Utterly Meaningless » 2014 » October

    Filed on October 27, 2014 at 5:41 am under by dcobranchi

    The yeast are really doing their thing now. The cider appears almost as if it’s on a slow simmer. I’ve seen red wine in what the winemaker called the “cold boil” state. That is, so much CO2 was being produced it really looked like the grape juice/new wine was boiling. My cider is getting close to that state.


    Filed on at 5:33 am under by dcobranchi

    Here at Casa Cobranchi we have a somewhat unusual annual Thanksgiving tradition. It may even be unique. Nobody here really enjoys the whole turkey/ham/cranberry sauce gig, so we mix things up a bit each year. We choose a country each year somewhat randomly by rolling a 26 sided die. Whatever letter “wins” we pick a country that begins with that letter and Lydia fixes dishes only from that country. In the past few years we’ve rolled an I” twice (India & Italy), an “F” (France), and last year it was an “H” (Hungary). Yesterday we rolled an “M” and chose Morroco. Runner up was Mexico, but Taco Bell for Thanksgiving didn’t sound very exciting. 🙂

    HARD CIDER, v 2.0

    Filed on October 25, 2014 at 2:32 pm under by dcobranchi

    The first batch is almost gone, so I’ve started a second batch. This time, I started with 1 gallon of Musselman’s apple cider to which I added 1 pound of dark brown sugar. Pitched with a full packet of Red Star Champagne yeast. If I did the calculations correctly and if the yeast converts all of the sugar, I should end up with a brew around 10.8% ABV.

    It’s only been four hours and already the brew is bubbling away nicely.


    Filed on October 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm under by dcobranchi

    The apfelwein is done. When I checked the jug today, it had cleared up nicely. I just had a glass. Cold and back-sweetened with a bit of Stevia. It has just a hint of carbonation and a nice alcohol bite.

    This first batch was only 1/2 gallon. I’ll start a gallon batch tomorrow.


    Filed on October 17, 2014 at 7:32 am under by dcobranchi

    On being over-exposed to the stock market:

    “If you’re a couple of years away from retirement, you’re really rolling the dice at the Roulette table,” said Erik Laurence, vice president of marketing and business development at FeeX.

    If I were an investor with FeeX, I think I might be somewhat encouraged that the VP there apparently has never seen the inside of a casino.


    Filed on October 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm under by dcobranchi

    I’m not sure why, but CNN/Money is highlighting a retrospective on “How Homeschooling Became Legal.” Nothing earth-shattering or particularly controversial, even if they do refer to Michael Farris as a homeschool “hero.”


    Filed on at 5:39 am under by dcobranchi

    After two trips to Frankfurt in the last 4 months, I find myself addicted to the local beverage of choice, apfelwein (apple wine). It’s basically a dry hard cider. Non-carbonated. I like this stuff so much that Lydia and I drove 40 miles round trip yesterday to a local orchard that makes the most delicious (if somewhat expensive) fresh cider. I picked up a half-gallon and just threw in some champagne yeast to start the fermentation process. No other prep. I didn’t even put an airlock on the bottle. Just cracked the cap just a bit to let the CO2 escape.

    I’ll let it sit for a month before sampling.


    Filed on October 11, 2014 at 7:44 am under by dcobranchi

    The commercial I filmed for AARP/The Hartford started airing this week. It’s a 28 minute infomercial. I haven’t seen it yet, but the DVR is set. The company filmed part of it here at home, so my whole family (less our daughter who lives in NC) is in the show.