mulled cider

This year we got a stupid amount of apples. One shouldn’t complain of course, but anyway. Our apples are great for apple pie, applesauce, apple juice and such, but not so good for cider. But of course I will try anyway. My idea was to spice the cider, almost like a mulled wine.



20 liter of freshly pressed apple juice

25 gr cinnamon

8 gr ginger

5 gr grains of paradise

Fermentis Safe cider yeast


OG: 40

FG: 0


It turned out a bit sour, with just a hint of the spices. Not bad, but not splendid either. Now I just have to wait a while to see of a couple of months on bottle will do the trick, and maybe it will taste better heated?

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Learned mans gown

I have for a long time been thinking about doing some kind of warmer outer garment for my Renaissance clothes. There are some pictures in Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion – The cut an construction of clothes for men an woman c1560-1620” (page 6-7) of a “learned man in a black gown” that I like and for many years wanted to have. When I finally decided to make my outer garment I of course had that as an alternativ. After some searching I also found a portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham in something similar and I couldn’t resist it anymore. Since I saw Geoffrey Rush play him in the movie “Elizabeth”, I must admit that the queens spymaster has been av kind of favorite of mine (yes I know that he was a murderer and probably all around evil guy). Maybe not the most historical based chose, but I don’t care! I also found the source for the pictures Janet Arnold used online, there are from “A Milanese Tailor’s Handbook“. With  help of my sister in law (bribed with tea and muffins), we based a pattern on especially pattern f87L in the handbook.


The gown isn’t finished, but starting to take shape.





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Kind of black IPA


I read about a fun way to make your beer dark with malt, without getting the toasty dark malt character taste from the malt. Just add some black malt at the end of the mashing. So I tried it when I made some IPA. I added 300 gram of black malt (1300 – 1400 °EBC) the last five minutes of the mashing. It turned out to be not completely black, but very dark brown. I used brew in a bag for this brewing and the recipe are as follow:

14 liter water

Irish ale yeast


3  kg pilsner malt

300 g Cara pils

150 g oats

300 g black malt (add last five minutes)

HOPS (with adding time from the end of mashing)

6o min 10 pilgrim

45 min 5 g chinook

10 min 5 g pilgrim, 5 g simcoe, 5 g chinook

5 min 8 g pilgrim, 8 g simcoe

0 min 10 g pilgrim, 10 g simcoe


OG: 70


I will probably dry hop this, but want to taste it first before I decide how and with what.


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New grain grinder

Trying my new grain grinder. It is actually a corn grinder (Corona Victoria), but it worked very well and it took me just a few minutes to grind a kilo of malt.

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Making more medieval medicine

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The flowers are blooming, so time to do more “medicine”. I do as I did last year and hopefully it will turn out as good as then.

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Local hops

Haven’t had much time lately, mostly working on renovating the house, but I at least have planted som hops. I finally managed to buy plants of an old, local hop. It is at least from the late eighteenth century, but probably much older. Its characteristics seems to be excellent for brewing, the alpha acid are around 7,9 % and the flavor should be of citrus and grapefruit with tones of green grass. More information (only in swedish) can be found  at



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rust protection with linseed-oil

A traditional way of rust protection is to burn linseed-oil, but I haven’t found any clear evidence for the use of it during medieval times. But linseed-oil was used in paint and painted armour was common.

I heated a shield boss in a charcoal grill and smeared a thin layer of mixed linseed-oil and tar on it (about one twentieth tar and the rest linseed-oil). I repeated it twice to get the finish I want. The tar I add to get a blacker colour. Only linseed-oil gives a dark brown colour. The oil stick better if the surface isn’t to smooth and polished.


When you burn linseed-oil it produce a lot of smoke, so i recommended to do it outside and not in a grill or oven that you will use for food, since it can taint the taste. Or at least that you clean the oven very carefully after use.


After it cooled down I riveted it to my new shield.


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