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How to use an Airlock for Fermentation

As a follow up to my post about fermenting ginger beer and making a ginger bug I thought I should include a post about how to use an airlock.

Or rather post a video about it since someone on youtube (Matt Williams) conveniently has a video on this topic. So kudos to him.

Fermented Ginger Beer Recipe

To make fermented ginger beer you first need to learn how to make a ginger bug, aka, a ginger beer fermentation bug. It isn't complicated, and it is so simple you could do it in the kitchen, in the garage, or while living in a cabin up north.

Makes for a fun DIY project.

Ginger Beer Fermentation Bug

500 ml filtered water
2 heaping tablespoons sugar (roughly 4 tablespoons)
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped ginger (roughly 4 tablespoons)

Stir in a glass or plastic container - DO NOT USE A METAL CONTAINER!

Cover the container with a cloth (eg. cheese cloth) for 24 hours and let it sit.

Add 1 heaping tablespoon ginger and 1 heaping tablespoon sugar every day for 2-3 days until bubbly.

Label and Date your Ginger Bug container so you know when you started it. The ginger bug doesn't stay good forever so once it is ready to use you should try to use it up by fermenting Ginger Beer (or other fermented drinks) as soon as possible. You can sometimes keep it for awhile, but keep in mind it will eventually go bad so it is best to try and use it sooner rather than later.

Or alternatively, if you really want to keep your Ginger Bug alive just continue to feed it daily the same amount of sugar and ginger. it may still go bad (like eventually...), but if you keep feeding it then it will prolong the lifespan of the ginger bug. Getting too full? Transfer half of it to a 2nd container. Now you have 2 ginger bugs. You could keep them both or give one to a friend who is also into fermenting drinks.

Note - Now that you have a Ginger Bug you can ferment other things too. Apple juice, grape juice, peach juice, almost any kind of juice. Certain things like Coca-Cola cannot be fermented because it is too acidic.

Ginger Beer Recipe

2 quarts of water
1.33 cups sugar
0.25 cup grated ginger

Pour water, sugar and grated ginger into large pot. Boil contents and let simmer for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool naturally.

When the contents reach room temperature (takes about an hour or more) strain the contents into a bowl to remove the large chunks of ginger.

Add 0.5 cup of Ginger Bug (also strained).

Add 3 lemons worth of lemon juice. Squeeze them good.

Pour contents of bowl into bottles. Leave 2-4 inches of headroom in the bottle to prevent it from bursting.

Stopper the bottles. Leave the bottles out in room temperature to ferment for 3-6 days, until they are good and fizzy.

If using a pressure stopper you can let them sit for the full 3-6 days, but if you are using other kinds of stoppers (eg. flip top bottles) you will need to "burp" them once per day so that the pressure doesn't build up until they explode. Remember to burp them above a bowl or sink.

Do not store flip top bottles near windows or glass. If they fly open they can also fly off and break things.

Open above a sink or bowl, because it will likely be really fizzy the first time it is opened and may overflow.

After the 3-6 days has elapsed store your fermented ginger beer in a cold fridge to kill the yeast. After a day you can now drink at your leisure.

For Sale - Traditional Hickory Longbow


35-40 lb Traditional Hickory Longbow - $180

Design wise it is a Eastern Woodlands Flatbow, a style of bow popular amongst Native Americans on the East Coast.

Bow and bowstring in mint condition.

Inquiries from Toronto, Canada welcome. I am selling it locally. I have no interest in shipping it.


I am selling this bow and possibly several other bows, including a vintage longbow from 1952, because my wife won't let me buy any new bows until I sell some of the bows I don't use that often. And since I don't use this bow that often, or the vintage bow from 1952, I have decided to sell them both to make room for new bows on my wall rack.

The 1952 bow is a black "Roy Rogers" collectible longbow for children. It really is meant for a kid who is between 5 to 10 years old. I am selling it for $100. No photos yet. That is on my To Do List for later.

Homemade Crossbow with Decorative Leather

 Above and below are photos of a homemade crossbow which were posted on Facebook (I don't know who the original creator was). What is interesting however is how they used decorative leather on the crossbow limbs and also on the foot stirrup.

I also really liked trigger, as it looks like it was handforged out of iron. Altogether this is awesome looking crossbow. Just look at the stitching on the leather!

The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow, Part I

Stemmler Logo
A few years ago I found a broken Stemmler recurve bow in the garbage at the Toronto Archery Range.

At the time I decided it was worth salvaging. Possibly to repair it or turn it into something else.

Years later, I am currently working on a new project to turn the old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. Hence the title: The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow.

Part I. It is going to take multiple posts to cover this story. Subscribe to Project Gridless if you want updates for when more posts on this subject appear. I will likely do a video of the finished crossbow too, so you can also subscribe to Project Gridless on YouTube.

My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can unlocked from their position and be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is eventually a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Below you can see the two broken pieces of the Stemmler, and see where the upper limb snapped off from the previous owner. Was it old? Did the previous owner overdraw it? Who knows. We shall see what happens.

Using a saw, I trimmed the broken limb for a smoother edge. I then measured it compared to the other limb and cut it in the same location, so both limbs are now the same length.

I still need to epoxy part of the broken limb as part of it has delaminated.

I will also need to reinforce part of the working limbs, as putting pressure on that section without reinforcement could cause it to snap again. So the section of the working limb where it will be attached to the crossbow stock needs to be reinforced - I am thinking of using oak, and I am thinking I should reinforce both the front and back.

Once that is done I need to drill holes for bolting it to a mechanism for attaching to the crossbow. The mechanism needs to be able to be locked into position, and to be able to be easily unlocked. So I need to research possible designs. I am currently thinking of using a steel deadbolt approach.

I have a stock I was making for a different crossbow I could use. But I am also thinking maybe I should make a new stock just for this project, and use a different style of trigger mechanism this time around. Previously I have used a drop-pin mechanism, but now I am thinking I should try using a Roman-style rolling trigger.

If I do make a new stock, I think I will make this stock wider than last time by laminating two pieces of oak together. It will be more comfortable to shape the handle and stock.

I could also in theory use a spring-loaded trigger, but I worry the spring would not be strong enough. Plus springs get weaker over time, and I would prefer a mechanism that doesn't need a replacement spring years later.

I am thinking I will use a steel stirrup this time around, for faster reloading - and it will double as a bipod for more accurate shooting. I also want it to fold for easy transport too.

Brass sights. Yup. I wanna make a brass sight for this one. Should be fun. V-shaped sights.


Yes, what you are reading above is basically a To Do List / Checklist for my own personal use. I find this is useful during the design process so I can plan out each stage of a project. Helps get it done faster by creating goals I can set and then do.

Crossbow Bowstrings


"Crossbow Repair"
I need a new string replacement please call or text me at [phone number removed for privacy reasons].



Hello Lance!

I don't make crossbow strings, but I do know who does.

Go to Ballistic Bowstrings in Angus, Ontario.

Charles Moffat
Follow Up Email
Thank you!

So yes... I don't make crossbow strings for clients. But people keep contacting me asking me this same question or similar question.

  • People looking for crossbow strings.
  • People looking for crossbow replacement parts.
  • People looking for crossbow repairs.
So yes, I do make my own crossbows - and I do repair compound bows. But I currently am not in the business of repairing crossbows. (And yes, there is a difference between crossbows and compound bows... and compound crossbows.)

And I do make my own crossbow strings, for my own private use. I do not sell them. Ever.
I also make / repair my own bowstrings, but I do not sell bow strings either.
So whenever people come asking for bowstrings (for regular bows or crossbows or compound bows) I always point them to Ballistic Bowstrings. For the following reasons.
  1. They make excellent bowstrings.
  2. They make all types of bowstrings. Regular, compound, crossbow. Custom jobs.
  3. Their prices are reasonable. Not cheap, but not expensive either.
  4. They are right here in Ontario. Not far from Toronto. And I prefer to support local craftsmen.

Regarding crossbow replacement parts...

I do buy old compound bows and take them apart for their parts. Typically I offer $15 to $25 for your old junker compound just so I can strip it for parts.

I am not *currently* in the business of buying / selling crossbows or their parts. Not yet at least. This might change in the future. But for now, just assume that I don't have any crossbow parts at all.

Regarding crossbow repairs...

I am not currently in the business of repairing crossbows either. I can restring a crossbow if need be, but I don't currently do any other kind of crossbow repair. I am focusing solely on compound bows. Not crossbows.

How do I know if my crossbow or compound bow is a junker?

Honestly, here is how you know:
Try to sell it.
If the only offers you receive are people interested in buying it for the parts, or if you receive zero offers period, that means it is not worth repairing and is essentially junk. At which point it really should just be sold for parts.

So if it is a compound bow, let me know and I can make you an offer.

If it is a crossbow, I am currently not interested. Maybe in 2020 I might change my mind and get into the business of repairing crossbows / buying junker crossbows for parts, but at present... nope. Not interested.
Also to anyone thinking their old junker is worth more than $25... nope. It isn't. Old junker compounds are basically a dime a dozen. And they are buyer beware too, as they are used and could have unforeseen problems. Getting $15 to $25 for your garbage is generous as I don't even use most of the parts. Most of them end up in a box, unused.

In other news...

I am currently working on a new project to turn an old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Happy Shooting!

12 Examples of Watery Off Grid Architecture

So back in September and August I did two posts on the following topics:

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture
12 Examples of Off Grid Home Architecture

During which one of the images featured a round egg-ish shaped home surrounded by water. This one:

Which got me thinking.

What other off grid architecture exists that is surrounded by water, built on / very close to the water?

Well, here are 12 Examples of Watery Off Grid Architecture...

Survival Schools in Canada, Alphabetical List

I made this list for several reasons.

#1. To provide an useful resource for other people who are into survival training to use.
#2. To help me research the competition, as I am starting a "Winter Survival Training" program. So this list is for my research. Essentially I wanted to find out what other survival schools are teaching, how much they are charging for their programs, what they offer during their programs, and so forth.

Note - If anyone in Toronto wants to sign up to be guinea pigs (aka, my first students) just email me (projectgridless {atsymbol} gmail .com) and we can set up some one-on-one survival lessons. I have been teaching archery full time for 9 years so I do have lots of experience teaching, but this is really a shift of topic for me. Teaching archery lasts from March to November each year, so I have been wanting to find something I could do/teach during the winter to bring in extra income.

Lessons would be on weekends only, by appointment.

My Winter Survival Training would focus on the following survival skills:
  • How to make cordage and knotmaking.
  • How to build a fire with no tools. (Only the tools you can make yourself.)
  • How to build a shelter with no tools.
  • How to find/make clean water during the winter.
  • How to forage for food in the winter / build hunting tools (survival bowmaking and arrow-making).
Each of the above skills is progressive. Meaning you have to complete the first to be able to effectively and easily do the next. It is possible for the individual to skip a step, but for example it is much easier to make a fire if you have cordage. Thus it makes sense to learn how to make cordage first, that way making a fire is so much easier and time effective. Likewise building a shelter is easier if you have cordage and know how to do knots, as is building effective hunting tools. Knotmaking is essential to many survival skills.

I am not sure how much I am going to charge yet for these lessons, but I will figure out a price later.

In the meantime I also planning to make a series of survival skills videos which will be available on youtube for free. You can subscribe by scrolling up and clicking the YouTube button at the top right of this page. (You will need to be logged in to YouTube for it work.)

Anyway, here is the list of Survival Schools in Canada. I have organized the list alphabetically so that there is no favourites. I cannot vouch for the quality of any of these schools, but they are most certainly more experienced at teaching said skills than I currently am.

Survival Schools in Canada, Alphabetical List

A to H

Honourable Mention

Coalcracker Bushcraft is an American Survival School located in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. They are not Canadian, but I have decided to give them an honourable mention because they are certainly worth looking into if you are serious about learning wilderness survival skills and bushcraft, and you are willing to travel to learn such skills. So if you are willing to travel, you should at least consider this American school as an option. Plus Americans might also be reading this, so they should also have an option for where to go.


And since they didn't pay me to say them, I will make a point by not giving any link to them.(Everyone in Canada however gets free links.) I am just mentioning them because I happen to like them and I am also a subscriber to their youtube channel, which is definitely worth looking into as well.

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Last month I did a post about 12 Examples of Off Grid Home Architecture, and at the time I was making that article I came across many examples of Earthship Homes. Thus this month I decided to do a similar post, but this time focusing solely on Earthship Architecture.

Here you go!

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Snake in the Grass Archery Target, Snake Hunting

Some people like to hunt snakes.

Possibly because of pest control. Or possibly because some people also like to eat them. They really do taste like chicken.

Myself, I like to "practice hunting snakes" on fake rubber toy snakes, like the kind you can find at the dollar store.


Because it makes for very good archery practice and it is fun. The snake makes a very thin target, so to hit it you need a good deal of precision. Thus as an archery target, it is a hard one to hit.

For extra fun, tie a string or cord to the fake snake's head and ask a friend to drag it closer to you, thus you now have a moving target which is both skinny and a moving target.

Also if you can feel free to prank a few friends when you arrive to see if they jump at your fake snake. Always good for a laugh when someone jumps away when they think a snake is real.

Bowhunting for Snakes - the Real Ones

Now there are people out there who do hunt snakes - and eat them. And they use the snakeskin for a variety of leather products.

Tips for Bowhunting Snakes

#1. Make sure any venomous snake is dead before you interact with it. Sometimes snakes can play possum, so if in doubt chop its head off with a machete or an axe before picking it up.

#2. Wear gloves when interacting with any venomous snake's head. Even though it is dead, if you accidentally pricked yourself with the fangs you could still get poisoned. (Some people even collect and preserve the snake venom, which is useful for hunting bears, wolves and large predators. To do this you have to milk the venom glands, which can be done by massaging the glands manually while the snakes fangs are grasping a glass jar, or you can do the same thing using electricity instead of massaging the glands.)

Note - Milking a venomous snake is also a method for creating antivenom. Venom also often has multiple medicinal uses.

#3. Beware of other snakes in the vicinity. Where there is one snake, there is often many more of them - all gathered in one spot because of an ample food source, a great location for making dens, or because they are breeding.

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