Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Munch, munch and grind...

Ready for mixing
It is a good job I can do this in my newly commandeered fishing room, AKA utility room. I am not sure how long I will be able to get away with this but I suspect once the new tiles and floor covering are installed, and the worktops are re-finished I might be evicted. No matter how hard I try, I seem to manage to get crumb all over the place. The dry bread is especially prone to becoming airborne as is the ground cat biscuit.

Messy job!
Now it is time to assemble the Ginger Tom groundbait base mix. The bread is thoroughly dry and it is time to munch it into a fine powder. A whiz in the food processor soon converts it into somewhere near the desired texture. The dry crumb is then passed through a sieve to find any lumps that managed to avoid the blades of the processor. These are finished off in the coffee grinder.  Same applies to the Gingernut biscuits except these do not need to pass through the sieve and besides they are a bit greasy and do not pass through the mesh very easily.

The fishy flavoured cat biscuit is a different matter. Like the dog biscuits (Wagg) I have used in my Two Dog and Red Dog mixes, munching these in the food processor just does not work. The only way to grind these little hard lumps is in a coffee grinder. Although not as hard as the Wagg, they are still tough little bits of dried food. When processed they become a very fine powder and smell rank.

While I am talking about the coffee grinder, I managed to kill the first cheap one I bought - it is not keen on Wagg! - so I went out and bought a new one. This did not last even one grinding and failed on the first attempt - I think this one was faulty, so I took it back and 'part-exchanged' it for a slightly better one. The new one was still way under £20 and is much better. It is much higher quality than its predecessor, easy to clean, has a low volume adapter for grinding small quantities at a time- very handy - and feels generally more solid. Mine came from Argos and cost £17.99

Evenly mixed in my huge bucket
The ginger is already ground so that just needs adding to the mix. All the dry ingredients and combined in a large bucket. My Preston bait bucket is enormous and allows vigorous mixing to be carried out without the risk of spillage. Mix, mix and mix again until an even colouration is achieved, ensuring all the ingredients are combined evenly throughout.
The colouring will be added to the lake water used to moisten the mix. This will also ensure an even application. The recipe, HERE, will make 2kg of groundbait. I bag this up into two separate bags. I will make up one bag at a time, if it is two wet, I then have a further supply of dry mix to add if required.

If I don't use the whole lot in one session what is left is taken home and stored in the freezer until next time. I usually use this fine dry mix to charge my method feeders or to make small balls, using a balling up mould to make 'loose' feed. The advantage of using a balling mould is that it will make projectiles that are aerodynamically similar and will be more likely to hit the same spot each time, whether thrown or catapulted.

Ready to go, 2kg of Ginger Tom base mix that will become Green Ginger Tom on the bank!
I am off to Beaver again tomorrow to try it out - I will post the results when I get home.

Footnote added after trying it out: 
The green colouring does nothing to change the colour. For now it is just plan old Ginger Tom!