My wife and I have had 2 Nerf Maverick pistols for a while now, and they are a lot of fun. They have an awesome design, but they look ridiculous in the neon Nerf colors.
So, we decided they could do with some modifications. A little time with a dremel to sand off the logos and lettering, some metallic paints and PVC, and voila. I decided to go with a Steampunk aesthetic (which is apparently quite popular for these guns), and she’s aiming a little more future-sci-fi.
I finished mine pretty quickly, a few hours tops. But she’s doing some internal modding with LEDs and such. I promise to post as soon as she’s finished. In the mean time…. I’m going to go play with my awesome new dart gun!
- Halloween Steampunk Notebook (handcraftedsteam.wordpress.com)
- The Blunderbuss Gets The Steampunk Treatment – In LEGO! [Pics] (winextra.com)
I had some free time and birthday money on Sunday, so I decided to brew up some more mead. This was an ambitious and experimental brewing for me. I’ve brewed 2 previous batches of mead, as you may recall. The first batch had a low honey/water ratio and a Champagne Yeast, and came out strong and very, very dry. The second I used a slightly higher honey/water ratio and an ale yeast; which came out slightly stronger than beer with a sweet, rich flavor. Both times I used local Wildflower Honey bought in bulk (5lbs jugs). This time I actually made 3 different batches.
I made a 1 gallon batch using local Clover Honey and the Ale yeast. This should come out pretty sweet, and I am very interested to taste test it against the Wildflower Honey batch, as I used the same yeast and approximately the same honey/water ratio. The 2nd batch I made using the Champagne Yeast and Wildflower Honey at about a double honey/water ratio of the Christmas batch (about 6lbs per gallon). My hope is for a strong, sweet mead; one that’s closer to the alcohol content of strong wine, but with a gentler flavor than the Christmas batch. Again, this was a simple mead (or Show Mead as plain honey meads are called now days), no spices or other additions.
The last batch I made is the most interesting. I used a mix of the 2 musts (though heavier on the Wildflower Honey) and re-brewed them with dried Elderberry and Cloves. Elderberry is an interesting fruit: it has a long held tradition in Europe as a healing plant, especially useful for respitory infections, and is often brewed into a wine with grapes and cloves. Elderberry cannot be eaten raw though, and must be cooked thoroughly otherwise it is actually poisoness. So I was sure to let the batch boil extra long before cooling. It has a very pleasent scent, fruity sweet from the Elderberry and honey, spicey from the Cloves. I’m using the Champagne Yeast, so it should come out pretty strong. I’ve decided to call it my Rainy-Day Melotheglin, and I can’t wait to try it when it finishes fermenting.
Sunday was a big day.
First I bottled my batch of Christmas Metheglin: 8 bottles total. I tried some before bottling; it’s very dry, with a spicy aroma and a bit of bite in the flavor. It seems to be pretty high gravity; but my hydrometer broke so I can’t be certain.
Next we brewed up a fresh batch of rootbeer. This time we just used some extract and a little (seriously, like 1 TSP per gallon) molasses, plus a lot of sugar. Our first batch with the actual roots we used an ale yeast, which has a lower alcohol tolerance and consumes the sugar more slowly. This time we used a champagne yeast which will pressurize it quickly, since we’ll be bottling right away.
We got thirteen standard beer bottles of root beer, and two larger hinge-cork bottles. The bottle capper is a lot of fun for some reason. We don’t have labels yet, but we might get some printed up later this week, not certain about that yet.
After the rootbeer was boiled, cooled, and bottled, I started a new (smaller) batch of Mead. This will be a plain Mead, no spices or anything but honey. I used a little higher honey to water ratio, and the ale yeast instead of champagne yeast so this batch should be sweeter than the Metheglin, and without that bite. I also didn’t use a yeast nutrient, which supposedly can affect the flavor a bit, but instead used some of the yeast sediment from the Metheglin batch as a nutrient starter.
Only a gallon for this batch, but I think that in a month or two when I rerack this to a different carboy I’ll start another 2 gallon batch, and soon I’ll have Mead for all occasions, year round!