Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More great uses for the garage + New toys

This week, we harvested our first real batch of grapes from the vines next to the garage.  These vines are now in their second year and weren't expected to yield much, but we got about 100 lbs of Zinfandel from our 18 plants (and much more came from the 21 Concord grape vines planted on the other side of the hill next to the Zin). But this is about the Zin for now.  We got so many grapes that I decided we needed to start our first attempt at home wine making.  So, we rented a grape crusher to de-stem and do the initial crush.  We now have a new use for the garage!  It turns out to be a great place to spill a little juice and easily clean up lots of grape skins.  100 pounds of grapes were crushed into our 30-gallon primary fermenter (basically a food-grade garbage can), and it should ultimately yield 6 gallons of juice/wine. That'll be roughly 25-30 bottles of wine, depending on how much we lose in the process.  So now Dave, Car Guy takes a turn as Dave, Wine Guy.  If it turns out really bad, maybe I can use it as an engine de-greaser!

I will post more as the process continues, but for now, I finished the crush and in a couple weeks the initial fermentation will be complete.

While I am here, and since it has been so long since I have blogged (who knew retired life would be so busy!), I guess this is a good time to mention a couple adds to the Dave-Cave.  If you ever read my prior post regarding the history of my car addiction, you may have read about my motorcycle days and the 1985 Kawasaki Ninja I rode back in the 80's.  I crashed that bike, unfortunately, and apparently so did many others.  So you don't see them around much.  But I found one for sale last year and picked it up with the intention of fixing it up and keeping it around for non-riding aesthetic enjoyment.  It has just 15,000 miles and looks pretty dang good for a bike that is about to celebrate it's 30th birthday.  Nice to have one back in the family...

And just a  few weeks ago, I added a new car to the stable - the first one in a few years.  A 2012 McLaren MP4-12C. I appreciate this car for the fact that it was ground-breaking with its carbon-fiber chassis/tub and 3.8 liter twin-turbo engine putting out 600 HP.  But also for its historical significance. Bruce McLaren is a legend in auto racing and his cars from the Can-Am era were some of the first racing cars I really was aware of as a kid.  The MP4-12C was the first car built for consumers after the critically acclaimed but very limited McLaren F1 car.  That car has become very collectable and maybe some day the MP4-12C will be as well.  It has now been replaced with a new model (650S), so there are only about 1500 of these that got imported to the U.S.  And to drive it is... unexplainable. The speed and handling is unlike any other car I've driven.  It is faster and more capable on track than the competition from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Corvette, Nissan, etc.  I will post more about this car as I become more familiar with it.  I have a track day coming up where I will get to really explore its capabilities. More blogging after that...

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