Things have been a bit chain rattling around Citadel Kalahari lately, getting ready for something I’ve wanted to achieve for some time; and that’s brewing our own grog. Foolishly, my thought train went like this: Toss in a few grapevines, squash the buggers up and “Hey presto!”, enjoy the fruits of my labour…well that’s what I thought ;-(.
Unfortunately, Wifey had other plans…firstly there were the twenty odd plum and citrus trees that appeared on the shopping trolley. Perhaps it was the shock to my wallet at the check-out that blind-sided me to the fact that I was going to have to dig the bloody holes to plant the buggers! Sadly, that simplicity was not what Wifey had in mind. During the drive home Wifey outlined her grand plan that the “Orchard” would be a grand affair, rising several metres from the ground, the structure would a roofed concern of nets and wire. I was speechless from the shock of this revelation, but the seal was set, when, Wifey announced to round off her sales pitch, was, “I’ll help out.” Similar promises should have alerted me to the fact that “I’ll help out.”, meant Wifey would provide cool drinks while she watched me provide the labour. I’ll not mention her cracking a nasty bull whip and hurtful comments hurled as she shaded herself on the porch.
And that, was just the beginning! Other orchards of table apples, cider apples and nut trees followed. But true to her word, Wifey helped out by providing cool drinks while she watched me tunnel to China for each new tree.
But bugger the initial endeavours, on with the brewing! I purchased a HUGE wine press that I’ve earmarked for restoration – a really beautiful piece of history. My second purchase was an 18 litre winepress, more realistic to my needs. However, my engineer’s eye perceived that it needed to be mounted on wheels to allow easy transport and provide a solid base when in use. This resolved and $20.99 in my pocket (from which I was soon parted) I purchased a trolley. After some banging and profound swearing emanating from the shed, the press and trolley emerged as one.
My next planned purchase was a fruit mulcher/shredder. My enthusiasm was deflatingly gutted as I pursued what was on offer. Hand operated models seemed more like items of mediaeval torture and powered ones were priced unrealistically – no doubt driven up by desperate people who’d foolishly bought the hand operated ones first. But seriously, I felt that this little boy’s Mother had raised someone who could build a better one. For once I was right. A quick scan of eBay and I was in the car and off to the door of a hopeful seller offering “a dream garden shredder for only $180”. Poor chap was taken back as I expertly stripped the shredder naked while muttering disappointedly, “Ahh, Fawk.”, under my breath. Wifey played her part too, by offering, “Can you fix it Dear? Or is it broken?” My reply was to fix this sharp salesman with an accusatory glare and spat, “Does it work?”. “Yyyyes,” he muttered, holding up the trailing extension cord he’d answered the door with. And he was right, so moments later we left with the shredder in the car and a limp $60 in his bewildered hand.
More banging and profound swearing emanating from the shed and the modified and refurbished mulcher strained at its chain ready to devour any innocent and ignorant enough to stray into its path.
A trial run of apples and pears demonstrated its expert proficiency and this convinced us to do a trial batch of cider. At this very moment 3 demijohns are bubbling away, hinting at the yeast busy at work. If all goes well I’ll be sucking on a cider or three. If not, Wifey will have some grand vinegar.
Cleanliness may be is next to Godliness, but where brewing is concerned, if your preparation is not meticulously clean, then you’ll have vinegar instead of wine. So apply the 10 P rule… PAINFULLY PITIFUL PREPARATION PRODUCES PROFANELY PUGNACIOUS PISS POOR PARTY PRODUCTS.