer (a limited edition at that) into a vinegar.  I have so far only found one thing that I can’t turn into a vinegar, Malort.

To date, I have made a wide variety of vinegars.  Amongst the more unusual ones are: black fang mead, orange clove brandy, prosecco, and the mexican chocolate beer (I have no chance of spelling it right).  My favorites and standbys are pinot noir, sauvingnon blanc, blue moon honey wheat, and stella artois apple cider.  Yes, there are many times my house smells entirely of vinegar.   I had plans for about a dozen casks but I only have two casks and that is good enough for now.

Any given time, I probably have at least a quart or two of vinegar I don’t know what to do with.  I have given some away to the local cook guilds and will continue to try to keep the Midlands at least stocked with vinegar.

Now to go find another beer my wife loves and turn it into vinegar.