Archive for July, 2015

Personal A&S challenge – The birth of alcohol

Since moving into the house I’m in, I’ve developed a passion for gardening.

In the same time frame, I’ve also developed an interest in brewing.

Gardening + Brewing means that I can create the things I then put in my brews.

So far I’ve done a number of different brews utilising herbs that I’ve grown. I’ve used home grown liquorice, lemongrass, lemonbalm, rosemary, tarragon and other flavour additives in my mash in the hopes of making everything just that little bit tastier. However, something I haven’t yet done is brew anything solely using things I’ve grown myself.

While drinking some of my ale about a month ago, I started to consider what sort of things went into medieval brews. I know that many ales were a combination of grains instead of the straight barley that I had been using. A plan formed in my mind… to have a personal A&S project that would take me all the way through brewing – starting at planting the crops.

Today I have segregated a bed specifically for grains. The spot gets shade in the early morning and late afternoon, but has nice, bright sunlight through the day.┬áIt’s not a large bed by any means, and I’m not expecting to have a massive crop, but I hope there will be enough to brew a decently sized batch of ale. I’ve planted a third of the bed with wheat, a third with rye, and a third with barley.

My new garden bed, planted with wheat, rye and barley

My new garden bed, planted with wheat, rye and barley

I will document the progress of the crop through the coming months.

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Chirurgeon’s Baldrick

Th Great Northern War, I acted as a chirurgeon. This is not a familiar role, and not one I’ve done for the SCA before, but I have current first aid training for the first time since I was 15, so I figured it was a service that I was able to happily give. The only issue was, there was no regalia to be had. Hrothgar lent out his baldrick, but that was problematic in and of itself. Hrothgar is one of only 7 mentor chirurgeons in Lochac, and his regalia is bounded in gold, not white.

To this end, I decided to make some regalia. I intend to donate it to the first aid box at Riverhaven. This way, they will always have regalia for the chirurgeon on duty.

Chirurgeon's baldrick

Chirurgeon’s baldrick

The embroidery has been done in cotton, stem stitch. The baldrick itself used some reasonably heavy-weight red cotton, bounded on each side of the fabric strip with white bias binding. It seemed easier to do it that way. I’ve simply stitched the inner, the outer and the white trim using a running stitch. This was great practice for me to get my stitches evenly spaced and consistent. I’ve already had someone tell me it looks like I used a sewing machine, which makes me most proud. It’s a bit ragged where I’ve stitched the white teardrop on, but I’m considering attaching the teardrop in a different manner for my next attempt (which will go to St Florian de la Rivere).

Because everyone should be able to tell who the first aider is at an event.

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