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  • I make "ripple" and mixed wines most often. Occasionally I'll set up friends with meads, beers and wines. I've done over 20 different brews, never any quite the same. Experience is my best teacher. Even my experimental stuff (about 90% of 'em) makes my future brews better.
  • Brewing,Cooking,Gardening,Foraging,Writing,Making an ass of myself :D
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  • My old neighbor (RIP) taught me much about brewing beer from scratch. At the time he had over 30 years experience trying over 31 kinds of beer, since he always did two batches a year. One was his favorite (which he occasionally changed up), and the other a new recipe. He didn't drink much, but he had a knack for the creation of fine brews. I did one IPA from scratch with his help in 2008, to which I added more hops than I should. I didn't know to let it mellow before I pitched it down the drain. That's the only brew I've ever done that to! If I'd known that there would be a crazed sensation of strongly hopped IPAs sweeping the nation in a couple of years, I probably would have thought my brew was a great success. rnrnI was so downhearted I grabbed a sterilized 24 oz. brown bottle and emptied all my available honey into it, threw in the yeast culture left at the bottom of my bucket, capped the bottle with some cellophane and a small rubber band, and stashed it away in my bathroom cupboard for over a year. I came back to it, decided I didn't like it, but instead of tossing it, split it in two, added a bit more honey to each. I added lime peel and ginger to one, wild cactus pear juice (collected myself) to the other. Stashed it for another 6 months, didn't like the flavour, recombined them into a malt liquor bottle and left it all again for a further 6 months. At the 2-year mark, that mead was the best brew I've ever had! rnrnThe mead experience taught me that not everything works out right away, but mistakes are worth keeping around. I learned something today, because I made a mistake!rnrnSo for the past 5, going on 6 years I've been working as a seasonal fruit picker (after selling/picking tree fruit in California for 8 years, underage for brewing) and at each farm I visit, I try something new. My standby is "ripple" wine, where I take a few pounds of fruit, prepared, and half that of sugar to make a simple yet strong brew during the month or so I'm employed. I even have a method I've perfected (if you could call it that) that lets me brew on the go with little fear. As picking season is usually from late spring to late fall, no matter where I go its warm enough to brew outside. We usually tent in the rows and I just grab a couple small buckets, some trash bags, and a couple rubber bands, and have at it. I've had wines finish in 10 days! rnrnAlright, my fingers are numb now, so I'll end it here. Thanks for reading :Drnrn~BV
  • "Ripple" Fruit Wines
  • Anything that comes to mind
  • Too many to list, but only once with a proper cork. I stick with one gallon or smaller glass jugs and twist-on lids for simplicity. Once I open the jug its gone soon enough for nothing to go to vinegar. Although I've let that happen a couple of times on purpose.. nothing like a good homebrew wine vinegar!
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  • Posted in thread: Banana Wine on 03-24-2014 at 12:06 AM
    So that didn't go very well. I attempted to siphon off the raisins, I even had a muslin bag
    over the end but I just could not get it to work. I ended up racking by pouring the contents
    into another ca...

  • Posted in thread: You know you're a home brewer when? on 03-20-2014 at 02:22 AM
    I was hoping somebody besides me would appreciate the irony. Had basketball jones stuck in my
    head since last weekend. so I changed it a little. You know George Harrison played the guitar
    on that one?...

  • Posted in thread: First time wine brewer-banana wine? on 03-18-2014 at 12:07 AM
    More of the fruits essential oil is in the peel.The peel also contains most of the amylase
    enzyme and will help convert the starches from the banana flesh if you do a mash. I mashed my
    chopped bananas...

  • Posted in thread: First time wine brewer-banana wine? on 03-17-2014 at 06:46 AM
    for me, the "best" way to sweeten a wine is simple. I let it ferment out dry, with the ABV
    right where I want it. Then, once it's clear and ready to sweeten, I stabilize it with sorbate
    and some campd...

  • Posted in thread: You know you're a home brewer when? on 03-16-2014 at 08:23 AM
    When you visit the store and check the half-off produce bin first thing, your freezer if full
    of nearly overripe fruit you're saving for your next wine batch (including your kids' apple
    cores and half...

  • Posted in thread: First time wine brewer-banana wine? on 03-14-2014 at 09:09 PM
    I just made an apple-banana wine with some extra ingredients. 4 gallons made with 6 lbs of
    peeled bananas, 2 lbs. of fuji apple cores, 2 whole lemons, a pound of regular grapes, 3 lbs of
    dehydrated ca...

  • Posted in thread: Banana Wine on 03-14-2014 at 08:34 PM
    I didn't use the peel in mine and the banana flavour is not very strong. I'll be making another
    batch soon, this time with the peel. I don't know if there will be a huge difference, except
    maybe that ...

  • Posted in thread: Banana Wine on 03-14-2014 at 08:20 PM
    Distilled water is preferred for diluting liquors because spring water or even finely filtered
    water contains minerals that can destroy liquor. Distilled water is pure, contains no minerals
    or chemica...

  • Posted in thread: Banana Wine on 03-14-2014 at 07:32 AM
    Im wondering why use the peel? sorry if this has been answered i havent had time to read threw
    all of itI didn't use the peel in mine and the banana flavour is not very strong. I'll be
    making another ...

  • Posted in thread: You know you're a home brewer when? on 03-14-2014 at 12:20 AM
    Piques* :PWhen it comes to browsing, peeks actually makes for proper grammar. :D

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