Well I haven't done much in the last couple of weeks, though I did find a good place for home brewing supplies. It's not in the UK though, it's only in Belgium. They're called Brouwland. Of course, because they're in continental europe theres a bit of a delay in getting the stuff and the inevitable post and packing charge, but the array of stuff they stock is bloody amazing.
The bits I ordered by way of a little "test" was a "wine thief" (a sampling device that can have a hydrometer inside - it makes testing gravity or %abv simple) and 2 variations of "mead yeast" - more specifically the Wyeast Sweet Mead and Dry Mead liquid yeasts. I haven't heard mention of the dry mead yeast so much but the sweet mead one seems to perform well (anecdotally). Plus liquid yeast cultures seem to be preferred by many so it seems worth giving them a try.
The only downside is that Brouwland use DPD to ship in Belgium, which then delivers through Parceline in the UK - so if I get "carded" for the delivery, it's about a 50 mile round trip to pick the parcel up (their nearest depot to me being Crawley) - a bit of a PITA! I must remember to use the in-laws address for delivery next time.
The "extreme" ginger wine seems to have mellowed a bit. I went to my sisters yesterday for a meal and took a bottle - I was quite surprised how much the ginger flavour had "calmed down". Still I found it very enjoyable and haved decided to note it down as a success!
This weekend I'm gonna test the brews I have fermenting at the moment. They seem to have stopped a bit earlier than I expected, so I'm gonna check to see if any of them have "stuck" or not. If it transpires that any of them have, I'll have to look up info on re-starting fermentation.
The two mead yeasts mentioned earlier won't be used until after crimbo now as I buggered if I'm gonna stand in line in the supermarket for hours - they're currently suffering from the bedlam of the "pre-christmas crush"! So early january will have to do. The packets are enough to make 5 gallons, US gallons I suspect, so a 19/20 litre batch will be in order for each.
Pip pip and a merry christmas to anyone who can be bothered to read this drivel!